Bird mites are nasty little bugs that feed on the blood of birds such as chickens, turkeys, and smaller birds.
In many ways, bird mites are like bed bugs in that they are parasites which makes them a challenge to get rid of compared to standard insects.
Bird mites are small and only interested in blood, so standard poisons and eradication techniques tend to not work.
In addition, their small size makes bird mites difficult to spot.
Especially when hiding the smallest of cracks or holes can provide shelter – when they are not found on the birds.
If you spot a bird mite in your home, it will be yellow in color before feeding and then dark red after feeding which is the color of the blood they consume.
Once they feed, bird mites will breed which produces more bird mites.
Are Bird Mites Dangerous?
If you keep birds in or around your home, then you are subject to bird mites.
Once they enter your home, they can live for a long time (roughly for 7 days) assuming they have a source of food nearby.
You might feel safe from bird mites, at least initially because they have no interest in human blood.
However, they tend to not know that at first and will bite you.
Their bites are painful and itchy which can be a most unpleasant experience.
However, the good thing is bird mites are not at all a threat as they do not transmit any human diseases.
Although they can spread from a bird to a human via direct contact, they also do not use humans as a viable host.
Homemade Sprays to Control Bird Mites
Prevention is the key to keeping bird mites away from your chickens, pigeons, starlings, sparrows, and your home.
If you have poultry, you should employ one or more of these homemade natural spray formulations even if there are no signs of bird mites.
This is because using the sprays now can greatly reduce, if not kill all the bird mites before they have a chance to infest your birds.
In addition, the DIY bird mite sprays listed here are not only organic in nature but do no harm to your birds.
This means that you can safely employ them at any time to prevent an infestation from occurring.
Some of the following products can repel bird mites, some kill them outright, and some will reduce the soreness and itching of a bite from a bird mite.
This wonder product can do a lot of things, including repelling bird mites from your home.
This is because the odor generated by the vinegar, especially white vinegar, keeps bird mites at bay while doing no harm to the birds themselves.
Although your birds may not like the odor of vinegar, it will not harm them if used as a spray around their home.
- You can use vinegar alone or mix it with anise or peppermint oil
- Spay the mixture around your home and be sure to get into the tiny cracks and places that a bird mite may hide
- Be sure to cover all areas of your home and around your farm to ensure full coverage
The vinegar will also reduce the itching from a bird mite bite.
It also helps that white vinegar is quite inexpensive and readily available for use.
2- Essential Oils
There are several essential oils that are quite effective against bird mites which include the following.
Essential oils have a disorienting effect on bird mites which makes them stop what they normally do and move out into the open where they are more vulnerable.
The result is that many of the essential oils will kill the bird mites indirectly.
However, most essential oils will harm the birds as well.
This includes peppermint which is most effective when used with tea tree or anise oil.
This means that you should only use this essential oil in and around your home and away from the birds, pets, and your young children.
Peppermint oil is easy to use. All you need is a few drops mixed with water and you can spray it around your home.
It kills the germs in your mouth and repels bird mites thanks to its odor.
You can spray Listerine around your home using a cheap spray bottle.
The menthol in the Listerine is what drives the mites away.
Plus, the ingredients can be used to reduce the pain and itchiness of a bird mite bite.
4- Neem Oil:
This type of oil is most effective in killing bird mites because it has properties that are parasitic as well.
All you need to do is add a few drops into some water and load it into a spray bottle.
However, because neem oil can last for a long time, you can use it in glue traps that pull in the bird mites with the oil killing them shortly afterward.
5- Orange Oil:
Sometimes call Limonene, this extract comes from the peel of oranges and other citrus plants.
It is not only cheap and readily available, but it can also kill bird mites, fleas, lice, and even ticks.
You can make this product yourself by grinding up orange or lemon peels and mixing them with water.
Spray the mixture around your home direct to your clothing, bedding, and any other place in the house where bird mites may gather.
How to Get Rid of Bird Mite Infestation in Home?
Although there are several species of bird mites found, the two most commonly found in North America are chicken mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) and northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus Sylviarum).
When dealing with parasitic bird mite infestation yourself, the very first question to ask is whether you have a bird mite infestation or a bed bug infestation.
This is because both types of insects are quite similar, so telling them apart is crucial to understanding how to deal with them.
One issue is that both bird mites and bed bugs are quite small, making identification a real problem.
Due to their tiny size (like the tip of a pen), it’s very difficult to see them with naked eyes – you may need to get a magnifying glass to find the transparent-looking white mites and their eggs.
The key is to look at your birds and see if there are any changes in their behavior.
When a bird mite infestation is in progress, you will notice a significant drop in egg production.
In addition, if the birds have mites, you should notice the sting right away. It is painful and will create a sore quickly.
Once you know you have bird mites, you can now take the proper steps to eradicate them.
After you have properly identified the bird mites in your home you are ready to start with the treatment process.
1- Remove the source: The source of mite infestation may be the pet birds, poultry, nesting birds (in chimneys, attics, eaves, window ledges, rain gutters, porches, around air conditioning, etc), dead birds, etc.
So, as a very first step, look for them and try to remove them as soon as possible.
Follow the guidelines of your local authorities if you want to use any pesticides as these birds may be protected by your local laws.
However, IMO you should avoid standard chemical insecticides that you find at the store.
This is because these products may harm or kill your birds and still not get rid of the bird mite infestation.
Like bed bugs, bird mites have little interest in consuming anything other than blood.
So, you will need to use another, more effective product that can quickly reduce their population while not harming the birds.
2- Clean everything: Vacuuming the infested areas and then washing is important to reduce the number of bird mites present.
Make sure you clean everything including curtains, rugs, carpets, bedding, etc.
You may need to perform this cleaning task 2-3 times a week if the infestation is severe.
Just in case the infestation is out of control and you think it’s difficult for you to deal with it, it’s best to call your local pest control professionals.
Other Related Questions:
Do bird mites jump?
No bird mites cannot jump, or hop.
In fact, they are not able to move very far from their actual source due to their very tiny size and short legs.
Unlike popular belief, bird mites also do not fly because they don’t have wings.
However, if they find a host nearby, they can float down from the ceiling to land on their host.
But they do not penetrate into the skin and that’s the reason they are easy to wash off with warm soapy water.
What bug spray kills bird mites?
If you find it hard to get rid of a large population of bird mites in your house, they can be killed using a natural solution like Diatomaceous Earth.
Or a typical pesticide such as Steri-Fab or Bedlam insecticide spray can do a trick.
Insecticide sprays and Treatment Products that contain permethrin or bifenthrin are also found to be effective against many mites and can be tried out.
Just make sure you read the label carefully on the product to ensure that the spraying solution is meant for the specific job you are using it for.
Bird mites vs. bed bugs vs. dust mites?
Bed bugs have no interest in birds and will be found around your bed.
And their bites are generally less noticeable, although you will see spatters of blood on your bedsheets as they feast on you at night.
If you have bed bugs, there are certainly effective methods you can use to get rid of them. But bird mites being microscopic in nature are hard to deal with.
Also, do not confuse bird mites with house dust mites that are common indoor allergens and are among the most common types of mites found in homes.
Unlike bird mites, dust mites are most likely found on furniture, pillows, and mattresses (not on humans, birds, or animals).
They primarily feed on dander and flakes of dead skin that usually fall off from humans and animals.
It should be noted that bird mites do not carry diseases that infect animals or people.
Because they do not feast on human blood, they have little interest in us after they get a taste.
Unfortunately, they can be most annoying and the bites are quite painful.
And because they do not know the difference between birds and people, you can be bitten several times.
By using one or more of the homemade bird mite sprays, you can greatly reduce the chances of getting bit by eradicating the mites themselves.
Plus, you can use some of the same products to reduce the pain and itchiness of the bites.
Welcome to ProShieldPest.com. I am Tina Jones. I have been lately working as a pest removal professional in Winslow, Arizona. At present, I love to spend my time with my family as a retiree.
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