Bird Mites

Overview

Bird mites are parasites that are most active during Spring and early Summer, they feed on the blood of common birds including pigeons, starlings, sparrows, Indian mynahs, poultry, and some wild birds. They are not capable of surviving for more than a few days, depending on species, without a food source.

DescriptionBird Mite

Colour: Semitransparent but appear reddish to blackish after feeding

Legs: 8

Shape: Ovoid

Size: 0.5mm

Region: Throughout Australia

Habits

Contact with humans usually occurs after birds gain entry to roof cavities via broken tiles or through unprotected eaves, of homes, factories, barns and other dwellings to construct their nests in early spring or summer. However, some infestations also occur from birds roosting on the outside of dwellings such as window ledges or awnings. The mites feed on the unfeathered nestlings, as well as the adult birds, and the large amount of nesting material used by the birds provide the mites with an ideal environment in which to thrive. The mites have a short life cycle (approximately 7 days) and can rapidly generate large populations.

When the young birds leave the nest, or die, many mites (often many tens of thousands) are left behind in the absence of a suitable host, and these will disperse from the nest into and throughout the dwelling searching for new hosts.

Habitat

Although some bird mites are not selective in choosing a bird host, they remain loyal to and often spend their entire lives on the host they do choose. If a host dies, thousands of mites migrate in search of a new host. While these wandering mites have been known to bite humans, they do not attempt to infest human hosts long-term. 

Prevention

Repair or replace broken tiles or timbers that are allowing access to roof cavities and all potential entry points to the eaves and roof cavity blocked. Roosting and nesting sites on window ledges should be cleared and made unsuitable for future bird use.

Treatment

The first step is to remove any nests from roof cavities, eaves and window ledges. Surekil Pest Control can then treat the infested area to eradicate the remaining mites.

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