Birds have made a nest in/near my bathroom exhaust fan. I now am worried that...

Asked June 21, 2013, 5:14 PM EDT

Birds have made a nest in/near my bathroom exhaust fan. I now am worried that I have a bird mite problem. Only when I am in the bathroom, very tiny mite-looking insects crawl on my skin. Is there a way to eradicate these mites?

Wyandot County Ohio

1 Response

Sorry for the late reply! See below for steps to take. Hope this helps!

  1. If you want to be 100% sure, take a sample of mite to your county extension office for positive id.
  2. Remove the nest. Use disposable gloves and cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to prevent breathing anything in.
  3. Vacuum vacuum vacuum. Vacuum floor, ceiling, and inside exhaust fan. Put bag in sealed trash bag and put in freezer to kill mites or dispose of in outside trash bin to prevent re-infestation of house.
  4. Surfaces can be cleaned with soapy wet cloth.
  5. Clothing can just be washed on hot with normal detergent.
  6. The mites cannot survive on human blood but may bite and irritate. Without a bird host they will die in 2 to 6 weeks depending on if its the fowl mite or the chicken mite (which is not exclusive to chickens). Your extension office should be able to ID the mite. Regardless, they die in a few weeks.
  7. Pesticide options are available but usually not necessary (see here http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2101.html)