Bird mites

Asked October 2, 2014, 3:41 AM EDT

My sister's house is infested with bird mites. According to the Pest Control guy who has sent a sample to be analysed, it is the chicken mites.

Since this happened two months ago, the house has been sprayed twice and fogged twice. Though a lot of them were killed, still a lot of the adult mites are coming out to bite her at night. She has several bite marks to prove it.

At the moment, no birds are found but she did have some sparrows around the house some months ago.

Your experts said that the mites cannot reproduce without a bird host and my question is how then can baby mites be hatched when the birds are not around. After many spraying and fogging, she can still find baby bird mites in the house and in her hair.

Can you please recommend a good insecticide and a good way of getting rid of the mites from the body and hair?

Thanking you in advance.


Outside United States poultry

1 Response

There are two different types of mites - the Northern Fowl mite (and the similar Tropical mite found in the tropics) and the chicken mite (also known as red mites). The northern fowl mite is the most common external parasite of poultry in the U.S. it sucks blood from all different types of fowl. the Northern Fowl Mite primarily remains on the host for its entire life cycle, although they can live off the host bird for 2-3 weeks. These are small and black or brown in color, have 8 legs and are commonly spread through bird-to-bird contact. This would include any wild birds that may have access to your flock. On the other hand, the chicken mite is nocturnal and normally a warm weather pest. They suck blood from the birds at night and then hide in the cracks and crevices of the houses during the day. Chicken mites are dark brown or black, much like the Northern Fowl Mite. Because they live in the cracks and crevices of the house, a thorough cleaning is required. The life cycle of mites can be as little as 10 days, which allows for a quick turnover and heavy infestations. Mites can be transferred between flocks by crates, clothing, and wild birds. Mites are capable of living in the environment and off the host bird for a period of time. Mite control starts with sanitation and cleanliness. This includes cleaning and disinfecting the housing facilities and equipment between flocks. Chemical control can include the use of carbaryl (Sevin®). Treat the walls, floors, roosts, nest boxes, and the birds simultaneously. One treatment method for small flocks or individual birds is the use of a dusting bath with Sevin®. Place the bird into a garbage bag containing the medicated powder with the birds’ head out and rotate/shake the bag to completely cover the bird with powder. Be sure not to inhale the medicated powder during treatments. The use of a facial mask is recommended to prevent inhaling this medicated powder. Because the life cycle of lice and mites is. approximately 2 weeks, treatments should be repeated every 2 weeks as needed. Carefully read all labels prior to treatment to make sure withdrawal times are followed for food-producing poultry. Severe mite infestations can be treated initially with a kitten strength dose of a pyrethrin-based medicated spray on the birds to reduce the initial numbers. If problems persist, contact a veterinarian for treatment with such medications as Ivermectin.