Bird Mites Questions

Asked October 26, 2016, 1:28 AM EDT

Hi, Experts,

We have bird mites problems in 6 houses, desperately need your help. Thank you in advance for your great help.

It starts with my sister’s house in Hawaii that has an empty nest in roof area, all the mites went into the house.

We were renting few rooms from them, to be ready to move into our new purchase house. We also moved the bird mites with our belongings. With brother and sisters visiting each other, all 6 houses are infested with bird mites. 4 in Hawaii, 1 in Texas, 1 in Taiwan. This problem went on for 5 months (start from beginning of June to Now, started from one house, to six homes now)

The sample summited to Agricultural Department, They ID the mite is tropical mites. I have following questions need your help to answer:

  1. For tropical mites, what is the normal life span? How about in a hot humid place like Hawaii?

  2. For tropical mites, How long can it stay in diapause phase? How long does it take for it to eventually died? Or it can be in diapause forever?

  3. Does bird mite need constantly need to consume bird blood to reproduce eggs? Or just consume bird blood once, then going into diapause, after come out of diapause, will this mite still able to be reproductive without consume bird blood again?

  4. How many eggs can a mite lay during its life span?

  5. Does human blood help those bird mites which already have capability to reproduce to reproduce lay more eggs?

  6. What is low temperature can freeze bird mites to death? If does, how long does it take?

  7. What is low temperature can freeze bird mite eggs, so it won’t be able to be hatched? If does, how long does it take?

  8. What is high temperature that can kill the bird mites? If does, how long does it take?

  9. Does high temperature also destroy bird mite eggs? If does, how long does it take?

  10. Does Low humidity kill bird mites? How low the humidity needs to be? how long does it take?

  11. The bird mites without consume any bird blood, will it able to reproduce? If consume human or pet’s blood (non-bird type of pet)?

  12. If my body carry bird mites, does it attract other bird mites at open space? (attract new bird mites in the park? Beaches?)

Outside United States

4 Responses

The best answer I can give to your situation is to get to the source of the problem.

Tropical fowl mites and other species of bird mites infest nests of different birds. They may also live where birds routinely roost. They take blood meals from the birds, and they use that food to develop and reproduce.

When birds abandon their nests (as in after their chicks have fledged) or roosting sites, the mites disperse looking for new hosts. This is when they may enter homes through openings (wall cracks, window gaps, open windows, etc.). They may then get on humans and bite.

The bites can be irritating and people vary in their sensitivity to bites, but otherwise the bites are not harmful. Please consult your medical professional if you believe the mites are causing physical harm to you.

These mites can survive for a few days in the absence of bird hosts. However, they cannot reproduce without feeding on bird hosts.

Eliminating roosting areas for birds like pigeons around houses and nesting areas will help resolve the problem. Nesting areas are not always conspicuous. Birds like starling often nest in wall cavities and under eaves. If you have nuisance birds at a house, it would be good to consult with a qualified pest control professional to help identify and manage problems. Your local extension office may have lists of firms that deal with nuisance wildlife. Simply treating rooms in the house or personal belongings for mites without controlling their source will not be effective.

Thank you for your reply, the source has been removed 4 months ago, the nest was removed by a PCO company, and the area has been cleaned by this company and another PCO company.

The rest of 5 homes, there is no source, since they were carried by people. So I think the questions that I have, would help us understand why after 4 Months, we are still experiencing this problem and why is spreading so quickly (just past 2 weeks, spread to another 2 houses, with only a computer backpack traveling, we did not experience any mite for 5 or 6 days, then we being attack by huge amount of mites in 2 houses).




Thank you for your reply, the source has been removed 4 months ago, the nest was removed by a PCO company, and the area has been cleaned by this company and another PCO company.

The rest of 5 homes, there is no source, since they were carried by people. So I think the questions that I have, would help us understand why after 4 Months, we are still experiencing this problem and why is spreading so quickly (just past 2 weeks, spread to another 2 houses, with only a computer backpack traveling, we did not experience any mite for 5 or 6 days, then we being attack by huge amount of mites in 2 houses).




Tropical fowl mites will not survive more than a few days under ambient conditions without bird hosts. They cannot reproduce without avian blood. Again, the problem may arise from tropical fowl mites breeding in nest/roost areas that have not been identified. Alternatively, please work with you local extension office(s) to identify the pest in question. If they are not tropical fowl mites, other remedies may be available. If these are causing you or others in the household harm, please see a medical professional.