bird mite infestation

Asked September 22, 2017, 9:20 AM EDT

I have been dealing with bird mites for approximately 5 months now. Despite aggressive cleaning and exterminating, I believe I have been personally infested. I am experiencing the crawling sensation, especially on my feet and face, as well as 10-20 bites throughout the day. I have tried everything to eliminate these symptoms. There were birds nesting in my back porch, so I did have a positive ID by an exterminator. I haven't seen an "adult" mite since July 10 (?) I've read conflicting info, including papers from reputable people, veterinarians... about this. I need help.

Philadelphia County Pennsylvania urban integrated pest management

1 Response

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear about your mite problems. Here (pasted below and links attached) is some reliable information and advice:

Mites are small arthropods with eight legs, more closely related to spiders than insects. Several mite species can be found in homes and offices. Some are associated with stored foods, such as grain, cheese, and flour mites. These are most commonly found in food storage areas with high humidities. Others, like bird and rodent mites, are found in buildings with bird or rodent infestations. Bird and rodent mites, like the northern fowl mite, house mouse mite, and tropical rat mite, are among the most common culprits in difficult-to- diagnose arthropod infestations. These mites live in bird and rodent nests. Although these mites occasionally bite humans, they do not feed, nor can they successfully survive or reproduce, without their natural hosts. The most effective method for eliminating such mite infestations is to control and remove any rodents (e.g., house mice, rats, squirrels, etc.) or birds (e.g., swallows, sparrows, starlings, pigeons) from the structure. This is best accomplished with the help of a professional pest control company familiar with control of these pests. Once the hosts of these mites are eliminated, insecticidal sprays can be used by a professional pest control operator to reduce any residual mite populations.

Only two kinds of mites actually live and feed in human skin: the scabies mite and the hair follicle mite. Of the two, only the scabies mite commonly causes bites or itching. Scabies must be diagnosed by a physician, usually via scrapings from the skin. Treatment consists of various prescription medicated creams and ointments. Hair follicle mites are harmless, though may be associated in some individuals with a type of acne. Follicle mites can be found in the skin of most adult humans.

Also see http://acvcsd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Mites.pdf and http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/pdf/bird-mites


If you have eliminated the host (the birds and nests), have cleaned, and it has been more than 2-3 weeks and you are still being bitten, then it is most likely NOT bird mites. If you find another insect/arthropod and you would like to have it IDd by en entomologist, then please contact your local county extension office about this FREE service. https://extension.psu.edu/county-offices

Michelle