Bird Mites Pictures, Treatments, and Prevention

Bird mites are minute, oval organisms that live on the skin of various birds and can cause problems once they find their way into homes and different places.

These are also called chicken mites and have different species. The species that affect humans the most are domestic starling mites and red poultry mites.

The following gives you information about bird mites and ways to prevent their infestation.

What are Bird Mites?

Bird mites are non-parasitic, tiny arachnids. They are very small in size. An adult bird mite measures less than 1 mm which makes them very difficult to be spotted but it can be seen with a naked eye.

They feed on the blood of birds. Provided the conditions, these can find their way to humans and cause problems.

Under a microscopic, they can be seen as tick-like creatures with the white body covered with black spots that can turn darker after feeding. They develop a reddish hue after feeding.

They have eight legs and long, prominent mouthparts. They also have hair on their back.

Bird Mites vs Bed Bugs

Though bird mites and bed bugs have a few similarities, they are two different creatures.

Similarities include-

1. They both feed on mammal blood

2. They both are active at night

3. They both attain brown or reddish hue at times

4. They both live in homes and other structures

5. Their bites produce red marks

6. Found anywhere in the residence

Differences include-

1. Bed bugs are larger than bird mites by 4-7 mm

2. Bed bugs have 5 to 6 weeks of lifecycle while bird mites have up to 7-day lifecycle

3. Bed bugs leave traces of fecal matter while bird mites do not

Where do Bird Mites Come From?

Bird mites prefer to live in warm and humid conditions and are most active during spring and early summer. They are found in different countries.

They are found on the skin of different types of birds including starlings, sparrows, pigeons, poultry near the location of their nests. However, after the birds leave their nest, bird mites start infesting homes. They usually hide around windows, ceiling or bedding, to look for a blood-meal.

Mites are parasitic to a bird’s blood. Its lifecycle is based on the blood of a bird. It takes about 7 days to grow from an egg to a mature adult in different phases.

Do Bird Mites Bite Humans?

Bird mites can bite humans despite the fact that they suck on a bird’s blood to complete their life cycle and human blood is not enough for them. Their bite is called ‘itchy bite’.

Bite of a bird mite causes symptoms similar to that of other insect bites, which include-

1. Appearance of small red papules and vesicles on the skin

2. Area where you are bitten, is extremely itchy and causes a ‘crawling sensation’ due to mites injecting saliva into the skin.

Complications of a Bird Mite Bite

Although the bite of a bird mite is harmless, it can cause a variety of complications in the human body. These include-

1. Secondary bacterial infection occurring due to intense scratching due to itchiness. Constant scratching can break the skin and cause bacteria to enter the body.

Bacterial infection can cause redness along with warm skin. Pain and discharge also occur.

2. Intense itching can lead to lack of sleep at night due to disturbance which can cause lethargy. The bite can also result in depression and anxiety.

Who’s at the Risk for a Bird Mite Bite?

Bird mites can bite anybody in close proximity to it, yet, some people have a greater chance to get bitten. This is related to occupation and other circumstances which includes-

1. Zoo workers

2. Pet shop owners and employees.

3. People who have nests in the surroundings

4. Pet owners

5. Poultry farmers

Sometimes, the nest is located in some areas of the home where it is not seen like chimneys and attics. If birds in such nests get infected, gates are surely opened for bird mites to get into the home which further increases chances for a bite.

How do you Treat Bird Mite Bites?

Bird mite bite is similar to other insect bites. It is suspected when the patient shows clinical symptoms of scabies but the treatment for it is not working. In that case, the patient’s history and details are taken to diagnose if it is a bite of a bird mite. Unlike scabies, they do not result in the formation of burrows in the skin.

1. Treatment should include ways to remove the existing mite and prevent their further infestation. Showering with scrubbing (maybe using a loofah pad) and using proper products for cleaning of the body and hair can help in the removal of mites from the body.

2. Itching can be reduced by using emollients. Coal-tar shampoos can be used for hair. Adding diluted bleach solution while showering can help prevent any sort of infection.

3. To treat bacterial infections, antibiotics can be used. Topical steroids and antihistamines can be used to reduce inflammation and itchiness.

How Can you Prevent a Bird Mite Infestation?

Bird mite infestation can be prevented by avoiding contact and removing any nests from the home. Measures should be taken during working.

1. To eradicate mites, insecticides can be used. If the furniture is infested, it might need to be replaced. Vacuuming and cleaning carpets and floors is required to avoid infestation. Bedsheets and covers should be properly washed and cleaned, preferably in hot water, from time to time.

2. Pest control operators can be called to remove any possible nests or eradicate existing mites to prevent further problems. Veterinarians should be consulted to know about the correct products to be used for avoiding mite infestation in your pet.

3. To avoid transfer during working, you must wear protective clothing.

You can adopt these measures to reduce the risk of a bird mite bite through infestation and prevent any possible problems.


Bird mites may not be a parasite for a human but they can still create issues for human beings, once they have managed to break into homes and surroundings. This is why proper preventive measures should be taken.

Bird mite bite is harmless but proper treatment should be done to eradicate them. As soon as you experience symptoms, a doctor must be seen for diagnosis and treatment to begin.

Antibiotics, anti-histamines, emollients, and other recommended things can be used to heal the symptoms of the bite. These can be severe and result in both physical and mental problems.

In order to prevent infestation, protective methods can be applied and companies concerned with pest control can be called to check for any nests or mites. Contact with bird mites and areas where they possibly could be must be avoided.

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