Birds, cute and lively vertebrates could be leaving you a nasty present. Birds can carry various parasites. While these parasites can come in all shapes and sizes, they are opportunistic survivalists. That means they will be looking for a new host if the bird dies or moves on from the nest.
One parasite that is common to NYC’s pigeons is the bird mite. Bird mites are egg shaped little blood suckers with eight legs. These pests are small and have short hairs on their bodies that appear semitransparent.
It may take a while before you are aware that your home has been infested with mites because they are so small. These can reproduce and multiply into the thousands very rapidly.
Their eggs can hatch after three days and mature into adults within five.
Bird mites are loyal parasites that usually spend their entire lives feeding off of one host.
The female mite needs to feed on blood to reproduce and lay her eggs. The mites are attracted to warm blooded animals as a source of warmth, moisture and carbon dioxide.
They prefer a bird when choosing a host. However, bird mites will bite humans when their food source has flown away. For example, when young birds leave the nest or their host dies. After the host dies, one can see thousands of bird mites seeking out a new host to live off of.
These little vampires cannot survive very long without a food source.
Bird mites are known to infest bedrooms and bathrooms. You will find them, in carpeting, clothing, bedding, and furniture. The mites tend to hide in dark areas within your home when not active.
They are most active at night and less on hot, dry, sunny days. Their activity peaks it seems when new bird mites mature which is about one time per 7 day cycle. In addition, bird mites have an increase in activity during the late summer months where there is an increase in bird population.
Many refer to bird mites as “creepy crawlies” or “nose ticklers” because of the constant itching and irritation to the skin caused by the mite’s saliva. Many doctors have mistaken bird mite bites for scabies because of the rash it resembles.
Some sufferers complain of symptoms that appear like small red bumps, pinprick bites and having a crawling sensation to name a few.
Once established that your home is infested with bird mites, it is recommended to seek out a pest control professional because they are very difficult to fully eradicate on your own.
First, to take control of the bird mite population in and around your home, it is important to identify where they breed and nest. An easy way to locate bird mites is by having the bird nests that surround your home examined, they tend to set up shop within the nests of their hosts.
People that live near bird nests, have resting pigeons on their window sills, or have animals infected are vulnerable to bird mites. Second, you will have to have all bird nests removed.
However, it is suggested to consult with a pest control professional before attempting this on your own because they can choose the appropriate pesticides and extermination procedures that will protect certain protected bird species under state and government regulations.