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Bird Mites

Bird Mites (Perognathus flavescens) are very tiny, flattened parasitic arthropods in the order Acari. They belong to two closely related genera in two families; Dermanyssus species in Dermanyssidae, and Ornithonyssus species in Macronyssidae. Bird mites have piercing mouthparts that enable them to take blood meals from their bird hosts. Although the mites will inadvertently bite people, they cannot reproduce without their bird hosts. The term “mite” is commonly used to refer to a group of insect-like organisms, some of which bite or cause irritation to humans. While some mites feed on animals such as rodents, rats, mice, raccoon, squirrels, and humans, others are scavengers, some feed on plants, and many others prey on insects and other arthropods.

bird mites

He heard you just had your car washed

In fact, there are nearly as many different types of mites as there are insects. Like their relatives, the ticks, mites pass through four stages of development: egg, larva, nymph, and finally adult. All stages have eight legs except the six-legged larva.

Most mites never come in direct contact with humans, but some that do can affect a person and cause irritation. The irritation may be real or imagined:
•real – due to physically getting bitten or
•imagined – due to a psychological psychosis.

People that have a bird’s nest near the home, apartment owners with pigeon problems, people with pets or other animals which are infested, people who obtain used furniture, carpet, clothing, etc, that have already been infested. This can also include guests of hotels and office workers whose buildings are inhabited by nesting birds.

Having bird mites is a parasitic infestation

because bird mites are too small to be easily seen without magnification. Symptoms include “bullseye” bites, often intense itching with or without lesions, small reddened bumps, and a crawling sensation anywhere on the body; only with increased activity at night. Some people label bird mites as the “creepy crawlies.” The intense itching and irritation on the skin is due to the mite’s saliva which is left after the bite. When a large area is covered with bites it will resemble a rash in appearance, and it is often mistaken for scabies.

Bird mites most commonly infest bedrooms and bathrooms, but can quickly infest an entire home. Mites will infest carpeting, bedding, furniture, clothing, etc. They hide in cracks, crevices, and darkened areas in the home while they are not active. They tend to congregate where humans routinely are; which can include areas as near the computer, in automobiles, and sofas.

bird mites

Looking for his next target

Bird mites are most active from dusk till dawn while you are sleep, but can be active at other times, especially when disturbed. Bird mites are very disruptive and can be so irritating that they can alter our normal sleep pattern, causing many nights of lost sleep. They tend to be more active on damp, humid, or overcast days and nights. Mites are less active during daylight hours, and they are less active on hot, dry, sunny days. They are at their height of activity every seven days or so, when the new mites will mature. Also, oddly enough, bird mite activity tends to increase during the time of a full moon.

Bird mite populations tend to peak in the late spring and summer, corresponding to an increase in the bird population and an increase in temperature and humidity levels. Bird mites are parasites they feed on living organisms; the female mite needs blood to reproduce. They are attracted to mammals by receptors for moisture, heat, and CO2. They are aggressive and they often bite humans when their original food source is no longer present; Such as when the young birds leave the nest.

Life Cycle: Most bird mite species can complete development in five to twelve days with optimal temperatures and host presence. This short life cycle makes it is possible for mite populations to attain tens of thousands of mites in bird nests during the rearing of young birds. If the population is too large, the mites will migrate in mass to locate an alternative host.

It is during this migration that mites can and do enter the living quarters of people. Some mites can survive for several months without taking a blood meal; the northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum , for several weeks. However, the mites do not appear to survive for more than several days in the reduced humidity environs typically found in air-conditioned or de-humidified homes.

Beyond Pest Control  recommends that you handle this pest problem quickly, because bird mites can quickly multiply into thousands, leaving the afflicted person with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Once a home is heavily infested, they are very difficult to fully eradicate.

If you have any questions about pest control check out the rest of our website or go to our blog at

Click here to find out more information on “How to Deal with the Pigeon Menace”

bird mites


Beyond Pest Control.

Beyond Pest Control.

Our pest control specialists service all NYC boroughs, including Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island (both Nassau & Suffolk counties), Staten Island and even both Westchester & Rockland counties.

If you have any questions on bird mites please call (718) 777-2345