Bird Mites: A Hidden Pest Problem
The term, “bird mite”, is used as a generic expression for a wide range of parasitic arthropods that infest birds and their nests. While they primarily feed on birds, they can also bite humans and cause irritation and discomfort. In the UK, bird mites are considered pests due to their ability to invade homes and affect human health.
Here are some key points about bird mites in the UK:
Bird mites are tiny, ranging in size from 0.5 to 1 mm, meaning they can often remain unseen. They are usually pale in colour but may become reddish after feeding. Bird mites have eight legs, a hairy back, and a round/oval body shape. They are typically found near bird nests, particularly in roof spaces, attics, and eaves.
Bird mites undergo a life cycle of 4 phases consisting of egg, larva, nymph, and adult stages. The eggs are laid in bird nests and hatch into larvae, which then moult and develop into nymphs. After a few moults, they become adults. The life cycle from egg to adult can take around one to three weeks, depending on environmental conditions. The life cycle cannot be completed without the presence of bird blood.
Whilst bird mites require the blood of birds to survive, they will also bite humans, causing itching, redness, and skin irritation. Although mite bites are irritating, they are usually harmless. Sometimes, however, they can lead to complications. If the itching leads to broken skin there is a risk of developing a secondary bacterial infection, known as cellulitis, symptoms of which include:
- Skin that is warm to the touch
This infection can become serious. If you notice any of the above symptoms, seek emergency medical assistance.
Bird mite infestations in the UK are most common during the summer months; they prefer warm weather, and bird populations are at their peak at this time. However, infestations can occur at any time of the year, particularly if birds’ nest in or around buildings.
Control and Prevention
Dealing with bird mite infestations requires a combination of measures. Here are some steps for control and prevention:
- Identifying and removing the source: Locating and removing bird nests or nesting materials is crucial to eliminate the source of bird mites.
- Sealing entry points: Ensure that openings and gaps in the building structure are sealed.
- Call in the professionals: it is advisable to contact a professional pest control agency that specialises in bird mite removal. At Avon Pest Control we understand the behaviour, biology, and habits of bird mites, enabling us to effectively assess the infestation and implement appropriate control measures. We have access to a range of professional grade treatments that are not readily available to the general public, which are more potent and targeted, leading to better results. We also provide our customers with expert guidance on preventing future infestations.
Would You like to Banish Bird Mites?
Call Avon Pest Control today to speak to a member of our knowledgeable and friendly team; let us deal with your pest problem for you.