Bird Mites Removal Services
Do I have bird mites?
Do you feel like you constantly have the creepy crawlies in your home? That’s one of the most commonly expressed feelings when bird mites are present. A quick way to spot whether or not you have bird mites is to go through the following list:
Do you have pinprick bites? (These can be with or without lesions)
Do you frequently find yourself having periods of intense itching on your skin?
Do you often have sensations of crawling on your skin?
Do the bites marks and lesions that you have heal very slowly?
Are your symptoms worse in certain areas of your home?
Are your symptoms worse at night?
Has a doctor diagnosed you with scabies but the treatment is not working?
If your answers to some or most of these are yes you need to consider that you may have an infestation of bird mites. If a house gets to the stage where it is completely infested with bird mites, it can be a very difficult and long problem to resolve as bird mites are a very aggressive species and have 5 nymphal stages which means that you may need a series of treatments to get rid of them entirely.
What are bird mites?
Bird mites are a devilish problem to have and are often mistaken for more common pests such as bedbugs and fleas, however the truth is that bird mites are much, much worse. As one of the most aggressive of all the insects and arachnids that bite in the UK, bird mites can cause immense discomfort and upset to whomever has the misfortune of being invaded by them.
Unlike most pests that you can get in your house, bird mites are that much harder to diagnose as they are both, not commonly known to the public, and are very, very small. So small in fact, that they have often been described as “microscopic bedbugs” to give people an image of what they are really like.
Like their size, the bite of a bird mite is small, but due to their saliva, they can be intensely itchy. If you have an allergic reaction to them, it will present as a large, red bite which looks similar to that of a mosquito. The way to tell whether it is a mosquito or a bird mite bite is the length of time it takes for the bite to heal. Bird mite bites are notorious for taking a very long time to heal. If your infestation is bad, then you may find that all the bites blend together to form a rash which presents itself to look like scabies. Unfortunately for everyone concerned, the treatment for scabies will not work for bird mites and so you will continue to be afflicted until you get the bird mites treated.
While it is true that they prefer birds to be their hosts, bird mites will search out any source of food if their original is no longer available. At Direct Pest, we have found that you are much more likely to have bird mites in your property if you have pigeons nesting under your solar panels as then the bird mites become an established colony on the birds so that when the young leave the nest, the bird mites who have lost their original food source are free to travel down into your home through any cracks or crevices your roof may have. Bird mites, especially the bird mite species of Dermanyssus Gallinae, are able to go a long time without a meal which makes it easier for them to invade an entire house quickly. If you do have pigeons living under your solar panels then the best thing is to look into pigeon removal from under solar panels as soon as possible before the bird mites have the opportunity to reach inside your home.
How do I identify a bird mite?
Identifying bird mites by eye is very difficult due to the size of the individual mite. The only way to get a true identification is to have a specimen sent to an entomologist (acarologist). This said, you may be able to get a rough idea of which type of mite they are by cornering some of the pesky critters and having a look at the colour of them. You can do this by putting a large pan of steaming water on the floor in the worse affected area and then leaving the room for a while when it is dark. If they are very, very small and whitish or occasionally seen as crimson red, then it is most likely to be the “red mite” or Dermanyssus Gallinae. If they are black or dark brown then they are more likely to be of the Ornithonyssus family, which includes: O. Bursa, O. Sylvarium and O. Bacoti. This family of bird mites tends to be darker and a bit bigger than their D. Gallinae cousins.
What problems do they cause?
If the words “microscopic bedbug” doesn’t send the fear of bird mites into you then we you’re braver than we are! In all seriousness, bird mites do cause a huge problem in any house they invade and can baffle even the most experienced pest controller who have not learnt about them as they are a currently growing problem.
Bird mites do not burrow beneath the skin and there are no diseases linked to them, and they have no set areas that they bite in as they tend to bite in random areas, although they do tend to prefer the limbs or torso, these mites can cause reactions such as a severe iratation, rashes and very painfull itching from the saliva they produce.You are also at major risk from secondry bacterial infections caused through the constant scratching of the skin. While they do not have any diseases linked to them directly, they are certainly not something you would be able to “put-up with”. The constant biting and the frequent bursts of intense itching is enough to drive anyone mad, but imagine if that was in your home, your place of refuge from the world? Here at Direct Pest, we may be qualified pest controllers, but we certainly do not like the idea of that!
Most of these bites can be treated with skin creams but in severe cases an antihistamine such as Piriton will be used to help take away the itching. For more remedies, please see below.
No one else feels this in my house, is it just me?
Not everyone is affected the same way by bird mites and some people seem to be targeted more than others. This is based on the amount of CO2 , moisture and heat you produce. These tiny mites normally enter your house through gaps in roofs but will quickly spread throughout the house causing biting in most rooms. You need to seek the advice of a qualified pest controllers to treat these pests as when you have pigeons or starlings nesting in your roof these microscopic bird mites live in their nests and as they are blood feeders they become voracious biters.
At Direct Pest we can say with some certainty that if you have a full infestation of bird mites, everyone in the house will be affected but not necessarily equally. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to alter who gets bitten the most and it has been shown that not even drastic dietary changes have an effect.
How do I prevent them getting in?!
As stated earlier, the best options you can take to prevent getting bird mites, are to get rid of any birds nesting on or very close to your roof. (Direct Solar Care are the people to call if there are birds underneath your solar panels)
As rats can sometimes carry the bird mites too (mainly in rural areas) if you know that you have rats, we suggest that you try to get rid of those sooner rather than later as not only are they known to carry diseases, they may also carry bird mites.
If you have any branches that rest against your property, be very wary of any birds nesting on those branches. Vigilance is the only way to make sure that you are less likely to be invaded by bird mites.
If you would like more information on these pesky critters, please contact us or call our technicians on 0800 088 6392
I’ve got bird mites, how do I keep my family from being affected?
While there are some solutions we would recommend, the true answer is that if you have bird mites in your home, any resident or visitor of the house will be affected until you get them treated by a licensed pest controller.
Skin Treatments for Bird Mites
Some people have found antiperspirants with the active ingredient of Aluminium Chlorohydrate (at around 24%) to be a good way to remove all the bird mites that are on you skin at that moment. Others find that wetting a dryer sheet (which can be picked up from all major retail outlets) with an orange oil cleaner, and then rubbing that over the affected areas provides some temporary relief, however these are all only temporary solutions and so you will still need to have your house properly treated.
For the frequent bouts of intense itching, antihistamines, strong anti-itch medicine and even muscle pain relieving products will work to ease the irritation and reduce the sensation of biting. For night and evening irritation, Benadryl or similar products can help you relax, reduces the symptoms and can help you fall asleep. If these do not work for you, you may need to ask your doctor to prescribe you something stronger until you have had the treatments completed on your property to get rid of the bird mites.
Hair and Scalp Treatments for Bird Mites
Particularly for owners of thick and long hair, bird mites can be an insufferable nightmare and here are Direct Pest we have heard stories of people cutting their hair to try and rid themselves of the continuous itching and biting from the bird mites. A less drastic option is to use coal tar shampoo or a vinegar and water rinse for the scalp as well as the hair. Some people claim that diluted lemon juice concentrate works as a hair and scalp rinse but it is commonly agreed that adding Tea Tree oil, which is a know miticide, to your shampoo will help.
At night, you can wear a shower cap with one or two dryer sheets inside which help repel mites.
Mouth Treatments for Bird Mites
If there are bird mites inside your mouth, gargle with full strength, original flavour Listerine daily to clear them out. To prevent the bird mites getting into your mouth and nose while you sleep, you can mix Vaseline and sublimed sulfur powder (flower of sulfur) together and apply that around the lips and under the nostrils. Anti-fungal creams, and flea and tick collars at night can help lessen the number of bird mites that can reach you. Dryer sheets and menthol crystals are known to deter bird mites so you could put those in the bed too.
Nostril Treatments for Bird Mites
Using a saline nasal flush will help clear mites out of nose and sinus cavities. Another option is to mix about a tablespoon of sea salt with about 56 ml of water until it dissolves. Tilt your head backwards and wash through your sinuses with the solution and then rinse thoroughly. You can follow the same procedure with a hydrogen peroxide and warm water solution followed again by rinsing out thoroughly. You may find that you need to do this a few times a day, especially if the mites were particularly active the night before.
Ear Treatments for Bird Mites
To prevent bird mites from entering your ears while you sleep, we suggest that you use silicone earplugs. For cleaning out your ears during the day, we suggest that you try a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. If your ears itch then you can use hydrogen peroxide to clear them out. To do this, you should leave the hydrogen peroxide in your ears for a couple of minutes before clearing the hydrogen peroxide out of your ears completely.
Eye Treatments for Bird Mites
To prevent bird mites from entering your eyes while sleeping, as bizarre as it may sound, swimming goggles are the best method. We find that the low profile ones are much easier to sleep with than the normal type although the only thing that is entirely necessary on the goggle is that they are a snug fit around the edges so that the bird mites cannot get in.
If you have very irritated eyes then you can use a boric acid eye wash, which has proven to be effective. To do this, simply follow the instructions on the label.
I’ve got bird mites, how do I get rid of them?
Don’t be tempted to buy a spray can of insecticidal spray you buy from your local shops as it won’t contain enough active ingredient to wipe out the infestation and some do not contain enough to even clear a small area. The treatment needed depends on the type of mites you have so to discuss how to save yourself from the dreaded bird mites call our experienced and friendly technicians today on 0800 088 6392!