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What Are Bird Mites in Des Moines?
January 16, 2021

What Are Bird Mites in Des Moines?

Bird mites are arachnids (8 legged creatures) that are too small to be seen easily with the naked eye. They infest bedrooms and bathrooms but can quickly spread to carpeting, bedding, upholstered furniture, or clothing. They hide in cracks and darkened areas in the home or office when not active. They tend to congregate where human beings work or play, near the computer, in cars, and the like.

several bird mites in des moines

How can you tell if you have bird mites?

When you get infestations of them you may start feeling pinprick bites that accumulate into intense itching. You may or may not see lesions on your skin or small red bumps. They are often called “creepy crawlies” or “nose ticklers” because people get mysterious itching sensations at night. The itching is caused by fluids which their bites inject in the skin. An individual bird mite mark may resemble a large mosquito bite, but it will take much longer to heal. Sometimes a large area of bites accumulate on your skin and you get areas that look like rashes.

How do humans get infested with bird mites in Des Moines?

  • You have bird’s nests near your home.
  • If you live in an apartment and there are pigeons on the terrace.
  • If your dogs or cats get infested through their travels in the woods or grasses.
  • If you are a farmer and raise birds, like chickens.
  • If you buy used furniture that has been infected.
  • If you visit hotels or work in a building that has been infected.

What does a bird mite infestation look like?

Infestation of bird mites is often similar to infestations of bed bugs. Bed bugs are actually considerably larger than bird mites and can be found nesting in the structure of the bed. Bed bugs leave traces of fecal leavings, bird mites do not. However, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between bed bugs and bird mites in terms of their effects on humans. Bird mite effects can also be mistaken for scabies, which is caused by burrowing mites.

When are bird mites active?

Bird mites, like bed bugs, are largely active at night. However, they can cause problems during the day as well if they are disturbed. They are more active when the weather is humid or damp. They reproduce rapidly. You might see increased activity every week or so when new mites mature. Bird mite populations peak in the late Spring and Summer, when bird populations increase.

What do bird mites eat?

Like other mites, bird mites are parasites that feed on blood. The female mite needs blood to reproduce (like mosquitos). Their first food choice is young birds. However, they will attack human beings and other mammals when birds have gone away (as when young birds leave the nest). If they are well nourished, the population quickly increases into their thousands. People often feel overwhelmed by this largely hidden and invisible plague.

Where to look for infested bird nests

The most common way of eliminating Des Moines bird mites is to locate and remove infected nests close to the house. These nests can be:

  • Around the eaves of homes.
  • Inside chimneys.
  • In spaces under the roof of a home.
  • In cavities in the outside walls.
  • In foundations and basements.
  • Around porches.
  • On window ledges.

How to reduce bird mite populations

  • Reduce the misery from bird mites by applying an insect repellent, especially one containing diethyl meta-toluamide (DEET) or 3-methyl-n-diethylnemzamide.
  • Reduce irritation from the bites by applying anti-fish cream or lotion.
  • Prevent birds from occupying spaces very close to or inside homes.
  • Treat infested areas with an approved insecticide, spray, or powder.
  • Call a registered pest control company if nesting material is inaccessible or if there are large infected areas.

Bird mites feed on human blood, but they do not nest or live on human beings (as do scabies parasites). Once the source of infestation is eliminated, the bird mites will stop being a problem. Miller Pest & Termite can help you get rid of these pests with our treatment options! 

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