Mites and Lice
Bird mites have 8 legs and are more related to spiders than insects. The mites feed on the young and the adult birds. They thrive in the bird nest materials. They are very small, less than 1mm and light in colour. They turn brown to black after a blood meal.
These parasitic mites become a problem for humans when pest birds nest in the roof or eaves in buildings. Sparrows, Starlings, Indian Mynas and Feral Pigeons are usually the common hosts. Bird mites can filter down through air vents, cavities and cracks into the interior of the home often when the young birds have left or have died in the nest.
The bird mites are seeking a new host in the humans who live below. While biting, they inject saliva which can result in severe irritation and itching. Scratching of the bites can also result in secondary infection. Bird mites are more active in Sydney from Spring to early Summer. While their life cycle is only 7 days, they can generate large populations rapidly.
Bird lice do not bite and are commonly mistaken for Bird mites, in severe cases they can cause skin irritation
Your local Austrapest technician will make a full identification of the problem, with inspection and assessment of the roof void and eaves for bird activity and nests. Usually there will be a bird nest located not far from where the mite infestation has appeared. On many occasions, several nests are present in various areas and must be removed (in this case, the mite infestation can be widespread through the interior of the property). Holes must be sealed to avoid re-infestation.
Usually the bird mites die within 3-4 weeks without a blood feed but for a quicker knock down of the infestation and for the home owner to have some relief a treatment can be applied to the interior, roof void, eaves and cavities as may be required, using the safest products.The technician will wear proper protective equipment to remove the bird nests to avoid transferring mites and the risk of bacterial infections.
DIY Bird Prevention
There are some steps that can be taken to prevent a bird problem before calling in the professionals:
- Attention to hygiene and not providing a food source for pest species of birds
- Regularly emptying and securing the lids of rubbish bins
- Attention to correct building practices and maintenance, including sealing holes to roof cavities, clearing debris from gutters, and regular maintenance.
Birds can be a seasonal problem eg. Indian Mynas and pigeons can gain access to buildings through broken tiles and gutters to lay eggs in spring and summer. When the young leave the nest their parasites such as mites and lice search for another host.
Pigeons can produce several clutches per year. They are able to find food and shelter in and around many of our buildings. Pest birds can eat our food scraps in cities and towns, get into grain terminals and deface buildings.