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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 Pigeons are usually the common host. Bird mites can filter down though 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 their life cycle is only 7 days, they can generate large populations rapidly.

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.
Bird Lice
Do not bite and are commonly mistaken for Bird mites, in severe cases they can cause skin irritation.

Close up of a bird mite. C/- Dept. of Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital

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