Can Bird Mites Infest Humans?

How Long Can Bird Mites Stay on Human Skin? Can Bird Mites Bite Humans or Burrow Under Human Skin?


If you’ve spent any time researching the habits of mites, you already know that most entomologists believe that bird mites drop off after unsuccessfully attempting to feed on humans. Since they are only capable of getting proper nutrition from birds, they simply fall away. The story is much different on my end of the phone. Poultry keepers and bird handlers tend to report feeling stinging and pricking sensations outside the home, not just when they’re relaxing or sleeping in the infested environment. For many years, I’ve been looking for a quotation from a specialist that would bridge the gap between medical literature and customer testimonials.


  • In an article published by, a Dr. George from the University of Lancaster is quoted as saying, “With regard to red mite feeding upon humans, it seems that this is actually more common than once thought. An increasing number of reports in the academic press are identifying cases of this, where red mite have also been found to infest other mammals, including rats and horses.”
  • In a 2008 report written by Russel Goldman and published by ABC World News, a Long Island woman was said to be placed in a quarantined hospital room after emergency workers found her skin crawling with nearly invisible parasites that doctors believed to be bird mites. As for anecdotal reports from callers who raise chickens, we’ve encountered many people who claim that bird mites can persist inside bird free homes for years. Sick or elderly individuals with compromised immune systems are more likely to report burrowing sensations than healthy individuals living under the same roof.


To be clear, bird mites are not known for burrowing and infesting to the same degree as scabies mites, but it’s possible that they may cling to human skin for longer periods than previously thought. For a qualified verdict on the bird mite’s ability to infest homes and persist on people, consult a local veterinarian. University entomologists who don’t specialize in mites may be hesitant to speak to random callers. Veterinarians tend to have extensive experience handling pet birds, rodents, dogs and cats. For a fee, it’s possible to enlist a veterinarian’s help in identifying samples collected from skin and bedding. To learn about various methods of collecting samples within the home, please visit our tutorial on HOW TO TRAP AND COLLECT MITE SAMPLES.


A Guide for Battling Chronic Bird Mite Infestations


Bird mite infestations are notoriously resistant to standard chemicals and often become chronic. For this reason, essential oils are quite popular in the world of mite treatment. For a list of essential oils that are most commonly associated with killing mites, CLICK HERE. Unlike common mites connected to pets and carpeting, bird mites have a tendency to disperse throughout the home. That might include walls, ceilings, eaves, attics and basements. For this reason, fumigation with our cedar oil fog machine is highly recommended. The dry fog penetrates unseen cracks and crevices in a way that traditional spraying methods can’t duplicate. Fogging will also eliminate the need to apply pesticides to walls with a mop, a common practice in mite infested homes. For chronic cases, we recommend fogging twice in 48 hours. If your home is 1,000 square feet, a two-gallon purchase will provide enough to fog twice and spray carpets and furniture.


A Much Cheaper Way to Buy Essential Oils!


If you’ve been using standard oils in your battle against mites, you already know that tiny bottles of tea tree, cedar and eucalyptus are quite expensive! For a more economical way of to treating carpets and furniture, look into our CEDAR OIL SPRAY FORMULA. It won’t stain carpets or fabrics because it’s filtered in small batches, and it’s available in quart and gallon sizes for veterinarians, pest control operators and homeowners who need to treat wide areas. It has also come to our attention that many customers are using essential oils in their washing machines to kill mites. For a more economical way of doing laundry, look into our VET’S CHOICE CONCENTRATE. This product was originally designed to add to bath water for pets who are infested with fleas, ticks or mites. Since the concentrate contains 90% cedar oil, it should not be used full strength on skin


Symptoms of bird mite infestation may include intense itching or crawling sensations and sudden isolated pricks. Even though bird mites don’t tend to live on human bodies for extended periods of time, an infestation can feel like an eternity when new mites in a victim’s surroundings return to bite again. Bird mites from abandoned nests can invade homes by the thousands. They will quickly gravitate to areas where humans sleep or relax. Red poultry mites can live up to nine months without a blood meal. If a red poultry mite gets into your ears or nostrils, it can continue to live for long periods without proper nourishment. Bird mites find hosts through receptors that detect moisture, heat and carbon dioxide. This is why they are often perceived as crawling near the eyes, nose and nostrils of human hosts.


For this reason, it’s vital to treat carpets, couches, and beds with a strong organic miticide. Red poultry mites are exceptionally hardy and notoriously resistant to traditional chemical pesticides. Severe infestations respond well to organic miticides delivered by way of a fog machine. Parasitic arthropods absorb air through pores called sphericals. The aroma of our cedar oil formula triggers an instant danger response, forcing the arthropod to close its breathing pores. Our quality miticides are also great for fogging barns and chicken coops. Animals may be safely returned to their living quarters a few hours after treatment.


Beware that bird mites hiding in attics and crawl spaces can invade your home long after standard living areas are treated. This is why pest control operators will often get customers to sign expensive contracts that include repeat visits. Omithonyssus Slyviarum (Northern Fowl Mites) cannot survive more than a month without a host. Demanyssus Gallinae, commonly referred to as Chicken Mites or Red Poultry Mites, can live up to nine months without a blood meal. Red poultry mites have a tendency to invade the home long after the original infestation is thought to be under control.


If it feels like you’re constantly being bitten by an unidentifiable organism, you may need a professional skin scraping to determine if bird mites are the true culprit. A dermatologist can administer such a test, but mainstream doctors aren’t experts at identifying micro tiny parasites. For peace of mind, take your skin scraping to the entomology department at your local university.


In cases where infested laundry must be stored until wash day, spray dirty clothing with our clear, non-staining cedar oil formula. Store dirty clothes in a thick garbage bag and seal the bag tightly to prevent parasites from escaping and infesting other areas of the home. The cedar aroma will suffocate parasites and bacteria living within the bag.


Pre-treatment of laundry is not necessary for clothing that will be washed in bleach immediately. In cases where bleach isn’t appropriate, add 50 Mule Team Borax to wash water to kill bacteria and parasites. Stop the machine and let articles soak for 30 minutes before continuing to the wash cycle. Since Borax has a tendency to clump when wet, find a random mixing instrument, such as a plastic hanger. Manipulate articles in the wash water to be certain the Borax dissolves properly and permeates the water.


Learn more about controlling mites in the laundry.