While most people are familiar with common insects like mosquitoes or flies, there are other, less-obvious pests homeowners should be aware of. Common and frequently misunderstood pests are bird mites. They exist virtually anywhere any species of birds exist, especially in warmer, wetter climates, suggesting people inhabiting temperate, moist regions are frequently in close contact with them. In most cases, bird mite pest control is not complicated if experts are called in to deal with the issue. However, before anything can be done, residents must understand a little about the pests.
Identifying Bird Mites
What are bird mites? That is the first question Escondido area residents need to ask. According to health experts, there are many types of bird mites, but only a couple of the varieties pose threats to North American residents. The mites are small, roughly .4 mm to .5 mm in length, and many homeowners confuse them with fleas. They are typically whitish, but will turn a darker color once they have fed on blood.
Understanding How Infestations Occur
The primary hosts for bird mites are, obviously, birds. However, bird mites can easily move to a new host when necessary. For example, when a bird dies, blood is no longer circulating, meaning the bird mite must find a new host. That host could be an animal feeding on the bird carcass or even a human that picks up the dead bird. Children often pick up abandoned bird nests, which are another source of mites. Parents are encouraged to discuss the issues of handling dead birds or abandoned bird nests with their children to avoid having them come in contact with bird mites.
Another type of bird mite is routinely found on chickens, suggesting anyone with chickens take steps to eliminate mites as part of their normal chicken coop hygiene efforts. Infestations have been known to decimate flocks, and anyone coming in contact with the birds is likely to become a host as well. Professionals will gladly suggest bird mite treatment options for anyone suspecting they’ve come in contact with the mites.
Treating Bird Mites
Because bird mites reproduce rapidly, identifying and treating infestations quickly is vital. Since the pests are so small, eradication is often difficult, as multiple, thorough treatments are generally required to eliminate them. While smaller infestations may be eradicated with miticides carefully applied to all impacted areas, larger infestations may require fumigation to be effective.
Bird mites are present in humid conditions and breed most prolifically in spring and early summer. These times are also the best times to treat bird mites, as their increased populations lead to increased visibility. However, it is recommended that poultry houses experiencing bird mite infestations be treated at least twice a year.
In controlling bird mites around homes, the removal of bird nests is the most important step. It is important to follow state and governmental regulations, however, since some bird species are protected and actions may be limited. Areas surrounding identified breeding sites should be inspected for additional nests, as well. Following the disposal of all infested nests, insecticide treatments, applied according to the label, may be applied to treat visible specimens.
For best results, contact your local pest control professionals. They know how to deal with bird mite infestations in the safest, most effective manner.