We get calls just about everyday from customers who are desperately seeking a way to get rid of bird mites in their home. When these customers call us they all relate very similar situations. It usually goes something like this: "One or more people in my house are being bitten or attacked by a tiny insect that we can't really see, but we can feel them. We have contacted several pest control agencies in our area and some don't want to get involved and others have come, couldn't find anything, but they did treat my house with a spray. WE STILL HAVE MITES! What should we do now?
1) Identify the Pest
When a customer is dealing with an insect they cannot see, the very first thing they should do, before any more insecticides are applied is try to get a proper identification. Getting a sample of an insect that is so small you really cannot see it can be difficult. Try laying some clear packing tape sticky side up near areas where you notice a lot of activity. On table tops you could using a soft paint brush and sweep the insects onto the tape. If you feel activity on your skin, very gently lay the tape on the area and lift. Mites can usually be caught this way. Try to view the tape using a magnifying glass. If an insect is noticed on the tape you should contact your local cooperative extension office and request an insect identification from one of the entomologists on staff. There have been many instances where a customer was sure they had "mites" when in fact they had bedbugs, noseeums, or biting gnats. The treatment processes for these other insects is very different than the treatment process you would need to use for mites.
2) Do- It-Yourself Bird Mite Treatment
After bird mites have been properly identified the treatment process can be begin.
- Find the source of the infestation. Nesting birds, dead birds, pet birds, birds in chimneys or attics, birds around air conditioning units can all be sources of mite infestation in your home. Remove any old nests or dead birds. You may need to check with your local authorities on bird removal as most birds are protected by law.
- Vacuum,Vacuum,Vacuum. Frequently vacuuming infested rooms will dramatically reduce the number of mites. Make sure carpets, rugs, curtains and furniture are all thoroughly vacuumed. Vacuum bags should be immediately removed from the vacuum cleaner and sealed in a bag and put in the freezer. This will kill the mites. If your vacuum cleaner does not use bags, just empty the collection container into a bag then place in the freezer.
- Wash everything. Wash and dry fabric items that are located in the infested areas. You may want to do this several times a week as the infestation continues.
- Choose an insecticide that is appropriate for bird mites. We recommend Talstar P. This product is a concentrated liquid that must be diluted with water and sprayed using a hand pump sprayer. Talstar is odorless, dries clear, leaves no stains, is non-irritating to the skin, and lasts up to 90 days. It is very important to read the label and follow the instructions. Mixing concentrated insecticides at higher concentrations than recommended does not render them "more powerful". The mites will just avoid the treated areas where the insecticide is too potent and you may end up making the mites resistant to the insecticide. A desiccant dust like Mother Earth D should be used in cracks and crevices all around infested areas. There is no known resistance to diatomaceous earth (Mother Earth D), so this is the dust of choice for mite infestations. This dust works by cutting the outer cuticle of insects and drying them out causing death. And last, use SteriFab to treat sensitive areas like sofas, recliners and mattresses. SteriFab dries in less than a half hour and leaves no residual behind making it safe to use wherever you need it.
3) If all else fails, call in the pros.
If this process seems too complicated or if it is too labor intensive you may consider hiring a professional who specializes in bird mite infestations.
An Additional Note:
When insects cannot be found at all in the environment but the biting sensation and itching are still occurring, a trip to the doctor or dermatologist is recommended. Insects like follicle mites, scabie mites, or chiggers may be the culprits.
Mites: Rodent And Bird Mites In Homes