How to kill bird mites in homes

Written by erin ringwald
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How to kill bird mites in homes
Bird mites can use humans as hosts. (Getty Thinkstock)

Bird mites are usually found on different types of birds. They are typically isolated to the outside, but from time to time, they can find their way into your home. When a bird host is not available, they can move to a human host. Although they cannot reproduce while using a human as a host, and they usually do not pass diseases to humans through their bites, the bite can be an irritation. Because of this irritation, it is important to get rid of bird mites immediately if you find them in your home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Crevice attachment
  • Sealable plastic bag
  • Freezer
  • Disinfecting cleaning wipes
  • Insecticides

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  1. 1

    Vacuum your home. Be thorough. Use a crevice attachment to vacuum around the walls. Move furniture and vacuum underneath. Vacuum furniture using an upholstery tool. If you see bird mites, vacuum them up immediately. They are small, around 7 mm (1/32 inches) long, and brown, with eight legs and two appendages on the front of their heads.

  2. 2

    Empty the contents of your canister vacuum into a sealable plastic bag. If you are using a bag vacuum, remove the bag, and place it in a sealable plastic bag. Place the sealed bag with the vacuum contents in the freezer for three to four hours. This will kill the mites. Dispose of the bag in an outside rubbish bin. If using a canister vacuum, clean the canister under hot water.

  3. 3

    Use a disinfecting cleaning wipe, or disinfecting spray and paper towels, to wipe down all hard surfaces in the vicinity of where you found the mites. Dispose of the wipes or paper towels in a sealed plastic bag, and place the bag in an outside rubbish bin.

  4. 4

    Use an insecticide to spray windows and doorways. This prevents future mites from entering your home. Effective insecticides include pyrethrum, pyrethrins or bifenthrin. Bifenthrin is the most effective, but is also more toxic. Follow the directions on the insecticide for specific instructions.

  5. 5

    Remove and dispose of any bird carcases, broken eggs or abandoned bird nests. These can have bird mites on them that can reinfest your home.

Tips and warnings

  • If you prefer to use non-toxic products to treat the mites, you can use a natural treatment, such as orange oil or cedar oil. Essential oils are also effective. When choosing essential oils, use eucalyptus, cedar wood, peppermint, lavender or lemon grass.

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