Black or red insects, which often look like moving dots, on a bird are most likely bird mites. Bird mites drink blood and are nocturnal. Bird mites travel out of the bird's nest and will attack anything living. Constant scratching and loss of feathers is an indication a bird has mites. Another bird can bring in mites from outside or mites can travel on someone's clothing. Birds lose blood from the mites, and if the mite infestation is severe, the bird may die from blood loss.
Clean out the bird's cage. Wash the cage and all the toys, except wooden ones, in a bleach water bath. Use one-quarter cup of bleach per gallon of hot water. Throw out wooden toys and perches. Wood soaks up the bleach, which harms birds if ingested. Thoroughly rinse and dry the cage and toys.
Wipe eucalyptus oil on the bottom of the cage and over the perches. Eucalyptus oil repels mites.
Spray your bird with mite spray. Carefully read the manufacturer's directions on the mite spray bottle. Each brand is different. If your bird's condition worsens, call a vet.
Spray carpets with mite spray. If the mites get worse, call an exterminator or bug bomb the house. Do not bring birds back until the smell is completely gone. A bird's respiratory system is very sensitive.
Follow the directions on the mite spray bottle exactly. The faster a mite infestion is dealt with, the healthier the bird will be.
Watch your bird for any odd behaviour.