Who…people with a bird’s nest near the home, apartment dwellers with nesting pigeons, people with pets or other animals which are infested, farmers who raise chickens, people who obtain used furniture, carpet, clothing, etc, that has been infested. This can also include guests of hotels, office workers et al., when the buildings are inhabited by nesting birds.
What…parasitic infestation from bird mites too small to be easily seen without magnification. Symptoms include pinprick bites, often intense itching with or without lesions, small reddened bumps, and a crawling sensation anywhere on the body; with increased activity at night. Some people label these the “creepy crawlies” or “nose ticklers”. The intense itching and irritation on the skin is due to the mite’s saliva. When a large area is covered with bites it will resemble a rash in appearance, and it is often mistaken for scabies.
Possible Bird Mite Infestation?
- Pinprick bites with or without lesions
- Frequently intense itching of the skin
- Vague sensation of crawling on the skin
- Bite marks and lesions that heal very slowly
- Increase of symptoms in certain areas of the home
- Increase of symptoms at night and in humid weather
- Physician suspects scabies but the treatment does not help
Where…bird mites more commonly infest bedrooms and bathrooms, but will quickly infest the whole house. Mites will infest carpeting, bedding, upholstered furniture, clothing, etc. They hide in cracks, crevices and darkened areas in the home when not active. They tend to congregate where humans routinely are; such as near the computer, in automobiles, etc.
When…bird mites are most active from dusk till dawn, but can be active at other times, especially when disturbed. Bird mites are very disruptive to our normal sleep pattern, causing many nights of lost sleep. They tend to be more active on damp, humid, overcast days and nights. Mites are less active during daylight hours, and they are less active on hot, dry, sunny days. Increased activity every seven days or so, when the new mites will mature. Mite activity also tends to increase around a full moon. Bird mite populations tend to peak in the late spring and summer, corresponding to an increase in the bird population and an increase in temperature and humidity levels.
Why…bird mites are parasites they feed on living organisms; the female mite needs blood to reproduce. They are attracted to mammals by receptors for moisture, heat and CO2. They are aggressive and they often bite humans when their original food source has gone; as when the young birds leave the nest. They can quickly multiply into thousands, leaving the afflicted person with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Once a home is heavily infested, they are very difficult to fully eradicate.