How to Get Rid of Bird Mites: A Step-by-Step Guide

Figuring out how to get rid of bird mites means first learning about their behavior. Finding the source is the only way to get rid of bird mites. Bird mites are parasitic arachnid bugs that feed on the blood of birds. Although if the birds leave the nest, the mites may come looking for a blood meal.

Bird mites will only seek blood from a human when their bird blood source is no longer available. Once you find the source of the mites and remove it, the population of mites will drop off in a few days.

So if you have bites but no signs of bed bugs, you’ll want to inspect for bird mites.

how to get rid of bird mites

What are Bird Mites?

There are a few common bird mites: northern fowl mites: Ornithonyssus sylviarum, and chicken mites: Dermanyssus gallinae. The mites live in the nests of birds like pigeons, chickens, starlings, robins, sparrows, warblers, and more.

  • Visible red, brown, or grey parasites, depending on when they last had a blood meal.
  • Bird mites are about 1/32 of an inch. (under 1 mm)
  • You’ll see 8 legs and pronounced mouthparts for feeding. You may mistake them for larval stage ticks or baby bed bugs.

How to Get Rid of Bird Mites: A Step-by-Step Guide

Bird mites are awful because they leave us with itchy welts. They are troublesome, especially if you don’t know how to get rid of them. They are one of the top culprits for mites that bite.

These tiny parasites feed on the blood of birds and can spread quickly if not treated properly. Fortunately, you can take steps to remove bird mites from your home or property and keep them from returning.

In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on effectively eliminating bird mites from your environment so that you can reclaim your home and enjoy life without these parasites.

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The first step is to identify that you actually have bird mites. Since they are one of the prevalent bugs that are mistaken for bed bugs, you’ll want to be sure that what you have is indeed mites.

You can hire a pest inspection company like Doctor Sniffs to come in and inspect. We show up with a microscope that allows us to enlarge any bugs for proper ID. If you don’t have a company in your area that can help with an inspection, then catch one of the mites on tape and send it to an entomologist for review.

bird mite in NYC
Bird mite that we found in an NYC apartment


Next, you’ll need to find the source. Sometimes this can be as easy as seeing a bird’s nest on your AC unit. You’ll need to first walk the entire perimeter outside your house or building.

Take your time and look at every window and ledge. Do you see any nesting birds? You’ll need to check the roof if you don’t see any visible nests around the perimeter. Check your roof cautiously and at your own risk, and hire someone to help you.

Removal of All Nests

If you find any nests, you’ll need to remove them. Removal means taking all the nests down, including eggs and nesting materials. You may need a ladder, gloves, and a heavy-duty garbage bag to store everything. Relocating the nest to a place further away from your home is a great idea.


You’ll want to begin vacuuming your entire house. We love the Atrix HEPA vacuum for all pests. Start with the floors, then move on to the furniture.

More importantly, vacuum deeply into the cracks and crevices of your couch, mattress, and bed frame.

High Heat Dryer

Use a standard clothing dryer to wash and dry all your clothes and bed sheets in the hottest setting. After removing the nests, this step will kill any remaining mites in the environment. Since you removed the nests first, no new ones should come into the home. The dryer will also kill dust mites and bed bugs! ??


Once you remove the nest, it’s time to take some sanitation measures. Clean and remove all debris associated with the nest.

Next, sanitize the areas of your home where you saw the bird mites. This means sanitizing the window sills, floors, and walls near the bird mite activity.

Bird Mites in House: What to Do

how to get rid of bird mites in house
A bird mite from an apartment in NYC

If you see bird mites on your window sills, bed, or walls, it’s time to take action. Follow our steps above, and you will eradicate the bird mites from your house! Although we frequently encounter these bugs in New York City, they are a worldwide problem.

What if You Can’t Find the Source?

If you can’t find the source, you’ll need to vacuum and do laundry constantly. It may also give you peace of mind to know that the bird mites will not reproduce on human blood as bed bugs will.

However, we have seen many cases where our client’s apartment was infested with bird mites. The mites kept coming in from several abandoned nesting sites around the apartment building.

Although once you begin doing some deep cleaning and laundry, the bird mite situation will usually resolve. There are many professionals that you can hire to seal up your house. If you can’t find the source, you can seal any cracks or crevices around your window ledges, roof, and attic. Since bird mites are under 1 mm, they can squeeze through tiny spaces.

If you can’t find the bird’s nest source, then perhaps what you have are rodent mites. They look almost identical to bird mites. Furthermore, rodent mites also need rodents to complete the life cycle. So if you have a rodent issue, then first concentrate on solving that, then the rodent mites will naturally resolve. Getting rid of rodent nests is the first step in controlling rodent mites.

Since bird mites are sometimes confused with bed bug nymphs, they are often relieved when we tell our clients that the bug biting them is not a bed bug. ?

Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Bird Mites?

In conclusion, getting rid of bird mites can be labor-intensive, but they are not as challenging as bed bugs. The bird mite removal process requires not only inspection and removal of all nests but also vacuuming, using high-heat dryers to kill remaining mites in the environment. Plus, sanitizing areas where activity has been seen and sealing up any cracks or crevices around your window ledges and roof if you cannot find the source.

If it turns out that what you have are rodent mites instead of bird mites, then first concentrate on solving that issue before trying to get rid of them. With these tips in mind, we hope this article makes your journey toward ridding your home from pesky bird mites much easier!