Birds….absolutely gorgeous creatures. They bring so much joy with their stunning bright colored feathers and sweet chirping sounds. But, they can also bring destruction into our homes.
I love birds. I love looking at them, I love listening to them.
I love the beautiful sight of red robins in the snow and blue jays sitting on a tree branch.
But you know what I don’t love? When birds build nests inside of my home. Up until now, seeing a nest with baby blue eggs was an exciting sight! When I would notice a nest with eggs in a tree, on my property, I would anxiously anticipate the arrival and sweet sounds of baby birds chirping away, and I loved watching as they progressed to leaving the nest.
I mean….how cute is this??? Seeing this brings back memories of when my kids were young and we would read our favorite book about birds nesting 🙂 “I love my house, I love my nest, in all the world, my nest is best!” Mrs. Bird could not be happy until she found the perfect home for her babies. My kids and I would read the book over and over again.
Well, over the years, Mrs. Bird has built many nests in the lower part of our mailbox. We remember the experiences well, because sparrows can get very aggressive when a person approaches the nest. When we go to get mail, Mr. or Mrs. Bird would fly towards our face and turn at the very last second! It was scary and I was surprised at the aggression of these birds and it left my kids fearful to go near our mailbox.
How do Bird Mites Get Inside a Home?
But now, things have really taken a turn for the worse. We had a family of birds take up residence in a bathroom overhead fan vent. They destroyed all the flaps on the front of the vent and we were left with a huge hole on the side of our home.
But it gets much worse. The birds were incredibly loud, and we could clearly hear them in our office. The vent runs about 15 feet over our office into the powder room. As it turns out, the family of birds were infested with bird mites, and the mites found their way into our home thru the fan vent.
I walked into the powder room after being away for a few days and noticed hundreds of tiny black spots on top of the toilet. *So I feel weird showing you a picture of our toilet seat, but felt it was important to demonstrate what these mites look like.* This picture shows a small sample of the infestation. We have black walls in the powder room. Had our toilet seat not been white, I don’t think I would have noticed them. I told my husband about it, and he figured it had to do with the bird’s nest and stuff dropping through the vent.
Upon further investigation, we determined an infestation of bird mites. These mites originate in birds such as chickens, pigeons, sparrows, and starlings but also live near bird nests. Bird mites live on and feed on the blood of birds. Without bird blood, they can’t complete their life cycle. A bird mite can develop from egg to larva to nymph to mature adult in about 1 week. Some mites die within 7 days, but others can live up to several weeks.
Can Bird Mites Bite Humans?
Bird mites need the blood of birds to complete their life cycle and survive, but they can also bite humans. Although human blood isn’t enough for the mites to survive.
The symptoms of a bird mite bite are similar to bites of other insects and mites. The bites can cause huge welts, small red bumps or a crawling sensation on your skin. Bird mite bites also cause itching.
How to Get Rid of Bird Mites in the Home
The more I learned about bird mites, the sadder I felt for the poor babies and family that had lived in our vent. They must have been in a lot of pain, being attacked by hundreds of these tiny mites.
By the time I noticed the mites, the birds had left the nest. Now, how do we handle the damage left behind? First thing I did was close up the bathroom and not allow anyone near it. Next, I called in our pest control folks to handle the situation and advise me.
We have used a pest control service for years. They come out quarterly and spray our lawn and treat the exterior of our home for spiders and pests. Also included in the service, are calls to come out and deal with other type of pest control issues. My technician sprayed a dust insecticide into the crevices of the fan vent to treat any remaining mites. He also placed sticky pads around the base of the bathroom floor to monitor any further activity. After a few days, if the pads are dry, we will know the mites are not active and have all died off.
How to Prevent a Bird Mite Infestation Inside the Home
This was step one in the process. My pest technician said it was very important to get rid of the nest itself and obviously close up the hole on the outside of the home. Removing all bird nests in and around the home will help prevent further mite infestation as birds will reuse nests left behind.
Finding the right person to do this wasn’t easy. My pest control tech said HVAC companies can do this, but when I called mine, they recommended a duct cleaning crew. When I called the duct cleaning crew, they said they don’t treat outside vents. Who will do something like this? Think handyman!
My guys worked to suck out the nest from the inside of the bathroom and the outside. Once we felt that we got rid of the nest and the dead mites, my handymen secured a new vent cover onto the brick. In addition, they added a special cover that prevents birds from nesting in vents. Very inexpensive and easy to install. I asked them to buy more and install them over all our outside vents.
It’s been a few days since the hole outside was covered up and the room was treated. At the moment, I don’t see any new mite activity inside the bathroom, but I’m still going to wait a couple more days before we begin to use it again. The thought of biting mites on the toilet seat…is umm…well unsettling to say the least 😬 We have been without use of the bathroom for over a month, what’s a few more days…for peace of mind?
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