FLORIDA TICKS & MITES
A source for information on ticks
Bird Lice .....
Bird lice, or more correctly, mites are commonly associated with the Pigeon, Sparrow and Starling. They
are a blood-sucking parasite of these pest birds and become a problem with people when they are unable to get food,
once they are separated from their host. The three most common mites (Order Acarina) are the Starling mite, the
Tropical Fowl mite and the Red Poultry mite. They are 0.5mm to 1mm in length and a greyish/yellow colour except
after a feed when they turn red.
The pest birds build nests typically in eaves, bringing with them the mites. When they leave their nests
permanently, get trapped in the wall cavities or die, the mites leave the nest in search of a new host. Their route
of travel is usually down wall cavities and through ventilators into bedrooms. They attack humans leaving an itchy
rash when can become a secondary infection after scratching. They can only survive two to three weeks without a
feed from their usual host.
CONTROL: Bird mites are controlled by dusting the nesting and roof void with Permethrin
insecticidal dust. Wall cavities can also be dusted through the vents inside bedrooms.