Bird Mites Treatment
So you’ve chosen to conduct Bird Mites treatment yourself…
Choosing DIY Bird Mites treatment over professional help can be successful if done correctly. During my Bird Mite infestation I was able to completely eliminate the Bird Mites within the space of several weeks. It is not advisable to use just one method in order to get rid of them though – rather you should work hard to make sure you are doing as many different things as possible. This will help you to get rid of Bird Mites as quickly as possible and to prevent the infestation from growing even larger.
Probably the most important job of all. The main transportation method for Bird Mites will be to crawl along the floor to reach their blood meals. The fibres in the carpet also serve for great hiding places and I can guarantee that you have more Bird Mites hiding in your carpets than what you can see.
When vacuum cleaning, make sure that you dig the adaptor (the thinner the adaptor the better) as deeply as possible into the cracks where the carpet meeting the skirting, you don’t want eggs escaping the vacuum. Make sure you go over every area of the floor and vacuum in straight lines from one side to the other is a great method to ensure that you don’t miss any areas. You can also hoover your matress and other fabrics using the brush filter.
You will require a vacuum with sufficient power and suction to get deep into the carpet fibres and it’s also vital that you use a vacuum with the highest level of filtration available to ensure that the smallest of partials (Bed Bug nymphs and eggs) are sucked up and filtered directly into the bag/chamber. HEPA vacuums are claimed to remove 99.97% of all particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns and upwards – and so are a great purchase to ensure that every possible creature/egg is caught.
Hoover as much as you possibly can – I advise to hoover at least morning and evening. Once you have finished a vacuum session, empty the back/chamber into another plastic back and tape it up to ensure there are no gaps. Tape this plastic bag into another plastic bag and move outdoors. Bird Mites and eggs can survive the vacuum process so it’s vital for you to not let any back out once the vacuum is emptied. If the vacuum is bag-less, clean the inside of the removable chamber with water/bleach as best as possible but be careful not to get any electrics wet.
Keep fabrics that are free from infestation taped in plastic bags so you don’t need to re-vacuum them continuously. Below are are few Vacuums I recommend based on their power, suction, price and filtration. All of the below vacuums will be suitable and do a good job and pulling Bird Mites/eggs out of carpets and fabrics.
VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Vacuum
Bissell CleanView Upright Vacuum
Shark Navigator Professional Vacuum
Hoover Commercial C2401 Backpack Vacuum
BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Using a steamer is great way of ensuring that whatever you have washed or vacuumed is 100% clear of Bird Mites and eggs. Steamers can reach temperatures of over 120 Celsius and just a few seconds exposure is sure to kill anything hiding in carpets/fabric.
An advantage of steamers is that they are a sure-fire way of killing Bird Mites on sire while being completely chemical-free. Steaming is also the best way to decontaminate areas which are too difficult to clean with a vacuum – such as curtains and duvets that don’t fit in the washing machine.
The number one tip when using steamers is to read the instructions and be careful – they get extremely hot so proceed with caution. It is also best to always steam after vacuuming in order for this method to be at it’s most effective. You should also always put any chemicals/pesticides down AFTER steaming to ensure that the steam doesn’t render any of the chemicals/elements useless or harmful to humans.
You can go over clothes with steamers in straight lines to ensure that the whole area is treated – and you can clean floors/carpets using the same method. Be sure to use a crevice nozzle to get deep between the carpet and skirting board. Steamers can also used on table-tops and other hard surfaces to ensure that any eggs stuck onto objects are quickly destroyed.
Below are some steamers that I recommend based on their price, heat levels, ease of use, storage and time it takes to get up to temperature.
VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Vacuum
Shark Navigator Professional Vacuum
Clean Walls / Surfaces
Again, this is an important step as the four walls in each room of an infestation takes up a large area in which Bird Mites could be crawling or where eggs are being laid. You have to remember that Bird Mites aren’t some superhuman mutant that can survive in post-apocalyptic environments – a simple solution of water/bleach or water/warm soap should be enough to remove Bird Mites and eggs.
Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of bleach or a moderate amount of soap and go over each wall with a sponge. Do this at least once a day, but twice will be more effective. It would make sense to do this before vacuuming, so you can clear up any Bird Mites or eggs that are still alive that may have fallen to the floor.
To ensure that the walls a truly clear of any Bird Mites and eggs, buy some rubbing alcohol and a spray bottle and spray so alcohol on the walls, making sure you cover the whole area by using a wipe/cloth to spread the alcohol. This will be enough to kill any Bird Mites on contact.
This cheap rubbing alcohol will be perfect for the job
Swan 99% Rubbing Alcohol
Bird Mites love hot, humid environments. One of the best ways to ensure that the environment is as harsh as possible for the Bird Mites is to invest in a dehumidifier. These will extract a great amount of moisture from the air, leaving the room/house with a low level of humidity. This also has other advantages such a preventing mould growth and window condensation.
Dehumidifiers can be bought as reusable electric-powered devices, or in a manual one-use only/disposable device form. Both are effective although the electric dehumidifiers will work out cheaper in the long-run and have more advanced mechanisms to remove moisture as best as possible. You may need to buy multiple dehumidifiers depending on how many rooms you wish to treat. A large well-designed electric dehumidifier will probably be able to treat the whole upstairs of a 2/3 bedroom home if left on the landing in a central position.
Below is a list of dehumidifiers I recommend based on their price and how effective they are at removing moisture from the air.
DampRid One-Use Moisture Absorber
Eva-dry Electric Dehumidifier
Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier
Seal Infested Mattresses
To ensure that your mattress/bedding/springboard/pillows stay clean from infestation, it is very wise to enclose them in special mite-proof casings. These will ensure that no mites no-matter how small will be able to get through to the enclosed objects.
IMPORTANT: You must ensure that all objects you intend to place in a mite-proof casing are clean of any Bird Mites or eggs before enclosure. The best method would be to wash and tumble-dry bedding/pillows and vacuum and steam clean mattresses and duvets.
Once the objects have been cleaned and all infested areas have been cleared, proceed to zip them into the casings. Any Bird Mites or eggs trapped within the casing will eventually die off as they will not be able to escape. It is advisable that once enclosed, you don’t open the casing for at least a year to be certain that all eggs/Bird Mites that may have been trapped within the casing (all species) have died.
Below is a section showing some of the best mite-proof casings available on the marking today. As above, I have also reviewed some cheaper casings that should still do the job perfectly fine.
Sleep Safe Allergen Proof Pillow
Allersoft 100-Percent Cotton Allergen Proof Duvet Protector
Sleep Defense System Allergen Proof Mattress Encasement
SureGuard Allergen Proof Box Spring Encasement
This is something you may not have heard of before. DE (Diatomaceous Earth) is a natural and non-toxic very fine powder made up of fossilized algae called Diatoms. Food Grade DE is that safest form and is so safe it can actually be eaten! Be very careful when laying and cleaning it up though as it is so fine it can become airborne very easily and can irritate your throat/lungs in large quantities. a dust mask is advisable when using DE in large quantities.
DE works by shredding the outer layer of most hard-shelled insects and by removing the waxy outer-protective layer. Without this layer most insects will have water escape their bodies and they will eventually dehydrate and die.
DE can also be used as a barrier for areas where you don’t want Bird Mites crawling – for example I used it to encircle my bed to ensure I got a good night sleeps. Read more about this method on my stop Bird Mites in bed guide. Bird Mites will actively avoid stepping through DE so it is a great deterrent.
As DE is chemical-free Bird Mites and other creatures will never grow resistant to it which is a great advantage. You will need to be patient however – DE can take a little while (between 1/2 weeks) take effect and kill insects so don’t expect instant result – it become very effective after a couple of weeks though.
An effective method of using DE is to sprinkle it around all cracks/crevices that Bird Mites are using and around all the skirting boards within an infested room. Leave the DE on the floor for about a month and clean up. Repeat again if necessary. A good vacuum should get most DE up off the floor/carpet when it comes to cleaning.
The below products are perfect for the above methods.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
I had some very good success with some sprays I was using at the height of my infestation. It is rather trial-and-error though as each spray brand will have contain different levels of each particular ingredient. I also chose the sprays which leaved a residure for up to 6 weeks after they had been sprayed, meaning that if there was a particular part of a wall for example that was a popular Bird Mite transportation route, spray a residue spray on this area will kill mites that came in contact with it for over a month. Of course as time went by the effectiveness wore off. Spraying this spray directly onto a Bird Mite appeared to kill it instantly.
As well as being able to cut off transportation routes, sprays are a great way of getting to Bird Mites that are tucked away in cracks and crevices. A good spray into these locations should kill most insects hiding up.
Warning though: Sprays probably aren’t too effective at killing eggs due to their tough enclosed outer-shell. While spraying is definitely recommended, you will needs to use this method along with others such as steaming and tumble-drying.
Below are some personally recommended sprays and other sprays that have had great customer reviews.
Raid Ant & Roach Killer (Prolonged Action)
All Natural Eucoclean Bug Spray
Zoecon Precor 2000 Plus Premise Pest Killer Spray
I advise to only user bug bombs/foggers/fumigators as a last resort. They are very hit-and-miss and can stink rooms out for days and are probably not great for your health either. Having said that if you have a room with many holes/cracks in the walls/ceiling/skirting that you just can’t get to then this may be a good option.
Although I’ve never tested any type of bug bomb, the below products are the ones that I could find with somewhat positive reviews.
Hot Shot Fogger – 3 Pack
Spectracide Fogger – 6 Pack
Lint rollers are great at removing Bird Mites and eggs from fabrics. Simply ensure the roller is loaded with lint tape and roll over a section of fabric. Anything that comes in contact with the tape will stick and be pulled away. This is also a great way of catching live Bird Mites for the use of showing a pest control expert/entomologist so they can identify/confirm the species of insect.
The below Lint Rollers would be perfect for the job.
Scotch-Brite 95 Sheet Lint Roller Pack
A good double-sided sticky tape role is perfect for creating “safe zones” – around beds for example. Check out the stop mites in bed page for more information on this method.
XFasten Double-Side Tape
3M Utility Duct Tape
Although I haven’t personally tested these products, others appear to have had varying degrees of success with them, so I thought I’d share them with you nonetheless.
20 Mule Team Borax