19

My Bird Mites Story


June 2015 and I was driving home from a restaurant with my girlfriend when a newspaper she was reading had a small article on Bed Bugs. “I thought Bed Bugs were microscopic” she asked me – I knew they weren’t has had researched them a little while previously and knew they could be seen with the naked eye. We both squirmed at the thought for a couple of seconds and shifted conversation to another random topic.

Later that exact evening (very creepy) I was sitting in bed on my laptop and felt a little itch on my arm… There was a tiny bug crawling around in the hairs so I naturally just flicked it off and carried on. No more than about a minute later there were two other little black specks crawling about across my laptop screen. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed these at any other time but I think my creepy-crawly senses were heightened after our Bed Bug chat earlier on in the day. I thought to myself “They surely can’t be Bed Bugs can they? I’m going to have a little check around just to make sure I can’t find any more”. I get off my bed, pull back the bedding, push my face close to the bedsheets for a closer inspection and to my horror there were hundreds of little black bugs crawling around everywhere. All over the bedding, bedsheets, and the worst place of all – my pillow.

My initial rhetorical question was how long had these been crawling around in my bedroom for there to be so many on my bed? And more worryingly, how long had I been sleeping in a bed covered with (currently unidentified) little black bugs?

“Oh God I’ve got Bed Bugs” I said to myself – I’d already instantly resigned myself to the fact that my bedroom was crawling with Bed Bugs. Needless to say I slept downstairs that night.

The next day after a less-than perfect sleep I spent hours on end researching Bed Bugs and a host of other insects that these little black things could be, but I’d always end up at square-one, telling myself I’m living with with I thought were the worst creature of all – Bed Bugs. When I wasn’t on the internet squatting up on information, I was in my bedroom squashing bugs. On closers inspection the bugs weren’t only on my bed but were crawling up the walls, over my clothes-drawers and crawling out of the bed-side table.

My bug-squashing weapon of choice was the handle-end of a spoon. After experimenting with various objects, these little things were so small and thin that every time I tried to kill them with most other things, they would just slip under whatever weapon I had, especially when crawling on soft materials like bedding. My most successful method was to press the spoon handle down as hard as I could and drag it across the bugs, unfortunately leaving a streak of browny-red goo across whatever the bug was crawling on.

That evening I was out at a friend’s house – so happy that I wasn’t at home being crawled all over. That little time-out didn’t last long enough though, and within a blink of an eye I went from relief that I was out of the house to being back in my bedroom worrying about going to bed. I thought if they are in my bedroom then they are probably also in other rooms of the house.

I stayed awake as long as I possibly could, but as 2am approached I knew I had to try and get some sleep. I killed all of the bugs I could find on the bed and wrapped myself up in socks, joggers and a hooded top (with the hood up plus the draw-strings pulled tight enough to choke me) and lay in the centre my mattress with all bedding stripped off. “It’s the middle of the night, once I’ve settled down they’re going to climb up onto the bed and start crawling all over me trying to feed” I kept thinking to myself – I didn’t get a single second of sleep that night. I stayed motionless on the mattress until about 04:00 until I couldn’t take it any more. I got out of bed and back on the laptop for more researching.

It got to about 11am and I thought enough is enough, I can’t keep carrying on like this. I scanned the local phone directory and called a pest control expert. He was too busy to come round that day but after convincing him to come round for a very quick look around to at least just try and get a positive ID on the insects, he agreed.

By this point I had done enough research to allow myself to believe that there’s a chance that these things possibly aren’t Bed Bugs – they appear to be too small and are all the same size – Bed Bugs appear to vary in size and can reach the size of apple pips – these things are all the same size and look like little specks of pepper. Plus after watching various Bed Bug videos, they seem to be a lot faster than these little things, and are not supposed to be visible in the day apart when huge infestations are concerned (which worried me slightly). The little bugs in my rooms weren’t very shy and appeared on my bed all times of the day. Even when I had squashed the ones I could see on my bed, within another couple of minutes a few more would appear – I had no idea where these were coming from.

No later than 30 minutes after my phone call with the pest man had ended, he was at my door – such a relief. I had asked me to catch one for him on the phone, so I spent a while struggling to direct a couple of live insects into an old contact lens case.

As soon as he took one look these bugs under a magnifying glass he said in a very confident tone “Yeah these aren’t Bed Bugs, they’re far too small and have eight legs, they’re probably mites”.

After spending a couple of minutes looking around the room he asks “Do you get any birds outside your window very often?” – then it all made sense. Throughout the Spring I’ve had many early wakeup calls due to a nest of roosting birds in the wall cavity between my bedroom and the outside, chirping and rustling during sunrise/sunset. This had recently stopped so I assume the Birds had left the nest in the previous week or so. “That’ll be it” the man says. “These birds can carry a whole host of bugs and parasites and it seem like they were carrying Bird Mites that have made their way into your bedroom looking for food since the birds have left the nest. They are probably getting through either the cracks in your old wooden window, through the light sockets or through the loft-hatch that’s in your room”.

Bird Mites? Do they bite you?” I ask the man – “They can bite to test you as a food source but they’re not interested in your blood, they only likes birds” he replies. “When the birds leave, after a few weeks the Bird Mites will leave also” he adds.

“You have no idea how relieved I am”. After a few minutes of thanking the man for easing my worries, he left the house, and didn’t even want any money – result! I instantly taped up every single opening in my bedroom with heavy-duty tape – even the window. If I was to start clearing these things out, I first wanted to make sure that I wasn’t getting new ones coming in constantly.

Straight onto my laptop for a quick search about Bird Mites to see what I’m dealing with exactly – my heart sank. Lots of websites and search results explained how horrifying these little things are, and some blog users were even explaining how they’d rather have Bed Bugs” “Great!” I thought. I couldn’t believe that I thought I’d gotten off lightly when in fact I’m in even more of a mess.

Later that day I thought “Right, I need to get to work”. I took all of my clothes from my room (and I have a lot) – all of my bedding and everything else remotely fabric and washed and tumble-dried ALL of it. Once everything was tumble-dried at a high heat I double-bagged it all and put it downstairs in the spare room. This took nearly all day and I ruined a couple of nice jumpers in the tumble dryer as a result.

I removed every other movable object from my room and put everything in the bath and sink, and proceeded to drown everything in the hottest water possible for about 30 minutes. I had read that Bed Bugs and Bed Bug eggs can’t survive in prolonged temperatures of 70 Celsius+ and so therefore assumed that Bird Mites at any stage in their life cycle won’t be able to either, and I seemed to be right – I saw lots of floating black specks but none of them appeared to survive either the tumble-dryer or the bath. I was getting somewhere.

I also found the hole that the birds were using to get into the wall cavity. I climbed a ladder on the outside of my house, poked in a tree-branch to ensure there were no birds left in the cavity and proceeded to nail a plank of wood over the hole (unsightly but I was going to try anything). Please note, I made a mistake here, I should have had a professional clear the cavity of any remaining Bird Mites as there were clearly going to be some still crawling around the nest area – but I didn’t do this as I just wanted the hole boarded up as soon as possible. I advise that if you find yourself in my situation, then please get the source of infestation properly cleaned up by a professional.

Over the next couple of days I continued to make sure I: Hoovered every single day – sometimes twice a day, clean the walls with bleach/warm water & warm water/soap regularly, killed every live Bird Mite I could find and used a few other tactics that I had either read about or had thought up myself.

Within 2/3 days the Bird Mite population in my room appeared to have reduced dramatically, and within a week I was only finding a couple a day at most – some days I was finding zero. What also helped greatly was being able to get a (relatively) good night sleep most nights by using several methods I had thought up which would keep near-enough 100% of Bird Mites off my bed as I slept.

Now over the next several weeks I was still finding the odd Bird Mite, so it wasn’t totally plain-sailing – but I would take one/two little bugs in my room at any given time over an entire infestation like I was suffering from in the early days any-day. And just like the pest control expert said – after a several weeks the Bird Mites had vanished. I think the biggest help throughout this whole thing was the taping up of any cracks or openings in the room – this had an amazing affect on the Bird Mite population on the inside.

The main lesson I learned during this period was to not always expect the worst. Some of the Bird Mite stories I was reading on the internet were truly horrifying. I’m still not sure how many of these stories that some particular sites are displaying are actually true, or whether they are actually even written about Bird Mites and not some other unidentified insect/parasite. I’m 100% sure that some of these sites are just out there to scare readers

Don’t worry about the worst outcome and just worry about carrying on like normal as best as possible. As said in the facts section above – Bird Mites can’t live on Humans and will eventually disperse – it’s just your job to try and disperse them as soon as possible.

With some persistence and hard work I was able to get rid of these creatures in a relatively short time-frame once the source of the problem was identified and a plan on how to eliminate the pests was established.

If you would like to see some of the products/methods that I used/recommend in order to eliminate these Bird Mites in such a quick time-frame then please go to my Bird Mites Treatment page – hopefully you can pick up some tips and successfully eliminate your problem on your own as quickly as possible.

If you would like to contact me about my story, or have any questions, please visit my about page for contact details.

Thanks for listening.

Spread The Word!
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 19 comments
Welpy - April 26, 2016

Your story isn’t everyone’s case. We have had them a year. Yes, an entire family. That’s because we were misdiagnosed by pest control and doctors. So it depends on if you catch them early. We didn’t, so life and finances have been ruined. We’ve lost everything. So the stories vary among people based on how long they were able to survive.

And yes they do reproduce on people. This has been verified in articles dating back to 1958.

Reply
    admin - April 28, 2016

    Thanks for your comment Welpy – I’m sorry to hear about your story and understand that everybody’s experiences vary greatly. Do you have any information on the articles you mentioned at the bottom of your comment? I’d be very interest to read them.

    Reply
      Maria - May 14, 2016

      Hi there! We currently have bird mites. It’s been a nightmare! I have 2 small kids & the stories I’ve read are freaking me out! I’ve gone with the guy for help. I believe I’ve found their entery point but no one can tell me how they are getting into our bathroom vent. I no longer feel safe in my home (that I just bought) & am so afraid these things won’t die. We are still finding a lot of them, 99% dead, above the entry point but with no one able to tell me how there getting in there I’m just so afraid! We are living in 1 room & have all our clothes in bags & plan to till we don’t see anymore but I don’t know when that will be. My bug guy seems very confident he can get rid of them but they keep coming. Thank you for your web site! Have you heard back about them living of humans? God bless!

      Reply
        patsy martin - August 3, 2017

        I want to tell you that the peppermint essential oil works. dillute in water about 30 drops to a quart. Spray everything. it doesn’t stain. I wouldn’t have believed it, but had tried everything else and tried that and noticed a big difference right away. Make sure to use the 100% essential oil.

        Reply
      Sharon Bradshaw - March 27, 2017

      Hi there,
      I’m not the same person that responded to your response about birdmites.
      I can tell u where to find more current info on bird mites.
      Sadly both doctors and pest control are going on antiquated info and passing it on.
      Then in turn these people telling patients suffering from bird mite bites and infestation that they are crazy.
      Ok.
      So read the book THE YEAR OF THE MITE.
      it’s good reading. Written by a woman whose small family was infested too.
      You can find it on kindle too Written by Jane Ishka
      Dr Olivier Sparagano is an expert on mites. Especially bird mite. He also has info included in this book
      If u don’t want to read the book but I really do reccomend it, then google this
      TIMELINE OF SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING OF MITES ON HUMANS.
      THis is the study that confirms mites can reproduce on humans and human blood.
      I think blood is blood to most hemo consuming bugs.
      They may have a favorite but don’t mind surviving off of other food sources.
      These bugs can infest your pets also.
      A lot of people also have a skin fungus.
      They can actually get the fungus FIRST, then fungus eating bugs are attracted to these people. That’s partly why some are not bothered by these mites and some are / all in the same family.
      Others get this fungus FROM the mites.
      This fungus also causes feelings of being bitten and itching.
      For the people that get bird mites and struggle for years then begin to get lesions that spread. That’s grow fibers. The fibers are part of the fungus. They find all sorts of bugs on them. Again doctors refuse to believe this.
      But now a few different doctors have gotten it from their patients. This is often refers to as MORGELLONS.
      ONE of the fungus is called SPORO SCHENKII ( 2 words).
      U can read the wiki version.
      Birds nest are FILLED with this fungus.
      Some people get deathly ill from it.
      If u read the wiki version read the whole thing. U will understand more what some of the nightmare stories were about.
      I’m glad u took the time to write about your bird mite story. You have helped many I am sure.
      Until the medicine gets reeducated on this subject most people are alone.
      You were VERY VERY lucky that the pest control guy actually KNEW WHAT U HAD!!!
      That is not usually the case.
      Take care

      Reply
    Paula Anderson - June 30, 2017

    Reading these stories brings back the nightmare I had with bird mites. My experience was all the same exact from the fact that they do stay on your body and in your hair. This is a fact! I was proof, I watched them crawl from my hair line onto my eyelashes through my 10 times power makeup mirror during the middle of the day. It upsets me when I read anything different.SO BIRD MITES CAN LIVE ON YOUR BODY, SAME AS LICE! I lived through this from approximately end of April through end of July of 2016.I cried everyday. I had to go to a dermatologist, she prescribed a lotion that killed all eggs and live mites on me. I cleaned with bleach,used paper towls as much as possible.I charged a brand new very expensive Shark vacuum that I could not afford and vacuumed several times a day!I spent so much money trying to get rid of these damn things.If this sounds a little extreme Im sorry but it all was necessary. God forbit if this horror ever strikes me again I would have a professional extermination done inside and out of my home right away. I spent too much time on the home remedies in the beginning because of no cash. As fast as I killed the adults new eggs were hatching. I had to borrow money which made it even worse. I had bird nest by my bedroom window. Also I found the mites on my chickens.

    Reply
      Alicis - September 29, 2017

      Hi, I think I have/had a bird mite infestation. I treated my entire place with bleach an insecticide. Now, I no longer have a crawling sensation, just a almost constant biting sensation that goes away after I shower and use a mixture of lotion and vitamin c on my skin. Im inclined to think it’s a post infection allergic reaction. Did u experience symptoms after they were gone?

      Reply
      Liv - May 16, 2018

      Could u plz give the nameof the lotion that killed the live mites and their eggs?

      Reply
Linda - August 27, 2016

You don’t mention anything about getting bitten by the mites in your story. We’re only into the third day of infestation and have lots of bites! Ours came in through a bathroom window which is just below a swallow nest in the eaves. The window sill was so covered with mites that I thought it was an odd looking dust that had filtered in through the window, which we keep open during the summer. I swiped it with my fingers and soon found them crawling all over my hands and arms. I immediately grabbed a can of hair spray and sprayed everything…the window sill, counter top, tooth brushes…everything in sight that I could see had the little black specks. This stopped most of them in their tracks. So now I’m fighting the mites who were hiding or not otherwise hit by the spray. I’m using liquid Lysol in hot water and washing everything twice a day, since I’m still finding them…although much less every day. I think I caught them early enough that our whole house will not be infected. I feel sorry for the people who are going through that. Until now I had never heard of this before, but it’s real.

Reply
Sharon Smith - September 6, 2016

I live in BC and have enjoyed watching swallows nesting around and on my home until my cat came in the house and had picked up bird mites. There were hundreds or thousands of them in 24 hours before I realized what was happening. They do bite humans and pets and the crawly feeling all over my body was hard to take! I had a couple sleepless nights and decided I have to wage war against the relentless bugs!
First thing was to REMOVE THE NESTS! Spray bug killer where the nests were….soak the whole area!! Then a flea, tick and mite liquid from the vet applied to the base of my cat’s neck. Then 3 large cans of Raid Crawling Insect spray, box of Borax, antiseptic wipes and Polysporin for the bites.
I began by sprinkling borax powder on every mat and rug, crushing it in with shoes on. I put white sheets on all couches and while wearing a mask…..vacuumed the couches VERY thoroughly and then sprayed the raid all over every square inch of the couches covered back up with white sheets.
I vacuumed at least twice a day. I did the same routine in the bedroom and with open window to let the raid air out.
When getting ready for bed a long hot shower as soap kills them (they can’t breathe and drown) being sure to shampoo my hair as well. As soon as I was dry, spray insect repellant on my feet and calves as the cannot fly or jump and this kept them off me. I started to have good sleeps but had to do the raid and shower routine for many days.
BIRD MITES WILL DIE OFF! That is why they are called BIRD mites. They will test bite anything but CANNOT reproduce without BIRD blood. After 2 weeks the adults died but they must had laid eggs because I had a new hatch. These were so hard to see as they were transparent having no bird blood in them. Even after biting my cat they still were transparent because they were only TEST biting and not having a meal.
I had downloaded “magnifier” app from the play store and was able to see and take pictures of them all along from day 1 so I could see these were smaller and white colour. I did the same routine again….couches floors bed ….shower and spray feet with bug juice but for only 7 days this time!! I inspect where my cat has been laying every time he gets up…..nothing! I cannot find any on the white sheets or my bedroom…..THEY ARE DEAD AND GONE. I could not be happier.
NUMBER ONE: remove any trace of the nests.
NUMBER TWO: use Revolution on any pets.
THREE: VACUUM a lot and put bag in freezer in between vacuuming so they don’t get out.
FOUR: They tend to lie and wait in the areas you and pets frequent most sp buy some Raid Crawling Insect spray and use it when you leave that area and pets.
Remember to use borax in your laundry as it kills them. Wash laundry often and when you are clean spray feet with bug spray so they can’t get back on you. I had to spray my truck seats and rug too as they hitched a ride in there too.
They could not live off anything but bird blood. If you get rid of the source first then in a few weeks you will be BIRD mite free….like me.
Make sure it’s not mites that live on mice or rats as you would have this problem forever or until you eradicate the rodents!
Good luck and God bless. I hope I can help even one person suffering with these creepy crawlies.

Reply
    Kelly - January 28, 2017

    Yes they do live and reproduce on humans. I guess it depends on what kind you have. Mine are black but turn red when fed. The northern fowl mite spends its entire life cycle on the host. I have left my house 3 months ago and took nothing with me at all. I have lived in differnt hotel rooms for 6 weeks of those 3 months. I have otherwise spent no more than 2 weeks in any one loocation. I buy new clothes every few weeks. They are still on me. I cannot get rid of them.

    Reply
      Law - April 23, 2017

      Kelly are you sure they are Bird mites? I had stumbled across a few articles of Collembola. Could it possibly be that??

      Reply
    Paula - June 30, 2017

    I just vented once again about my experience with bird mites in a reply to someone else above. I started to log out but my curiosity won again. I read your story. If it were possible for someone to do research the very minute they realize there is a bird nest too close to their windows, or any vents lending into their home. If they raise chickens or have pet birds. If at all possible watch out for these things and if you happen to catch it early enough you just might (not mite) save yourself a whole lot of money and stay saine!

    Reply
Singa - October 17, 2016

Gosh, I’m glad things didn’t get this bad when we had bird mites! Well, we didn’t actually have them inside the house. A bird had made a nest in the wreath hanging on the front door and after the babies had grown up and left, we discovered hundreds of bird mites crawling along the outside of the door. We threw the wreath away and daily, I would go outside with a wet paper towel, wipe up as many of the mites as I could, then I flushed them down the toilet. They were totally gone within days.

Reply
susie - December 14, 2016

Where do I contact you to ask a question? thank you

Reply
JJ - January 10, 2017

Hi, the link to the page talking about sleep tips doesn’t seem to be working, just wondering if that information is still available.

Reply
JJ - January 10, 2017

And thankyou for being so positive and measured in the information you provide here. A lot of the info online is incredibly depressing!

Reply
    nautilus - October 26, 2017

    a lot of people might have rat mites as well. similar to bird mites but worse in a way- they burrow into your skin. sadly ive dealing with this for the past year. no doctor believes me. they wanted to give me psychosis meds before even looking at my skin. even my own family, who are living in my house -doesnt believe me. They say since they arent suffering effects that it cant be an infestation. theyve burrowed into my cuticles, my nails. My fingers and hands hurt so bad i can hardly turn the keys to my ignition. now that it’s getting colder i can tell the rats are back too. late october is when this it gets bad. same time this all started last year so im trying to prepare myself for absolute crazyness, no sleep round 2. theyre getting inside the walls somehow. my cat has so many she shakes them off like a dog shakes off water. maybe i should just accept the psych meds and get loaded on them so at least there’s some ease or mercy in being mentally dropped out. this is true misery.

    Reply

Leave a Reply: