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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28967
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I am dealing with a birdmite problem in my home. How long can

Customer Question

I am dealing with a birdmite problem in my home. How long can they live without a bird host? I have read that some live several weeks but the chicken or red mite or D gallinane can live upto 8 months without a bird host. I have also read that they cannot survive on human blood and I have read where some of them can. I just want to the truth about them...they are driving me crazy. What can I do to get rid of them. Thanks for any help you can give me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I'll need to know which mite you're dealing with before I can be more informative for you. Which birds do you have in your home and which birds are found on your properly, please? Yes, avian bird mites can be contracted by people but because you're not a natural host the mite will die soon after biting you. The most common chicken mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) can remain dormant for 4-5 months in the summer and even longer in winter. An approved poultry miticide* is indicated and if that fails, poultry buildings may have to be laid by for a long rest period or no longer used for housing poultry. *Tetrachorvinphos with dichlorvos was the most effective at treating chickens followed by malathion dust and 10% garlic oil. Permethrin failed to reduce mite populations significantly. Ivermectin is also commonly used to treat mite infestation in birds. For your home, however, consulting a professional fumigator is indicated. Please continue our conversation if you wish.