One danger of a bird mite infestation aftermath is that mites can bite and cause discomfort to us. The good thing is they cannot live on humans. However, we should do the best we can not to encounter them.
So, how long can bird mites live without a host?
It can take at least 3 weeks for bird mites to die without feeding on a bird’s blood. However, it can be shorter depending on factors such as the environment.
Let’s find out more about these pesky mites and learn how bird mites live off a host, the duration of their survival, and how you can get rid of them instantly.
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Survival of Bird Mites Without a Host
Bird mites can be found on wild birds and domestic fowls. They are so tiny that an adult bird mite only has a length of around 1/32 inch (less than 1mm).
The bird mite life cycle is generally short, about 7 days which allows them to reproduce rapidly in just a short period of time.
Bird mites live off sucking the blood of the birds for sustenance. While their main food source is bird blood, these tiny pests would also try to feed on human blood and other animals like dogs.
However, they cannot survive on human blood alone as they need the protein from the bird’s blood to sustain themselves and reproduce.
These mites are usually white or transparent when they haven’t fed on their host. If they can’t feed off on bird’s blood, they will eventually die on their own within several days to 3 weeks.
Factors Affecting Survival
How long a bird mite can live without a host depends on several factors such as the following:
1. Types of Bird Mites
There are 3 types of bird mites and depending on the type they can live longer or shorter.
- Northern Fowl Mites – Highly dependent on bird blood to survive, while they can cling to life by feeding on other animals’ blood, they won’t survive for long, at most 2-3 weeks.
- Tropical Fowl Mites – Similar to Northern Fowl Mites, their existence relies on birds’ blood and can only survive for a few days or weeks.
- Red Poultry Mites – This type of bird mite can outlive the lives of the first two since they can dwell on wood cracks. As long as they have a safe place to hide and have enough human or animal blood to feed on, they can survive for at least 9 months without an avian host.
Bird mites prefer humid and warm temperatures, so they love the early summer and spring seasons. They can survive longer during this time of the year, even without a host.
However, in homes or buildings with air conditioning, their lives are shortened to a couple of days. So, will bird mites go away on their own? Yes, they will! Just turn on your AC and they will either die or leave your home.
How to Get Rid of Bird Mites
If your home is infested with bird mites, here are some tips on how to get rid of them.
- Check around for any empty nests or dead birds and throw them away.
- If you have rodent problems, take care of it right away as they can also carry bird mites inside your home.
- Clean and vacuum your home and discard the bag or contents properly to ensure they won’t crawl back into your home.
- Run your AC or use a dehumidifier. Make sure the humidity level in your home is not more than 30%.
- Wash your clothes and bedding in hot water to kill them.
- Call a professional pest control company if your household is highly infested.
But do you want to know what kills bird mites instantly? Use a chemical insecticide such as deltamethrin, ß-cyfluthrin, or permethrin. Just make sure to use it with caution.
Now that you have an idea of how long can bird mites live without a host, you no longer have to worry much about them, knowing that they won’t survive for long.
However, since they can still be bothersome, prevention is still the best course of action. But in case of infestation, just follow the tips above and your home will be free from bird mites in no time.
George and I became friends after a birdwatching trip with our new group. And we have been enjoying every adventure together. When he told me the idea of establishing a site that shares our experiences and fun, I immediately agreed. After trials and errors, here we have Thayerbirding.