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Feather Mites on Birds are microscopically small and thus very
often overlooked, or not at all seen by the bird keeper.
Feather mites will eat holes in the feathers and in extreme
infestations, can cause baldness.
There are mites which are located on the large flight feathers
and on the tail feathers, others are only on the wings or on the tail.
Certain mite species prefer only a defined area of the wing and
are not found on other parts.
Finding Feather Mites
To check for feather mites, examine the undersurface of the
feather with a good source of light or by holding the feather against
a source of light. Look for tiny holes in the shaft.
Because the mites are so small a magnifying glass is very helpful.
Mites usually attack the birds at night, then retire to cracks
and crevices during the day. Mites keep the birds restless at night,
running about the skin and feathers and sucking blood. Some
hens are known to abandon their nests and babies because of the
Warm and humid weather speed up the reproduction of mites.
Preventing Feather Mites
The only way to prevent mites from re-occurring, is to disinfect
the entire cage, food utensils, toys, etc. If more than one bird
is present you must treat them all even if only one seems affected.
Dettol is a good disinfectant to clean the cage and dishes.
Perches and toys should be boiled or soaked in bleach and rinsed
clean with fresh water and let dry before placing back in cage.
The US Department of Agriculture has done many studies on
chemicals and have reported that Moxidectin is much safer and more
effective than Ivermectin.
Mites do not transfer to people from birds. If you are itchy and
think it might be mites from your birds it may be lice or just an
allergic reaction to the feathers or feather dust or dust from
the droppings from the birds.
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