Bird Mites - School IPM - USU Extension

    Bird Mites

    Dermanyssus gallinae; Ornithonyssus sylviarum

    Bird Mite

    Bird mite (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

    Bird Mite

    Chicken mite after feeding (Furado, Wikimedia Commons)

    Bird Mite

    Northern fowl mite (Wikimedia Commons)


    • very tiny; about the size of a period on a typed page
    • black, yellow or white; appear bright red after feeding

    Nesting Habits

    Dermanyssus gallinae (chicken mite):

    • nests of birds
    • hide in small, protected areas when they are not feeding

    Ornithonyssus sylviarum (northern fowl mite):

    •  all life stages on host, but adults may be found in areas around the host


    • blood meals from hosts, including chickens, pigeons, sparrows, doves and starlings
    • will feed on humans in absence of primary host
    • feed mostly at night


    • can migrate from bird nests or poultry houses (in- and outdoors) or rodents onto structures and crawl onto people and bite, causing skin irritation or itching
    • spread by people, equipment and birds from infested areas
    • can survive up to a month off a host

    IPM Recommendations

    • Remove bird nest using the inverted bag technique and clean the surface that came into contact with the nest
    • Seal cracks and crevices where mites may hide and enter.
    • In infested homes, hot wash and hot dry bedding and clothing left on floors.
    • Take measures to control rodents and wild birds (see Vertebrate Pests).
    • Use appropriately labeled dust-formulated insecticides, such as silica aerogel, as crack and crevice treatments.