How Long Can Bird Mites Live Without Birds?

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If bird mites find their way into your house, they can have a long-term effect on you. How long can bird mites live without birds? Avian parasites that dwell on the skin of domestic and wild birds are known as bird mites. The term “bird mites” refers to a group of mites that feed mostly on chicks raised in nests. 

These small insects are transparent white until they digest a blood meal, at which point they become a reddish-brown color. They mostly eat on birds in the wild, but they may enter homes if they cannot find food. If you reside in a region where mite infestations are possible, take the required precautions to keep them at bay.

Continue to find more about bird mites and how long bird mites can live without birds. 

Bird Mites Life Cycle

How long can bird mites live without birds?

The lifecycle of bird mites is divided into five stages: egg, larva, ptoyonymph, deutonymph, and lastly, adult. Mite eggs, larvae, and nymphs cannot be seen with the naked eye until using a magnifying lens. Bird mites can reproduce enormously since they mature in as little as two weeks.

Bird mites like damp or humid environments and are most active in the spring and early summer. They are naturally found in areas where birds (such as pigeons, starlings, sparrows, and poultry) and their nests are found.

What do bird mites look like?

Spider mite,

Bird mites are parasitic insects that are related to spiders and ticks. They are very little, with adults measuring barely 1/32 of an inch in length. They have an oval body that is flattened and covered with small hairs, and adults have eight legs.

Bird mites have a razor-sharp mouthpiece that they use to pierce their host’s skin and suck on their blood. The timing of their feedings determines the color of the bird mite.

They are white-almost transparent in hue when they haven’t eaten, and brilliant red. They will then turn a dark or grey tint once they have begun to digest their diet.

Do bird mites live in bird nests?

Super macro photo of group of Red Spider Mite infestation on vegetable. Insect concept.

Bird mite migration is prevalent in late spring when fledgling birds leave the nest. Mites that move away from nests can be found in any part of a house or structure, although they are more common near or in nests established on or in the house.

Bird mite infections in buildings are most commonly connected with sparrows, starlings, and pigeons. 

They may infiltrate household environments in quest of a blood meal, crawling on walls, ceilings, and mattresses. Poultry farmers, people who live close to bird nests and rear birds as a hobby, vets, and zoo staff are at risk of bird-mite infections.

When utilizing second-hand furniture or working/living in facilities that have been infested with bird mites, you may be exposed to them.

How long can bird mites live without birds?

Some flower petals trapped in a spider's web.

Bird mites are parasitic parasites that feed on the blood of birds. When young birds have just fled the nest, and the mites are frantically hunting for a blood meal, they are most conspicuous. If you think the bird mites will ultimately die out independently, the answer is yes.

At least, that’s how it works most time. Bird mites require their primary host’s blood to survive, so they’ll die in three weeks if they don’t have one. Bird mites may still feed on human blood, and if there are enough of them, they can quickly replenish and maintain their colony.

Bird mites may survive for a short time without an avian host, but they can also find their way indoors, where they can crawl on and bite humans and dogs. While the mites can be an itchy, tingling annoyance, they cannot thrive for long periods on humans or in dwellings.

In most situations, these mites’ life is restricted to a few days at best away from birds, especially in a modern home with air conditioning. It all depends on whatever bird mite species it was. So, let’s see how long bird mites live without birds of each bird mite species: 

Northern Fowl Mites

Northern fowl mites may feed on other animals, but they need bird blood to live. This species depends on a bird for its whole existence.

Red Poultry Mite

Red poultry bird mites, sometimes known as chicken mites, are smaller than northern fowl mites. These mites don’t survive on the bird for the rest of their life. They can be discovered in cracks in wood or other small hiding places throughout the day. They may go for up to nine months without a bird host.

Tropical Fowl Mite

Tropical fowl mites eat similarly to northern fowl mites but prefer to nest in birds, not on the ground.

Do bird mites bite human skin?

Female mites bite people because they need blood to reproduce. It usually happens after their bird host has left the nest. The markings might occur anywhere on your body because the mites aren’t picky about where they bite.

Saliva is pumped when the mites bite, generating a localized histamine reaction. Gamasoidosis, or the body’s reaction to bites, can range from a few red patches to severe skin inflammation, depending on the immunological response.

5 Signs of bird mites infestation

Medicine process to kill insects in vegetable garden

Due to their microscopic size, mites are extremely difficult to identify. As a result, the following indicators of a bird mite infection should be looked for:

  • If you see any bite marks, rule out fleas (flea bites have a little red dot in the middle), bed bugs, and pigeon mites if it’s not mosquito season.
  • Mites feed at night, so if you notice a crawling sensation on your skin, look about to see whether they’re hiding.
  • Eliminate proximal causes if your scabies treatment isn’t working, search for bird nests, which might suggest avian mites.
  • Check the humidity levels to look for environmental indications. Your home may be a breeding place for bird mites if it has a high humidity level.
  • Bird activity in the area you live. Bird mite infestations are indicated by nests. If you’ve had any bites, you’re likely to have a mite problem.

How to get rid of bird mites (Avian mites)?     

Beekeeping: a beekeeper holds a specimen of Varroa Destructor in his hand, a parasitic mite that attacks bees

To get rid of bird mites, follows these solutions:  

  • Removing bird nests from locations where people live and work.
  • To avoid the spread of bird mites to people, use full protective clothes during the process.
  • If a structure is infested with bird mites, it may be required to consult a certified pest control operator.
  • Use an authorized pesticide surface spray or insecticide powder to get rid of bird mites.
  • Furniture that has been heavily infected may need to be destroyed and replaced.
  • Carpets require frequent vacuuming or, in the case of a severe infestation, replacement.
  • Bed linens and clothes should be changed and laundered often in hot water.
  • Rats and other rodents can transmit rodents and bird mites, so address it immediately if you have a problem.
  • As mites flourish in wet environments, limiting humidity levels to below 30% may help your issue.

How to prevent bird mites?

Rose plant leaves destroyed by pests and insects

Bird mite prevention is difficult, but there are a few things you can do around your home, in addition to using year-round pest control services, to keep these tiny terrors away. Before introducing a bird or other tiny animal into your home, be sure it is free of bird mites from a pet store.

If you have pet birds, keep their bedding clean and changed regularly. Check for a tight-fitting cap on any chimneys, fasten vent covers, and close any gaps around the roof soffit. If you take these steps, birds will not enter and breed on your land. Don’t touch any abandoned bird nests you come across.


Bird mites are an annoyance and a pest, but the good news is that they aren’t human parasites. Even so, a bird mite bite can be quite itchy. If you scratch your skin, you risk developing a bacterial infection.

Avoiding interaction with birds and bird nests is the best way to be safe. Wear protective clothing and wash any exposed flesh as quickly as possible if you must come into touch with birds.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.