How to Get Rid of Feather Mites

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Feather mites can cause severe damage in birds.
Feather mites can cause severe damage in birds. (Image: canary image by Fotocie from Fotolia.com)

Causing skin irritation, feather damage, scales and excessive preening, feather mites can create severe problems for birds they inhabit. Unfortunately, most any bird or avian species is at risk of contracting mites, states avianweb.com. Mites are typically spread by contact between infected birds or from an environment that contains mites. Moreover, some bird mites will actually bite humans, as well. Therefore, it is important for the health and well-being of your bird—and your household—to treat a suspected feather mite infestation as soon as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Environmental spray containing permithrin, piperonyl butoxide and methoprene
  • Mite-elimination medication containing moxidectin
  • Olive oil

Treat the bird’s cage for mites. Not only do feather mites affect birds, but they also contaminate the cage, and unless the cage is treated, they will continue to crawl on and bother the bird, states avianweb.com. Spray the cage with a product designed to eliminate mites in an environmental setting. Typically, products containing permethrin, piperonyl butoxide and methoprene work well.

Apply medication to your bird to eliminate the mites. Use a product that is specifically intended for use on the bird, such as those containing moxidectin, states canaryadvisor.com. Most medications require rubbing the product on the bird, either all over or just on the affected areas. Follow the directions on the label for dosage information.

Place olive oil on the affected areas of the bird to treat the mites using a more natural approach, suggests avianweb.com. Use caution to keep the oil out of the bird’s nostrils.

Tips & Warnings

  • Treat all of your birds for mites if they are living in the same cage and at least one is infected. According to canaryadvisor.com, there are a few mites that can live on birds for quite some time before they begin to show signs of their presence; therefore, your other birds could contain the mites without show any symptoms of an infestation. Mite-elimination products, such as those containing moxidectin, typically provide preventative properties. Therefore, if one bird is infected, but your others aren't, using a preventative product will help keep the mites away.
  • Avianweb.com states that mite prevention products that are designed to hang on the side of a bird's cage are actually toxic and should not be used.

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