Quantcast Bird Mites

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steadily until the tick is removed. Grasping the tick by
the back end, or heating it, can force disease
organisms into the wound. Place the tick in alcohol or
While these microscopic mites are found in the
otherwise keep it for identification. If the mouthparts
United States, they are much more prevalent in
are left in the skin, they will not transmit the disease,
England where humidity is very high.
but the wound should be treated with an antiseptic to
House dust mites sometimes cause allergic
prevent secondary infection. Note the date of removal
reactions. Cast skins and body parts of house dust
to calculate the time of symptoms onset.
mites accumulate with other dust and small household
If the tick is identified as a deer tick, see a
allergenic disintegrated matter. Vacuum intensely. A
physician. If it is a RMSF carrier, look for symptoms
new and effective management method is to spray
within a week after exposure, if they occur notify a
carpet with tannic acid solutions obtained from carpet
cleaning suppliers.
Urban pest problems ranging from imaginary
itches to pubic lice have been diagnosed as bird mites.
Sarcoptes scabiei
Several species of mites bite and suck blood from
birds. Smaller than a period, these rapidly moving
Urban pest management technicians are sometimes
mites are difficult to find. They may be very light
asked to treat homes where scabies mite infestations
colored, red, or dark, depending on their last blood
have occurred. Pesticides should not be applied.
meal. Their bites resemble small skin pricks. Hungry
Scabies mites are parasites of humans, dogs, pigs,
horses and sheep; the species of one host does not
mites are not reluctant to bite.
Bird nests are occupied by several populations of
parasitize other hosts.
arthropods; they make up their own community with
Scabies mites are microscopic. The only way to
be certain of an infestation is to have skin scrapings
physical and biological supporting factors. For this
reason, bird mite control is a simple example of
made and inspected under a microscope. However,
physicians with experience can usually make accurate
integrated pest management. Management is required
of this entire, but small, ecosystem.
diagnoses without laboratory procedures.
Infestation. Scabies are transmitted by direct
Applicators will find
predatory species that feed
contact only. Crowded conditions, particularly where
on mites: beetles that feed
children sleep together, spread scabies infestations
on feathers, textile pests
most quickly. A scabies mite infestation begins when
that infest woolens, and
a fertilized female cuts into the skin and burrows in
beetles and mites that feed
the upper layer of skin. She lays eggs in the burrows.
on fungus. This
Larvae hatch in the burrows and come to the surface
community of organisms is
to molt. Two nymphal stages and the adult stage are
spent on the skin surface; only fertilized females
supported by the blood,
feathers, down, and moist
burrow beneath the skin surface.
droppings of the birds.
Favored places of infestation include the skin
When the young birds
between fingers, at the bend of elbows and knees and
under breasts. Though the idea of mite burrowing,
fledge (grow flight feathers and leave the nest), the
even if it is only in the epidermis, might bring on
food supply stops and the arthropod community leaves
itching, these sensations do not develop for a month
in search of other harborage. Often, bird mite
after the initial infestation; it takes two or three
migration can be tied to a particular bird species
generations with subsequent secretions and excretions
(usually one of the pest birds that nest on structures).
to bring about sensitivity to burrowing.
Treatment.  Treatment is relatively simple.
In the middle Atlantic states, bird mites become
Pesticide ointments or creams prescribed by physicians
problems when fledgling starlings leave the nest the
are applied from the neck down to every member of
last weeks of May and the first weeks of June.
the family; bedding and underwear is laundered. No
Suspected bird mite infestations at other times of the
pesticide application to rooms or objects is indicated
year, more often than not, turn out to be caused by
under any circumstances.
other problems.
Module Two, Chapter 4, Pg 8


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