Note: Please be aware that there is an increase in bird lice activity this year. Do not delay in getting your home treated! 

What are bird lice?

How can bird lice be treated?

How can I prevent a bird lice infestation?


Bird lice is also known as bird lice and can be found naturally where birds such as starlings, pigeons, sparrows, poultry are kept and where their nests are located. Once the birds leave their nest the bird lice need to go in search of a new host, which is usually sleeping humans.

Bird Mites are more common in spring and the early months of summer, as the humid conditions provide ideal breeding conditions for the mites.

Bird Lice may move into living spaces in houses, climbing on walls, ceilings and bedding in search of a blood meal.

What are bird lice?

Bird mites are:

  • Small (<1mm long) mites with 8 legs
  • Very mobile
  • Semi-transparent in colour until blood has been digested when they appear reddish to blackish
  • Oval in shape with a sparse covering of short hair

Where can birds be found?

  • Around eaves and in chimneys
  • In roof spaces
  •  In cavities in walls
  • In foundations and basements
  • Around porches
  • On window ledges.

How do bird mites survive?

Bird mites:

  • feed on the birds blood
  • survive and thrive in bird nesting material
  • Bird lice breed rapidly
  • Usually die within 3 weeks without a blood meal from a bird host.

How to eradicate bird lice?

There are 3 steps to eradicating bird lice.


Proper identification of bird mites is important in determining how to control lice infestations. Bird louse is always something someone who is being bitten should consider.

Finding & Removal of the birds nest

The best approach for controlling a bird lice infestation is to locate and remove bird nests. When removing nests, a mask and gloves should be worn to prevent transfer of mites, and bacterial infections.

Please be aware that in some cases the birds nest cannot be reached due to the area it is built inside the roof cavity. 

Prevention and Eradication

Preventing birds from occupying spaces in the house is the best way to prevent bird lice. Ensure that any broken tiles are repaired and if there are any openings in eaves or roof cavities that these entrance points are blocked off.

Once the birds nest has been removed it is recommended to treat the area with an approved insecticide such as a surface spray or insecticide powder.

It is best to seek the advice of a professional pest control technician who will be able to assist you in both removing the nest (if accessible) and treating the affected rooms and roof void.

Bird Lice Bites on Humans

Bird Lice bites can cause:

  • Severe irritation including itching
  • Swelling
  • Raised reddish spots on the skin caused by mites injecting saliva when feeding
  • Cause discomfort
  • May lead to secondary infections from scratching
  • Not associated with transmission of any infectious disease
  • Can be difficult to diagnose and can be mistaken for the bites of other insects.
  • The sensation of crawling bird mites on the skin will irritate some people.

Bird mites DO NOT:

  • Prefer to bite any particular part of the body
  • Live under the skin.