bird mite

Bird mite (Dermanyssus sp.). Photo: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

Updated: March 1, 2023

About bird mites

  • Bird Mites, also known as northern fowl mites are parasites of birds and domestic fowl.

  • They become pests in the home when they migrate from bird nests on/or in the home and bite humans. They are very tiny, a millimeter or less in length.

  • Their color varies from white before feeding, and red to black after feeding.

  • Problems with bird mites typically occur when bird nestlings leave the nest. The hungry mites leave the nest in search of more birds to feed on.

  • For outside nests, they usually come down the wall and enter via window frames or other openings in the exterior wall.

  • For interior nests, they usually come through the attic and enter via openings in the ceiling or interior wall surfaces.


  • To control an infestation of bird mites, first locate the nest. If it is empty, slip a plastic bag over it, seal the bag and dispose of it.

Additional resources

Bird Mites | University of Minnesota Extension

Is Something Biting Me? | Penn State Extension