You could have a Bird Mite Infestation if you are tormented by:
Pinprick bites with or without lesions
Frequently intense itching of the skin
Vague sensation of crawling on the skin
Bite marks and lesions that heal very slowly
Increase of symptoms in certain areas of the home
Increase of symptoms at night and in humid weather
Your physician suspects scabies or some other pest but their treatment does not help. Then they think you're crazy.
Who gets bird mites?
...people with a bird's nest near the home,
apartment dwellers with nesting pigeons,
people with pets or other animals which are infested, farmers who raise chickens,
people who obtain used furniture, carpet, clothing, etc, that has been infested.
This can also include guests of hotels, office workers et al., when the buildings are inhabited by nesting birds.
What are bird mites?
... a parasitic infestation from bird mites is too small to be easily seen without magnification. Symptoms include:
often intense itching with or without lesions,
small reddened bumps,
and a crawling sensation anywhere on the body;
... with increased activity at night.
Some people label these the "creepy crawlies" or "nose ticklers". The intense itching and irritation on the skin is due to the mite's saliva. When a large area is covered with bites it will resemble a rash in appearance, and it is often mistaken for scabies.
Where are the bird mites coming from?
...bird mites more commonly infest bedrooms and bathrooms, but will quickly infest the whole house. Mites will infest carpeting, bedding, upholstered furniture, clothing, etc. They hide in cracks, crevices and darkened areas in the home when not active. They tend to congregate where humans routinely are; such as near the computer, in automobiles, etc.
When do bird mites bite you?
...bird mites are most active from dusk till dawn, but can be active at other times, especially when disturbed. Bird mites are very disruptive to our normal sleep pattern, causing many nights of lost sleep. They tend to be more active on damp, humid, overcast days and nights. Mites are less active during daylight hours, and they are less active on hot, dry, sunny days. Increased activity every seven days or so, when the new mites will mature. Mite activity also tends to increase around a full moon. Bird mite populations tend to peak in the late spring and summer, corresponding to an increase in the bird population and an increase in temperature and humidity levels.
What is going on?
..bird mites are parasites they feed on living organisms; the female mite needs blood to reproduce. They are attracted to mammals by receptors for moisture, heat and CO2. They are aggressive and they often bite humans when their original food source has gone; as when the young birds leave the nest. They can quickly multiply into thousands, leaving the afflicted person with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Once a home is heavily infested, they are very difficult to fully eradicate.
Maybe you have Bird Mite Dermatitis
This is a close-up image of a bird mite bite mark on a human leg, with the typical bulls eye characteristics. The outer band is typically about .25 inch across and the raised, reddened center is about .1 inch. Although similar in size to a large mosquito bite, a mite bite typically takes much longer to heal.
What can you do for your infested home?
It's recommended that you use a licensed professional to address a bird mite problem. Don't wait or the problem will get much worse and more expensive to treat. Find a company that is specifically qualified to treat bird mites. The pest control company should come to your house for no charge and give a free estimate. Even if you decide not to use them, you will get free professional advice.
Most pest control companies have never dealt with bird mites before. You need to use a bird mite specialist.
Keep in mind that if bird mites are not treated correctly, even if the correct chemicals are used, they can become resistant to those chemicals. Don’t use a pest control company unless they have extensive experience treating bird mites.
What can you do for yourself?
These are my suggestions in order of importance:
1. Apply lotion or cream with peppermint and lavender essential oils. 5% (5 ml of essential oil to every 100ml of cream or lotion) is a properly medicated cream. You can order this from me here: Peppermint http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/598 Lavender http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/807
2. Wear knee high boots at home, even in the bathroom, and clean socks daily and nightly.
3. Remove any unnecessary textiles, rugs and fabrics from general use and bag them and put them in a porch, garage, attic out of the way. Wipe down any chairs you sit on with a 40% vinegar, 40% water and 10% peppermint solution. You can buy very inexpensive but real peppermint oil here: http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/598
4. Wash all laundry in hot water or freeze before washing. Dry on a hot setting or in bright sunlight.
I suggest body care products specifically made to repel pests. Adding peppermint and lavender essential oils to body lotion or cream and applying these nightly and as needed. The lavender repels pests and heals skin, while the peppermint is neurotoxic to pests and will repel or kill them. You can order this from me here:
Neem oil is a strong smelling pest repellant and killer from India. It is too strong to use undiluted. It's very inexpensive and available here: http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/1414
Neem Cleansing Soaps: http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/1422