Bird mites can be treated safely and effectively with vinegar, a natural alternative to harsh chemicals. However, before using vinegar on your bird, be sure to dilute the vinegar with water and keep it away from sensitive areas.
What You'll Learn
Birds sometimes carry unwanted critters. In this case, we’re talking about bird mites. Bird mites are just trying to live their lives. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong bird to do it on.
This bird has a personal bodyguard: you!
Looking around your house, you find vinegar. A thought briefly comes to your attention. Will vinegar save your bird from the mites?
Assessing the Problem
Finding mites on your bird could be very tricky. Bird mites are tiny and hard to see with the human eye. Some signs that your bird has mites could be:
- Complete restlessness
- Crust develops around the beak and eyes
- They may lose their feathers
Notice these symptoms? Keep reading for a solution!
How to Spot Bird Mites
Bird mites are tiny but still visible to the human eye. They can be brown or gray and turn darker after feeding.
They nest in bird nests or feathers. Some people say they look similar to brown pepper flakes. Bird mites are also more active during the night and early morning. It is important to confirm that your birds have mites before proceeding. Bird mite treatment can be stressful for birds. There’s no need to cause this stress for your bird if it turns out they don’t have mites.
Developing a Solution
Think your bird may have mites? No worries, there are natural solutions to this problem. Vinegar is very effective for getting rid of bird mites, but essential oils work too! Let’s take a quick look at what you can do.
If you’re reading this, there is a good chance you have vinegar in your home. Before giving your bird a vinegar bath, dilute the vinegar to prevent burning their skin.
You should use one teaspoon of vinegar for every 500 mL of water. Avoid their eyes as it can cause serious irritation and, in the worst-case scenario, permanent damage to their eyes.
When using vinegar on a bird, it is important to use it correctly. If the vinegar is not diluted with water, the vinegar’s acidity will burn your bird’s skin. The vinegar could also burn the bird’s eyes, causing long-term damage.
It is important to keep the solution away from your bird’s eyes as it could cause serious irritation. If the solution irritates your bird’s eyes, visit your local veterinarian for solutions to ease the pain.
Essential oils have become popular for a variety of uses. Don’t worry, we are not going to recommend feeding it to your bird. The oils will push the mites out of the cage, making them easier to target.
Essential oils do not dissolve in water, so don’t dilute the oils with water and give your bird a bath.
Some oils that may help drive away bird mites include:
Spraying these oils around your house can help chase the mites out of your home. It is important that you do a thorough cleaning of their cage before allowing the bird back in. The last thing you want is for your bird to step around in the oil.
The acidity of the vinegar and essential oils could affect your bird’s health if you do not take proper precautions beforehand. Vinegar contains between 5% to 8% acidity before dilution.
Bleach would effectively make bird mites go away, but this is not something you use on your bird’s feathers.
Bleach is very harmful to birds because inhalation could lead to death. Diluted vinegar can do the job fine without risking death.
The best solution for bird mites is simple: use diluted vinegar and carefully spray your bird, avoiding sensitive spots.
If you do not feel comfortable doing this, take your bird to their veterinarian for treatment. They should be able to show you how to correctly apply the solution without hurting your bird.
When trying to get bird mites out of your house, diluted essential oils can be sprayed around the house to drive the mites into one area to be vacuumed up. After vacuuming, take it outside and be sure to clean your vacuum very well.
Preventing Bird Mites
No one wants bird mites to return after doing all the work to make them go away. Here are some ways to prevent another infestation:
- The best thing to do if you have a bird is regularly clean your house thoroughly. One bird mite in the house could lead to an infestation.
- Routinely check your bird for mites.
- Observe how many wild birds hang out around your home.
- You can spray insecticide outside the perimeter of your house and in areas where birds often stop.
These tips could prevent suffering for your bird and yourself. It is very important that you handle bird mites and not ignore the problem. It could cause serious discomfort for you and your family.
Thankfully, this is a tough problem with an easy, natural solution. Vinegar could get rid of bird mites and prevent them from coming back.
Vinegar is very acidic, so you should dilute it with water before spraying lightly on your bird. Incorrect dilution can lead to burning of the skin and cause your bird serious discomfort and further health complications.
Bleach should only be used for an intense cleaning while your bird soaks up sun rays outside. Inhalation of bleach could cause serious health issues for birds, so we advise against it. Other natural cleaners don’t carry the enormous risks of bleach.
Tried everything above and still have bird mites? Contact your veterinarian for treatment. They may be able to help you find the root cause and give you different solutions that may work for your situation.
Recommended For You
- Do Birds Have Good Memory?
- Can Wild Birds Eat Parakeet Food?
- What You Can Do With Old Bird Seed
- Are Candles Bad For Birds?
I am Bryan Powell and I own BirdHour.com. I love bird watching; in fact, I have a parakeet of my own. I enjoy spending time outdoors and observing the natural world around me. This website is a means of sharing my passion for birds with others who may be interested in this activity.