||Nearly white when unfed, bright red when recently fed, or gray to black with blood meal partially digested
||Oval, flattened from top to bottom, not hard-shelled
||1/32” (0.75-1+ mm)
||Found throughout U.S.
Chicken mites, also known as bird mites, get their common name
because they live on the skin of a wide variety of birds, but
especially chickens. They become structural pests when they migrate
from bird nests into buildings and attack humans. They are found
throughout the United States and worldwide.
Chicken mites feed primarily at night, after which the mite
drops off of the host.
Chicken mites most often live and feed on pigeons, sparrows,
starlings and chickens. Chicken mites often migrate indoors from an
abandoned nest. They enter through window frames or attics. Chicken
mites can also be introduced via pet birds such as canaries or on
gerbils from pet stores where an infestation has occurred.
Chicken mites have been implicated in the transmission of St.
Louis encephalitis, but their role in the transmission of the
disease is not known. Chicken mites can cause painful skin
irritation on humans.