Does Alcohol Kill Bird Mites? Debunking Myths and Facts

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Mites are tiny arachnids and resemble their cousins, ticks, and spiders. The bird mites are parasites of wild birds and poultry. The bird bodies act as hosts for the mite. Many means are utilized to kill them, but does alcohol kill bird mites?

Yes, alcohol kills bird mites. The mites living on a bird can be easily removed using a damp cloth dipped in ethyl alcohol. Using alcohol is an effective solution to getting rid of mites.

In this article, we will read about how bird mites can be killed and what other ways can be adopted to eliminate the bird mites present on the bird bodies. To know more, you must read on!

How To Get Rid Of Bird Mites?

displaced nests

The bird mites can only be removed by physical means. You can implement or carry out the following methods for the best results.

  • Vacuum your birds. The vacuum will not kill mites but will help you eliminate them. You should stop the vacuum cleaner bag instantly to prevent the mites from crawling. 
  • Wipe your birds with a slightly moist cloth 
  • If you see dead birds in the vicinity, you should get rid of them immediately. 
  • It would be best if you disposed of the empty nests of birds.
  • It would help if you displaced nests in a way not to harm the birds.

Are Bird Mites Dangerous?

Bird Mites

The bird mites always need the bird host’s blood to carry out their reproduction. They cannot survive in the external environment on their own as they always rely on birds. The mammals and humans are accidental hosts for the bird mites. I have also discussed in detail in the article, do bird mites carry Lyme disease.

Even though bird mites can bite humans, they cannot transmit any disease to people. Still, the bird mites are considered to be a nuisance. This is due to their ability to invade homes.

So, it is safe to say that bird mites are not dangerous to humans. But what about birds? The host skin becomes irritated and red when the mites start reproducing uncontrollably. The birds can develop blood clots as well as scabs. Therefore, you must always remain on the lookout and treat birds accordingly.

How Do You Know If Your Bird Has Mites?

bird at night

You can only see mites through observation. All you need to do is carry out the following steps:

  • Grab a torch and go near your bird at night 
  • Slightly move the feathers to see the skin more clearly
  • You will see the mites crawling on the bird’s skin
  • You will also be able to see the redness of your skin 
  • Now, point your torch on the cage’s floor
  • You will see mites crawling on the cage’s floor
  • If you suspect feather mites, you must try covering the cage with a white sheet at night.

All the above-stated signs point toward the presence of mites in your birds. You must spring into action after confirmation.

Does 91% Alcohol Kill Mites?

90 Alcohol

The concentration of alcohol should be considered before spraying on birds. Having a concentration of 91% means that your alcohol is potent. It will kill the mites on contact. 

All you have to do is mix 90 percent alcohol and 10 percent water. You can make a solution by taking measurements in tablespoons. Next, you should take a cloth and dampen it in the mixture. Alcohol is poisonous to the mites. 

Can 70% Alcohol Kill Mites?

70 Alcohol

This concentration is mild, and you may need to wipe the cloth more than once to ensure the birds’ feathers are clear of the mites. Another thing you must beware of is the stain that can be left due to the fabric you are using. 

To avoid staining, apply it to a small area first and wait for the results. Then, you may proceed to clean your bird with it. 70% alcohol is mainly used for getting rid of the miticides based on plants. 

What Can I Spray To Kill Bird Mites?

YouTube video

Other than relying on alcohol, you can use specific sprays to get rid of mites. This includes spraying permethrin, deltamethrin, and ß-cyfluthrin. All these are pest control sprays. You can also call professional pest management to avail of their services.

This is usually done in cases where there all a lot of birds, and they all have been equally affected by the mites. This gets rid of mites altogether, from the feathers as well as from the cages.

However, you should follow a few directions before purchasing the pesticides. This includes not treating a bird’s nest directly. It would be best if you waited for the nest to be abandoned, and then you can spray to get rid of the mite problem.

Homemade Bird Mite Spray


If your birds have mites, you should not worry about them. You can easily make a spray home by using some ingredients from your home. For making the spray, you need vinegar and peppermint oil. 

  • Pour some vinegar into a spray bottle
  • Add a few drops of peppermint oil to the spray bottle
  • Next, spray this on the bird’s feathers and make sure you soak them well. 

This is a very convenient method of removing mites in the birds. Soon enough, your birds will be free from them and will not experience any itchiness. This is your go-to method if alcohol is not available to do this job. Additionally, Lysol can also kill bird mites.

Wrapping It Up

The bird mites are tiny arthropods inside the bird’s feathers. They drink the blood of birds and survive on it, much like mini vampires. Those humans that keep birds as pets need to be on watch out for all those mites.

They must make sure that the feathers remain clean. They can get rid of mites by using alcohol sprays. If that does not work out, many other ways can be adopted to clear out a mite infestation.

Extra care is needed to keep the cages clean. It is not only the birds that must receive treatment but also the cages.


University of Minnesota