Bird mites are tiny parasitic organisms that live on wild birds and poultry. They feed on the host blood causing anemia. It is alarming for bird owners as mites can spread from one bird to another. You must be looking for methods to get out of them. So, does UV light kill bird mites?
UV light is the most effective and safest method to kill bird mites. It can even get rid of chronic mites infestation after running it for only a few hours. For maximum effect, keep the light at a ten cm distance from the birds and run it for sixty minutes.
Continue reading the article to find more detail about the Ultraviolet light effect on bird mites and the impact of UV radiation on bird mites’ DNA.
What Is UV Light?
UV or Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation emitted from the sun and is responsible for tanning the skin. It is replicated, and artificial bulbs are made for multiple commercial purposes.
Commonly, artificial UV lights are utilized for medical purposes to get rid of many microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
UV lights are divided into types according to the wavelength and are used for different purposes.
UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C are three types of ultraviolet light.
- The UV-A wavelength is between 320 nm to 400nm. It is very similar to sunlight and is also known as black light.
- The UV-B is between 280-350nm and is closer to invisible rays of the sun that causes tans or blackening of the skin. It can also cause cancer.
- The UV-C use is to kill mites and other insects. The wavelength of UV-C ranges from 100-280nm.
Can you kill bird mites with UV light?
Wild birds suffering from mites can infest their nest and the surrounding area. Mites will cause an infestation in homes by crawling through openings in the buildings or structures.
It is crucial to control mite infestation. Ultraviolet light is the best method to kill bird mites from your homes, farms, and birds.
Uv radiation damages the DNA and RNA of mites by altering the sequence. The rate of bird mite mortality depends upon the exposure power and time. As per the research 2019, Uv light can significantly decrease Tyrophagus mite infestation in poultry.
One of the best UV light lamps you can easily find on amazon is UVILIZER Tower. It is a UV light sanitizer portable lamp that you can use anywhere inside the home. It comes with remote control and gives 99.99% sterilization by killing all the germs, bacteria, viruses, and small insects, including bird mites.
Additionally, the UVILIZER tower provides 360-degree sanitization and can disinfect areas up to 200 meters.
How Long Does It Take For UV Light To Kill Bird Mites?
UV light can kill the bird mite, but the results depend upon the power, the distance between the light and the insects, and the amount of exposure time.
It takes anywhere between five minutes to sixty minutes for UV light to kill bird mites. UV light will kill the bird mite eggs within five minutes from a distance of ten to twenty centimeters.
The Pur UV lamp, available on amazon, eliminates 99.99% of the bacteria, germs, mites, and other microorganisms. It is suitable for bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and pet houses.
It is a 35 W, 110 Volt light that has one minute delay time and will produce a smell of 0,2mg/ m2 from the decomposition of mites. The bulb of the Pur UV lamp emits light of 254n wavelength that gives you effective results within thirty minutes. If there is severe mite infestation, you can let it run for up to two hours.
What Does UV Light Do To Bird Mite Eggs?
Ultraviolet radiation kills all germs and bacteria. It will give effective results within minutes, depending on the intensity and the time of exposure to the mite. UV light kills the mites and their eggs from homes, farms, and birds.
It takes only five minutes for a UV light at a distance of 55cm to kill the mite egg. When light shines on the bird mite, it emits radiations that induce changes in the DNA and RNA sequence.
It is easier and quicker to alter the genetic sequence in the mite egg than in the adult mites. Therefore, it takes an hour to kill the adult mite.
Can You See Bird Mites With A Black Light?
Blacklight is a type of ultraviolet radiation known as UV-A. It cannot detect mites but can help in observing other insects. Bird mites do not crawl towards the black light. Therefore, UV lights with high wavelengths have no purpose for eliminating bird mites. Instead, UV-C bulbs or lamps are best to use in infested homes.
Researcher Masatoshi Hori and his colleagues prove in their study that UV light damages mite DNA by causing the formation of DNA lesions.
The research also concludes that light with shorter wavelengths causes more harm to the DNA of the mite as the maximum absorption of DNA ranges from 260nm to 265nm. This absorption gradually decreases with the increasing wavelength.
Are Mites Attracted To UV Light?
UV light attracts almost all insects, including mites, due to the heat and light emitting from UV lamps or bulbs. Most insects move towards the UV light in search of food and mates.
However, mites are attracted to the heat coming from UV light lamps as they prefer living and growing in a hot climate.
Mites live at high temperatures of 68-to-77-degree Fahrenheit with a humidity level of up to seventy percent. Female mites prefer laying eggs in warm environments and move towards UV lights to keep their eggs safe.
At a distance of 10 cm, UV C light can kill the adult mite within sixty minutes by altering its DNA.
Can Bird Mites Live On Humans?
Bird mites can bite humans but cannot live on the human body as they cannot complete their lifecycle in human blood. Without a bird blood meal, mites can survive up to three weeks.
During this period, it searches for a host and can crawl on the human body. People close to the wild birds are at a high risk of bird mite infestation.
Commonly poultry farm owners, bird breeders, pigeon racers, and pet bird keepers are at a high possibility of suffering from the bites from the bird mites. The bird infestation in humans causes extreme discomfort due to the crawling of the insect.
The bird mite bite will cause itching, swelling, and red bumps on the skin. Excessive itching can create wounds that can cause bacterial infection.
What Are The Other Methods To Getting Rid Of Bird Mites?
Bird mites infestation in homes will cause many problems. The mites are tiny insects that can crawl inside furniture and other household items. A dead bird nest is usually the cause of mite infestation inside homes.
Follow the steps below to remove bird mites from your home.
- To find the source of mite infestation, look around the house for a bird nest or a dead bird. Typically, birds build their nest inside vents, chimneys, windows, attics, and roofs.
- When you find the nest, wear disposable gloves and discard the nest in large plastic bags. Throw it in the bins far from your property.
- Use a disinfectant to clean the entire area. You can make a solution by mixing a few tablespoons of bleach and detergent in a large bucket of water. Use this solution to wash the entire area.
- To clean the infested room, vacuum all the furniture. Never use shampoo or any other detergent directly on infested carpets, rugs, and curtains, as it provides a favorable condition for mites to grow. Frequent vacuuming will decrease the number of mites instantly.
- After vacuuming, place the vacuum bags in the refrigerator to kill the mites and its egg.
- Then wash all the household items, including furniture, carpets, and curtains.
- Spray insecticide around the house after cleaning everything to prevent the re-infestation. Apply a thin layer of insecticide on the carpet, curtains, bed, and all the household furniture. Fill the gaps and parameters in doors and windows to prevent mites from crawling inside.
- When your pet bird is suffering from the mites’ take it to the vet immediately and isolate it in a cage in one corner of the house. Provide it with proper care and medications. Use disinfectants like pest spray to clean the bird cage and surrounding area daily.
- You will have to repeat the above steps for a few weeks to see effective results.
Bird mites can move from the host bird and take refuge inside homes in search of another host. Birds make their nest in the chimney, vent pipes, windows, and other open areas of buildings. It is essential to kill bird mites to keep yourself and your pet safe.
UV lamps replicate the ultraviolet radiation emitted from the sun and use it to kill many insects, including mites. It damages the mite DNA by altering the sequence of the DNA strand.
The efficiency depends upon the power of the UV lamp and the time of exposure to the mite. The best result is within fifteen to twenty minutes at a distance of approximately 55cm.
Hori, M., Shibuya, K., Sato, M. et al. Lethal effects of short-wavelength visible light on insects. Sci Rep 4, 7383 (2014)