Parakeets are fun pets and relatively easy to care for, however, some types of mites can be problematic for birds. If your parakeet is infested, you will first have to identify the type of mite tormenting it and then choose the appropriate treatment. The most typical ways to eliminate mites include cleaning the bird's cage, medicine and the use of insecticides.
Method 1 of 3: Eliminating Red Mites
Step 1. Observe your parakeet's activity level
Red mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) are active at night. This can make your parakeet appear more restless or uncomfortable at nightfall, sleeping during the day to compensate for the lack of rest caused by the mites.
Step 2. Clean the parakeet cage to eliminate red mites
Some mites will not stay on the parakeet constantly. Red mites, which are most active at night, will hide in the small crevices of the cage during the day. The solution, therefore, is to thoroughly clean and disinfect the parakeet's cage.
Step 3. Scrub the cage with a mild soap
Disassemble the cage and scrub it using mild soap on a cloth or brush. Be particularly careful when cleaning the nooks and crannies of the cage. After cleaning, rinse off the soap residue with water.
Step 4. Use a disinfectant
After cleaning, spray the cage with a disinfectant (which is safe for animals) to further increase the chances of getting rid of the mites. Products made specifically for this purpose will not harm your bird if you follow all label instructions correctly.
Step 5. Clean the parakeet cage frequently
Even after eliminating the mites, it is important to clean the cage thoroughly once a week. This procedure will keep the bird's environment healthy and help prevent further infestations.
Step 6. Spray the bird to eliminate red mites
While cleaning the cage is generally an effective way to fight red mites, your veterinarian may also recommend that you spray the bird with powdered insecticide. If so, carefully follow all instructions provided with the product to preserve your safety and that of the bird.
Powdered insecticides to eliminate lice and mites can be found in pet stores
Method 2 of 3: Fighting the scabies mite and the asthma mite
Step 1. Look at the scales on the parakeet's toes
Like many other birds, parakeets have scaly skin on their toes. If you notice changes in the parakeet's toe scales (color, size, shape, texture, etc.), it may be infested with scabies mites.
Step 2. Treat the bird's feet to eliminate the mange mites
When infected with the scabies mite, the parakeet can suffer scaling on the toes. If so, soak his feet in warm water for a few minutes, dry them and apply mineral oil, which will help eliminate the mites. Repeat this procedure every four days until the parakeet's condition improves.
Step 3. Listen to the parakeet breathing
Birds infested with the asthma mite (Sternostoma tracheacolum) may experience difficulty breathing. You will be able to hear crackling and wheezing in their breath.
The bird can also wag its tail up and down or breathe with its mouth open. Both are signs that he is having difficulty breathing
Step 4. Give the bird medication to fight asthma mites
Ivermectin and levamisole are effective medications against a wide variety of parasites and are often prescribed to treat parakeets affected by the asthma mite. Unfortunately, the mortality rate of parakeets affected by this type of mite is high, even though they are treated with such drugs.
Method 3 of 3: Eliminating Other Common Mites
Step 1. Look for scabs
Some mites (Cnemidocoptes pilae) can cause your parakeet to develop scabs. Crusts can appear on the bird's beak or fingers.
Step 2. Check the size of the parakeet's beak
An overdeveloped beak is another possible sign that the parakeet is infested with mites (such as Cnemidocoptes pilae). When affected, the parakeet's beak may grow too large or look deformed.
Step 3. Contact your veterinarian for advice
The use of special powdered medications and insecticides can help eliminate mites responsible for the development of scabs on the parakeet, however, you should contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations and instructions. Treatments may include:
- Certain types of insecticides, which can be applied in drops directly to the parakeet's feathers. A few doses given over two-week intervals should be enough to get rid of the bird's mites.
- Powdered insecticides.
- Cleaning the bird's cage.