Parrot Behaviour

How To Know If Your Parrot Has Mites

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 26, 2017
How To Know If Your Parrot Has Mites

Parrots are susceptible to mites, and if left untreated, it can extend to other pets and human family members in the house, and even lead to severe illness and death of the bird. Mites feed on your parrot’s blood, reproduce rapidly, and even thrive in your pet’s cage. If you want to ensure your parrot’s safety against mites, keep a look on the signs of mites on your bird. We have already told you how to tell if your parrot is sick, and how to tell if it is male or female. Here at, we are going to tell you how to know if your parrot has mites.

You may also be interested in: How Do I Know if My Parrot is Male or Female
  1. Check for crusts
  2. Examine your parrot’s legs
  3. Watch for restlessness and excessive preening
  4. Check for other signs
  5. Look at its feathers
  6. Inspect your bird’s cage

Check for crusts

To know if your parrot has mites, check the area around your parrot’s beak and eyes, and see if any crusts are formed there. Mites burrow into your parrot’s skin, most commonly around its beak and eyes. In the initial phases of infestation, you might not see the mites, and the overall condition of your pet may not be affected. But the first signs appear around your bird’s beak and eyes only.

How To Know If Your Parrot Has Mites - Check for crusts

Examine your parrot’s legs

Sometimes, mites may also affect your parrot’s legs, causing scaling and irritation on the leg’s skin. The mites burrow into the bird’s legs’ skin, and lay eggs there. Due to this, its legs may appear scaly and dry, and you may see white powdery deposits that may have turned crusty. As mites release metabolites, they may cause scaly skin, swelling and rashes on your parrot’s legs.

How To Know If Your Parrot Has Mites - Examine your parrot’s legs

Watch for restlessness and excessive preening

Note your bird at night, and check if it is restless, or preens too much. Mites become more active at night, and you may see your parrot too irritated in the night. Your parrot may also try to scratch its skin by rubbing against the cage, and preen excessively due to irritation.

Check for other signs

Mites may also burrow your bird’s air sacs, trachea, sinuses or bronchi, due to which it may cough, sneeze, and try to breathe with an open mouth. If the mites have burrowed into its respiratory system, you may also notice a change in its vocal sounds.

Look at its feathers

Look for feather loss or damage on your parrot. If you see any missing patches on its skin, or if you find piles of feathers in its cage, then your parrot might be preening excessively, which is due to mites infestation on its skin.

How To Know If Your Parrot Has Mites - Look at its feathers

Inspect your bird’s cage

Mites are tiny specks, around 1mm in length, which are semi-transparent in color, and turn red when they ingest your bird’s blood. Inspect your bird’s cage and see if there are any small black or red spots. Keep staring them for 1-2 minutes, and see if they move.

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How To Know If Your Parrot Has Mites