Like many other types of pets, parakeets are prone to mites. There are three main types of mites that parakeets usually encounter: red mites, scaly face mites and feather mites. These types of mites can cause skin and feather irritation, scaly growths and either restlessness -- such as excessive preening -- or lethargy, depending on the type of mites. Battling a mite infection can be quite a challenge, but through diligent cleaning and medication treatments, mites can be eradicated.
How to Kill Mites on a Parakeet
Bring your bird to a veterinarian if you suspect it has mites. Avian veterinarians can more easily determine that the health problem your bird is facing is indeed mites, and not some other ailment. A veterinarian can also determine the exact type of mites, and may be able to prescribe a medical treatment for your parakeet.
Clean the parakeet's cage completely. Scrub every part of the cage, including the bars and bottom, with hot water. Clean any perches, bowls, toys or other decorations with hot water as well.
Use a bird mite eradicator, such as a spray treatment, on the cage and anything in it. Although these mite sprays are designed to treat the bird itself, they can also help remove pest infestations in the parakeet's habitat. Spray every part of the cage, including corners or crevices where mites might hide. Bird mite sprays can be purchased at pet stores.
Clean the area around the parakeet's cage, including the walls, floor and furniture near the cage. If the mites have migrated to these areas, they will simply come back.
Treat the parakeet with a mite medication or spray specific to the type of mites you think your bird has. Scaly mites -- one of the most common types of mites -- are best treated with a product containing moxidectin. Red mites can be treated with products containing carbaryl. Feather mites can be treated with an all-purpose feather mite spray. If your parakeet has been diagnosed with an internal mite, an internal pesticide can usually be used. Try to use medications that are nontoxic or recommended by a veterinarian. Avoid getting the medication in the eyes or nostrils of the bird.
Rub olive oil into areas on the parakeet that have been affected by the mites. The olive oil can help to smother mites, and can also sometimes be soothing to the itchy or irritated skin of the bird. Avoid getting any oil near the nostrils or eyes of the bird. Use this treatment only on the body or legs of the parakeet.