Parakeet mites, also called red or budgie mites, feed on the blood of the parakeet. Over time they can weaken the bird and adversely affect its overall health. The mites hide around the cage, in its crevices or on surfaces outside the cage during the day. At night, the insects crawl onto the bird and suck its blood. The incessant biting of the mites disturbs the parakeet's sleep and causes extensive skin irritation to occur. During the day, the owner may notice that the parakeet naps excessively, preens and scratches. Some parakeets also become moody and show signs of depression.
How to Treat Parakeet Mites
Treat infected parakeets with a pyrethrin spray or 5 percent carbaryl powder for mites. Follow the directions on the label for application. Pyrethrin based sprays have the benefit of being a natural insect control pesticide derived from the chrysanthemum plant.
Consult a veterinarian to receive oral ivermectin if the bird suffers a severe infestation. Follow the veterinarian's directions for administering the medication to the bird. Most parakeets will need to take the ivermectin for up to 7 to 10 days.
Wash the entire cage with warm water and dish detergent. Clean out all corners and crevices of the cage. Scrub the perches, nest boxes, toys, water and food dishes within the cage to adequately remove the mites.
Spray the cage using a commercial mite control spray. Apply the spray according to the directions on the label.
Wash the walls and window sills, and launder any blankets or curtains to remove any mites that may have wandered outside the cage. Relocate the parakeet's cage to a new area of the house after the cage and bird have been treated.Vacuum the carpets daily.