does epsom salt kill bird mites

5:00 am. I am rudely awakened and up before dawn with some biting on my legs and back, and a crawling sensation around my nose and mouth, as well as legs. I quickly grab the lint roller and use it on my skin and then vacuum under the sheets, and then spray the bed linens with the orange cleaner that I keep in a spray bottle. (I recently found a good cleaner/degreaser with real orange oil from the Dollar Store, it is as effective on the skin and less expensive compared to the enzyme cleaners.) Then off to the bathroom and gargle with Listerine, and to wash up.

7:00 am. A lot of tossing and turning and very little sleep until now. I again vacuum under the bed sheets and try to get some sleep. The sun is coming up and the room is brighter now and there is a lot less mite activity and so am able to get a few hours sleep since I don’t go in to work until the afternoon. On rainy, humid days, the problem seems to be aggravated, so I am grateful for a sunny morning.

The bedframe has Victor’s fly contact paper wrapped around the legs to prevent the mites from crawling up from the floor.

10:00 am. Up and out of bed. I gag and then cough up white phlegm, which seems to happen most every morning since the mite infestation started. I vacuum the bed linens, and put them in a sealed trash bag with mothballs. Spray the vinyl mattress protectors and bed frame with either a good bug spray or orange cleaner. I then hop in the shower. I use a loofah scrub pad with a pouch and pour some Epsom salt in it, and then scrub real good using either Denorex coal tar shampoo or Sulfodene. These products seem to help a lot for itchy skin. I apply lots of Gold Bond medicated talc all over. I then spray the shower down with a bleach/water solution from a spray bottle.

At least once a day I have to spray in between my toes as they get real itching and scaly. It is an ongoing fungal infection that includes calluses and very itchy skin lesions. I have had this off and on since the mite problem started, and I never had this before. I find that Miconazol Nitrate, an anti-fungal, works better than anything else. The best is the tincture, available by prescription, but the Lotramin AF powder spray works good also, and this is what I end up using at times. I also will soak my feet in a pan of white vinegar and this really helps when they are itching a lot.

The itchy, crusty lesions and broken skin between the toes. I have been dealing with these fungal infections off and on since the bird mite infestation started. These lesions often take a long time to heal.

10:30 am. I retrieve my clean clothes from the plastic bins which also contains mothballs. Iron all my clothes for today with a stream iron on the high heat setting and plenty of steam. (The Black & Decker SteamXpress is a very good steam iron.) I put Bounce fabric sheets in my underclothes and socks while getting dressed. (On days when they are really bothering me I even wear a dog flea & tick collar around my neck.)

11:30 am. I vacuum the car seats with a Dust Buster before heading off to work today. I keep the Bounce sheets tucked in the car seats and mite dusting powder in the carpet. I open the sunroof and this helps some also. On humid, overcast days, they can really be a problem in the car. On sunny and hot days, it isn’t too bad. I keep a small bottle of mouthwash in my car and use this before going into work.

1:00 pm. At work I briefly exit to the bathroom to wash up and spritz my skin with a small spray bottle that I keep handy for when the mites are bothering me. They tend to be less active at this time of day, which I am grateful for. In the office I always try to sit on only wooden or leather chairs. I find that the upholstered chairs can become infested too easily.

Since I often have to be around others at work in close proximity, I try not to stand real close to them when talking. I have found from experience that some people are bothered by these mites, and will start to scratch or sneeze when I am near them. I know they are in my respiratory system at times, and that is why I try to avoid close contact when talking. What a freakin nightmare this is!

My trusty lint roller is used daily. I keep one in the car, and one at work, as well as those I use at home. I have found that this brand seems to work best.

5:30 pm. On the way home I stop at a car wash and use the heavy duty vacuum to clean the carpet and headliner. This is done about once a week when the mites are active. I then puff some mite dusting powder in the carpet. I am sure glad that I have the option of only working part-time on my job, as it got to be too much of a mental and physical strain working full-time and not getting much sleep at night.

7:30 pm. I sit at the computer for a while to take care of some emails. I use a wooden chair to sit on. After about 20 minutes or so I feel the mites crawling on my legs and so grab either the lint roller or spray bottle. Some days I light a stick of sandalwood incense near the desk and this helps to keep them from swarming. If they get real bad I prefer to use the Ortho Roach spray with esfenvalerate or else the Hot Shot Ultra, and spray around the computer desk and chair real good.

The window a/c unit is sealed at the bottom with aluminum foil and duct tape, to prevent birds from nesting underneath.

8:00 pm. I sit in my favorite lawn chair while watching TV tonight. No more comfortable couch or recliner for me. It is a constant reminder of just how pervasive a mite infestation is in ones life. After about a half hour or so, I can feel the mite activity increase. I grab my trusty lint roller to use on my skin and clothing and I also vacuum the chair. It is getting dark now and they seem to be much more active at night.

9:30 pm. I get out the carpet vac and then thoroughly vacuum the carpet. I then puff some mite dusting powder into the carpet. That way I don’t have to vacuum as often. I tape the end of the vac bag and put this in the freezer until I need to use the vac again. Doing laundry tonight, as I do most nights. I find that if I use a couple of cups of bleach to wash my bed linens, it helps to reduce mite activity significantly at night. Other times I will use the ammonia and Epsom salt. I then dry my clothes on high heat with a couple of Bounce fabric sheets. I then place the clean linens in a clean trash bag with mothballs until I put them on the bed later.

11:00 pm. Well, time for my night-time routine before bed. I sometimes have to wipe down the bedroom walls and ceiling with a Swifter wet mop with some bug spray on it. I then place the clean bed linens on. All my dirty clothes go into a heavy-duty trash bag with mothballs. I put on my flip-flops and shorts and head to the bathroom.

Some of the better products I have used recently, which seem to help. These are found at Home Depot with the household cleaning products.

11:15 pm. Tonight I will soak in a hot tub. I found that Batherapy Sport with menthol, eucalyptus and sulfur is very effective in hot water. I also add two cups of Epsom salt to the bath water. I soak for at least 15 minutes and then use a loofah scrub pad with a bar of coal tar soap (available at health food stores). I liberally apply menthol talc all over after drying off.

11:45 pm. I have a bed-time regimen that I have to follow in order to get a few hours of sleep. I put in silicone earplugs, and I often wear swimming goggles to cover my eyes. I put anti-fungal lotion or sulfur/Vaseline around my nostrils and genitals. I place a no-pest-strip under the bed sheets to help keep the mites away. I also take a Benadryl on most nights to help sleep.

12:00 midnight. Well, another day is over, and as I reflect on this dilemma, I say a prayer for all the fellow mite sufferers throughout the world. Many of whom do not know what it is that is afflicting them, and many do not have the means to purchase the needed supplies to help them effectively deal with this. So, I thank the Lord for his provisions and helping me get through another day. Those that have never gone through this have no idea how much it can impact a person’s life. The relentless biting, crawling, and itchy lesions that don’t seem to heal, as well as the mental strain from the daily battles and not sleeping very well. Each night as I go to bed my desire is to wake up in the morning in a world without torment or suffering.

We recommend you use a licensed professional to address a bird mite problem. Don’t wait or the problem will get much worse and more expensive to treat. We have a list of pest control companies that are specifically qualified to treat bird mites.

Keep in mind that if bird mites are not treated correctly, even if the correct chemicals are used, they can become resistant to those chemicals. Don’t use a pest control company unless they have extensive experience treating bird mites.

Also, many of our readers have followed up with (or used outright) natural solutions and pesticide-free, such as on our Treatments Protocols page Follow this link to that page.

Natural and DIY Solutions

On our Treatments Protocol page, we provide a list of additional natural, non-pesticide, and/or do-it-yourself products that we have found useful, in addition to local exterminators. Follow this link to the Treatments Protocols page.

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A tiny parasitic insect known as a “bird mite” feeds on the blood of various birds, including wild and hen birds. Sometimes bird mites can spread to humans. Eventually, bird mites can lead to health issues in birds, such as anemia. Both humans and birds can be treated for bird mites with salt sprays and baths.

Bird mites are initially an annoyance, but if they persist, your bird’s life could be in jeopardy. The bird might need to be taken to the veterinarian if regular salt treatments and thorough cleaning around the bird cage and the rest of the house don’t solve the mite problem.

Other birds, particularly wild birds, are the most frequent source of bird mites. Bird mites may inadvertently track into indoor spaces after birds abandon their outdoor nests or come inside in search of new hosts. Wear gloves whenever you are near or in contact with wild birds, bird feeders, or abandoned nests, and wash any clothing you are wearing immediately.

You must be able to recognize the type of mite infestation in order to choose the appropriate course of action. Due to the fact that bird mites can infect humans, owners of birds may experience a crawling sensation on their skin and notice visible mites on their scalp and ears. Birds may appear agitated and spend a lot more time grooming themselves than usual. One of the more prevalent mites, the red mite, will appear as tiny red dots throughout the cage, so pay close attention to the bottom of your bird’s cage.

To help soothe the bird, you can use a spray bottle with water, vinegar, and salt. Human skin and bird skin can both be soothed by taking a shower or bath in sea salt or Epsom salts. In actuality, birds typically bathe in the wild to remove external parasites. Bath water won’t kill the bird mites, though, so taking a shower will likely help get rid of them since they will flush them down the drain right away. Epsom salts dissolved in water can be sprayed around the house to kill and deter bird mites, as these mites can infest homes.