Photo of red mite

Treating Mite Infestations

Old sketch of some mites

Most people in the U.S. are keeping finches, canaries, and parrots in their home, so when they discover the birds are covered in mites they’re pretty upset    majorly freaked out. They call on the phone, screaming.

When you first find mites, isolate the bird from its flock and visit an avian veterinarian immediately. He/she can take skin scrapings or feathers to examine under a microscope in order to identify the type of mite you are dealing with. He /she can also determine how heavy the infestation is.

After this exam, the vet will probably advise you to medicate the entire flock, as well as spraying the cage, bedding, etc. with miticide. Some of the most common miticides are Avian Insect Liquidator, Moxydectin, and Ivermectin. The two medications I have used to kill mites that are on the bird are SCATT and S76. The difference in them is the application; SCATT is placed on the skin, and S76 is put into the water.

What’s important is that you follow the directions exactly, and that you treat the environment as well as the birds. In the future, any birds brought in need to be isolated from the flock and treated with a structured quarantine protocol to keep from infecting the entire flock with parasites, protozoa, or worse.

The SCATT treatment remains in the system for 21 days, so on day 21 repeat the treatment. S76 is dose two days in a row, then two days on each of the next 2 weeks. If you choose not to do the follow-up treatments, new mites will hatch out and the original treatment will be rendered largely ineffective.

A few more products for good health are listed below.


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   For more information, see Treating your Gouldian Finch for Parasites and Types of Mites Found on Finches, Canaries, and Parrots