Jump to section
Knemidokoptes are eight-legged mites that are microscopic in size and are related to spiders and ticks. These unpleasant mites burrow into your bird for life unless treated. Budgies and canaries suffer this infestation, although it is seen in other species. It is very contagious, so if one bird has it, then his buddies will almost certainly get them. These mites can attack the face areas but also the legs and vent. They can burrow into your bird’s keratin on its beak causing distorted growth. Arthritis and bacterial infection can result because of their presence.
Tiny microscopic mites that burrow into the unfeathered areas such as above the beak and eye areas are known as scaly face mites.
There are many types of mites but three main types can cause scaly face infestations on your bird. Each type of mite targets a specific type of bird but all have similar causes.
The infestation within your bird does not show up immediately, it usually takes time and only starts showing once the mites are established. It makes it tougher to treat but not impossible. The first signs you will notice will be a grey or white crustiness around the corners of your bird’s beak. Mites are not restricted to your bird’s face; they may attack your bird’s feet and toes, the vent and wing tips. The white crusts forming on the skin are a sure sign of mite infestation; be sure to check for signs on your bird’s beak of abnormal development and growth.
Your bird’s behavior is also another way to measure its health, any change in behavior in your bird can be a direct link to its health status. Prevention is the best form of defense, but once your bird has an infestation, he will need your help to get rid of it. Take your bird to your avian veterinarian for a full examination and to get the latest treatment available on the market. New products are always being developed, so your specialist is a valuable source of information. Diagnosis is made through a physical examination, followed by samples of skin scrapings as the mites and eggs are quite visible under a microscope.
To date, the treatment of choice is ivermectin which requires several applications given over a period of ten days to kill the hardy mites. Ivermectin drops on your bird’s skin (usually on the shoulders) will help, or the use of moxidectin orally are the most effective ways to eradicate the mites. If you have more than one bird, then they should all be treated even if they are not showing signs of the mite. Vitamin A supplement will help your sick bird build up their immunity and resistance to the mite. Your veterinarian may have to trim your bird’s beak if disfigurement has occurred. If your bird has developed open lesions, he may need antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections.
Discuss with your vet the option of rubbing olive oil, baby oil, or paraffin oil on your bird’s crustiness to soften it and enable it to fall off (it also suffocates the mites). Be careful not to get it in your bird’s eyes or nostrils, but do cover the feet, vent and wing tips if those areas are affected. One suggestion is to use Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) for its anti-parasitic properties. Under veterinarian supervision, one to five drops in one tablespoon of distilled water will do it, dab it onto the affected areas avoiding the eyes. Never use full strength GSE on your bird. You can use GSE with their drinking water, one drop for every four to six ounces, and it will work internally to treat your pet.
Your bird will require repeated doses of treatments to affect a cure which you should be diligent about carrying out. Your bird's cage and all items in it should be cleaned and disinfected. Mites can get into the cracks in the cage or even burrow into wooden perches and hide. Thorough cleaning and sterilisation are important. If you cannot easily disinfect an item, replacing it with something new should be carried out.
These parasites are a real problem to treat and eradicate, due to the length of time before they become a noticeable threat to your bird. Treating all your birds regularly, and treating their environment will go a long way to preventing another outbreak. For your recovering bird, give plenty of loving support and care until it recovers. Quality food, Vitamin A supplementation and a clean environment will all help.
*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.
0 found helpful
How do i cure my budgie there is varios methods and i am lost at what method to use My budie nose has little hole only small part and side of beak has one white thing stuck to beak
March 18, 2018
Without examining Snowy I cannot say what the specific cause of this white scaling is; infections, mites and other issues may cause this to occur. Ideally you should visit an Avian Veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
March 18, 2018
How do l treat my bugies for scabby mites
June 19, 2018
© 2020 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download the Wag! app
Download the Wag! app