Bird mites in the news

Bird mites have been in the press a lot recently as Nina Bradica, a Levittown, NY woman, was removed from her home and taken to a hospital:

Speaking by phone from her hospital room, Bradica said Friday she was “hanging in there” but could still feel the mites moving around on her skin. “I feel biting, just like someone pricking you with a needle, and you can feel them crawl, like a piece of hair is tickling you,” she said.

The mites are considered a nuisance and don’t cause serious injury or death, Steier said, and added that neighbors of her Saddle Lane home are likely not at risk.

Bradica also complained of chest pains unrelated to the mites, said Dr. Shadab Ahmed, who is treating her at NUMC. Ahmed said Bradica is otherwise healthy and was expected to be discharged within 48 hours. She is being treated with a topical cream for the mites. Bird mites stay on the skin and bite but do not burrow into the flesh to drink blood, Ahmed said.

Investigators determined the mites had spread from a nest birds built in Bradica’s bathroom vent at least two weeks ago, said Officer Adele Burke, a Nassau police spokeswoman.

It’s important to note that pest management professionals can treat for bird mites. More from Newsday.