Bird mites and other itchy problems

This Body Odd article begins with Nina Bradica’s bird mites story, and reminds us that bird mites are a rare occurrence.

While bird mite infestations in humans are rare, they do happen, says Dr. Richard Zack, associate professor and chair of the department of entomology at Washington State University. The most common infestations occur in people who work in the bird and poultry industry, but the creatures will flock to anybody if the circumstances are right.

Nesting birds or small mammals carry their own set of parasites and although [bird mites] don’t normally feed or interfere with humans, if something happens to the mice or the birds that are nesting in your house, the parasites will look for an alternative food source, he says. Unfortunately, that alternative food source can be you.

Besides bird mites, the article also mentions head lice, body lice, follicular mites, bed bugs, scabies, and more.