The terror in the roof

As our cities and towns ever increasingly expand to cope with growth in our population, we are gradually encroaching further on our natural environment. This encroachment is diminishing suitable nest sites for our indigenous and non-indigenous bird life, forcing them to seek out alternative breeding sites. In most cases this will be the newly built homes that now occupy their old breeding sites and today’s human homes are a vast improvement on the birds’ old nests. Our six star energy rated homes of the future with improved insulation create not only a more energy efficient home for the human inhabitant inside the home, but also a nice climate controlled living environment in the roof void where most of our feathered friends decide to live. These new living arrangements also offer a safe and secure environment to bring up offspring and once the offspring have left the nest after the breeding season, the human inhabitants breathe a sigh of relief as the noises dissipate and life returns to normal for the time being. In most circumstances this isn’t the case, the bird will of course leave to return next season but parasites like bird mites that have been happily coexisting with the birds in your roof space won’t. Bird mites are found throughout Australia and thrive in bird nesting material and with an adequate blood meal source can rapidly increase in numbers.  The infestation normally occurs in the home once the birds leave the nest for good and the bird mites are forced to find another source of food for survival. They move into the living spaces in your home, climbing on walls, ceilings and bedding in search of a blood meal. This can quickly lead to the entire home becoming infested and the human occupants becoming the bird mite’s next meal. Often we are called out to a client’s home after they report seeing tiny specs of dust moving over their skin and they start experiencing unexplained bites. Now this can sound like the ranting’s of a crazy person but in most instances this is the first sign of a bird mite infestation. Bird’s mites are less than 1mm in length, which makes them very hard to detect and coupled with the fact that they are semi-transparent until they obtain their first blood meal, you can see why by the time that most people recognise they have an issue there is already a huge infestation. Removal of the bird’s nest from the roof void is the first step to eradicating the infestation, this should be followed up by a registered pest control company treating the roof void area to guarantee complete eradication. And the final step is to block all entry points into the roof to stop re-infestation.

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