The Scourge of Bird Mites

For many months my roommates and I have been suffering from a variety of deleterious and mysterious symptoms. Last fall I suspected a flea infestation but, as we have no animals, this seemed like an unlikely candidate. As winter approached the symptoms grew less severe and we brushed it off. However, when spring began approaching and the weather warmed, symptoms grew unbearably worse. Initially we suspected dust mites, but the itching, biting, and crawling sensations were too persistent to cause the simple allergic reactions they’re known for.  We consulted some associates and they concluded that a more accurate diagnoses could only be scabies. However, after some time, this seemed unlikely since we did not have the visible burrows or markings characteristic of scabies.

Allow me to digress momentarily and mention some salient details: About a month or so ago I noticed some birds outside my window. It was typical that they congregated around this window due to the trees situated directly adjacent. As I would walk to my apartment from my vehicle, I would notice one or two birds perched at an opening of some sort, like a vent, just outside our apartment windows on the third story, but I thought nothing of it. Every now and again my roommates and I would hear some noises emanating from the exterior, just outside the windows  found in our bedrooms and my bathroom. These encounters were not particularly problematic, just some scratching noises hear and there, but nothing to indicate any reason to be alarmed.

As time passed the symptoms grew more persistent and increasingly more severe, with the past two months evolving into an intolerable and unthinkable nightmare. We have cleaned, scrubbed, dusted, washed, vacuumed, rewashed, recleaned, revacuumed and sanitized over and over again. We’ve been at our wits end for some time now and even considered the possibility that we simply might be going crazy.

However, this evening I was seated at my desk when I noticed a dot crawling around on my computer screen. How odd, I thought. I seized the particle and inspected it in the light, taking pains the determine its exact nature. I deposited it on the white counter-top and watched it amble haphazardly about. I picked it up again only to accidentally crush and immobilize the dot, at which point it turned into an indistinguishable speck of dust. I suspected this small critter was involved in our plight, but a tedious search of the area around my computer desk failed to yield another creeping dot, so I remained puzzled and moved on.

An hour or so later I was once again suffering the symptoms, particularly the crawling feeling, when I noticed the smallest mote, a near invisible particle, crawling on my left thumb! I plucked it up again and once more deposited it the counter, this time in my bathroom, the one situated near the location of the birds. I watched it dawdle and crawl like I had done before. However, as I watched it move I noticed it crawl towards other specks on my white counter-top. My eyes began to inspect the length of the white plane when, to my absolute horror, they discovered that I was looking at thousands of small dots, some moving, some stationary, scattered sparsely or in concentrated clusters all over the counter. I followed the dots to the densest clusters which were located around the bathroom window sill. At this point I suddently grew ill and the realization took hold that these were small, living, mites. And there were thousands of them. On the counter. On my walls. On the windows. I started to imagine other, less conspicuous areas where they might be, such as the carpeting and bedding and furniture.

I immediately began doing my research and discovered that, based on their physical characteristics and our symptoms, these were a very specific kind of mite: Bird Mites (For concise info: http://birdmites.org). Everything made sense: the tormenting symptoms, the birds, the location, the weather; I mean everything. It’s a relief to finally identify the source of this heinous scourge. The past many months have been quite literally unbearable, a complete torment, and I really wish I was speaking in dramatic overstatements.


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