Bird Vet Melbourne

(03) 9808 9011

The Pigeon Vet - Pigeon parasites 

External parasites in the racing pigeon - Mites, lice and Pigeon Fly 

Racing pigeon Lice  - Lice live their entire life cycle on their birds, they feed of epithelial and feather debris and bloom.  Feather lice live on the feathers of pigeons and in high numbers are often  an indication of poor husbandry in a pigeon loft - 

Treatments using insecticidal sprays or baths are all that is needed.

Racing pigeon Mites The blood sucking mites such as the red mite  will live in cracks and crevices in the pigeon loft and come out after dark to suck blood. The quill mite lives inside the shaft of the feather. They cause severe irritation to adult pigeons. This irritation may affect racing performance. When they feed on babies in the nest they may cause anemia and even death.  Skin mites cause skin rashes and severe irritation.

The pigeon fly sucks blood and causes severe irritation to pigeons. It is also known to transmit pigeon malaria that may have a devastating effect on pigeons racing performance. Pigeon fly may also transmit lice and mites from one pigeon to the next.

Diagnosis: of Mites in Pigeons
Visual inspection of the feathers of pigeons will reveal the mites on the feathers or on the skin. The placing of balls of cotton wool in nests in evening and removing them in morning will reveal the presence of red mite.


Treatment: of Mites in pigeons 

the birds and the environment.  

The worst affected birds are dipped or sprayed with a permethoprim containing product

The cracks and  surface needs to be sprayed as well, as the Mites live part of the time off the birds. 

Moxidectin orally is effective in killing the mites that feed on the bird. ( it is not effective if given orally for lice)