Biology

Red mites are nocturnal. During the day they hide in cracks and crevices of birds’ nests. With caged birds, they often spend the day hiding where the perches are attached to the cage. The eggs are laid in the hiding places and the mites hide in them while molting. A female mite lays 10 eggs at a time. Each portion of eggs requires a blood meal. From the eggs, small, six-legged larvae hatch. These larvae do not feed because their mouth parts are too short to pierce the skin of a host. After the first molting they become eight-legged nymphs that suck blood, but that do not reproduce. Two molts later they become adult mites, which can lay eggs. The development from egg to egg takes about 10 days. Adult mites can starve for 4-5 months.