When filled with blood this mite has a beautiful red colour. Gradually as the blood is digested the mite becomes a little smaller and the colour changes to grey or blackish, and if it has fasted for a long period it is almost white.
The poultry mite lives in henhouses, in dovecotes and similar places, where it remains hidden in crevices during the day. At night it emerges to suck blood.
The female lays up to 10 eggs at a time in the hiding-places. She may repeat this process several times, but must eat blood •between each egg-laying session. In the summer the development from the egg to the adult takes 8-10 days.
The adults can survive for 4-5 months without blood.
When one of these mites is found indoors, it will almost always have come from birds and usually from a bird’s nest. When the young birds fly from the nest the hungry mites start to wander. Their bite causes itching and as they often occur in large numbers they can be very unpleasant. The infested nest should be removed and the surrounding area sprayed or treated with a suitable powder.