Are mites from my rooster biting me?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 24, 2011
I currently have 8 chicks and rooster who live separately from each other and don't come into close contact with each other. The rooster has been unwell for over a week now and is getting some TLC from my daughters and I, we hold him on our laps to drip feed him water and let him eat out of our hands.

A few days ago I woke up to find around 50 pretty large, red, itchy bites, mainly on my legs and hips. I thought mosquito bites first but that's unlikely as this is the UK and it's very unusual to get that many in one night. Someone suggested bedbugs to me, which has filled me with horror and I am currently examining my room and bed for signs of that, none so far. The other thing that's been suggested is mites from the rooster...does that seem likely to anyone? Has anything like that happened to anyone? I see no sign of mites in the coop although I will go check again,

If anyone wants to see a pic of the bites I will post one
I do not know if chicken mites will bite people. Chiggers are mites that do, but I do not know if chickens get chiggers. Were you sitting in the grass? It could be chiggers if you have them there... Did you check your roo for bites?

As a resident of Florida, I qualify as a mosquito expert (ha ha...or should I say boo hoo?). One mosquito will absolutely make multiple bites. I got more than 10 bites from one mosquito on my screened in porch two weeks ago. Sometimes they can bite and you do not even feel it! And they will move really fast from one spot to the next. Usually, though, the bite starts to itch pretty quickly, so that is the only thing that makes me think it might not have been a mosquito that got you, unless it was actually in your bedroom biting while you slept.

Did your daughters get any bites? Did they spend any time holding the rooster, or just petted him while you held him?

From what I've read here, if he has mites, they do not stay on him, but only feed at night and then go hide during the day. (unless it is the mite that burrows under leg scales) Mite bites will cause his red flesh areas to turn pale. To search for mites you have to wait until dark and open the coop with a flashlight in hand. In daylight look for red specks on the roost, or at places where there is a crevice or small gap.

If you prefer to just clean the coop out, i saw someone who uses a handheld steamer. I thought that was a wonderful idea! Steam is going to kill anything, I think, except prions, which are very rare.

Good luck!
Thanks for the reply!

I guess you are well qualified to answer on the mosquito issue! When I said it was unusual I meant for the UK, at this time of year and in my area, I've been here a long time and never had more than the odd bite. I lived opposite the Fenway in Boston for 3 years with inadequate screens so I know exactly what you mean on that point!

I've looked up various images of different kinds of bites and flea bites are also looking like a possibilty...we don't have any other pets. Do chickens get fleas? My daughters haven't suffered more than the odd couple of bites on their ankles which I also have, I'd put that down to being out in the garden.
You could have a flea infestation. They travel on animals. Since your girls are getting ankle bites that sounds like it is in the yard. I had a friend in high school whose house was overrun with fleas inside. You might not feel them on you. Go out there with long white socks on and watch your legs.
Mites from chickens will bite you. I just recently learned this (the itchy red bumps on my arms way).

From what I've learned is that people who keep chickens for food products usually let their chickens manage their own mite problem. ..and when chickens have room and a place to dust themselves, they keep the mite problem down to tolerable levels ...for them.

Those of us who keep the chickens for food products AND as a pet tend to want to keep the mite population down to a point were you, the human, isn't going to get bit.

You could have a flea problem ..not from your chickens but from something else. If you have them on your legs and not your arms, then think about the fleas ..but yes, chicken mites can bite ..the reaction is like a mosquito bite but the red bump and itchy-ness seem to last longer than the mosquito.

You might want to check out both possibilities.
Thanks very much for all the very useful replies. I can see I need to be careful that my birds stay healthy.
i guess i forgot to subscribe to this thread....

but thanks for asking. Yes, I have terrible itching now and was told it was scabies and did the treatment of permethrin 2x. I had gotten careless with dusting spots when i read that permethrin dust was highly toxic to cats and planned on switching to spot on treatments for the girls...apparently i bought the wrong stuff and went back to more researching. I was carelessly tossing laundry that I'd worn outside in the shed coop down the stairs to the laundry room - thinking that I'd read that any critters wouldn't survive off the bird for long. So whatever problem i might have had outside I probably brought inside. So I suppose the war is on. I probably shouldn't have gotten into this chicken hobby to begin with. I have breathing problems and issues with my feet so its gonna be tough to tackle all this stuff now. But I've got to do something.

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