This column was in the paper this morning. (quoted from http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_11694884) Q: An employee accidentally carried bird mites from her home to our office. We are certain of it. The office became moderately infested, and some employees brought the mites home and were bitten and infested too. We hired an exterminator for the office. Need we do so for employees' homes? N. Weidberg, New York A: Unless you can get the mite-ridden bird itself to provide an exterminator, the company should step up. Employees face certain reasonable dangers at work, but bird vermin is not one of them. While the company was not negligent I assume it didn't sponsor a Bring Your Parrot to Work Day it should help its staff solve a problem that was contracted on the job. But what ethics prescribes, the law does not. Judith Conti, an attorney specializing in workplace issues, says: "Unless the employers knew or had reason to know that this worker had an infestation in her home that she'd carry to the workplace, they aren't liable for exterminating their homes." As a matter of ethics, after the company responds to its employees' infestations, it could seek compensation from the bird owner. Here ethics and law coincide, Conti says. Update: Although some employees feared they had mites at home, they did not, so there was nothing to disinfect. If mites are species-specific, as we always tell our own users who freak about seeing mites on their hands after handling an infested bird, wouldn't it stand to reason that the infestation in the above case wasn't mites but some other form of cross-species parasite, like fleas?