I'm currently in a town near Savona, on the coast in north-west Italy.

We had a problem with pigeons, that create their nests in the space between the roof and the ceiling.

Now, from the tube of the kitchen hood, that passes through this space, fell down these little insects. I'm a bit concerned it might be ticks, or something that could possibly transmit something bad. We have hundreds of them.

What's the best solution to make them go away? Also, should we leave the house during they permanence? I'm sorry for the bad quality pictures but they are very very small (probably between 0,5 and 1 mm) and very fast, so it's difficult to take good pictures.

Thankful for your help.

Dropbox link with more images and better quality enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ study protections for your drains, like spike wires to stop birds landing, and search for options that decimate the animals in the drainpipes, like bleach, vinegar, whatever the specialists say, and pour it on the roof regularly to take the mites out of the roof. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2023 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "...Also, should we leave the house during they permanence?..." Do you mean: "Also, should we leave the house whilst they are there (the insects)" ? $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2023 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


I suspect these will be bird mites. These are a range of species from two genera (Ornithonyssus and Dermanyssus) that mainly infest birds, but can also cause infestations in humans, causing a condition known as Gamasoidosis. I don't know much about them, but a bit of googling tells me they are commonly seen when a colony of birds is removed from a building and they no longer have a host to live on, so spread out trying to find new hosts.

Adults are in the range of 1/2 to 1 mm long, so quite small. They cause non-specific itchy papules in humans, which are where they bite to suck blood. I think you should be able to kill them with common insecticides.

Getting professional pest control advice is a good idea as it seems infestations can be hard to get rid of because they can live off human and pet blood.


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