Bugs, of which the bedbug (Cimex lectularius) is the best known, can be found on various species of birds, the pigeon for example having its own species C. columbarius. The bedbug is a wingless insect which lays a few eggs to a total of about 200 per day in cracks or crevices of the cage or aviary. The nymphs hatch in 7-10 days and reach mature adulthood within a minimal period of about 40 days. During development, they moult five times before becoming adult. The nymphs feed on the blood of the host and, like the adults, can live up to a year without feeding. They normally stay to feed on the host for only ten minutes or so, usually at night. Affected birds give off a characteristic dirty odour. Heavy infestations are necessary before anemia or illness results, but itching, restlessness and malaise result from lighter infestations. The insects inject saliva when they pierce the skin in order to prevent the blood clotting. This produces local skin swellings and infectious diseases may also be transferred in this way from bird to bird.

Treatment and control:
This is similar to that recommended for lice.


E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca



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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.