Hi everybody! I'm new to this forum and I opened an account because I need a quick advise of an expert. First of all I'm an international student doing my BA in China. I got a two month old budgie; he's very interactive and inquisitive like every healthy, drops typical poops, has completely appetite is normal. However, two days ago I discovered a large amount of caterpillar-like crawling parasites. They live in my Kurka's feather, are brown colored and their size doesn't exceed 2 millimeters. Seems like the little buddy finds them annoying. Well, I'm not surprised since especially his neck and back is full of them. I tried to remove one but it was very difficult. These tiny things can move very fast in both directions and keep tight to feather. I took my baby to a local vet and I was negatively shocked. In about 7 mln ppl, there's no avian vet. All the vets only know how to deal with dogs and cats. The vet even didn't take a look at my pet, just said that I gotta send him some pics of the parasites. In addition, he proposed to use liquid medicine prescribed for cats and dogs only but said it's possible Kurka will die due to overdose. Idk what to do! I spent several hours searching on the Internet and I found nothing. I will truly appreciate if someone could tell me what kinda parasites these bugs are and what I should do in this situation. I'm afraid that vet will poison my baby boy. Please, help me ASAP!
Last edited by Pretty boy; 12-28-2015 at 07:46 AM.
Reason: Removing negative comment
I'm sorry to hear your little budgie has mites of some sort. I'm not sure what they are exactly but I for preventative purposes use vetafarm avian insect liquidator every 4 weeks on my bird and have never had a problem with mites.
I gather from your description and the photos, that your budgie (looks like a young female to me) has some type of feather lice. And this can be treated with an Ivermectin based product, you can find the treatment for your budgie by getting the product from an online source, like Amazon, for example.
I hope you are able to get the right treatment for Kurka and she will be rid of those annoying parasites soon.
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You have 2 very good options above. If you would like to be completely natural, buy some human grade diatomecious earth and work it into the the feathers.
avoid eyes and nares in the cere. DE is used in chicken feed to repel both internal and external parasites. I use it in a spray called Dynamite. It takes a while to eliminate the mites/lice but it is very safe.
The DE is composed of the microscopic skeletons of tiny marine flora/fauna that the great baleen whales strain out of the ocean. DE is found all over the world in bodies of water both fresh and salt water. It is not harmful to fish, birds, humans and animals but creatures that have external soft bodies and insects that have exo skeletons like ants, roaches, etc. it is used in marine aquarium filters, organic garden insect / snail killers and in /on birds/animals for fleas /mites etc. The only draw back I have seen is that it takes a while to crack the exo skelleton and dry the internal structures out. it is completely organic and it does not, so far, develop resistant mutations in the parasites. We buy the human grade on the net, and it is very reasonable in cost. Best Wishes, Jo Ann
I'm sure going to a different country and experiencing how that culture views and cares for their pets would be quite a shock and probably very disappointing to you. Hopefully, during your time in the country you can do some small part in helping to promote awareness of some of the best practices for budgie care which are followed in other parts of the world.
By helping that country's budgie owners learn and grow, it will help benefit all the little budgies whose owners have not been exposed to advances in how to best care for them for their ultimate health and well-being. As each person learns and shares their knowledge, then practices in that country will improve overall.
The other posters have offered you good advice with regard to treatment of the feather mites.
Additionally, you may find the article in this link helpful as well:
It is very odd that they do look more like catepillars than mites or lice. I do hope you can find a treatment for them. DE would be good as it doesn't matter what type of insect they are, whereas some medicines only target certain types.
Thank you everybody for your advices and help in an hour of need! Unfortunately, I didn't find anything except ivermectin based sprays for dogs but that should be enough to get rid of these bugs.
Yesterday I saw a video on YouTube made by an experienced canary breeder from Spain. That guy said he uses anti-parasite sprays for dogs to exterminate any kind of external parasites. Finally I can chill down.
Dear FaeryBee. I'm definitely going to take Kurka abroad after being done with my studies. There's still 2.5 year left. After I'll go to Taiwan, Cambodia or back to Europe to start scientistic studies. I like learning languages and Mandarin is fun to learn but I do not like this country, people, etc. I addition animal sciences are my favorite and becoming a zoologist or animal psychologists has been my dream for many many years.
Last edited by FaeryBee; 12-28-2015 at 12:22 PM.
Reason: Removing negative comment.
Firstly PLEASE do not use dog or cat based Ivemectin it is far too strong in the dosage for birds. You can buy Ivemectin or Avimec from Amazon or ebay for birds. This is what you need, The sprays are dangerous they get into the budgies eyes, nares and beak. The Ivemectin is a spot on dose behind the head. The mites are annoying but they will be fine if you buy the correct product online.
What I can see in your photos is a type of feather louse that feeds
on feather tissue. They're definitely not mites but still a parasite that can be eliminated by a bird product Ivomec which is a topical 1 drop application. Good luck with your studies.