Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to Treat Pigeon Lice

A University of Utah study shows that bigger lice prefer bigger birds. So if your pet pigeon is crawling with seeming large lice you are not just imagining the lice are super-sized. Besides irritating your pigeon, lice can cause damage to the feathers and severe skin irritations. Your bird will need treatment to kill the lice and their environment cleaned to prevent another infestation.

Dip your pigeon in an insecticide water or dust bath that is safe for your bird. There are a couple of choices, and your avian vet can help you decide which will work best. You can use a permethrin dust to dust your bird. Another option is to make an ivermectin bath. Your vet can supply you with the ivermectin. Mix about 1 ½ to 3 ccs with a gallon of water and dip your bird into the bath for several minutes. Repeat the insecticide bath in a couple of weeks if needed.

Clean the pigeon's cage or aviary to prevent your bird from getting lice again. Scrub all surfaces with soap and water thoroughly and replace any branches that you can. Removing and replacing a couple of inches of dirt is also a good idea.

Prevent future infestations by keeping the pigeon's home clean. Food and droppings should be removed daily. All surfaces should be scrubbed monthly.

Quarantine any new birds for four to six weeks and until after their avian vet exam. Introduce new birds only after they have been deemed healthy and parasite-free. This will prevent any new birds from transmitting lice to your existing birds.

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