Bird mites do hurt humans when they bite causing irritation, discomfort and infections, according to the University of Minnesota and the government of South Australia. It is impossible for bird mites to make it through their life cycle on humans, however, as they do not live on people.
Bird mites stay on top of the skin and are not interested in anything beneath it. They are, however, interested in living on pets, reports the Illinois Department of Public Health. People who handle pets that are infested with bird mites often feel itching and may be bitten as a result. They can also infect other mammals, such as livestock.
Bird mites are most commonly found on birds, such as sparrows, robins, pigeons, poultry and starlings. They will also make their home on domestic birds when exposed to them, according to the University of Minnesota. When the bird that the mite is on dies, it looks for another bird to make its home. If it encounters humans in the meantime, it may choose to bite before finding a new host. Bird mites can only survive for a few days to a few weeks without a host depending on the type of bird mite, reports the University of Minnesota.