Although chicken mites can and will bite humans, they prefer to use birds as hosts. In all cases of humans becoming infected with chicken mites, a nearby avian host was found to be the source of the infestation. They may be able to live on people, but evidence is scant.
Chicken mites are blood-sucking parasites of chickens, pigeons and other birds. Unlike many other parasites, they only climb on to their host to feed. When not feeding, they hide in crevices near the host. Many of the animals they feed on roost together in coops or shared nests. In this way, they are able to transmit from host to host. Sometimes they switch to biting cats, dogs, horses, rodents and humans, when birds are unavailable. Chicken mites do not transmit directly from one host to another and human infestations are associated with proximity to pigeon nests and chicken farms, not with physical contact with an infested person.