Chances are that at least once you have been browsing through the bird section of your favorite pet store and come across a product called a "Mite Protector". You may have wondered whether or not you need this product, and if it can really be beneficial to your pet's health.
A mite is a very small parasite that can infest the skin and feathers of most animal species. Truth be told, the vast majority of birds that were captive bred and have been housed in sanitary environments never experience a problem with mites or any other external parasites.
The "Mite Protectors" are usually small disc shaped containers designed to hang on the side of a bird's cage. The discs contain chemicals that release a fume to ward off mites, fleas, and other parasites -- but the fumes can potentially be harmful to the very thing you are trying to protect: your bird!
Birds have very sensitive and specialized respiratory systems, and the fumes given off by these Mite Protectors can be harmful or even fatal to them. In fact, these products can pose just as big a health risk to pet birds as cigarette smoke, aerosol sprays, or non-stick cookware.
If you fear that your bird is experiencing a problem with mites or any other sort of parasite, the best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with an avian vet as soon as possible. Keep your pet healthy and happy by forming a good relationship with your vet and doing plenty of research on the bird products you are interested in before you use them.
While many products genuinely do have the best interests of both pet and owner at heart, some manufacturers simply do not focus strictly on the needs of pet birds. Always ask your avian vet before using any over the counter products and medications on your bird. Doing so will help reduce the risk of doing harm to your pet when all you really want to do is help!