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Do Hummingbirds Get Ticks? What You Need to Know

Do Hummingbirds Get Ticks? What You Need to Know

Looking at a bird’s dense and colorful plumage, it’s hard to find their infestation condition. So, you might think that hummingbirds are tick free. But, is it safe to think so? Do hummingbirds have no ticks on their bodies? Let’s find out below! 

Do hummingbirds get ticks? 

Hummingbirds do get ticks on their bodies pretty easily. Tick infestation on hummingbirds is highly common. 

Mice and bird blood is consumed by larvae. Adult insects and nymphs feed on the blood of large animals like dogs, deer, and people.

These two creatures have a parasitic connection. Ticks dig into hummingbird feathers and drink their blood, which is helpful to the tick but potentially detrimental to the bird because ticks can bring diseases that are lethal to birds, such as Lyme disease.

Ticks are common in hummingbirds, particularly ticks that cling to the skin around the eyes, bill, and head. The bird finds it difficult to preen in these locations, and the ticks find a safe habitat.

Adult hummingbirds are pretty experienced with ticks. They pick out on them as soon as one individual attaches itself to their bodies. So, they remain away from severe infestations during most instances. However, young hummingbirds are unaware of their condition. They might leave the ticks on their bodies, allowing them to grow and raise a colony inside the hummingbird’s plumage. 

Ticks can create significant problems for the birds. So, it’s better to identify a hummer with such issues and treat it immediately. But, how do you recognize if a hummingbird has ticks? You can count on us for this! 

Moving on, let’s discuss the ways you can identify an infested hummingbird. 

How do you know if a hummingbird has ticks? 

Like other birds, hummingbirds show numerous signs when they get infected with ticks. You can know these symptoms and provide the poor birds with appropriate treatment when needed. 

Look for any crusty areas around the hummingbird’s eyes and beak. 

Ticks infect hummingbirds by burrowing into their skin, usually near their eyes and beak. You may observe crusty plaques in the corners of your bird’s beak and under its eyes in the early stages of tick infection.

Look for scaly, inflamed skin on the hummingbird’s legs.

Ticks can also harm the legs of your hummingbird. Ticks will burrow into the skin of the hummer’s legs and lay eggs within the skin of your bird. As a result, your bird’s legs may appear dry, scaly, and covered in white deposits that may crust over.

If the hummingbird is agitated or preens excessively, take note.

When ticks feed on the hummingbird’s blood, the bird may become agitated or annoyed as a result of the parasites’ bites. Your hummingbird can also be restless, scratching its skin with its beak. The hummingbird may groom or preen itself excessively in an attempt to remove the ticks, however, the parasites are not removed by grooming or preening.

Look for signs of lethargy

When ticks affect the hummingbirds, they spend a lot of time itching, preening, and grooming themselves. So, these birds will consume energy at a rapid rate. Thus, they might appear lethargic during other activities. 

Check for any feather damage or loss.

The hummingbird’s feathers may be damaged, with missing patches or the loss of its wings and tail. This is due to the bird’s extensive preening or cleaning in an attempt to get rid of the ticks on his skin.

Poor appetite

An increased infestation of ticks will make your hummingbird fall sick. It will show a reduced appetite and might prefer sitting in a corner restlessly. It can lead to a starving condition among the hummers. 

So, you have a broad idea of hummingbird infestation. But, what should you do upon finding a hummingbird that shows these signs? Stay tuned! 

How do you get ticks off hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are easy to get infested. However, it can be more challenging to get the ticks off them for a human. Don’t worry! Here are some measures you can take to remove ticks from hummingbirds easily. Have a look! 

Dust the hummingbird to eliminate red mites

Many times, vets recommend dusting the bird with an insecticide powder. You can get various powders for birds in the market. A small quantity will help you get the ticks off hummingbirds. 

  • Ticks and louse powders are available from many pet supply stores.
  • Avimec and Scatt also work extremely well for ticks on the bird.
  • Treat the hummingbird to eliminate scaly skin.

Use Avimec/Scatt one drop on the skin on the back of the neck and claws once a week for 2-3 weeks to kill the ticks and eggs.

Remove the ticks gently

Many times, ticks appear on hummingbirds prominently. They look like a bulge on the skin of the hummers. If so, you can gently pull away from the tick with blunt forceps without hurting the bird. 

You can scan its body for more visible ticks and remove them to cure the bird. 

Use a mild antiseptic to cure the wounds

The hummingbird skin from where you remove the tick might appear reddish and scaly. You can choose a mild antiseptic and wash the wound to allow the skin to heal quickly. 

Visit a vet

If you see signs of severe tick infestation in a hummingbird, it’s better to visit a vet and seek expert advice. They will suggest you a suitable regime and medications to help heal the bird soon. Also, doctors will help your hummingbird’s appetite get back on track. 


Hummingbirds get ticks on their bodies. It might lead to the loss of feathers and even the follicles. These birds might give up on normal activities if tick infestation increases tremendously. In the advanced stages, your hummingbird might give up on eating and appear extremely restless. 

So, it’s always better to find out about their condition at the earliest to provide them with the required medical attention on time. You can even seek expert veterinary advice to relieve the bird from ticks.