By Kevin Post
In more than two decades of writing this column, I've heard a lot about the problems wildlife can cause when it invades the home. Readers have asked me how to handle mice, wasps, bats, ladybugs, raccoons, birds, spiders, cave crickets, squirrels, fleas, snakes and more - and I've dealt with many of those in my own home.
But this summer, a young woman came to me with a new threat, a creature I knew about but never realized could afflict people: bird mites. These routinely infest birds and are a major health hazard for them.
Chickadees nested in a protected area adjacent to her air conditioner outside the window of her Brigantine apartment. It was pretty cool getting a close-up view of chickadees raising their brood. But when the fledglings took flight and the chickadees abandoned the nest, the bird mites that thrived by biting the birds suddenly went looking for a new blood meal.