Can Cockatiels Get Fleas, and What to Do About It?

Common pets like dogs and cats have one big problem that most pet owners have to contend with – fleas. But what about birds? Can cockatiels get fleas too? I will answer the question here.

There are about 2,000 species of fleas found in the world. And pet cats and dogs are very likely to get fleas and bring them into your home.

So it’s natural for you to wonder if your pet cockatiel, too, can get fleas.

The answer to that question is no. Cockatiels do not get fleas. However, they might get bitten by fleas once in a while.

In the following article, I will discuss whether bites might be dangerous to cockatiels, which birds are prone to flea infestation, and how mites are the real problem you should be worried about.

Can Cockatiels Get Fleas

Can Cockatiels Get Fleas From Your Pet?

No, cockatiels cannot get fleas from your other pets. If exposed, they can get bird fleas from other infected birds, but that is a very rare possibility.

There are several species of fleas in the world, the most common ones being dog and cat fleas.

Fleas usually pick one species as a host and stick to it. For instance, dog fleas will jump between dogs and won’t make your pet bird or you a host.

So your pet cockatiel will not catch fleas from your other pet. But this does not mean your cockatiel will not get bitten by dog or cat fleas.

Flea bites are very much possible, but they won’t set up camp in your cockatiel’s feathers and start multiplying.

Fleas that are not attached to their selected host do not live for very long. So you have nothing to worry about. Even if your cockatiel gets bitten by fleas, it will most likely eat it.

Are Fleas Dangerous to Cockatiels?

Typically fleas will not cause any danger to your cockatiel, but it’s not impossible for them to get an infestation.

Fleas can bite your cockatiel if they land on the bird’s body. But it’s not harmful as long as it happens every once in a while.

Bird fleas are not a common occurrence in cockatiels that are in captivity. In the forests, however, wild birds can get bird fleas.

Fleas aren’t very dangerous to cockatiels.

As bird owners, it’s an understandable concern as fleas can cause quite a nuisance with their bites. But you can prevent any sort of infestation by disinfecting your home and bird’s cage regularly.

Maintaining hygiene levels and keeping a check on flea infestation in your home and surroundings will keep you and your bird safe from any harm.

Can Other Birds Get Fleas? Which Ones?

Generally, birds are not prone to getting fleas, but it’s not entirely impossible. Wild birds might get exposed to bird fleas out in the forest.

However, pet birds in captivity are very less likely to catch fleas.

Apart from cockatiels, other types of birds, like parrots, macaws, conures, budgies, lovebirds, parakeets, and other hooked-beak birds, can contract fleas.

Pigeons are also carriers of parasites like fleas, mites, and ticks.

However, your pet bid might contract fleas only if exposed to a flea-infested area or organism.

So the best way to avoid a flea attack is to regularly clean and disinfect your home and surroundings.

Keeping your home and the bird’s cage clean is the best way to avoid fleas

Can Cockatiels Get Mites?

Cockatiels are far more likely to get mites than fleas. Bird mites, also known as feather mites, are small creatures that stick to the feathers of your cockatiel.

These tiny creatures live in your bird’s feathers, sucking and biting them. Mites are so small in size that they make an infestation very hard to spot.

While you might not notice mites with your naked eyes, your cockatiel’s behavior might alert you.

Look for symptoms like restlessness in your bird during the day, constant preening, crusty-looking eyes and beak, irritated skin, etc.

What To Do for Mites in Cockatiels?

If you suspect a mites infestation in your cockatiel, the foremost thing to do is take your pet cockatiel to an avian veterinarian for treatment.

The vet can examine and confirm the presence or absence of mites and provide the correct treatment.

Since every bird is different, veterinary care will be crucial in providing your pet cockatiel with proper care.

The vet will also provide you with the correct prescription for your bird and guide you further.

Make sure you also carry the cage since that will also need to be thoroughly disinfected.

Mites as far more common and dangerous for cockatiels

The natural way to deal with mites is to employ prevention techniques.

Disinfect and clean your bird cages regularly, and bathe your bird thoroughly at least once a week. Maintaining cleanliness in your home will ensure the mites stay away.

You can prevent a mites attack if you keep yourself, your pet, and your surroundings hygienic.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get rid of fleas on a bird?

There are a couple of ways to get rid of fleas on birds. A flea comb is one way to remove these bugs from your bird.
Another way is to add dish soap to warm water and bathe your bird with it to remove fleas.

How do you know if birds have fleas?

If your bird has fleas, you will notice them constantly scratching and preening their feathers.
Bald patches, loss of feathers, feather plucking, and irritated skin are other symptoms you can look out for.
Tiny black spots on your bird’s skin or feathers also indicate the presence of fleas.

Can parrots get fleas from dogs?

Parrots cannot get fleas from dogs because fleas usually pick a compatible host and attach it to it. They don’t jump between species.
However, they can get bitten by fleas if they’re around an infected host.
So while parrots cannot get fleas from dogs, they can get bird fleas if exposed to other infected birds or areas. But it’s a rare occurrence.

Can pigeons get fleas?

Yes, pigeons are host birds that can carry parasites like fleas and mites. Pigeons can easily pass on fleas to other birds, animals, and humans and cause infection.
Flea bites are irritating and can cause allergies. And since fleas tend to switch hosts every once in a while, if you have pets, they might be at risk for infestation.

Wrap Up

While not entirely impossible, it’s not a likely occurrence for a cockatiel to get fleas. They are more prone to getting mites than fleas.

This can happen only if they are exposed to an infested area or organism.

But just because cockatiels cannot catch fleas doesn’t mean they won’t be bitten by one if it lands on them.

Thank you for reading, and remember – the best defense against mites and fleas is keeping your bird and yourself clean!

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Team Beauty of Birds's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.
Team Beauty of Birds is separate from the “Parrot Parent University” parrot training course and its instructors.

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