The State Worker

Caltrans battling bird mite infestation

The process of addressing a bird mite problem at the California Department of Transportation’s headquarters has been hindered slightly by the presence of some pigeon chicks, which the agency wanted to avoid harming.
The process of addressing a bird mite problem at the California Department of Transportation’s headquarters has been hindered slightly by the presence of some pigeon chicks, which the agency wanted to avoid harming. Los Angeles Times

The California Department of Transportation is working to address an avian-induced crisis at its headquarters across the street from the Capitol.

Pigeons roosting on the building led to an infestation of bird mites on the building’s fifth floor. The mites live on birds and their nests and can also bite humans.

“We’re actively trying to eradicate them,” Matt Rocco, a CalTrans spokesperson, said Friday.

Rocco said the department is working with an exterminator to remove the mites and prevent a future incident – a process that includes recaulking and repainting some of the building’s window ledges to prevent the mites from entering the building. He said the process was hindered slightly by the presence of some pigeon chicks, which they wanted to avoid harming.

“We continually clear off ledges to prevent bird roosting,” he said.

Bird mites are not known to cause any sickness, though their bites can cause itching and irritation. Rocco said there was “no significant health risk” but that several employees on the building’s fifth floor had been temporarily relocated.

Anshu Siripurapu: 916-321-1060, @AnshuSiripurapu

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