Ticks survive by making meals out of the blood of other animals, and they are not picky about what they eat. Ticks will make a meal out of your pet parrot just as quickly as they'll make a meal of your own blood or that of wild animals. Ticks pose a serious health threat to any animal they come into contact with, including your parrot.
Ticks and Disease
Ticks spread disease among the animals they feed on. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ticks are responsible for the spread of Lyme disease as well as diseases such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, southern tick-associated rash illness, tickborne relapsing fever and tularemia. These diseases can be spread from ticks to an assortment of living organisms, including parrots and people.
Parrots and Ticks
Ticks can make your parrot very ill, so you should take special care to make sure your parrot is not exposed to them. Ticks cling close to the skin of your bird, so you may have to move his feathers in order to spot the small, dark insects. Ticks can feed on parrots and can travel long distances when attached to a bird who is capable of flying. Disease can be spread quickly by birds, which is why it's so important to make sure your parrot is not infested with ticks and does not become infested with ticks.
Signs of Illness
A parrot who is suffering from illness as the result of a tick bite or tick infestation may not show significant signs of illness. Signs of illness can include skin irritation, anemia, lethargy and unwillingness to eat. If you see ticks on your parrot or if your parrot is acting ill, you need to call your veterinarian and arrange for your feathered pal to be checked for disease.
Indoor parrots are unlikely to pick up any ticks. Make sure any areas you allow your parrot loose in are clean and not infested with bugs. Check your other pets regularly for ticks and place them on flea and tick preventative if they spend time outdoors. Quarantine any new birds who you bring into your home and handle all birds regularly, making sure to check them for ticks.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.