BackYard Chickens › Member Pages › a-cure-for-stick-tight-fleas


images.jpgPoultry fleas, also known as stick tight fleas due to their ability to attach themselves to a host and not let go, can be a danger to your flock as well as your domestic pets. These nasty little critters like to attach themselves to the waddles, combs and around the eyes of your chickens as well as around the eyes of your dogs and cats. While not deadly to the larger animals, they can cause distress and death to members of your flock. The first sign of these fleas will be the constant scratching and shaking of your birds as well as small black specks around the eyes, waddles and combs. At this point you have already had the problem for a while. The hatch time for these fleas is a couple weeks, so you will not be able to rid the coop of them with one treatment. There are some sites that recommend destroying the entire flock and sterilizing the coop area. Pretty drastic, especially if you are attached to the gals. For large flocks there is information from local extension offices as well as within the industry. This article is for the backyard flock and based on my experiences here in Florida. After much trial and error and several infestations I found the best way to rid the girls of this pest was a one on one approach, with a bi-monthly dusting of the coop and surrounding area with Sevin dust. I took each bird and with a cotton swab, I rubbed the infested areas with Adams or Frontline Flea Spray. I then applied a coat of Vaseline to the same areas. No, the flea sprays did not kill any of the birds because they did not inhale the product, thus the cotton swab. I also dusted their bedding, nesting and dusting area every two weeks until all signs of fleas were gone. The birds will naturally dust themselves. I now have all birds clean and have not had a re-infestation in over a year. I continue to dust the area with Sevin about once a month  UPDATE: After more trial and error i have found the Adam's puppy or kitten spray to work best and it can be sprayed directly on the birds . I have also been treating the area with Ortho yard spray with no problems. I wait till the evening when the girls are on the roost. Glad to report all birds happy and clean after 4 months. .images3.jpgimages2.jpg

Comments (18)

This is exactly what my ducks have, they got them from an adopted turkey..I will try the 7 dust, and the vaseline.
Ok, I have tried the viper dust, there are less but the birds still have the bugs.  I have used it 4 times on the birds and the beds and pens.  I don't know what else to do.  I will have to buy the adams or frontline I guess.  Does anyone know where these things come from--the bugs?  I have had ducks for 7 years and never had bugs.
Do I use the Vaseline on top of the Adams spray?
 If you use the Adams, you probably won't need the Vaseline. The fleas could have been brought in by a new bird or just arrived naturally. They live in the sand and hatch about every 2 weeks so you need to keep at it until you have clean birds then treat the ground area every couple months. Mine are still clean after 4 months.
Thank you, will try your method.  I am so disgusted by the bugs, I am so afraid they will get on me or the gross.  I bought some hard core black plastic gloves, will get to work as soon as the rain passes.  I have baby peacocks, and have them in a pen by the house because I am afraid they will get bugs..Thank you so much
 Hi, how long does it take for the fleas to come off, or do you have to pull them off.  I put Vaseline on them yesterday and put DE on the ground today.  I don't have any sevin dust yet.
I have tried viper dust, after about 3 weeks and multiple applications and no reduction in bugs on the birds--I tried the Adams.  I used a q-tip it worked great so far. It takes some time.  Will repeat this weekend.  Also have put seven dust in the entire pen.  I have not tried the Vaseline yet.  The Adams flea and tick spray applied with a q top has worked to get them off of the birds better than anything I have tried.  I did not try DE..what is DE?
Diatomaceous Earth.  I also found lice on them and the DE got rid of them the same day I put it on, but not the fleas.  Yesterday I dusted them real good with High Yeild dust.  I didn't notice them getting any new bugs today, but we'll see.  The guy in our local Farmer's Co-op said it works better than Sevin.
I also have horses, so I put Swat (an ointment made for horses) on their combs/waddles ? where the fleas are.  They are hard to pull out !
Should work on the mites and lice. I'll be surprised if the fleas are affected. If not go with the Adams and /or Vaseline. If they are around the horses eyes, don't spray it on. I know it wont hurt the chickens but I don't know horses. You could use a Qtip in the area. They will die and fall of in a few days. They are stubborn little Sh*#s.
Oh, they are not on the horses, I was just saying because I have horses, I have a product called "Swat" which I thought would work cause it's an ointment w/insecticide in it.  Yes, they ARE stubborn little P. O. S.'s  Ha-Ha !  But I WILL defeat them !!!!!!!
Well, they still have the fleas, but no lice/mites.   I am going to try something else tomorrow.  This is getting aggravating!
I just found these on my ducks today. I read other comments and tried SWAT on my duck but now I see them on chickens and other ducks. I have sevin but was wondering how you guys are doing with yours.
No problems. After using this method for a year the birds are clean and none have died from the treatment. I have found Sevin to be useless. I also spray the surrounding area with Ortho Bug B Gone yard spray. I know most folks don't want to use chemicals but the alternative was to sterilize (kill) the flock and start over knowing that the little buggers would come back.
Thanks,I guess I'll try the Vaseline and go from there.
Just an update. I went through an entire summer with no recurrence off the fleas. All my birds are looking healthy. I am still spraying the area with Ortho yard spray about every 3 months when they are on the roost.
BackYard Chickens › Member Pages › a-cure-for-stick-tight-fleas