On a fence next to my coop, I noticed a bunch of little red bugs. I mean really little.
What are these and can they hurt my chickens if they get into the coop? What can I do to stop them?
Without a picture I will say probably mites. Spray with 10W40. Check your birds too. Dust them with sevin dust and spray their perches and nesting area with the 10W40 too. Just don't spray your birds. It's safe to spray their legs only. That is what I read to do for the mites that get under the scales on their feet.
I'm almost certain that these are what we call in the south, "red bugs". They're a form of mite and little devils they are. There also akin to the chigger. They will bite you and leave red welps on your skin. We used to come in after picking blackberries and splash alcohol up and down our legs and arms to make sure they were dead. Otherwise if you don't get them off, they'll continue to bite you until you do.
They do tend to hang around on wood and concrete. They're not the kind of mite though that infest the chickens. Nonetheless, it's good to make them disappear from around your coop.
we used to squish them with our fingers to make a red smear...i do believe they are in the spider family. Swear someone told me that when we were little. I would be sacred to use 10w40 near my chickens...what about DE? food grade
I noticed these too. I also live in NY.....Long Island. These little spider mites are the kind that live in wet, composty type conditions. They feed on plants. They are not at all a problem for your chickens.
They are called Chiggers. They do not burrow but they bite and the reaction to the bite is an itch that can last for over a week. It makes the mosquito bite pale in comparison. I would dust with DE or Sevin because they will bite anything that is warm blooded. Since I live in the woods, I have posted appropriately.
If these are indeed red bugs, chiggers, then they are repelled by flowers of sulfur. Here in the south they are devils to me personally, they get on me from grass and plants in the woods, crawl to warm spots on my body such as backs of knees, waist line, etc. They burrow into your skin and the females lay eggs....now mine you these are so small you can hardly see them without a magnifying glass. Welts show up the next day or later and itch terribly. If you already have them under your skin then fingernail polish or a product called Chiggerid works well....smothers the chigger.
I have found that my best preventative measure is to take a sock, empty a container of flowers of sulfur (grocery stores and drug stores in pharmacy dept) into the sock, tie a knot in the end, keep the sock in a plastic bag and when I go out then I dust around my ankles, lower pants legs, forearms, backs of knees with the sock. Repels great, but wash your work clothes separately as it will leave a slight sulfur smell on the clothes. I have also used the sulfur on my chickens too....put it in a plastic kitchen salt shaker with handle on side so easy to dispense.
Good luck with the chiggers, Leslie
They could be clover mites, which are harmless to people and animals.