1 year old flock, red mite infestation...


In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2020
Hello all

First of all, thank you to this forum for the great material I have been reading for the last year, I have been learning a lot.
Second, sorry for the errors, I'm a Portuguese guy living in Belgium, so English is not my mother language.

Last year in March, I have been given a male and 2 female chickens, which we loved to have. We provided a piece of ground of maybe 8 meters (about 26ft) x 2,5 meters (about 8ft) for them, where they free-range at their will. 1 month later 5 more were given, they were at the time just 2 months old.
We bought a nice new wood coop where all of them seemed very comfortable and increased their space to 10m x 3m (33ft x 10ft)
Summer went by and the 2 older were laying eggs every day, then I believe because of the cold winter they stopped laying.
All went good for the next months and in March they (almost all) started laying again for a month, when in less than 1 week we went from 5 or 6 eggs a day to 1 or 2 eggs per day; this week they started changing the feathers
A day or 2 later I found one chicken dead outside as if it has died just sitting. Although they always have plenty of fresh water and broken corn, this chicken seemed very weak, almost no breasts. I never noticed one chicken that would not eat. Every day after work I come to them and give them extra corn by hand where all of them have some. All of them walked around apparently happy, no signs of disease.
Next day, second died. This time a fat chicken, not signs of attacks or unhappiness.
Then this colleague told me about internal worms. I went and bought some pills and gave one to each of them the next day.
Next day a third died, again fat chicken.
Some days went by and a fourth fat chicken died.
After again some conversation with some people here around which also have chicken, I have been asked if there were red mites around.
I made a major cleanup in the coop, to find what looked to be red mites. They were gray in the time and I couldn't find one in the birds, or a red one in the coop.
Even so, I cleaned all the best I could and with sodium hypochlorite. Even so, some bastards survived after a few hours. Did a second wash and no surviving mites were found. Let the chickens sleep outside for 2 days and went back to inspect. Found 2 mites in the whole coop.
Filled the floor with tabacco staw (have been told it's effective against them) and the next 2 weeks I have been inspecting every day. 1 or 2 were found per day; never more than half a dozen. All the dead chicken were from the younger ones. The deaths stopped for the last weeks, and I'm taking at the moment 2 eggs a day (today 3) from my 3 chickens.

Today when I went to take the eggs one of the chickens were in the coop over the eggs, I could grab her and found her not that heavy or fat. Since I had her in the hand I looked for parasites and under 1 wing I found 1 red mite.
In the coop it seems controlled, I can't see them as I did in the day of the major cleanup. I see 1 or 2 every day, no more.

Now, from what I read, it's really difficult to get rid of these little bastards.
I don't mind burning this coop and get other. I can even make one with materials that have no cracks, but I need to keep them away from my birds.

Is there something we can add to the water? I was reading about Exzolt. Is this a good option?
I don't believe professionals don't have a way to fight these bastards.

What do you guys suggest?

Thank you in advance for any help


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Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
What is their normal diet? I would stop feed corn entirely. They need a complete diet designed for poultry.
Do you have access to Permethrin? Or Spinosad? Either are effective against red mites. The Permethrin is less expensive but will take multiple treatments. The Spinosad (Elector PSP) is very expensive, but gets the job done with a single treatment to the coop and birds.


9 Years
May 2, 2012
I don’t know what you have available where you are. In the states, Permithrin can be used to spray the chickens and the coop. Because it does NOT kill the eggs, you have to treat the birds and the clean and treat the coop for 3 weeks. I have done this and I think the mites are gone. The first time I did the clean and treatment I had diluted the permithrin too much. This has some warnings about using gloves and a respirator, not letting the chickens back until it has dried and the smell has gone. It’s bad for cats and bees. Cleaning the coop requires double bagging or burning the bedding. The first time, I actually dipped my chickens in a bucket of the diluted permithrin. It is also used as a flea dip for dogs. The great side benefit - the spiders are all gone from my coop. Big plus. And a reason I may decide to keep using it periodically even without seeing any mites.
I think that there is permithrin in powdered treatments that you can put in dust baths for them.

The next thing that’s been recommended was Elector PSP. Another thing to dilute and spray on chickens and the coop. It says that only one treatment is needed and that you don’t need to clean the coop out prior to using. It was expensive and I couldn’t find it in a store, so I didn’t get it and try it. It was going to be my next step and if the buggers come back, I’ll order it on-line and use it.

Mites are the absolute worst and require quite a few cuss words when encountered. I’d been lucky and had gone 9 years without having to deal with them.
Best of luck to you and your flock. I’m sorry for your losses.


In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2020
Already tried some other food. Multi cereal mix, lay mix, they only eat the corn that is mixed there. tried once a pellets mix. 2 days without eating until I put corn back...

I heard of a smoke you make inside the coop with the chickens inside.
It's in dutch, but maybe google translate can help you guys, sorry.
Not really sure if it does something. I'd really prefer something to put in the water, then I'd be sure the bastards would die on the next byte.

Tomorrow I'll search the Permithrin and fight in both ways

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