Advice on mites please.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lyford, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. lyford

    lyford Out Of The Brooder

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    Approximately 10-14 days ago I went to collect eggs and when I picked one up I noticed around 10-12 small bugs (like the size of a dot made by a freshly sharpened pencil) moving around on it. The egg had a small crack and some white had leaked out, I assumed they were eating that. About 4 days ago I noticed the bugs on a dried bit of egg white left from that cracked egg. After doing some research I thought maybe I was dealing with mites. So i have inspected my chickens and coop. I cannot find any bugs on the girls, even if i go in at night with a flashlight. I have found about 12 or so total mites, mostly in the nest box buried under shavings. I know they are mites as I caught one and put it under a microscope and it has 8 legs and mouth parts. Heres the problem, I can't ID the mite species. I dont think they are Northern Poultry Mites as I can't find them on the birds. I know they are not lice because they have 8 legs and lice have 6. So i thought may Red roost mites, under the microscope they dont look quite like the images of these mites I find on the internet. In addition when I wipe the bottom of the roosts with a white paper towel i find no blood streaks. White paper slipped in cracks and crevices dont produce blood streaks either, Ive done both these tests during the day and at night. The mites I have seen are a light tan or beige in color. My chickens arent showing dull combs or wattles, laying has decreased alittle but the days are shortening and half my hens are 18 months and just beginning their 1st molt. They do not hesitate to roost at night. With that said here are my questions:

    1) What type of mites am I dealing with?

    2) Should I go ahead and dust the coop and birds anyway just because I have some sort of mites?

    Any response or advice is much appreciated.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    central Wisconsin
    I would personally just go and dust the coop, getting some in the nestboxes after cleaning out the bedding, dust a bit than put fresh bedding in, I would also dust in any cracks on your roosts.
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    It sounds like you are dealing with Red Mites. Do a google search to be sure and if i am right treat the wood in the coop, epically the frame, nest and roost poles. Another way to confirm this diagnosis is to go out at night and rub a white Kleenex or paper towel vigorously on the roost and nest boxes. The idea is to squash any Red Mites that have recently fed on your birds, this will produce tiny little blood spots on the white paper. Red mite infestations is a good reason to discourage your hens from roosting in their nest boxes.
     

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