Can I get rid of mites without using chemicals, or is trying silly?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by earlybird10842, May 7, 2016.

  1. Hi!
    I recently discovered, to my great dismay, that at least one (Probably more) of our birds have mites, and there's an infested nestbox in the coop. We have dust to combat it, but after reading the warnings on the label, it almost sounds as if it poses a greater threat to the chickens to the mites. (It's the kind that can't get in their food or water, and it's toxic to breathe in). Our coop is already dusty, and I'm afraid adding that stuff to the mix will result in the anti-mite dust being in the air all the time, and winding up in their food and water anyway. Is there a way to fix this currently mild outbreak without resorting to the dust, or am I just being silly by waiting to use it?
    Edited to add: I've already put some wood ash in the coop, having read it can prevent mites.
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
  2. After doing a little research, I am curious about Neem oil. Is it safe to use on chicken and in the coop? Is it toxic if it winds up in food or water? I'm sure it's safe to inhale, right?
  3. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    SE, Louisiana
    The active ingredient in Malaban is used in powdered form directly onto chickens. The liquid form is used directly on dogs and cats but hasn't been tested on chickens. They're already making a fortune selling it for dogs and cats.

    I have friends raising game chickens. They've all been using the liquid form on their birds for years. And, winning show after show with them.

    Many people start-out believing they have "a mild outbreak" when in fact they have a full-blown mite infestation!

    Every insecticide, miticide, or even natural remedies have a warning to keep it from food, water and from breathing. Just about everyone here uses diatomacious earth on or around their chickens. And, when they write about it, they always warn us not to breath the dust. Yet, I've never heard of one instance where an animal or human has been negatively affected by DE.

    You have a lot more to worry about with the mite infestation than you do the residual effects of Malaban or most other miticides.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Thanks for the Malaban info! See, my concern is that the powder (It's not DE, it's something else that I think is somehow more toxic) will wind up in the air even if I just put it under the bedding. As I said, the coop is dusty, so a liquid would be a lot more ideal than any powder.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I use the permethrin dust, and plan to get the liquid permethrin, which will be easier to spray on walls and into crevasses. DE only helps in dry environments, not in damp situations, and isn't safer to inhale. I've never tried neem, so have no idea about it. I do try to stay with products actually approved for use on poultry, rather than 'winging it' with products that aren't approved for livestock. If you see a few mites, treat everything, because they multiply FAST and can kill your birds. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The only none medicated method to rid a mite is if it's leg mites. Scaly leg mite treatment is to continually lather the legs with something to suffocate the mites. Vegetable oil works. Some viscous ointment that blocks air.

    For pest deterrent we use wood ash. Have an old metal wash basin that we put pure wood ash in and keep under the coop for them to bath in. Some make mixtures of sand with ash.
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  7. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Those little pests...mites, ticks and other vermin can be such a pain once they become established. I have a dust bath for my birds, they use it every day. It's mostly sand and dirt, but I have added diatomaceous earth and that has worked wonders...wood ash is effective as well.
    1 person likes this.
  8. Wow, thank you guys for all the info! I put ash in their dustbath, (And they've been dustbathing like crazy) and have checked all but two for mites and found none except on the first bird. I know I should still treat the coop and probably all of the birds, and my question is this: out of the things listed, what will I not need a respirator to apply, will be okay if a little winds up in their food, and I can put on the chickens?
  9. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    The diatomaceous earth is probably the most effective when dealing with pests. A little bit goes a long ways. Sprinkle it evenly on top, then gently mix it in. Not sure that you would need a respirator when applying it to the dust bath, read what suggestions the manufacturer presents.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Okay, thank you! :)

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