Chicken Fleas

Sugar Sand Farm

12 Years
Apr 24, 2007
North Florida
Has anybody heard about this I saw this being asked on my goose forum I had never heard of chicken fleas. thought he was talking about mites but check out this site it tells about them According to this man they are all over Florida We have had chickens for 3 years and have never heard of them any of you heard of them?
Yes not easy to get rid of. Someone gave us some birds that had them. It took a long time to get rid of them. We used malathion but that was years ago. We treated the birds and the yard. Not fun using a Q-tip to put malathion on the fleas then coming back a few days later to pull off dead fleas. Then retreat the ones still alive.
This is what we have!!!! Everyone kept telling me it was mites, but I knew it wasn't! No wonder I haven't been able to get them gone. I even emptied out the worst coop for a year, but when I put our new duck in it this week there they were around her eyes. I dusted her, but they just keep coming back. They aren't bad again yet, but I sure want them gone before we move the new chicks in.

I'm going to read this whole page to see if I can find a way to get rid of the. Thanks soooo much for posting this.

I knew they weren't mites! Mites go away during the day..these things don't!

BTW I''m in SC.
There wasn't anything listed to treat with. What will get rid of these? I have sprinkled sevin out there. I did so just this week, but i'm not convinced they are gone. Is there anything else, besides sevin, or DE. I try to go organic, but I have to get rid of these things. I am also planning to put in bee hives soon, so I don't want to widely broadcast anything.
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There is a clickable link in the section listed under control.
Says you can use a spot on treatment for the fleas. Someone before in a post listed the spot on treatment for either cats or dogs. Can't remember were the post was listed.

Sticktight fleas can be removed with tweezers by grasping and pulling firmly. An antibiotic ointment should be applied to the area to prevent infection. If fleas are too numerous to remove individually, a flea product registered for on-animal use should be applied according to label instructions. Care should be taken not to get any product into the animal's eyes. See ENY-205 Fleas , for additional information on fleas in general. After treatment, dead fleas may remain attached to the host. To avoid reinfestation, treat the premises to eliminate flea larval development. There are several insecticides registered for treatment of outdoor areas for fleas. Burning of infested organic material, such as animal bedding and poultry litter, has been recommended. Wire cages at least 3 ft. above the ground should be used to minimize chances of sticktight flea infestation.

I really like organic, so I use Neem oil for pest control. It stinks to high heaven, but works sooooooooo good. I think you could probably dilute it and spray chickens and coop. It's non-toxic for dogs and humans, not sure about chickens, but do a search. Works for pests with exoskeleton, so would think it would be okay on birds.
There was a U of FL extension factsheet printed in Backyard Poultry magazine last fall in response to a reader's Q. Unfortunately the url no longer works, but to summarize:

-can use Sevin on birds and litter (sevin has no withdrawal time for eggs, but 1 week withdrawal for meat birds). Can use malathion on litter if you can get it.

-adult fleas can be removed by hand (tweezers) or coated with vaseline which will suffocate them. Suffocated fleas die but do not drop off for several days to weeks. New fleas can crawl onto vaselined skin and feed just fine, so must be retreated.

-chickens raised in wire cages 3' above the ground do not usually become infested

-the fleas' coccoons are impervious to pesticides etc. Move chickens away from infested sites if possible, otherwsise monitor birds daily and retreat newly infeste birds. Newly attached fleas must be detected and killed as soon as possible to avoid increasing the einfestation

-- the reader wh asked the original Q reported having some success with Adams Flea and Tick Spray, as well.

They sound NASTY, boy am I glad we don't have 'em up here!

Thanks everyone. Thanks Pat. I think I'd like to try the Neem. I've never used that before. Does anyone know its effect on bees? I know that sevin is a killer, which is why I've used it so sparing. We don't have our hives yet, but we do have a large wild hive nearby, as I see honeybees everywhere in my garden all spring.

I believe it would kill the bees, but only if they land on an area where it has been applied. Neem oil is spendy, I paid $10 for a small dropper bottle, but it takes VERY little, and for me, organic is worth the price. The neighbors dog had mange, and they weren't taking care of her, so I did, without chemicals. I still have over half a bottle, and treated all 3 of my dogs as well as retreating for fleas and ticks several times. It REALLY smells, though. Neighbor dog was given to us, but we have too many, so she was placed thru a rescue. (All my dogs were rescued)

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