Dealing with bird mites; my home, my hens, my itchyness!


Mar 25, 2016
Firstly, stop sparrows, doves/pigeons (flying rodents) from mingling with your hens. Only feed your hens when they are locked in their shed. Once you let your hens out your will have to cover or remove the seed so it isn't available for the feral birds. I only feed my hens twice daily - morning and late afternoon when they are locked in their hen house - they Free-Range during the day.

Secondly, I have had great success in completely eliminating bird mites (once and for all) with a very very diluted cattle-tick spray. I won't name the particular brand I used (as there are many similar products) because it is actually employing the spray for a purpose that, according to the label, it isn't actually designed for. (Hmmmm). But not one of my hens have been harmed in the process, nor have they subsequently had mutated off-spring. I sprayed the entire inside of the hen-house, all roosting perches and the hens with a fine mist from one of those small hand-pump pressure sprayers. Note: Wear a breathing mask/ disposable clothing - or at least a mask, gloves and then wash all clothing and have a shower afterwards. After 3 years I have had no return infestation of mites. Problem solved.


Jun 10, 2016
Mesa, AZ
I believe any bites indoors are fleas. I've never seen a bite after working on birds from mites or lice. My roommate brought in her birds without quarantine & mine were badly infected. Chicks inside got it too. Again, I never got a bit from the honey or white looking ones and I always get bit.


BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 24, 2012
The Golden State
I believe any bites indoors are fleas. I've never seen a bite after working on birds from mites or lice. My roommate brought in her birds without quarantine & mine were badly infected. Chicks inside got it too. Again, I never got a bit from the honey or white looking ones and I always get bit.

Welcome to BYC!
The lice don't bite people, but the mites do.


Mar 14, 2018
Hi I'm bringing this thread back from the dead!

5 days ago we adopted 2 silkies hens from a farm along with their portable coop. Pretty much around this time I started noticing a few of these crawling on me:

Being in Australia I thought these were spiders at first but they're extremely hardy (squeezing them between my fingers doesn't kill them) and I started getting extremely itchy insect bite marks.

Is anybody able to verify my strong suspicion that these are bird mites?

Here is a still from the video:
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Mar 21, 2015
British Columbia, Canada.
So here is my story... I got my very first 3 hens for free from some neighbours. BIG mistake. They had parasites. One of the older hens had scaly leg mites. I tried everything, and was never able to completely rid her of the scaly leg mites. So some years later, I simply gave all my chickens away. I scoured their coop, and it is no longer a chicken coop. It will be a goat kidding barn. I have another area that has only ever had ducks/geese in it, and seasonally meat birds. That’s where I have put my new layers. It is large enough inside for a kiddy pool that I can keep filled with wood ash and DE for them all year.

So guess what happens? Yesterday I find a mite on me. It walks right across my ipad screen. I’m racking my brain trying to think where I picked it up, hadn’t touched a chicken all day, looked in the cieling for holes in case a bird’s nest in the attic was dropping them... my boyfriend comes home and I’m telling him this... turns out he was working in a customers chicken coop the day before (he does handy man type stuff), and he said it was positively crawling with mites. Like, the walls were moving. He said he stripped before he came into the house, and tossed his stuff in the wash. And maybe 30 mins after that I came home and ran the washer. Well, guess what next? (Lol). Warm water does NOT kill red chicken mites (PS they are grey until they feed, turning them red from the blood). So because he did not share this information with me, the wash got hung up in the basement, and was just crawling with mites! We now have 6 bags of clothes that need a scalding hot water rinse, since our dryer is broken, and to be washed. I vacuumed everything down there, the couch and everywhere upstairs, partly to rid them for us but mostly... all the biosecurity I have worked so hard on, may well be toast now. I honestly deserve an award for not ripping his head off. We have a sign on our gate that says no outside farm clothes, and my fricken bf brings it in!!


- HOT water, hot as it comes kills them
- we only had horse fly spray on hand, is a 0.20% pyrithrin called KONK, seems to kill them as well (sprayed his shoes and the clothing racks the clothes were on)
- vacuuming seems to be effective. I have not seen one on me since we bagged everything up and vacuumed the whole couch etc
- keep a DE dust bath with wood ash if possible always for your chickens. This will not curve heavy infestations!
-if your coop is heavily infected, you will have to “bomb” it. Completely clean out every spec of bedding, find a mite specific dusting power (or lime wash - I have not used that but heard it works). I hose my whole coop, let it dry in the sun, so spec of poop can remain. DE in all the cracks, with a mite duster or other treatment for the ones hiding.

Keep in mind the heavier poison you use the more residuals there will be. Check your product information as some treatments are residual for 20 days (or whatever). I withhold eggs for 30 days for ivermectin pour on. If you dust everything, get a brand new plastic box for them with new bedding so they can lay in it, you don’t want eggs from dusted nest boxes.

Fingers crossed we are able to nip this in the bud, and none find there way to my coop ...

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