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Dealing with possible mite problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kittycat1356, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. kittycat1356

    kittycat1356 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So today I went outside and did all my normal chicken duties, and moved the quail tractor. (Don't yell at me,my quail are housed next to my chickens, i know it's bad husbandry but they seem to be doing fine and always have been.)
    And I moved a few fence pieces I had on the ground next to the coop. And to my surprise there were little red mites under it, not a ton,but maybe 50 or so on the whole board. I looked under the wood on the other side of the coop and there were a few more. I ha ent noticed any mites on my chickens, and was holding a Silkie right after, and didn't see anything.(They looked alot like baby spiders, bright red)

    I'm going to check more thoroughly tomorrow of course, but any tips removing mites? I have DE, and try to provide a dusting area for them,but they never use it. Any tips on convincing chickens to dirt bathe?
    I provided a DE and dirt mix for my quail and they dusted off for the rest of the day.

    I could also give them garlic or garlic powder, if that helps but I'm not sure how one would feed it to their chickens.

    Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like mites. Mites don't stay on chickens, then just crawl out of their hidey holes at night and crawl up the chicken's legs to suck their blood. I am dealing with exactly the same thing at the moment.

    You need to clean the coop with a product specifically designed to kill mites. I'm in a different country so I'm not sure what's available to you. There are concentrates you add to water and spray the whole coop with. I've done it for the third week running and I think I might have finally got rid of them, but I'll be keeping an eye open for any evidence they are still around.

    I've lost all faith in DE since I sprinkled it all round the coop, especially in the nestboxes where I had 5 broody chickens (it's summer where I am). I lifted the straw in the boxes to find the thick layer of DE underneath (which had been there for at least a week) absolutely crawling with the little suckers! Yuck!

    It is a case of cleaning out your coop weekly with a special solution that kills any new hatchlings, until you've got rid of them.

    Vetafarm also do a spray (you can also buy it as a concentrate) called Avian Insect Liquidator. You can spray it on your birds (I give their legs a good spray) and it kills red mites that go on them and bite them. The only time you can't use it is if you are intending to eat the bird you are spraying. I've also sprayed it all along my roosting perches.
     
  3. kittycat1356

    kittycat1356 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read lots of stuff about neem oil and sevin dust too, I don't think I can go the sevin dust route though, it appears to kill waterfowl (I'm looking forward to getting ducklings this year) and terrible for bees, and I really don't want to contribute to the decline of bees.
    I did look up the avian insect stuff, and I found some on Amazon I can get (lol mites aren't insects though, they are in the spider group) I could do a intense coop clean, but if I find a huge stash of mites I won't know what to do to remove them quickly and effectively.

    I think it would help if my chickens dirt bathed but they don't, even when I give them very nice things to do it in.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Permethrin is a good pest control agent, but it requires repeated applications. A far more effective product is Elector PSP, a biological insect control , safe on and around all poultry, and one application is often all that you need to kill bugs and eggs.

    It's expensive to get the 8oz bottle, but well worth it since it's very concentrated and a bottle lasts for years. No egg withdrawal necessary. Spray right on birds and premises.

    DE does very little to control and kill parasites. Odor control is about all you can expect. Sevin is highly toxic and not recommended on and around fowl.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Permethrin spray concentrate works very well, has residual action so weekly repeats may not be necessary, and is very inexpensive. Gordons is available at TSC, and many other feed stores. Permethrin dust is effective, but much more difficult to use, and costs more. DE is a waste of time and effort. Mary
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    If you need something immediate fly spray will kill them, just make sure your birds aren't anywhere near. It will only kill those it touches and won't kill eggs though so you need a product aimed at dealing to those. If you can burn the bedding do so as they will be all through it. I've sprayed the Vetafarm stuff directly on mites to see how effective it was. They stopped moving pretty quick. Good luck get rid of the horrid creatures.
     
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Fly spray is Permethrin.... I have it for my goats to use for mosquitoes.

    ETA: I mean horse fly spray.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  8. kittycat1356

    kittycat1356 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Phew, thank you all for the helpful tips! I did dust my chickens with DE, since I don't think my mite problem is 100% out of control. I mixed up a dishsoap, oil, garlic and water in a spray bottle. I sprayed it liberally, on the perches and house area in the cracks. and it dried up a little so I then spread out DE. I checked a few birds for mites, I didn't see any, but they also wouldn't hold still.

    I also cleaned the coop finally, and I didn't see any mites in the shavings, poop or dirt. I did however see a few mites on a brick right next to where they sleep, so I sprayed that and DE'd it. But no more than 20 were on the whole thing.

    Anyone have any clue with boric acid? That stuff kills fleas and stuff, and I have it readily available, but I'm ordering permethrin stuff shortly, I just wanted to lower the population a little with what I have available. ( car is only available 2 days a week for me)
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Read what the Chicken Chick has to say about DE. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/ Scroll down the page to below the ads to get to the article. She goes into great detail about how DE does no earthly good and is actually a respiratory hazard.

    Permethrin is going to do what you need, not garlic or any of the other "natural" remedies.

    You will never know for sure you don't have mites in your coop unless you go out at night and inspect the roosts with a flashlight since they hide during the day. Mites don't normally exist on the chickens, but crawl up their legs at night and feed, returning to their crevices after they've fed on the blood of their victims. Sort of like Dracula.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I have asthma, and am very careful about dust and powders of any sort. Permethrin spray is so much more user friendly, and with any product, a N95 dust mask is best to use. DE is very nasty to inhale, either for you or your chickens. Mary
     

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