Finding mites in the chicken feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by icyangel222, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. icyangel222

    icyangel222 Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    34
    Nov 5, 2012
    Duluth, MN
    I've been seeing these tiny dust sized mites all over wherever chicken feed is left. If I leave feed in a bucket I'll start seeing them crawling on the rims and etc. And maybe I shouldn't talk about myself like this but the last time I hatched ducklings I kept them in the incubator for a short time because we had to wait to get a new heat lamp bulb and gave them some starter feed in there and I ended up forgetting that I had left feed inside and set the incubator aside after moving the ducklings out....... Well I took a close look at the incubator today and well a little bit of a horror story showed up. At first I thought it was just dust... then looking closer I saw some of it was moving... then looking more closer I saw all the "dust" was moving. It was all MITES!!! YUCK!!! [​IMG] As of now I can't stop scratching myself after seeing that. That's just horrible and I definitely learned my lesson there.

    My main concerns are, what kind of mites are these? They obviously eat the feed. Do these mites bother humans and or the birds or are they just feed eaters?

    BTW I took pictures of my horrific discovery, maybe can help identify them?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    225
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I doubt they are bothering the birds if they are eating feed.
    You can put your feed in a freezer for a couple of days to kill those, and "flea" spray (Permethrin) will kill the rest
     
  3. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    5,227
    295
    288
    May 6, 2010
    Tucson
    My Coop
    Those are grain mites. As you surmised, they're only harmful to grain products, but they can degrade the quality of the feed and become a chronic nuisance. Pesticides are largely ineffective against them and they are best controlled by lowering the ambient humidity around them. At humidities less than 60% they cannot reproduce. Freezing for several days will kill them. Also, wipe down any infected grain storage areas areas with soapy water to clean up stragglers.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by