Heavy Mite Infestation

Susie Seagrave

Songster
6 Years
Jul 29, 2015
42
41
104
Aegina, Greece
Help! I have a heavy mite infestation - maybe red mite or chicken mite (is there a difference, or is 'chicken mite' a general term for a group of mites that affect poultry?)

I only have four free-range hens, two of which are in moult at the moment. The temperature has been hot but is now cooler with increased humidity. I had my first mite infestation earlier on this year, and seemed to eradicate it. I always keep a clean house and nesting boxes but to get rid of the mites, I steam-cleaned and disinfected the hen house with a poultry disinfectant, dusting everything - including the hens - with Barrier Animal Healthcare Red Mite Powder. I was still seeing evidence of mites on the hens, so I applied a homemade spray of garlic juice, lavender oil and water, which did the trick. Unfortunately, the infestation is back with vengeance. I see a lot of wild birds in the hen's area, and I know they often carry the mites but there's nothing to be done about that. My homemade spray is always effective on the hens, but every time I go into the coop, I am bitten and leave with mites crawling over my legs, arms and face! I shower myself with the hose afterwards but am terrified of spreading mites into the house or to my dogs and cats. I've just started wearing clothes and shoes which I can take off and leave in the garden before entering the house, and am about to go through the same process as I did before to get rid of the mites (except my steam cleaner is now broken), but I could also do with some quite specific advice, bearing in mind my 'limitations'......

My biggest problem is that I live on a small Greek island, with no proper feed store or any treatment products. Any I do buy, have to bought from the pharmacy. Their stock is very small, and although they'll order products on request, it has to be available in Greece. I ordered the Red Mite Powder from the UK but many products/companies won't ship to Greece.

What I need is to know is any advice that might help, above and beyond what I'm doing and what products are the best to get rid of the mites. BUT I need to know what the active ingredient is, as I'll probably have to order a different brand. All recommendations gratefully appreciated!!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
33,119
269,389
1,642
NY Southern Tier
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My Coop
Help! I have a heavy mite infestation - maybe red mite or chicken mite (is there a difference, or is 'chicken mite' a general term for a group of mites that affect poultry?)

I only have four free-range hens, two of which are in moult at the moment. The temperature has been hot but is now cooler with increased humidity. I had my first mite infestation earlier on this year, and seemed to eradicate it. I always keep a clean house and nesting boxes but to get rid of the mites, I steam-cleaned and disinfected the hen house with a poultry disinfectant, dusting everything - including the hens - with Barrier Animal Healthcare Red Mite Powder. I was still seeing evidence of mites on the hens, so I applied a homemade spray of garlic juice, lavender oil and water, which did the trick. Unfortunately, the infestation is back with vengeance. I see a lot of wild birds in the hen's area, and I know they often carry the mites but there's nothing to be done about that. My homemade spray is always effective on the hens, but every time I go into the coop, I am bitten and leave with mites crawling over my legs, arms and face! I shower myself with the hose afterwards but am terrified of spreading mites into the house or to my dogs and cats. I've just started wearing clothes and shoes which I can take off and leave in the garden before entering the house, and am about to go through the same process as I did before to get rid of the mites (except my steam cleaner is now broken), but I could also do with some quite specific advice, bearing in mind my 'limitations'......

My biggest problem is that I live on a small Greek island, with no proper feed store or any treatment products. Any I do buy, have to bought from the pharmacy. Their stock is very small, and although they'll order products on request, it has to be available in Greece. I ordered the Red Mite Powder from the UK but many products/companies won't ship to Greece.

What I need is to know is any advice that might help, above and beyond what I'm doing and what products are the best to get rid of the mites. BUT I need to know what the active ingredient is, as I'll probably have to order a different brand. All recommendations gratefully appreciated!!
Can you buy Nix in Greece? Or Lyderm? Both would be effective in spraying down the birds and the coop. If concentrated permethrin for treating clothing for use in outings is available that would be even better. More bang for the buck, so to speak.
You will have to start all over again with the mite treatment and remove everything from the coop, clean it and spray it with permethrin diluted to 0.25-.05%, paying special attention to nooks and crannies in the coop where mites like to hide during the day. Then spray each chicken under both wings, on the belly and around the vent getting the spray down to the skin. Rebed the coop when dry.
Repeat all of the above in 10-14 days to kill what hatches from eggs.
 

Susie Seagrave

Songster
6 Years
Jul 29, 2015
42
41
104
Aegina, Greece
Hi DobieLover,

Thank you so much for your advice. I hadn't heard of Lyderm or Nix but after some research online, I see a Lyderm Cream is used for mite bites and Nix is often bought as a shampoo for children with mite and lice. At least I know what to ask for now, although I'm not sure what I can get here but will ask at the pharmacy first thing on Monday. I'll also see if they have Permethrin, which I had heard of. I'll need to be very careful, as I also have two cats (two dogs as well, but no Dobies!). Be warned - I may be in touch again once I've seen what goodies the pharmacy's got. Fingers crossed and thank you again, from myself and my ladies.
 

Farmer Connie

Gallus gallus domesticus
Feb 28, 2017
17,712
60,783
1,317
Florida Peninsula
My Coop
My Coop
Help! I have a heavy mite infestation - maybe red mite or chicken mite (is there a difference, or is 'chicken mite' a general term for a group of mites that affect poultry?)

I only have four free-range hens, two of which are in moult at the moment. The temperature has been hot but is now cooler with increased humidity. I had my first mite infestation earlier on this year, and seemed to eradicate it. I always keep a clean house and nesting boxes but to get rid of the mites, I steam-cleaned and disinfected the hen house with a poultry disinfectant, dusting everything - including the hens - with Barrier Animal Healthcare Red Mite Powder. I was still seeing evidence of mites on the hens, so I applied a homemade spray of garlic juice, lavender oil and water, which did the trick. Unfortunately, the infestation is back with vengeance. I see a lot of wild birds in the hen's area, and I know they often carry the mites but there's nothing to be done about that. My homemade spray is always effective on the hens, but every time I go into the coop, I am bitten and leave with mites crawling over my legs, arms and face! I shower myself with the hose afterwards but am terrified of spreading mites into the house or to my dogs and cats. I've just started wearing clothes and shoes which I can take off and leave in the garden before entering the house, and am about to go through the same process as I did before to get rid of the mites (except my steam cleaner is now broken), but I could also do with some quite specific advice, bearing in mind my 'limitations'......

My biggest problem is that I live on a small Greek island, with no proper feed store or any treatment products. Any I do buy, have to bought from the pharmacy. Their stock is very small, and although they'll order products on request, it has to be available in Greece. I ordered the Red Mite Powder from the UK but many products/companies won't ship to Greece.

What I need is to know is any advice that might help, above and beyond what I'm doing and what products are the best to get rid of the mites. BUT I need to know what the active ingredient is, as I'll probably have to order a different brand. All recommendations gratefully appreciated!!
 

junebugs

Hatching
Sep 22, 2019
1
1
5
Since the mites are living in the coop you have to dismantle any wood against wood joints, including any roosts that are attached to the walls. You will find patches of mites and thousands of eggs. If you need to do this daily, do it! No spray will reach them in these crevices and the young mites are super tiny! Get some sulphur powder. I'm sure you can find it. Some pharmacies carry it in small quantities. Sprinkle this everywhere in the coop. Rub it on the roosts and in any cracks. You must take care of this problem quickly! I lost a hen before I even knew my coop was infested.
 

LindsayRae

Songster
6 Years
Jun 16, 2015
96
19
111
Southern Pines, NC
Mites come to feast on your hens at night and sleep during the day. My experience with these bugs was a nightmare!
Hens seems a bit lethargic one day, then the next one was laying in the yard at night instead of her coop. When I put her inside the entire coop was crawling with mites and so was the other hens. I'm talking- all over their body and faces. I put them in the grass and looked up some ways to keep them at bay. Soapy, oily water. All over them. I also put them in the shed for the night. In the morning I burned all the inside of the coop. Like- nesting boxes and stuff that had many crevasses. Then I doused them in sevin powder. I know the stuff is poisonous, but there wasnt time to wait for organic remedies. The coop was blown out and I rubbed sevin over the entire thing, especially in the cracks. My hens lost feathers. combs were very pale, and one couldnt walk. But, after medicating them and feeding them handfuls of catfood, they recovered almost immediately. From reading all about mites, I'm going to need to reapply the sevin dust in 7 and 10 days. That's when the eggs hatch.
As much as I wanted to be an organic and vegan chicken mama, sometimes shit gets so bad you need to go the not so earth friendly route.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
28,259
24,666
831
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Permethrin doesn't kill the mite eggs so thorough repeat sprayings are a must, ceiling, walls, floors, on and under the roosts, nest boxes, any and all cracks and crevices. I initially sprayed the birds, but now and then I dust them and and put some dust in their nest boxes. I would repeat weekly for awhile. There is no egg withdrawal period. My birds were molting when I had a severe infestation. It took awhile, now they are beautiful again. Good luck...
 

MANNA-PRO

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