Help! White Spider Mites??


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 24, 2013
Hello BYC Community! I went out to my coop today to re-fill the ladies's food bin and noticed it was COVERED with what looked like little white spider mites. I took some pics, but my camera's not that great. Are these little mites dangerous for my lovely ladies? Any advice on what I can do to get rid of them or why they are in the coop to begin with?

The mites appear to be in masses on the food bin and the water bin. All the wood around the coop and sleeping hutch are might free.

Any advice will be helpful.


Did you poke at them and verify it is a mite? Usually they stick to the chicken or whatever else they're eating. The picture to me looks like corrosion or oxidation on the metal.
They are def a bug of some sort and not corrosion. They are all over the plastic water container too and I can see them moving around slowly. GROSS!! Any advice?

Grain mites, wow, I've never heard of this type of mite. It looks really similar. Have you had any experience with grain mites before? Any luck with treatment? Are they harmful to my ladies or will "nature" take care of them eventually?

Nope, just googled it. This is the first time I've heard of it myself. I doubt they'd harm you chickens but I wouldn't like the idea of buying pet food to feed a prolific breeding pest. My best guess would be to clean the dishes out thoroughly as well as cleaning and vacuuming out the coop. A little poultry dust or DE in the coop couldn't hurt either along with where you store your food. Also check inside your feed bag for the mites. If it looks like the infestation originated there, get rid of the food and talk to your supplier.
I wanted to give you an update. I did exactly what you said and they mites DEF came from the feed bag. After washing everything, I dusted my feeder and feed with some DE and that's kept the mites off the feeder. But, for example, if I leave a glass bowl on the ground of the coop, the bowl gets covered with mites within a few hour. Gross.

I took out all the old bedding/straw and I gave all surfaces including the ground a good dusting of DE last week. But the mites are still there. My question is, how often is it safe to use DE? When would I be able to give the ground another good dusting without harming my ladies (over 1 year old)? Or should I just let the mites be? I took a close look at my ladies' skin and legs and they dont seem to be harming them, but I can't really tell since the mite are pale and so small against their skin.

Any advice?

Thanks again!
Sounds like you have a pretty persistent infestation. I would try the Poultry Dust or something like Sevin Dust which actually has a pesticide in it and once you have the infestation under control, then use DE as a preventative.

DE is nothing more than petrified micro organisms. They scratch up the waxy coating on insects, causing them to dehydrate to death. To chickens, and us, it's nothing more than a fine powder. The only harm it could cause is respiratory irritations from kicking too much up and breathing it. Avoid that, and you're good.

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