I have a small flock of 8 laying hens that are about 3+ years. My boys tell me that they have an insect (mites or maybe lice) that come out at night. They have not been laying here in VA for over a month. I was considering culling to learn how to do it because I would like to try my hand at raising some meat birds in the future. I can get some very young pullets around Thanksgiving from a family getting out of the egg business. My question is: if I cull now how long will the mites or lice live without a host? I am willing to use Diatomaceous Earth in the coop but I don't want to use Frontline or other chemicals.