How to treat Poultry Fleas/Stick Tight Fleas?

Esjay600

Chirping
Dec 3, 2017
55
77
86
Australia
Hi everyone,


My husband went to put our beautiful girls to bed last night, and found their faces to be covered in tiny black bugs. These are the first poultry we've ever kept, and we've had them about 5 months. I immediately Googled, and can confirm they are definitely Stick Tight Fleas/Poultry Fleas.

The first thing I did was went and bought petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and smothered over the fleas on their poor faces. It was too late at night to empty their coop, and I had nowhere else to put them, but I am cleaning the coop today. I have checked them this morning, and some but not all of the bugs have fell off. I will try again.

I had a few questions, and was hoping for some support from you BYCers. Have you dealt with poultry fleas before, and what worked for you?

Here are my concerns - the hens bedding covers a dirt floor. I know a dirt floor is not ideal, but I am using a large coop that was already constructed when I bought the house. I hear the fleas like dirt?

What do you treat the birds and coop with? My nearest pet store sells Pestene Lice & Mite Powder, and also Diatomaceous Earth. I have heard good and bad things about DE, so I'm not sure about it? I've heard people say it can be unsafe and harmful to breathe?

Also, can the fleas transfer to you?

I have read some other great advice on BYC already (like the Vaseline), but I would appreciate any advice on helping my girls! Thank you.
 

Esjay600

Chirping
Dec 3, 2017
55
77
86
Australia
I thought I'd add that I only have three hens (who all have the fleas), but their coop is large (3mx3m or ~10ftx10ft).
 

Joeschooks

Just clucking around
Feb 7, 2018
3,170
10,487
752
Hampshire, UK
My Coop
While not approved for birds I understand from a breeder friend that Frontline is very effective. I believe he puts a drop under each wing and one under the vent. I will add that I’m not a vet and again this is not approved for poultry so use at your own risk. You may want to consider not eating the eggs for a period of time.
The bomb should be good for treating the coop but please don’t let your birds in there for a number of hours after treatment.
Good luck with getting rid of the horrible pests.
 

room onthebroom

Animal-a-holic
May 4, 2015
10,755
94,813
1,447
100 Acre Wood Pooh Corner, USA
Thank you! That is so helpful. Have you been applying the Permectrin II to the coop as well?


Yes. We are picking off fleas where we can, dabbing the solution on the birds & spraying the coop when they're not in there. Ours is not too bad yet. If mine get any worse, I will mix up a bigger batch & dip the whole bird in (Just the body, not the head.)
 

Folly's place

Enabler
Sep 13, 2011
21,554
32,977
1,036
southern Michigan
Yes, spray the coop, walls and floor, with the permethrin spray, preferably after emptying out the bedding. Then put in new bedding. Spray the birds, and maybe wipe some on their heads too. NOT in their eyes!!!
It's best to stick with approved products for your chickens, rather than using pet safe products like Frontline. It's not approved for any livestock, or egg producing animals, so use permethrin instead.
Mary
 

Esjay600

Chirping
Dec 3, 2017
55
77
86
Australia
Hi all,

Just thought I would update. I applied Vaseline again last night, and they're looking pretty good, but not perfect today.

As for the coop, hubby replaced all the bedding. The only products I could find to use were a Lice & Mite Powder (sulfur and rotenone), and a mite & lice spray for ornamental birds, which contained permethrin.

I live out of town, so that was all I could find close by, but I'm going to call around fodder stores today and see what they carry! Thanks again for the advice.
 

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