Lice Infestation - Lots of Questions

saving grace

Loving Life
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Feb 2, 2021
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I noticed a couple days ago one of my hens has lice. I don't think the infestation is very bad right now, but I obviously want to completely eradicate them. I have so many questions, and I'm in a bit of a situation since I can't find any permethrin/pyrethrin spray or dust anywhere nearby. None of the feed stores supply it. I was originally going to use DE, but found lots of threads saying it's ineffective and dangerous.

So here are all my questions:

Is permethrin the only solution? And if so, where can I find it?

Do I have to buy spray and dust? Can I just use one or the other?

Do I have to completely disinfect the coop or just spray it down with water?

I have a broody hen who I want to sit on some eggs soon; how would I treat her without disrupting her? Also, (this is off subject, sorry) this broody hen recently has developed a purplish comb. She hasn't been showing any signs at all of being sick. Could this be because she's broody or because of the lice? :hmm

I have ducks living in a different coop from the chickens. They do have contact with each other, but mostly keep their distance. Do I have to treat the ducks too, and if so, how?

There's a barn swallow nest in the chicken coop with eggs. I'm guessing this could be adding to the lice problems. Should I get rid of it? Seems like a shame, but my chickens' health comes first.

As you can see, I'm completely overwhelmed by this whole situation! :barnie
Any help or advice is extremely appreciated. :)
 
If you are in the USA, permethrin spray concentrate, and permethrin labelled 'Poultry Dust" should be available at farm stores or at least on-line. The spray (Gordon's spray concentrate) is less expensive than the dust, and IMO easier to use.
Wild birds carry the lice (or mites) so consider lightly treating that barn swallow nest too.
Spinosad is also effective, but much more expensive, and has to be ordered on-line.
Whatever you use, treat every seven to ten days at least twice, maybe three times. Lice live on the birds, not in the coop, but still, treating the coop and some in the nest boxes is good.
That hen with a purple comb isn't good news! Breathing okay? Swollen abdomen? Watch her!
Mary
 
If you are in the USA, permethrin spray concentrate, and permethrin labelled 'Poultry Dust" should be available at farm stores or at least on-line. The spray (Gordon's spray concentrate) is less expensive than the dust, and IMO easier to use.
I live in Canada. I wonder why it's so much harder to find here?

This is the only product that seems like an option. Would this work?
https://www.amazon.ca/PRO-PER-R-T-U...=1655323050&sprefix=permethrin,aps,211&sr=8-3
71tJfU1dFgL._SL1500_.jpg


If this works, what's the best way to apply it to the chickens and maybe ducks?
 
I live in Canada. I wonder why it's so much harder to find here?

This is the only product that seems like an option. Would this work?
https://www.amazon.ca/PRO-PER-R-T-U-BED-BUG-SPRAY/dp/B0799QD2D5/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2WYQO2N9ENQB7&keywords=permethrin&qid=1655323050&sprefix=permethrin,aps,211&sr=8-3
71tJfU1dFgL._SL1500_.jpg


If this works, what's the best way to apply it to the chickens and maybe ducks?
The concentrate (Gordon's and others) are either 10% or 15%; I don't have the mix instructions at hand, once diluted it may be the .375% mentioned for this product?

Most importantly it contains permethrin which is what you want.

As mentioned you need multiple applications using a spay container to kill newly hatched lice/mites, usually applied three times, 5-7 days apart; the more aggressive folks on BYC recommend 5 days.

I only have experience with chickens.

As @Folly's place said I would at least treat the swallow's nest but really wild birds should not be allowed to mix with poultry. Lice/mites are a pain, cannot imagine if AI were to creep in.

Good luck!
 
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I noticed a couple days ago one of my hens has lice. I don't think the infestation is very bad right now, but I obviously want to completely eradicate them. I have so many questions, and I'm in a bit of a situation since I can't find any permethrin/pyrethrin spray or dust anywhere nearby. None of the feed stores supply it. I was originally going to use DE, but found lots of threads saying it's ineffective and dangerous.

So here are all my questions:

Is permethrin the only solution? And if so, where can I find it?

Do I have to buy spray and dust? Can I just use one or the other?

Do I have to completely disinfect the coop or just spray it down with water?

I have a broody hen who I want to sit on some eggs soon; how would I treat her without disrupting her? Also, (this is off subject, sorry) this broody hen recently has developed a purplish comb. She hasn't been showing any signs at all of being sick. Could this be because she's broody or because of the lice? :hmm

I have ducks living in a different coop from the chickens. They do have contact with each other, but mostly keep their distance. Do I have to treat the ducks too, and if so, how?

There's a barn swallow nest in the chicken coop with eggs. I'm guessing this could be adding to the lice problems. Should I get rid of it? Seems like a shame, but my chickens' health comes first.

As you can see, I'm completely overwhelmed by this whole situation! :barnie
Any help or advice is extremely appreciated. :)
You may get better search results by omitting the word chicken.
Many human head lice treatments contain Permethrin for example.
This is what I use.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lifesystem...A,B082JHQ124,B00AELWFFS,B07KK7XZYV,B07FS54PPV
So an insect repellent may contain permethrin.

In my experience healthy chickens rarely get lice. Lice seem to arrive and stay on chickens that are under the weather in some way. I would check the chickens over for other health problems that the lice may be symptom of.
 
So an insect repellent may contain permethrin.
Thanks so much for the advice! After a bit of searching, I found this. Seems like it should work...?
https://www.amazon.ca/Raid-Home-Insect-Killer-Aerosol/dp/B071F16HG7?ref_=ast_sto_dp
In my experience healthy chickens rarely get lice. Lice seem to arrive and stay on chickens that are under the weather in some way. I would check the chickens over for other health problems that the lice may be symptom of.
One of our older red sex-link hens had salpingitis, and when we culled her that's when I saw the lice. She had it the worst, which is understandable. The others don't have bad infestations as of yet. So I'm guessing the original lice were from that sick hen.
That hen with a purple comb isn't good news! Breathing okay? Swollen abdomen? Watch her!
Her breathing is totally normal, and her abdomen feels fine. I am a bit worried, but she's acting very normal (obviously other than the fact that she's broody.) Is there anything else I should check? :hmm
Wild birds carry the lice (or mites) so consider lightly treating that barn swallow nest too.
Would spraying the nest with a pyrethrin spray be safe for the nest?
 

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