Major Mite Infesation


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 3, 2010
ok so we have a converted old shed/playhouse for our chicken coop ..................... lots of cracks all wood very hard to clean and we had a mite pproblem i swear we thought we had got rid of it then i went in to get an egg and it was literally CRAWLING with red mites i have no idea what to do as even if we dust them our shed is just to hard we will never be able to properly clean it and i hear they can die from them so i have to stop this SOON
what do we use ????
i mean this is a Massive infestation i think we have DE but thats a preventative and we have some sort of dusting powder im not sure what its called
Oh, no!
We use DE as more than a preventative, it always kills all of our mites. The first time we saw mites were when most of our hens with the BADLY ruffled, scaled legs and were acting strangely. I was panicked and all set to use oil, but we instead tried DE. Like within a few days all the gals were fine. Now, we even keep a tub of it in the chicken house and turkey pen for them to dust in. You can use chemicals, but DE should work. GL!
Hi, I noticed the same problem yesterday and all the advice I was given was to jet wash the coop and disinfect with jeyes fluid, then spray with poultry shield and use DE on the coop and the chickens. Hopefully this should be enough. Is there any way you can use some sort of filler to seal all your gaps in the wood to make it easier, I think I read somewhere about vasaline????
Hope you manage to find a resolution
You poor thing -- I know you are very upset and distressed and miserable. But do try the DE first. It should go a really long way to killing the mites. Be ready with a back-up plan and a time frame. Say, if the mites are not significantly reduced in two days then you'll bring out the big guns.

The other thing to do is to research "red mites" and see the best approach to killing them.

Best of Luck to you and your girls,
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You can order DE food grade from Countryside (I think that's the name). 50# bag delivered right to your door. Empty out the coop and dust every thing and everyone including the nest boxes. You might want to spread some outside the coop as well if it's dry out.

Hope your coop is cootie free soon

I have not (yet) had to deal with red (roost) mites, but I can tell you that when I've had a MAJOR infestation of northern fowl mites, DE just did not get rid of them no matter what. Whereas sevin or rotenone powders *did*.

Roost mites are a bit different though -- they do not LIVE on the birds as such, they mainly live in crevices in the coop. In a way this makes treatment slightly easier.

First discard ALL your bedding (sweep the coop clean with a broom) and dispose of it somewhere the chickens can't get into. Then use a stiff-bristled brush to clean off your roost and all nooks and crannies in the coop (especially where the roost is mounted to the walls, and the inside crevices where parts of the nestbox go together).

Then get some paint or primer or oil (NOT used motor oil, no matter what else you may hear - mineral oil or veg oil will work) and paint 'em all over the roost and nestbox (inside and out) and any other parts of the coop floor/walls that are clean enough to treat and accessible to your reach. The paint/primer/oil/whatever will smother living mites hiding there, and entomb their eggs so they can't hatch out later.

For a bad infestation it is *also* worth dusting the birds, but with roost mites it is mainly the COOP that needs the treatment.

Good luck,

I use plastic dish pans as nest boxes and I keep a liberal dusitng of DE under the pans as well as around the inside of the coop.

Please be very careful using oils to smoother the mites as you are creating a major fire hazard soaking wood with oil even if you don't have lectricity in your coop also food grade oils will spoil, reek and attract other vermin.
If you don't have electricity, where are you thinking a source of ignition come from?

And even if it did, I truly truly truly cannot see that oil-painted wood is any more of a fire hazard than whatcha ALREADY got in the coop, ie. large quantities of dry bedding, dust, and dry wood.

Whereas, mites DEFINITELY kill chickens. Not a "maybe if there were a fire it would be slightly worse with an oiled roost"; Definite Dead Chickens if the problem is not fixed.

also food grade oils will spoil, reek and attract other vermin.

Not that I've ever seen, in using them in other similar applications. (And again, it's not like there aren't other BIGGER vermin-attractants ALREADY in your coop, e.g the chicken feed)

Just sayin',

I would put your chickens outside for the day and give them a dusting of DE. I would then take out everything from the coop, clean it, and put DE on the floor, cracks and nesting boxes. Then I would apply bedding and then put DE in the bedding and in the nesting boxes. Clean their roost and apply DE.

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