Mites AND ants? Good grief! Help please.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TinyLittleFarm, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    As I was scraping poop boards today, I noticed a few crawlies. They were little tiny ants, I think. Then I noticed my roo seemed to be a bit itchy, so I checked him out and found a few mites on him. I have been dreading the possibility of mites with my babies (I have a flock of 10 chicks who are 16 weeks old), so I've dusted with DE every couple of weeks. Seems like that didn't work. I noticed a couple of mites on a few of the other birds that I was able to catch.

    So, here are my questions.

    If I choose to go the Sevin route, will that kill ants too?

    I've read about all the non-Sevin options like citrus oil and DE and those things really work? I'd rather stay away from chemicals, but I am not averse to using them when necessary.

    I'll empty and thoroughly clean the coop, but my run is covered in sand, and part of the run is covered by a raised coop. The underneath part is rather hard to get to. Do I need to empty out all the sand and replace it?

    Does having mites indicate that my coop hygiene is sub par? I scrape poop boards every 3 days or more often when needed. We do the deep litter method and I add new shavings and DE every 1-2 weeks. Just last week my son and I did a pretty thorough scrub of all the dust and dried poop. There are an awful lot of feathers in there--do I need to collect those regularly?

    My chickens free range on our 3 acre yard during the day, if that makes any difference to anything.

    The thought of bugs on my chicks grosses me out to no end. bleh!
  2. huntercf

    huntercf Songster

    May 17, 2010
    Pests are a fact of life. Especially animals that are not kept in the house, even then they get them. I have been told that Sevin is excellent for creepy crawlys and plan to get some this weekend, also it is safe to use around birds. As far as the mites go, if your chickens free range they are going to get them because they come into contact with areas where wild animals (like birds) also habitate. There are several products on the market for mites, I use a spray from a local pet shop, just be careful and read the instructions because it is hazardous. I put mites in the same category as ticks (although they are not as bad) and would recommend something strong to kill them.
    There are numerous products for ants, I recommend a bait for ants, it takes awhile but it eventually kills the colony. You can also use boric acid in some type of sweet food stuff for ants. I would just keep it away from animals.
    Good Luck
  3. suburbanminifarm

    suburbanminifarm Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    N.San Diego County
    Totally agree with the above.
    I also get a cheap tube of horse ivermectin and put a small amount in each of their beaks, and repeat in 2 weeks. It works immediately for my chickens on these mites they get from wild birds in their environment; don't know if anyone elso does this. For a spray, I just use a "natural" flea spray from the pet store that is just based on peppermint oil, and I spray their legs and wingpits.
  4. huntercf

    huntercf Songster

    May 17, 2010
    Quote:I haven't heard of the ivermectin, I am going to have to try that, sounds like a great idea. Thanks
  5. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Okay I need a bit more help. I've emptied the coop, shopvaced the whole thing, washed everything with hot soapy water, and it's drying out.

    I went to my local feed store and they didn't have sevin, but they had something called Horse Lice Duster and the active ingredient is permethrin .25%. I recognized permethrin from other threads, so I just bought that. It said it can be used on dogs and cats and cattle and pigs, but says nothing about chickens. Do I use this to dust the whole coop? Or the chickens themselves? Both.

  6. smith2

    smith2 Songster

    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    Quote:I haven't heard of the ivermectin, I am going to have to try that, sounds like a great idea. Thanks

    Be careful, ivermectin has a narrow dosing limit and an egg withdrawal period if they are laying. Eprinex is more mild, but the egg withdrawal is still questionable. My vet says Eprinex is fine for laying hens, but that is her OPINION based on safe use in dairy cattle. Treating poultry is off-label for both drugs. I have used Eprinex for the last year and everything has been fine so far. Just be careful with the dose and don't over do it. Eprinex is expensive and the dose is 1/2 cc (large fowl) on the skin of the bird's back.
    Try not to use chemicals any more than absolutely necessary, but around here we have no choice as the birds are just magnets for mites and lice.

    You can also try dry wood ashes. I have a friend who is in her 90's and she says that is what they used before chemical treatments. You just emptied out the cold wood stove into the chicken coop and the chickens rolled in that stuff and never had a problem with mites, lice, that she knew of. I just don't have a good source for wood ashes this time of the year. I do put them in my coop whenever I can get them.
  7. Sissy

    Sissy Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    I also use Sevin mixed into the wood shavings on the floor of all my coops and
    dont have to clean as much as you have done I add wood shavings as necessary to keep it dry
    and toss in about 5-6 cups Sweet Pdz used for horses all the time to keep stalls dry,
    it works wonders, I really do a clean out Of the coops twice a year
    in August and then mites no ticks etc...I also sprinkle
    a little sevin all around the coops. I want to have time
    to injoy my featherd friends and not work too hard [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Lofty Dreams

    Lofty Dreams Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    I had to wash my chickens with human louse remover it worked
  9. dirtbiker

    dirtbiker Hatching

    Jun 17, 2010
    when you say seven do you mean the powder for the garden? if so ,do you put it on the birds? or in the bedding or both? is it safe for meat and egg birds???? newby

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: