Mites! Good or bad species?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tom e, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was out cleaning the coop after our rain, and while moving some bricks that the feeders sit on, I saw lots of tiny red (and a few white) mites. I also compost, and have seen very similar critters in the compost bin- have always assumed that they were helping that process. Since I've been trying the "deep litter" method, is it possible that these are a harmless or even helpful mite? Or do they sound like bird mites?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  3. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks ddawn. I had just finished reading that, it seems that they are the wrong color to be the bird mites then.. These were like a pretty brilliant red color. Like fire engine red.
     
  4. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

  5. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know there are good mites, but this link certainly does put the question back up.. Dermanysis gallinae- I just googles pictures, and they are really red too.. Think I'll treat the coop just to be on the safe side.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    There are species of mites that eat decaying plant matter, instead of being parasites on birds. That's what they mean by "good" mites.
     
  7. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks woodlandwoman, that's what I meant.. I have seen them in my compost in great numbers. Was thinking these could be the same, since deep litter is essentially composting too. But I think if I can't tell them apart by sight, I will just spray the coop and change out the litter.
    Is there a spray that everyone recommends ? What's best for the job?
     
  8. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Send some to your local county extension office for identification.

    In the meantime, go search your birds fuzzy butts at night see if they've been bit (red marks). I treated some new birds in quarantine a bunch of times and basically freaked out for nothing (except a very serious infestation). Turns out they were non blood sucking grain mites.
     
  9. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok great idea! Thanks for that super! If they do end up being the bad bugs, I'm thinking about cleaning coop really well, tarping it them setting off a couple bug bombs seven days apart. Does that sound like a plan?
     
  10. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Make sure your chickens aren't in there when you set off the bug bombs. You don't want them inhaling it. You may want to treat the birds too, with appropriate mite stuff... like Sevin dust or equivalent. Make sure to treat the cracks of the coop good too.

    However, it sounds to me like they're not chicken blood sucking mites. You mentioned it's been raining - damp increases the risk of things like grain mites. Plus the mites are near the food and out during daytime.


    Here's my scary pictures:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=399672
     

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