Mites in nesting boxes


15 Years
Jun 23, 2008
North Carolina
This is really strange, but we have mites like crazy in our chickens nesting boxes. I have completely gutted their coop, sprayed it all out, applied pesticide and let it dry out completely before putting the chickens back in. I also put sevin dust in all the bedding AND on the chickens. That same day, we sprayed our entire yard...TWICE. The next day, it was full of mites again. They don't appear to be on any of the chickens. That's what is so odd. They seem to love me though. When I lean in to get the eggs, I come back to the house feeling bugs crawling on my head and arms and sure enough, there are teeny, teeny tiny bugs. The bugs appear almost clear and almost crab or tick shaped. They are REALLY hard to see. I wish I had a magnifying glass. They are also not easily squished.

Where in the world are they coming from and how do we get rid of them?
Many of us pre-treat our coops with one of the following mixtures to keep mites out. You must do this several times a year-

food grade diatomaceous earth and Sevin powder, or
food-grade diatomaceous earth and Dri-Kill (sulfur/rotenone)

This mites are difficult to see on the birds but if you are getting them on you, be assured they are on your birds. They are very dangerous and can debilitate your birds in days, by draining blood. A chicken can be so infested at night that it can literally drop from a roost from blood loss.

You need to attack these vigorously, treating the birds and every nook and cranny in the coop. It may require endless treatments and coop cleanings to win the battle.

To treat the birds, use Miss Prissy's method- the Sevin and DE in a foot from pantyhose or nylons used as a powder puff, especially under the wings and on the bottoms of the birds. Since the mites hatch in waves every 3-5 days you are in for a serious battle. You have to win this, or you will lose your birds.

These threads should help-
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Thanks Lynne. How often should I be dusting the birds? Also, I can't find the food grade DE anywhere around here. I'm in North Carolina.
Hey, Nic, here are some dealers for food grade DE, reps for Custom Milling. I use Rodney Tanner since I live at the NC line. They may not know they have DE, but they can all get it on the next truck and it's a good price.

North Carolina
Joe Porter - Monroe, NC 704-283-7253

Rodney Tanner - Murphy, NC 828-557-8015

Joe Picariello - Carthage NC 910-947-6649

Dan Radulescu - Mt. Airy, NC 276-694-2111

you need to do your coop a few times to get rid of them... you might get the adult ones in one treatment, but you need to re-treat when the eggs hatch.
Is there anyone in the Raleigh, NC area that carries it? Carthage is the closest town of those mentioned, but that is still about 1 hour or so away.
Has anyone ever tried a drop of frontline on there birds? My friend who is a vet and has raised chickens for many years says he has used it.
I couldn't find any place near me in TN until I happened to pass a local health food store and stopped in. To my surprise they carried food grade DE. Thought you might have some luck locally. Good luck!

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