Mites!! - is there anything at all I can do?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 16, 2011
I've been checking my hens for lice and no matter what I do I cant seem to get rid of red mites that are tiny and hid away under their feathers.
I have read and tried loads of things such as; louse powder, cleaning and spraying out their house, bathing the hens in carbolic soap, home made remedies such as cileronlia oils and putting garlic in their water. However nothing seems to have worked

My five hens are really spolit they get best quality meal, corn in the afternoon and plently of treats, they are getting more than enough food as they often leave some but they are not putting on much weight and their front breast bone is pretty skinny. Is it likely the mites are affecting ther weight? What can I do to get rid of the mites and help them put on more weight?? I will try anything to get rid off or reduce the mites, any help will be greatly apperciated.

Mites can be hard to get rid of.

Try some Ivermectin Pour On. If you eat the eggs get the Ivomec pour on brand which has zero withdrawl time. .5cc for standard hens, .25 for bantams. Put in on the skin on the back of their neck.

Also get something like Permethrin spray and spray down their coop, run, bedding, roosts, etc.
Thanks, I will try these suggestions. I have younger hens that I incubated out and they are lice/mite free, I am so proud of the younger hens they are of super quality - probbaly good enough to show!

I would like to put them all intogether but I dont want the young ones cathing the mites too. Everything was new when I bought the older hens so I am guessing I bought the hens and got the mites with them (free of charge)

Alot of people say they are hard to get rid off, in your opinion are they almost impossible to get rid of, or is it defentality worth trying?
I had them last year, so I dosed everybody with the Ivermectin pour on and the mites were gone. Luckly I haven't had to deal with them since. You can def. get rid of them. I rotate between spraying the birds with Permethrin and using the Ivermectin Pour On.
Some people up north that get the Northern Fowl mite end up buring down their coop down and rebuilding. I understand those mites are hard to get rid of so prevention is the best solution. A few have used the no pest strips (Shell no pest strips) and swear by them.
I just had to deal with mites for my first time too. This year has been the worst I heard. I stripped the coop, dusted with dry stall and DE (especially corners and cracks) and put all fresh shavings. I also brought all the birds in and bathed them with Adams Flea and Tick Shampoo WITH IGR-Insect growth regulator, it is the PLUS with precor (they also have a dip which may be easier if you have a ton to do but my silkies needed a bath anyway).

Now that the coop is clean and so are the birds, I will check again in a few weeks and if I still see any I will do a round of Ivermec PO to be safe. Good luck!
It seems your schedule is off, anytime I treat for Lice/mites it is a total treatment all at once. You may not be applying the potions right, or cleaning the coop properly. So I think this time you may need to really give it a good try. Try these tips and do it all in the same day without exception, if you skip a step plan on doing it again soon, do it all and you will be free of these pest.

Permithren .01% dilluted in a garden tank sprayer.

Remove the birds from the coop/pens/runs.
Bath them all very well with some permithren diluted in there. Kills anything on contact.
Set them in cages away from the coop to air dry.
Next clean out the coops of everything, all bedding, feeders, waterers, and anything else you have in there.
Use the left over permithren strained into the sprayer and spray everything all over/under /around, mix more as needed and drench the entire surface, walls, roost/ under roost, nest boxes in and out, floor, dirt everything.
Put in clean bedding sprinkled with some DE on top.
clean and sanitize all waterers and feeders and replace them in the coops.
at last put the birds in coops.
take all residue, bedding and such and compost it, spray or pour on the remaining if anything from the sprayer around the outside of coop, and compost pile to kill any that may be hiding in there.

14 days later just fill your sprayer with that permithren solution and walk through spraying everything again this time you can leave everything in there including birds. and spray them too. This breaks the egg cycle of the mites.

Do this without fail and your problem will be solved.................. I do this twice a year need it or not as part of my maint plan and have never had any creepy crawly problems.

Common causes of mites and lice.
Wild birds in your coop/runs, and free range areas.
other birds/chickens brought in to area.
improper eradication or failure to employ a prevenitive program.

Now feed your birds a high protien feed 20-30% for a month or more, give cracked corn & BOSS everyday as a scratch to add needed fat and oils to encourage skin conditioning and feather regrowth.

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Hi AL thanks for taking the time to provide me with all this infomration - I will defentality be trying out your directions!

Firstly, I havent heard of 'Permithren' before, would I be able to get it anywhere in the United Kingdom? And what is DE and BOSS?

Oh Wow I didn't realize you were across the pond. This might be a tough one................ permithren is a pestiside you may be able to get a substitute by asking around maybe some farmers, DE is dried fossil shell ground up to a fine powder, when pest come in contact with it scratches their bodies allowing their body fluids to exit and they die. BOSS is .....Black. Oil. Sunflower. Seed.

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