Mites - on chooks, kids and me! Help!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by meringues, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. meringues

    meringues New Egg

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    I cleaned out our chook house a few days ago and discovered there was a decent infestation of mites in the nest boxes, so, without reading up on what to do, I put the chook house on the lawn (it's portable) and hosed it off then left it in the sun to dry... Then dusted it and the chooks with pestene powder, thinking that should do the trick. Meanwhile, my kids found the box of infested wood shavings that I had put in the fire pit for burning and sprinkled them all over themselves and all through the garden [​IMG]. So I put the kids in the bath and washed them with tea tree shampoo and that seemed to solve the problem of mites in their hair. But now whenever they go outside to play they get covered in mites again. And I swear there was one in my ear when I went to bed last night. HELP! Does anyone know how to get them out of the garden/ lawn?? I am in Australia, so heading into Autumn/ winter. Are they likely to just go away as the weather gets colder? I don't really want to spray chemicals in the garden...
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    The chickens may need another dusting after any eggs on them hatch. The mites in the garden will need something to feed on and propagate. They should soon die off. I'd keep the kids out of garden until then. We are heading into summer. Lice and mites is one summer time thing I'm not looking forward to. Didn't have a problem last year (knock on wood). All those pests die down in winter unless living on animals.
     
  3. meringues

    meringues New Egg

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    Feb 1, 2016
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    Thanks @Egghead_Jr ! I read somewhere that the mites can live for 6 months in an empty coop, so was a bit worried about how long they'd stay in the garden. Hopefully we'll get our first frost soon and that will knock them out! I can keep dusting the chooks with the powder, but not really the garden and kids!
     
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    An adult chicken mite (Dermanyssus Gallinae) can in fact sustain for 6+ months off the host with no food...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermanyssus_gallinae

    You need to have preventative measures in place to prevent an infestation from reoccurring after eradication...
     
  5. meringues

    meringues New Egg

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    Feb 1, 2016
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    Yikes! So is there any way I can get them out of my garden/ lawn??
     
  6. momedic3810

    momedic3810 New Egg

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    Have you tried the Food Grade DE (Demetreus Earth) ? It seems to work wonders and will not harm the Chickens. But make sure it is the Food Grade. If you cannot find it in your town/village, look online. You won't need a very large bag and it is not expensive at all.
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    I'm sure there are pesticides that will work, but not everyone wants to use them, there are also preventative measures you can take like weekly dusting of the birds that will end the cycle eventually...

    I hang 'No Pest Strips' in my coop as a preventative, can't say if they are legal in your country or if you want to use them, but they do, do the job as a preventative measure...
     
  8. chicken19

    chicken19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For more info on DE please look at this: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/04/raising-chickens-naturally-diatomaceous.html
    Keep your coop clean! Mites breed in chicken poop so they won't be able to reproduce if you clean your coop every week or twice a week depending on how bad the mites were.
     
  9. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I second the Chicken Chick article above about the dangers of DE. The last thing you want to put in your garden is DE as it will kill the helpful bacteria in the soil putrifying the garden compost. DE is also a known irritant to respiratory systems...both man and bird. Small doses can cause lasting scarring.

    You need to figure out which type of mite you are dealing with. If you've got Red Roost Mite, then your problem may be hard to rid without a lot of diligence. If it is Northern Fowl Mite, that is easier to eradicate but still requires diligence.

    Good news, neither will permanently affect people (although Red Roost Mites can take up residence in homes if tracked in).

    I am going to link a really good article on Mites to help you identify what you've got and good procedures to eradicate it in your flock.

    Permethrin dust goes a long way, as does Orange oil in the coop itself (assuming Northern Fowl Mites). For bad infestations, Ivermectin is excellent in getting ahead of the population explosion...then maintaining with poultry dust, wood ash, herbals and oils.

    Good luck with your mite explosion. I had the first ever at my place last summer during an incredibly long, hot dry spell, then we had a very mild winter and I am already seeing a return [​IMG]

    I'm hitting it again with Ivermectin and then adding the "No Mite Strips" after deep cleaning my coops. I am dealing with Northern Fowl Mite, so I know they will be dead shortly off the bird.

    LofMc

    http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p2800.pdf (I wonder, seeing as you are in Australia, if you might be dealing with the Tropical Fowl Mite)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  10. meringues

    meringues New Egg

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    Feb 1, 2016
    Canberra, Australia
    Thanks everyone. I'm pretty sure it's Dermanyssus gallinae (what we just call Red Mite in Australia) that I have. I'm cleaning the coop out every couple of days and dusting the coop and the chooks with lots of Pestene, so I'll just keep doing that. As for the garden, I don't want to use anything that will kill the worms and good bugs, so I might just wait and see if a few cold autumn nights start to kill them off.
     

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