Mites or lice?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickepoo, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. chickepoo

    chickepoo Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2007
    Buffalo, MN
    I have a dozen birds, one of which I have written about last year. She was attacked by the neighbors tom cat when she was a few months old. Brought her to the vet who said I was crazy and injected her with steroids and antibiotics. To everyones amazement, she survived but is pretty small.

    Anyway, my old hen picks on her now and again and I noticed missing head feathers in addition to the usual bare spot where she had been injured. I moved the feathers back and it looked like I kicked an ant hill! These little beige colored bugs scurried all over. She has two scabs on this side of her neck and then on the back of her neck I noticed cement colored chunks stuck to the base of the feathers. I am not squeamish, but now I feel stuff crawling on me!

    Are these mites or lice? Is the treatment the same? I read a few other posts on it but I have never dealt with this before and some of the posts seemed to mix the two as if the same so I am confused. Lastly, what would have happened had I never noticed and she went untreated??
  2. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    I believe the treatment is the same for either- Sevin dust. The main difference is that humans cannot get chicken lice. BTW little beige bugs sounds like lice. If you can catch one and get it under a magnifying glass 8 legs means mites- 6 means lice.
  3. priszilla

    priszilla Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2008
    easley sc
    lots of other treatments for the iccky bugs from adams flea and tick spray ( not FDA approved- but highly recommended) ivermecitn (again not FDA approved use- but also works on internal parasites) and frontline ( same issues) -and plain old poultry dust which is approved and DE which has its fans and its detractors. each has its pros and cons- cost and and ease in finding it are two,you will have to decide about the others based on your own beliefs about using products off label and whether organic or chemical control is what you want to use.
  4. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Those are lice. Permetherin spray works well on them.

    Ivermectin will not work as they are not blood suckers, they eat feather dander.

    The chunks are eggs. You will need to pick off what you can and repeat your treatment every 7-10 days for a few weeks as the eggs hatch and you will have new bugs.

    I have also had good luck using adams flea and tick spray and shampoo. I used sweet pdz which is basically a stall dry type product on the birds a couple months ago and have not seen a bug since.
  5. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2007
    The most common treatments are Sevin or pyrethrin dusts. Diatomaceous Earth is great, but with a severe infestation like this, you probably need to knock them out fast, and DE may take some time to work.

    With very bad infestations, the birds can die of anemia, because the mites or lice just take too much out of them, so it's important to treat.

    Dust under wings and around the vent. Make sure to treat your whole flock. Especially be vigilant about treating a rooster if you have one, because he can spread the mites around to all your girls.

    Once this infestation is under control, you might want to put some DE in their favorite dusting spots to help ward off future parasites. It really is great! Some of our birds don't dust bathe often, so I occasionally rub a bit of DE into their feathers.

    Mites and lice in general have been bad this year. If your birds have them, it doesn't mean you've done anything wrong; they can be carried in by wild birds. Just treat ASAP.

    Hope your girl will be okay!

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