Mites, or something more nefarious??


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 23, 2012
So a couple of weeks ago I disassembled the coop and scrubbed it down, dusted, etc. to get rid of a mite infestation. I would say it was moderate, but maybe it was severe. Either way, I haven't seen but a random one or two in the bedding of the nest boxes. I promptly emptied the bedding and sprayed/dusted for mites again. I think they're gone for the most part.


My roo and some of the hens have what look like tiny black scabs on their combs. In all my reading on BYC it seems like they are mite bite scabs. I have checked and checked, but I'm not finding evidence of them on the chickens (around vents or the neck/head) or the perches or the nest boxes.

Is it still mites? Is there someplace else I should be checking or something else I should be doing? Our egg production has dropped to literally nill. (We have 22 layers, 10 more to start any day now) I have given them vitamins/electrolytes in their water. They have good feed, room to roam (free ranging) and SEEM otherwise healthy and happy. SOMETHING isn't right, clearly. I know the days are getting shorter, but to have such a sharp and complete cessation of eggs at this point seems suspicious to me.

I want to get my hens back to laying and happy!! Help!
In order to completely get rid of mites, you must dust the hens every 7 days (and throw out bedding and spray the coop too). So go really easy on the bedding since it should be thrown out.

The eggs hatch out again and reinfest them.

Yes the mites can leave scabs on the combs. For a severe or moderate infestation, I'd say that you should keep treating the coop and hens every 7 days for at least three times. Yes, it really can take that long to get them all gone.

Permethrin spray is available from feed stores, as is poultry dust (permethrin).

In addition, since you seem to have a problem with mites like me, I'd recommend putting them on a program of dusting/spraying hens and coop.

I do it every 4 months, retreating in 7 days. If I don't, boy am I sorry!
Last edited:
Thanks Chickensaresweet!

So would a moderate infestation completely nix all the eggs?
I finally broke down and bought some sevin dust. I was using poultry protector and DE. Can I use the dust on the coop or would a spray be better? I'm concerned with the sevin since its an insecticide. I try to do as close to organic as I can, but if they aren't laying, then clearly something stronger is needed.

Would I sprinkle the sevin on the floor then add bedding on top? I've read several places how to dust the hens, so I know how to do that. I'm just not sure how to dust the coop & nesting boxes.

I'm only getting 1 egg a day from the same black australorp. Even when the infestation was 20 times worse they were still laying all right. Could it be something else ? Maybe something compounding the problem, or a combination of things?

Oh, and do I need to worry about the sevin getting on eggs? Do i need to wait a while before eggs are edible again?

Thanks so much!
Interesting thread!
I'll have to keep reading and see what happens - its a long thread, in case anyone is wondering! After reading some more I'm going to try giving them lots of pepper for the next few days and see what happens. I haven"t used the sevin powder yet - I want to see what the above link does about it!
Thanks for the input - I'll keep everyone posted!
After some insight from Beekissed and others I think we're all good to go in our little flock! They felt the chickens looked normal for this time of year. We'll jsut keep rolling nad make sure we don't have any mite problems again. Wood ashes, here I come!
Wood ashes are great(make sure they are hard wood ashes)but some permethrin mixed in it really will add a lot to the getting rid of insect in the litter and coop. I put the permethrin powder on the floor with wood ashes and then my soft wood chips. The chickens love the mix. Sevin can be used without a withdrawal period but I feel since the permethrin is a more natural product that I would go with that first. It smooters the insect. The chickens will dust them selves. If you really want happy hens build a 4x8 box of 2x6x8's and fill with peat moss ,ashes and permethrin. They are like children in their first puddle in it. gloria jean

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom