here's something else also, cedar oil, that apparently has been used by the us military to tackle sand fleas in the middle east and works for mites. It is natural and less toxic, and they claim it works better than the chemicals. http://www.pestigator.com/
A common mistake people make in treating mites or lice with permethrin powder or Sevin dust is in only treating their flock once. These products can't kill all the eggs that you see stuck to the feathers. That's why you must re-dust your flock 10 days later in order to kill any newly hatched mites before they have a chance to mature and lay more eggs. For insurance, you might even re-dust again 10 days after that. Also, you must do a thorough cleaning and dusting of your coop and run. Mites can and do spend daylight hours off your birds hiding in cracks, crevices, floor litter, nesting boxes, and even under manure.
Mites are a real pain to get rid of, but it is imperative that you do so. Mite infestation is more than just creepy, it's potentially deadly.
Mites will get on and bite humans as well as other domestic animals, but cannot reproduce without the host chicken. If you are itching, it's probably not IN your head, but ON your head
I have solved my mite/lice problem by using Fipronil (frontline pump spray) after using everything else to no avail. It is not approved for poultry, but it WORKS and will keep on working for up to 6 months. Until I started using the frontline, I was ready to scream watching the mites just crawl through the dust and spray like they were eating it for breakfast. If anyone would like directions on using the frontline, please pm me - it must be used carefully. Karen
In the UK we have a product called Duramitex Plus, which really does seem to work (on the housing, not directly on the birds). I use Ivermectin on the birds themselves, but of course it is pointless treating the birds unless you've done the housing too.
Creosote is also deadly to the mites, but can have nasty respiratory effects on the birds, so must be used with care.
An excellent point Caralouise. Some types of mites spend a large percentage of their time in the environment and come out at night to feed on the birds. Any treatment program must include cleaning and treatment of the premises. I do this twice a year at the same time I'm treating for mites and worming. A little preventative maintenance will go a long way in heading off parasite problems. I'm always amazed at how many people I talk to who have NEVER treated for mites or worms - if your birds go outside, they probably have them. Karen