Northern fowl mites

chickens345

In the Brooder
May 28, 2020
10
23
20
Hi,
We’ve had a backyard flock for about 7 years. We use pine shavings with some DE and lime in them and have never had any pest issues. I switched to straw recently bc that’s what I could get during covid and now we have mites. I’m not sure if it’s related or not. Anyway we confirmed with microscope that they are NFM. I’m looking for advice on how to treat my coop and hens. We already have DE in the coop but that apparently isn’t bothering the mites. Thanks!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Straw can harbor mites (they can get brought in by wild animals and hide in the hollows) so yes it's possible that's how you got it.

For northern fowl mites you want to focus on treating birds directly. I used a permethrin dust and generously dusted the birds on the back, under belly, around base of neck, under wing, and especially around the vents. You'll need to treat again in around 7 to 10-ish days, as permethrin doesn't kill eggs. Recheck in another 7-10 days and if needed, treat again (but if it's a light or moderate infestation, that shouldn't be necessary).

Good idea to treat the coop as well. I used liquid permethrin for that. Clear out all bedding, then spray the roost and nest boxes as well as all crevices you can reach and as much of the flat surface as you can. Let dry, then add fresh bedding.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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I switched to straw recently bc that’s what I could get during covid and now we have mites.
I only buy straw in the early summer, get it fresh cut, as straw stored in barns with rodents and/or wild birds can become infested with mites.

Anyway we confirmed with microscope that they are NFM.
Curious how you could tell thru the scope.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
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I’ve tried permethrin and DE and the mites we’re back within a few days. The only thing that really works for me is Sevin dust. It’s not the best option because it is toxic, but it gets rid of mites. I might see the little monsters again a month later, but usually not a huge outbreak and I just lightly treat my birds again.

What I do is put on a disposable glove, then shake a little dust (maybe a couple tablespoons) around the vent area and use my gloved hand to spread it all around the chicken’s back end, trying to distribute and work it in between the feathers. I also shake a little in each nesting box.

Again, not everyone approves of using it, but I try to use as little as possible and keep it contained to the coop (don’t want any honeybees or other good bugs exposed). I’ve never had any of my chickens get sick, either, but maybe I’ve just been lucky.
 

chickens345

In the Brooder
May 28, 2020
10
23
20
I only buy straw in the early summer, get it fresh cut, as straw stored in barns with rodents and/or wild birds can become infested with mites.

Curious how you could tell thru the scope.
Well, we have a digital microscope and they looked like them. I’m not 100 percent sure but looked the most like them and from my reading was likely those or chicken mites. This is the first time we’ve had mites so I could easily be wrong. 🤷‍♀️ Is it hard to distinguish the two?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Is it hard to distinguish the two?

Easiest way to tell as far as I know is by location and type of activity - northern fowl would be active on chickens during day, red mites would be more active at night on the roost.

Treating with permethrin on the birds and the coop itself should get both types.

And yes treating at night works well if your birds aren't easy to handle. Most of my hens will just stand there if I go to pick them up so I did it all during day time. Since I did it solo, I applied dust over their backs over a large bin (a kitty litter box), then flipped them on their backs into the bin (so the dust works its way all over entire back), held them in place with one hand, and then applied dust on their stomachs with free hand. I worked the dust into under wing, neck area, and vent from there.
 

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