I am so upset. We lost our rooster and our 2 yr. old fat sweet hen this spring. He had sour crop, I don't know what she had, because I was so wrapped up with trying to get him well that I didn't notice she was that sick until I found her in the coop. Anyway, at that time of course I was thinking - worms? Mites? Those are the usual suspects. But I checked them all over for mites and didn't spot any signs. I checked their coop at night, nothing. Saw no signs of worms, poop looked healthy. Well, tonight I forgot to lock up the chickens until after dark. Then I went down with a flashlight to close them up. I noticed the 8 hens were standing on their roosts, wide eyed. I thought that was strange. I shone the flashlight all around, thinking maybe there was a mouse in there (and who knows - there might be, but I didn't see anything). BUT when I shone my flashlight on one hen's legs, I saw bloody spots, like she was being bitten. When I looked closer, I saw large bugs crawling on her, and noticed them on some of the other hens too. These critters aren't tiny - they look like small engorged red ticks. Obviously they are feasting on my hens' legs at night. I am sick. I already did the fact finding a month or 2 back and I pretty well know the options, but now in my panic, I'm forgetting. Can someone take me step by step again? I hate the thought of a pesticide like Sevin. Is there any other alternative? I know DE won't work well enough, and besides, we're having a wet spring. So. I THINK this is what I do. I get Sevin dust. I wear eyewear and a dust mask and gloves, and one by one I get a hen, hold it upside down by its legs, and dust it all over with Sevin using a pair of stockings like a powder puff. Then of course, I totally clean out the shavings in the coop, and dust the Sevin all in there. Maybe I'll even bleach spray it all first, and then dust it when that dries. Should I do that? OR - Instead of dusting the chickens, should I bathe each chicken in flea shampoo instead? I could get a tub of warm water outdoors, and shampoo the chicken with a flea bath for dogs and cats. Will that work? I'd rather bathe them than dust them for toxicity's sake and honestly it sounds easier, but I don't know if it's strong enough and I want to eliminate these things. YUCK. And then, of course, I want to do this repeatedly, every few weeks, for who knows how long, maybe forever, I'm so freaked. So. My main questions in this rambling and thinking out loud process: Is spraying bleach with a power sprayer pretty effective for killing the mites in the coop? And can I use a flea bath instead of Sevin? I have to do this TOMORROW. I can't let the girls spend another night in that coop. Poor things, they must be suffering. THANK YOU!