Oh No!!! MITES!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NHchicks, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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!
     
  2. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    So sorry you are dealing with this. [​IMG]
    I use Sevin on the chickens just like you said, with the powder puff. I do it at night because it is easier to just take them off the roost without having to chase them around. I don't know about using bleach to spray the coop. I believe I have read/heard of folks using a liquid sevin to spray the coop with. I use Orange Guard to spray the coop with. You could also put some vaseline on their legs. Good luck. Ihope you get the answers you are looking for. Don't beat yourself up about it, if you have chickens they are bound to get lice or mites sometime.
     
  3. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I use a product called Eprinex. It's a topical liquid applied to each bird's skin by means of a syringe with the needle removed. It is very effective and far less toxic than Sevin. It costs an arm and a leg, but it's worth every penny. It also doesn't get everywhere during application. I use Adam's flea and tick spray in the coop, but they also sell a flea and tick bath/dip which is supposed to be effective. I've never used the dip, so I can't say for sure. I have also sprayed bleach in the coop. It worked, but my coop has no real nooks and crannies for bugs to hide in because I spray painted the entire interior of the structure when it was built. As long as you get thorough coverage with the sprayer I would think that it would be effective.

    I hope this helps. Good luck with the battle.
     
  5. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    CMV, Seeing that you are in NH, where do you get the Eprinex? I like the thought of a topical liquid rather than a Shake and Bake method, which looks messy.
     
  6. KlaHaYa Gardens

    KlaHaYa Gardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would bathe the birds with Dawn dish soap and blow dry with a hair dryer. Don't burn them. (Dust or spray following as you wish).

    Then, I would grease their legs with vasoline.

    Before you put them back in the coop, I would thoroughly clean it. (Dust or spray as you wish.) I grease their perches with vasoline. I have also greased the wood on the nesting boxes with vasoline before putting fresh straw. (I bathed my entire flock after finding one new bird with mites -- I don't like bugs where they don't belong.)

    I know some folks use kerosene in the coop. Your choice.

    The vasoline will suffocate little bugs. I keep a large jar in the coop at all times. When I handle a bird or am in the coop at night, I will randomly vasoline their legs as a prevention, as will I vasoline their perches.

    I prefer to avoid pesticides and DE.

    Do you have a good place for your birds to dust bathe? If not, after you kill the infestation, I would create a place for them to dust bathe so that they can try to prevent/deal with any bugs on their own.
     
  7. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    NHchicks, that is the same stuff I use. I have thought about using the Eprinex but could not spend that much at the time. Do you have a Tractor Supply or Family Farm and Home near you?
     
  8. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Vaseline: Great advice. Vaseline the legs, and the roosts. Okay, I'll do that. I'm assuming they won't slip off the slippery vaselined roosts???

    DAWN? Really? Will that kill the mites? That sounds too easy.

    And yup, they are dustbathing fools now that it's springtime. Only it's been raining all week, so they've been limited this week.
     
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:You can pick it up at any agricultural store by the liter. I pick up much smaller amounts of it on-line. It's far too pricey for me to buy by the liter.
     
  10. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would go to Tractor Supply and get a bottle of Ivermectin Pour on. Use 1/2 cc on each bird between the shoulder blades, like advantage or frontline for dogs and cats. I think it is about $12 for a 250 cc bottle. It is a lot cheaper than the epirnix that Hillbilly Hen said. Ivermectin is approved for human use, so there is controversy about egg waiting period.
     

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