Please help me! Severe infestion of mites (?) on entire flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Granolamom, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    Hubby and I planned on routine-dusting all of our 7 chickens with DE this afternoon, and found a horrible infestation of mites (we think) on every single one of them (that explains recent bouts of diarrhea...[​IMG] ).
    We first checked their vents, and found lite-grey, almost pea-size clumps at the root of the feathers all around the vents. On one of the hens, we saw tiny, light-brown, longish insect running away, after lifing up and inspecting the tail feathers. We've dusted all of them with DE, but I assume that this will not cure the entire problem.
    What are these insects? How do I get rid of them? What do I have to do to the henhouse, nesting boxes, and run, to prevent re-infection? Can humans get infected (how about cats and goats?)
  2. ladybug4ut1

    ladybug4ut1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2007
    Central Florida
    you can use ivormect or sevin dust

    that should take care of them....
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sounds like lice, the brown insect. Maybe mites, too. I've eradicated lice on a rooster I bought once, but none of my flock have had any lice/mites that I've ever seen. I have DE in all the nestboxes, which may help, plus I dust them. Some use the 5% sevin dust, some poultry dust from the feedstore. You'll have to clean out the entire coop, and dust it or spray with Orange Guard, a natural citrus bug killer that you can get at ACE hardware. It wont hurt the birds if you spray it around the coop after cleaning out the bedding.
  4. farmgirlie1031

    farmgirlie1031 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2008
    I used the poultry protector spray for a few weeks when I rescued a roo and found he had mites. It seemed to do the trick. Sevin dust would work also just be sure not to get it in their eyes.
  5. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    Well, thanks everybody, I guess I'll run out right now and get some Sevendust, before the feedstore closes.
    What about those whitish clumps on the feather shafts? Do I need to remove them, or will they come off by themselves, once I use the Sevendust? (they're really bad, all the way down from the vent to the legs, and they didn't come off with the babywipes I used. Are they lice nests, or eggs, or what?)
  6. chickenmum

    chickenmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2008
    I have heard to treat every 3 weeks for a while or something to stop the mite egg laying and hatching cycle.
  7. chiknlady

    chiknlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2008
    SE PA
    They sound like lice. First they are specific to chickens so not to worry about a personal infestation. Second--clean clean clean---DE is great as a preventive--but once you've got them--you've got to strike hard and fast. If the weather is warm enough for the chickens not to catch a chill, you can create a solution of SEVIN and water and pour it into a spray bottle--you can then douse the chickens with the solution making sure to get up under the wings and vent area. If still too cold--you must dust each and every bird. Make sure you sprinkle a mixture of DE and SEVIN in the nest boxes and in the corners of the coop. You should notice an immediate improvement in 1-3 days of the first application and then repeat 10-14 days later until under control. A great benefit is that egglaying should improve as should their general mood and wellbeing.

    Good luck

    ps the clumps are nits or lice eggs--hence the term nitpicking. The poison should kill them--but follow up to catch any stragglers
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  8. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    The weird thing is, that there has been no reduction in eggs. We usually get 5 or 6 every day (from 6 hens!), and that's one of the reasons I didn't check for mites/lice earlier. Everything seemed fine, except for some "poopie butt" syndrome on some of them.
    I went to TSC and purchased a garden-and poultry dust product, and will dust everybody in the morning (with the help of hubby, who has to catch them for me).
    Then, I will clean out the henhouse and nesting boxes (just did that a week ago...), and dust both of them, as well. I always use DE when I put fresh straw and shavings into nests and coop, and so I'm wondering how this infestation could have gotten so bad.
    I really, truly HATE using poison on my animals, but I guess I'll have no choice, this time. Other than DE, is there any other natural product I could use to deter lice? (In Germany, people use oak leaves in the nesting boxes, to keep bugs away. I might just try that, too).
  9. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Give their bums a goooooood scrubbing with baby shampoo. Don't rinse the soap off, it will dry and smother some of the mites. And while they're still wet, powder them with your choise of pesticide (Sevin is good). Powder again in two weeks, and repeat as necessary. Once the mites are under control, monthly treatments should take care of things.

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