RATS under coop = MITES on chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shandiane78, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. shandiane78

    shandiane78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2009
    Woodinville, WA
    I am quite certain my chickens have mites, and I know I have a rat problem underneath the coop. I have been patiently waiting for the cats to catch these little beasts...But maybe the time for action is now! I don't want to treat all the birds, and treat the coop for mites, just to have them re-infested from rats/mites living underneath the floor.

    So far what I've done is dusted the coop and the birds with Sevin. I don't know how well I got it into the cracks and crevices of the coop, however. I wasn't quite sure how to get it in there without being enveloped in a huge cloud of Sevin dust. [​IMG]

    For the chickens I used a shallow box to make a dust bath of kitty litter, dry dirt, DE and Sevin powder. Now I'm thinking maybe I diluted the Sevin powder too much...But I did thoroughly dust each hen with this mixture, and then did it again a couple days later. I figure I'll do it again after 7 days or so? After dusting, I can definitely smell the Sevin on them. But would it be better to dust the straight powder (Sevin-5)?

    About the rats which are possibly hosting mites...One idea I had was to set off a bug bomb/fogger UNDER the coop, if I could find one that was just permethrin. Maybe something used for fleas. In addition to killing whatever mite infestation is down there, maybe it will drive the rats out into the open where I can handle them myself (I'm thinking smash with a shovel...)

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!
     
  2. Nif

    Nif Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 16, 2008
    Ohio
    I'm not sure if there's a connection with mites and rats...I am pretty sure that mites on chickens are poultry mites and don't live on mammals.
    Aside from that...rats do carry fleas, internal parasites, and disease...there's no question about the fact that you should get rid of the rats. (I have 2 dogs and 6 cats and the dogs do WAY more mousing than the cats...but my fault, those cats are too well fed!)
    I had a rat problem 2 winters ago and it was a real dilemma. They were HUGE! (like as big as my forearm, no kidding)
    I decided to get a Have a Heart trap (weasel/rat size) and I caught I think 3...no I did not let them go! No way...I borrowed my Dad's high power air rifle and took them out while they were in the trap. I hate killing any animal, but I was done with being overtaken by rats! Too much to risk having those dirty critters around. I haven't had any trouble since. I also remade my coop so there was nothing for the rats to burrow under to make a nest. I just have gravel and then a thick layer of pine shavings. Lots of boxes and roosts for chickens to get off the ground.
     
  3. thebritt

    thebritt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Rats don't = mites. The mites are species-specific. That's why you don't have mites on you as well. But rats are a bummer - they eat the chicken food, poop in it and the water etc (as I'm sure you know). [​IMG]
    I, too, have rats under my coop. I'm working on organizing a "coop remodelling" party, where I supply the BBQ & beverages + materials, and my construction-savy friends help with putting in a 2-3" cement slab on the floor. Just a matter of getting it all together when it works for everyone. Ideally, we'll pour the cement early in the day (when it's still warm outside so it cures quickly), and lock out the chickens till dusk. The cement should be set enough to support chickens by then. That's the plan, anyway!
     
  4. ROOSTER_ROO

    ROOSTER_ROO Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2009
    [​IMG] sounds like a good plan ! I'm adding a slight slope to my floor when I pour it. Helps with drainage, that way i can powerwash it once every so often.
     
  5. thebritt

    thebritt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Quote:DITTO! [​IMG]
     
  6. shandiane78

    shandiane78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2009
    Woodinville, WA
    The concrete sounds like a GREAT idea. [​IMG]

    About the rats, I have read that they can carry and transmit Northern Fowl Mites. Though I have no idea if that's what we have or not. I haven't actually seen a bug. But I do think it's just as likely they got mites from a wild bird. Actually, I hope that is the case! That should make it easier for me to eradicate them from the coop.

    BTW, thebritt, where are you in Humboldt Co? I'm from Eureka, but now living in the Seattle area.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  7. giri11a

    giri11a New Egg

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    yeah, unless your cat is one bad kitty, it won't go after rats. they're just too big and dangerous for most cats. dogs are much better for that, especially the terrier breeds that were bred specifically for hunting small prey, like, say, rat terriers (they're really cute, too). however, while i don't know any particulars, i imagine dogs can catch diseases from the rats. if anyone goes for this method of rodent control, i'd definitely make it a point to ask the vet what your dog can get, and if they can be vaccinated against it.
     

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