Hi all, I have 3 hens (2 BA's and 1 BR). They are about 1.5 years old. A few weeks ago when cleaning the coop I noticed the red mites under the roost (roost is a 2x4 laid flat, hung with a joist hanger). It was just teeming with them *shudder*. I cleaned the coop well, started using apple cider vinegar, used lots of DE, and waited. Birds seemed fine. Mites came back. I never see any on the birds themselves, or even on the droppings board, but TONS between the joist hanger and the roost. Now the hens are getting a bit pale in the face/comb, and one has a dirty bum. Obviously it's time to act (or past time, really). So I've been searching and spending lots of time here, but still have some questions, The no-pest-strips sound promising, but my concern is that my coop is TINY. It is 3ft wide, 4 ft long, and 3 ft high to where the roof starts to slope, reaching 4 ft at the peak. It sounds like the no pest strips are REALLY overkill in my situation. As far as ventilation goes, I have about .5 square feet of wire mesh vents at each end of the coop at the peak, about a 1/2 inch space that runs under the eaves on both sides from front to back (4 ft), and a window (in the summer i remove the window and it is just hardware cloth/wire mesh, about 3 square feet). I bought some dusting powder (carbaryl) but i really just don't want to use it. We're sortof your crunchy-granola-organic types, and I'm currently breastfeeding my baby and just don't want to expose myself to it (and it sounds pretty messy- even with a mask and gloves and such...) Eprinex/Ivermectin sound great but with just 3 hens (and a very tight budget) I am not sure if it is do-able. So this weekend I plan on cleaning the coop to within an inch of its life (I borrowed a pressure-washer). I figure I'll mix up some DE and lime and paint the inside with that, getting all the cracks and whatnot. I am not sure what to do about the run- it is also small- just 3ft x 5ft (we let the chickens roam the yard during the day, they only get confined to the coop and run if we go away for the weekend or something). It's just dirt on the ground- I have been meaning to get some sand but haven't yet. How do I go about cleaning the run? In my situation, with just 3 hens and a personal aversion to the carbaryl, would it be OK to let the birds dust themselves? The run and coop are too small for a boxed dust bath, and I don't want to put one outside because my cat/baby/toddlers could get into it, but I was thinking of laying down a few inches of sand in the coops and adding some lime and DE, and making the whole run like one big dust bath. I have a feeling that I will need to add some dusting powder as well, as much as I don't want to (but at least I'll be less exposed that way I guess). Do you think that would work? . If you think it would work, how much of the DE, lime, and dusting powder should I use? Or do you think that this won't be enough? Any other suggestions? Thanks for taking the time to read my blabbering ramble and for any help or advice you can give me.