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Red Spider Mite

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LilyD, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Are red spider mites a problem with chickens? I saw one on my gate to my poultry run today when I went to let the chickens out.

    It looked like the red mite in this picture

    [​IMG]

    Just trying to see if I need to treat the coop and run or not. The chickens seem normal with no problems getting bites or being super itchy.
     
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    I think your observation of that mite definitely requires a close examination of your coop tonight. There are lots of mites that are red and most of them won't harm chickens at all, but you might have Dermanyssus gallinae, the chicken mite. These mites live in cracks in the roosts and down below during the day time. Once night falls, they crawl out of their crevices and onto your chickens to feed. Check for them within the first hour of darkness, use a flashlight and a white paper towel. Look carefully for the mites and wipe the towel under the roosts. If the towel has blood stains on it, you likely have mites. Do your chickens appear agitated or reluctant to enter the coop at roosting time? If so, that is another indication of infestation (for mites and ticks). Here's what the Merck Vet. Manual has to say about them: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/204710.htm I hope it's just a harmless mite and not one of the bad ones!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  3. Permitherin from TSC works well on mites.
     
  4. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No I usually give them treats at roosting time ( I put them in around 6 here so it's still light out) and they go right in and happily jump on the roosts. None of them have been super itch. I do have a few that have discovered that there is a dirt patch perfect for dust bathing and they have been using that when the day gets hot because it's a nice cool spot. I haven't noticed anyone acting funny or anything.

    I will check tonight will they be on the chickens or just in the coop itself?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    If they're the bad type of mite you'll find them both on the roosts and on the chickens. They come out in search of a chicken right after sunset. Once they find a chicken, they climb on and only stay and feed for about an hour before returning to their crevices. Given that you haven't noticed any change in behavior at roosting time I would guess that the mite you saw was not a chicken mite. You should have a good idea of what's going on tonight. I'd also recommend checking again in a week or so too, just in case you're seeing the early stage of a mite infestation. Good luck!
     
  6. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went into the coop after dark and couldn't see any of the mites but I did see some during the day on the outside walls of the coop, but none in the coop. Everyone was sitting on the roosts and snoozing and when I checked under their wings and around under their feathers I didn't see any mites. Thank goodness!! I am going to keep checking just to be on the safe side to make sure they aren't just in the process of moving in.
     

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