Scabies Mites


11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
Hi everyone,

Brand new to BYC and fairly new mother to 4 hens (barred rocks, RIR, black sex link and white leghorn). Who knew chickens could have such personalities and be so much fun, but...I think I have contracted scabies mites from them. Red bumps all over my skin (arms, legs, back) and I'm very itchy (especially at night). I have a doctor's appt tomorrow to get a prescription. Has anyone else ever encountered this problem from their chickens? From what I've read it's not a huge problem and can be treated, but yikes! but a pain (literally!). Also, can anyone recommend the best product to use to clean my coop? I've seen the Scalex Mite & Lice spray on the McMurray website and was wondering if this worked, or if anyone has had better luck with a similar disinfectant. Any information/experiences you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


red-headed stepchild
11 Years
Feb 6, 2008
Southeast Coast of Florida
* I could be wrong, kl, but as far as I know, chickens do not carry scabies mites. I believe they are exclusively transmitted person-to-person. Chickens can carry various other species of mites, but I think your contact with the chickens would have to be pretty intensive to have them transmitted extensively. If you worked in a chicken factory house, say. . .There are also a species of red mites that occasionally overrun houses, there are bedbugs, which are sometimes a problem in hotels and via used furniture and there are mange mites, which definitely can be transmitted from an affected animal, dogs or cats, for example. There are also any of dozens of dermatological conditions that include your symtoms, from changes in your water or laundry soap, to 'nickel' dermatitis from jewelry or pocket change to hives, psoriasis, or vast allergic possibilities to just about anything. . . . Best to let a good dermatologist figure this one out.
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12 Years
Sep 29, 2007
Can hens get scabies? They can be passed on from human to human by close contact. They live in tunnels in the skin, but I am not sure if they can live in crevices in a hen house for long. Do you pick the hens up and cuddle them a lot? Please let us know the diagnosis, perhaps it is an alergy to something else?

just found the above link which may answer your question
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11 Years
Mar 24, 2008
McAlester, Oklahoma
:eek: Well I feel your pain here. We all have the little red bumps that itch like crazy. The vet said it was the dogs that have scaroptic mange. It transfers to humans but dies off in about 3 weeks.:mad: We just dipped our dogs and have to dip again in 2 weeks. I'll bet that's what you have. Hope this helps!!


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 30, 2008
My girls had northern fowl mites, and they would get on me and bite, leaving itchy red welts.
They are hard to see, light brown and about the size of ground pepper or sand.
What finally worked for me was to dust them with Sevin 5% powder, and spray the coop with Sevin spray. I have seen it at Walmart and local hardware stores. The Permethrin powder does not work. I also dusted the yard with diatomacious earth. Good luck.


13 Years
Jan 28, 2009
Cecil Co. MD - 5Yrs. Chickens 4Yrs. Ducks
Bringing an old post back to life - sorry to say.

I haven't been the best at pest control it seems. My chickens seemed fine, lay everyday, feathers looked good, but started noticing creepy crawly feeling when in the shed/coop. I used to just ignore it and take a shower if it was too annoying - have dusted in the past with Zap poultry dust and was using DE in dust bathing areas.

But then my cat got to have three trips to the vet $$$ had severe bronchial condition and I was concerned it was the DE he might have gotten into, or the poultry dust - so I procrastinated and slacked off on my pest control. NOW, I've been to the doctor's 2 times, was given permethrin 5% cream and hydroxyzine for itching, she said it looked like scabies ewwwww. First my hands looked like eczema, then they got worse, with peeling skin... water on them drove me crazy. Itchy bumps on arms, torso, lower back, back of legs. Just terrible. Scabies is also considered a std since that is typically the closest skin to skin contact. But that is not one of my possible modes of aquisition! lol at least not for a good few months haha.

NO one else in the house has any symptoms YET and after reading up on the condition, I'm surprised the doc didn't advise treating all three of us. I'm still not over it, and need to tackle the shed/coop (wishing now that I had a uncluttered chicken coop instead of a coop/storage shed)

I researched straw mites first and stopped using straw, then grain mites and use a scoup now with gloves on, I never SEE crawlies on me and have yet to be able to spot anything on the chickens. Maybe its a coincidence having both problems at the same time but it just seems hard to believe.

I got ivermectin pour on for cattle (for the chickens, not me. But believe it when I say the temptation to swim in a tub of it is tempting! lol) - 5mg per ml for $14.99 at tractor supply, but even with research I am not sure I have the right thing. I called durvet and they said not to use the ivermectin (or talk to your vet he said) the permethrin 10 SPRAY would not be toxic to cats once it dries. The permethrin dust is.

I don't know if I'm asking for advice or just adding info, or crying on your shoulders. But wanted to share. I just hope this doesn't ruin my chicken hobby
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6 Years
Mar 17, 2013
Billings, MT
My Coop
My Coop
I am getting over scabies too, and started a chicken flock this spring. From what I have read, the human scabies do not live on chickens for long, and vice versa. I think I got my scabies from a home with a convalescent adult. The Permethrin crème is working on me, with one application. It is no fun though, never itched so bad in my life. Waited two months before going to the Doc. I would not recommend waiting that long!


Apr 16, 2015
Just left the Vets. My 7month old puppy has scabies and was with chickens last week. Vet said, they carry the scabies mites and can transmit it to other animals and humans.


In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 17, 2014
Actually, I can't tell you all how grateful I am for this topic! I, too, was just diagnosed with scabies, altho I've had no intimate human contact other than hugs from my daughter. But I've been taking care of chickens! And I've been wondering if the increase in itchiness is related to them, as the itching always starts up again after I've been in their run or putting them up for the night. Then, the bedtime itching kicks in. I've just done the Permethin treatment, as has my daughter (she had NO symptoms). We've washed ALL our clothes and towels linens. At first, it seemed to work. My skin started healing in the first 3 days; an antihistamine helped stop the intense itching long enough to allow healing, if course. Then, after I started back with the chickens (cuz my teenager started to slack again), the little tiny blisters and itchy spots came on my hands...

So, is it actually scabies? One poster here says their vet confirmed cross-species infection of scabies, but everyone else says No. The CDC link says No. Is this some other transmissible mite? Will DE alone work on the hens, or do I need some other kind of intervention?

And why just me? Why isn't my daughter itching? She holds them much more often than I do... I just clean up after them and feed `em and make sure they're content (mother hen that I am)


Apr 23, 2015
Hi there I just read from an old Eastern European book, I recently inherited, full of old fashion advice. Supposedly of all parasites, chickens are most seceptible to scabies. Suggested method of treatment for chicken scabies is one part each mixture of oil and sulphur powder. Rub it all over the chickens daily on the chickens until miss disappear.

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