Stick Tight Fleas - There Driving Me Crazy!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bdagenais, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. bdagenais

    bdagenais Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    Hello Everyone:

    I am on a mission to find out what I can do for Stick Tight Fleas.
    I grew up using Seven Dust for fleas and mites on chickens. It has always worked well. I try to methodically treat the chickens I have to keep the fleas off. This has been to no avail. I currently have my original 11 chickens (10 hens/1 roo) in the pen shown below. More and more I am having issues with stick tight fleas. As you can see the chickens are on soft sand. (Great environ for fleas to boot.) I also contacted the County Extension Office to see if there was anything else I could do. They recommended Permethrin. So, I purchased a bottle of concentrate and mixed it up. I treated the inside and out of the coop up to 3 ft high. I treated the grounds and the chickens themselves. This helped some but not as well as the Seven Dust.
    Does anyone out there know of anything else I could try or anyone that has had the same problem.
    I live in West Central Florida. I am just North of Tampa. As you might know Florida is a VERY sandy state in some areas. It is a great environment for fleas. I have my outside dog under control with the fleas but I can't seem to get a grip on the issue with my chickens.
    I am becoming very concerned because the chickens are starting to loose there feathers. I am not sure if it is due to stress from the fleas or if they are going cannibal on me. Their poor combs and wattles are covered and continue to get recovered a few weeks after each treatment. I am very worried about Fred (shown below before fleas). He seems to be taking the brunt of it the most along with one of my Auracauna (sp?) hens that are completely bald on the rump. She is low hen on the family rung. I would appreciate any help/information anyone could give.

    I am so perplexed because the other 31 chickens I have in my garden area on another part of the property do not have the same problem. They are flea free. Time is coming soon for me to integrate the younger 31 with the older 11. I fear there will be a even bigger problem if I don't get this under control. HELP PLEASE!!!

    [​IMG] This is a pic of my coop. As you can see it is all sand in and around.

    [​IMG] This is Fred my sweet heart of a rooster. This is before he began loosing all his tail feathers. I am too embarrassed to show a pic of him now. I feel like a horrible mother hen.
     
  2. bwebb7

    bwebb7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2008
    Brooksville, Fl
    When you have an infestation like that you need to follow up in 7 days and 7 days after that too! (with the permithrens)
    It would also help to apply diatomaceous earth too. You need to keep your perimiter treated so your neighbors fleas don't think they can stay at your house!

    I also live in Hernando county but thankfully I have no problems with fleas.
    I do keep my dogs treated with advantage and the cat too.
    I like to get ahead and stay ahead.
    I had a real problem years ago and I vowed to never let "em get me again.
     
  3. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    Do you think Fred and the others could be molting?? Have you tried DE for the fleas? Where are you in FL, I lived in Bradenton for 20 yrs.
     
  4. bdagenais

    bdagenais Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    thank you for the in put. I will try the 7 & 7 with the permethrin again. I am not very informed on what DE is and does in regards to fleas. Could you please give me some more information about it. Keep in mind my coop and pen are located in my horse pasture. How much DE do I use? Do
    I work it into the soil? Any info is appreciated.

    As for them molting after reading it could be possible. at the beginning of fall when the days went short thier egg counts dropped from 7 to 3 a day. I put a light in the coop to extend the daylight hours in the morning and evening. It is on a timer for 3 hours morning and night. Thier counts are now up to 9 eggs a day. Would these types of changes coincide with a molt?
     
  5. colby318

    colby318 got 'dottes?

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    Jul 14, 2008
    Stamping Ground, KY
    I dust my birds with DE (food grade!). Try not to snort it, though. The DE blocks fleas breathing abilities. Kills them well. I sprinkle it like flour on the ground. I'm jealous of your sand! We had BUY ours to put in the run.
    Colby in KY
     
  6. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    I don't know too much about DE, but I think it works to break down the hard shells/bodies of the fleas, ticks or lice. It works like shards of glass that penetrates their shells/bodies.

    Molting is an age thing. Most chickens start a molt around 18 mos old, though some do it a bit sooner and some a bit later.
     
  7. bdagenais

    bdagenais Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    I don't think molting is the issue here. My chickens will only be 1 year the first of March. They are still just big babies. I honestly think it is the fleas, because the feathers that are left don't have the same luster they used to have. (if that makes any sense). They are constantly having to shake their heads and bodies I believe due to the discomfort of the fleas. I am going to try the permethrin and the DE and see if this doesn't help better with the fleas than what I have been doing.
    Thank you for all the info and input. It has been a great help to point me in the right direction again.
     
  8. bwebb7

    bwebb7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2008
    Brooksville, Fl
    I hope you can get them out of there fast! It can really make them anemic. That can make their feathers dull.
    We are only getting a little bit of a cool front-the extraordinarily mild weather we are enjoying is not helping!
    sevin dust would also help if you just want to shake some around the yard
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  9. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Evening Shade, AR
    Quote:Check out my Food Grade DE page. There are several links to information on DE, including many links for places that you can buy it. I also explain how and why I use it around here.


    Hope this helps!


    Dawn
     
  10. zsa zsa

    zsa zsa New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2012
    Just started my "Stick Fleas are going to die" campaign over the weekend. I was told by the kid at the feed store to put 1/2 ounce of permertrin in a five gallon bucket.Mix w/ water. Dip each chicken, head and all. no one was happy that day, but the chooks look more comfy. I heard it can take up to a week for the dead fleas to fall off. I will do this once a week (probably three) along with cleaning house, D.E. & sven dust on the floor.
    I have never had this problem, but the mild winter last year contributed to the problem, I'm sure.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

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