Topic of the Week - Lice and Mites - Prevention and Treatments

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sumi, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    This week I'd like to talk about a creepy crawly topic: external parasites, such as mites and lice (and fleas and ticks). I would like to hear what you all consider the best way to deal with these very common parasites on your flocks, as well as their housing. Specifically:

    - What do you do to help prevent mite/lice/etc infestations? (I.e. preventive treatments on the birds themselves and in the coop)
    - What are the tell tale signs of an infestation?
    - What product(s) works best to combat mites/lice etc?



    For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  2. tgaruti

    tgaruti New Egg

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    I have had chickens for about two years now , I used to live in the suburbs but recently bought a house in the country. Now that I have the space and privacy I have been expanding my flock . I started out with 4 hens and now I have 7 hens and a rooster. I got them all at the same farm to reduce the risk of disease or sickness . Being out in the woods ticks and mites are more common , what are some good ways to treat and prevent infestation. I do not have any problems with them now but I hope to stop any before they start.
     
  3. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I provide a dust bathing tray with a mixture of sand and ashes. If I've seen lice on one of the hens, I also add poultry dust (with pyrethrin).
    For bad infestations, I treat the flock with ivermectin (applied directly to the skin at the back of their neck). I have read that ivermectin won't work for lice (or maybe it was mites?) but mine disappeared. Perhaps the dust bath got it under control.
    I have not had to deal with northern red fowl mites, which I hear are more difficult to eliminate.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I was using Ivermectin for both mites, lice, and intestinal parasites. Now that I've found permethrin spray, it's by far the best for lice and mites! So easy to use, and effective, and cheaper than the permethrin powder. I sometimes add some wood ashes to their favorite dusting spots, but generally just look at the birds and treat if necessary. Go out at night with a flashlight and look at vents while the birds are roosting. Any mites of lice on even one bird, and the spray comes out. Mary
     
    rbnk1, AnneInTheBurbs and sumi like this.
  5. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sprayed everything with permethrin before I installed the birds it is good for 6 months
    When I build me new coop this summer I will spray the whole inside every crevice with permethrin and let it dry well before the birds move in
     
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  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I found mite on my birds this fall, and sprayed them and the coop with permethrin around Sept 23; so far no more mites! Mary
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  7. Are pyrethrin and permethrin the same thing? ie either a misspelling of one or a brand name of one?? If they are two distinct treatments which is better recommended? I've heard folks say mites are just a part of being a bird and let it be unless it gets really out of hand. Advice there?
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    - What do you do to help prevent mite/lice/etc infestations? (I.e. preventive treatments on the birds themselves and in the coop)
    • Keep coops clean
    • Keep birds healthy
    • Do regular inspection of birds and coops for signs

    What are the tell tale signs of an infestation?

    • Bugs and/or bug bites on you after being in the coop or handling birds
    • Birds looking unwell
    • Birds not wanting to roost in their coop or usual spot.
    • Pale combs
    • Restlessness
    • Ruffked feathers
    • Death (extreme infestation)
    • Excessive preening
    • Shaking of head
    • Scratching
    • Feather Damage
    • Reddened skin
    • Raised scale on legs (scaly leg mites)
    • Respiratory abnormalities (air sac mites)

    What product(s) works best to combat mites/lice etc?

    • Permethrin spray or dust
    • Any type of ivermectin (oral, injectable, or topical)
    • Vectra 3D (not approved for use in poultry)




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    Lice

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    Mites

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    Scaly Leg Mites

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    Sticktight Fleas

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    External Parasites

    Biting insects (hematophagous), i.e. they suck blood

    • Bed bugs. $-RR. Can become a problem in layers and breeders, worldwide.
    • Fleas. $-R. Can become a problem in poultry houses worldwide, sometimes considerable, mainly during hot and humid season. Usually not the first priority.
    • Mosquitoes. $-RRR. A worldwide problem in all kind of livestock, but usually not a major issue on poultry.
    • Stable flies. $. A potential problem on birds kept outdoors worldwide, but usually not a major threat.
    • Lice. $$. Very common problem worldwide, particularly in layers.

    Non-biting insects, do not suck blood

    • Houseflies. $$-RRRRR. Can be a serious problem in any kind of poultry operation worldwide, particularly during the hot and humid season.
    • Filth & nuisance flies. $. Can be a problem in any kind of poultry operation worldwide, particularly during the hot and humid season.

    Ticks & mites

    • Soft ticks. $. Can be a significant problem in tropical and subtropical regions in birds kept outdoors.
    • Mites. $$$$-RRRR. Red mites (Dermanyssus) and Northern fowl mites (Ornithonyssus) can be a tremendous problem in layers worldwide.


    Tractor Supply carries Gordon's
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    Gordon's instructions for poultry = ~19 ml/gallon


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    https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/ppls/002217-00853-20130129.pdf
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  9. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great post! That is all very good information. Kind of hard to look at some of the pictures though. I currently have a lie infestation, and it is very hard to treat. What do you all suggest I should do?
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If you live in the US you can get permethrin spray or dust to use on your birds and in their coop. Ivermectin de-wormer also works, but you still need to treat the coops.

    Carbaryl (Sevin) is no longer approved for use in poultry, and mites are showing resistance to it.

    Spinosad could also be used, but it's very expensive.

    You best bet would be to go to Tractor Supply and get some permethrin spray (Gordan's).

    -Kathy
     

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