Treating Lice

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by halleyd591, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. halleyd591

    halleyd591 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2017
    Statesville, NC
    My girls (and boy) are around 32 weeks old. We have been fighting lice for a while now. They have access to a dust area. They prefer to dig out a place in the dry dirt in the ground (i have a wash tub full of sand, DE and wood ash but they won't use it). I just sprinkle DE and Wood Ash over their favorite places. They are perfectly healthy to look at I only knew there was a problem on my monthly inspections. The bugs are long and straw colored? Lice? feathers are healthy but I'm starting to see eggs attaching to the shafts on a couple around vents. I also sprinkle DE in nest boxes and in bedding. I have tried a modest approach using Poutlry Protector spraying directly on them and spraying coop and changing bedding. No avail. I have tried manually dust bathing all of them in the sand/de/wood ash concoction. No avail. They keep coming back!!!
    I finally broke down and bought Permethrin 10% from Tractor supply. I mixed 1 tsp to a 28 oz bottle of water. Sprayed on their bottoms. It wasn't my first choice but it seemed better than the other alternatives. I have a couple of questions:
    What have you used that is safe and effective?
    Is there a withdrawal period for eggs? ( I contacted the Gordon USA company and the guy said "It should be fine".)
    Will the Permethrin also kill eggs or should I re treat in 7, 10, 14 days?
    I'm a newbie and extremely aggravated at this whole process. I keep a very clean coop and run and my chickens are PAMPERED. Can't believe they STILL got lice!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Permethrin will work but you're gonna need to spray them everywhere, not just their bottoms. And yes, you will need to retreat in ten days. You're also gonna want to clean the coop out very well and spray it, too.

    A warning, permethrin is extremely toxic to cats. If you have a cat I'd choose a different method, such as Sevin dust.
     
  3. halleyd591

    halleyd591 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I don't have any cats...just a dog. So just spray under wings too? Anywhere else? I plan on cleaning coop and replacing bedding tomorrow.
     
  4. halleyd591

    halleyd591 Out Of The Brooder

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    What about eggs? Are they safe to eat?!
     
  5. superlukee

    superlukee Out Of The Brooder

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    Not sure :/ so I'll bump your question to the next member
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    If used as directed there is no withdrawal period for eggs.

    I have used permethrin with great success. Come to find out there are more than one type of chicken lice. Head, shaft,... Here is a link...
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1155789/lice-and-mites-pictures#post_18145140

    And another with some good permethtin discussion...
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1134783/permethrin-spray

    DE on the other hand, to me is ineffective as well as dangerous to the respiratory system. As you noted, your birds don't even want to bath in it. It does not work as a wormer either, in case you use it for that as well.

    I also did not wish to use chemicals... but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I couldn't afford the Elector PSP.

    Also, people are misled when they think lice live in dirty hair (on humans). Lice actually prefer it clean! And it isn't likely your habits that brought the lice. They are on wild animals and in the environment. One reason it is important not to purposely attract other birds to your yard.

    One other tip... don't chase your birds around to treat them. Wait until they go to roost and use your flash light. That might make your process easier if you didn't know that. I always check or treat my birds like that. The one who is being handled might fight a little, depending on the bird. But it is MUCH easier!

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  7. halleyd591

    halleyd591 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2017
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    Thank you so much for all of that info! My birds are very tame and have been handled since day one so they don't put up much of a fuss.
    Thanks for the encouraging info on permethrin! This ordeal is wearing me out!
    Do you recommend sand over pine shavings for coop bedding to cut down on bugs??
     
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    I use washed river sand in my large coop and it works well. I never change it. Just remove the poo and add more sand as needed. I also use poo boards that keep my coop floor pretty poo free. But for my small tractor coop that needs more absorption I use shavings. I also use shaving in my nest boxes.

    But really it depends on your set up and climate, and preference. I don't think shaving increases your issue but I could be wrong. My chickens probably use the sand as grit but they far prefer shavings to scratch around and peck in.

    I would say while you are battling the bugs just keep the shavings switched out before the next cycle begins for a few times. The lice do not live in shavings, they only live on the animal of choice. So they could probably crawl across either to get onto a bird... is what my deductive reasoning says anyways.

    But with everything you are told on here, take into consideration if it makes sense to you. There are so many different ways to do things. And there is no right way... Only the way that works for YOU, is the right way. And you might find that sometimes you need to switch it up to make it work for you again if you or your flocks needs change. [​IMG]

    So many great people on BYC willing to share what has and hasn't worked for them. [​IMG]
    I learn something new everyday even after 6 years of keeping chickens!

    I have 50+ chickens. While some come over to get picked up, others will avoid human contact like their life depends on it. So roost is definitely a good time for me. Aside from not chasing anybody, it's easier to know who got treated already without having to make a check off list. [​IMG] You are very blessed to have birds that all will come to you!
     
  9. halleyd591

    halleyd591 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2017
    Statesville, NC
    Thanks!!! I have been doing this less Than a year and LOVE IT!!
     

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