Ugh... Mites, I think.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by gravitystar, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. gravitystar

    gravitystar Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2013
    Jersey
    I have noticed for the last week that the babies have been very, very unhappy about going into their house at night and I figured out why last night.

    Normally there is an egg in the morning when I let them out, yesterday there was not, so when I went to put them to bed last night I stuck the light in there to see if there was one and I saw these little bugs crawling all over everything. I clean out their house on Sundays and I have never noticed anything during the day before!

    So I started searching last night and this morning when I could see again, there were a bazillion little tiny red mites all over their house!!

    I pulled out all the bedding and we burnt it in the fire pit, I got that poultry defender stuff and sprayed down the entire house, they were in all the cracks... Now what?

    I checked the babies, they don't seem to have any on them. I checked their necks (that's where the internets said to look).

    What can I do and what do I need to do to stop these evil little blood suckers!??

    Could they be clover mites? I am in NJ and they are in all seriousness, all over everything here. They are on the park benches at the playground, on the deck at our house... I have noticed these things all over and never realized they were mites until the infestation... Am I correct that they are mites?

    Are the babies in danger?
     
  2. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very interesting. Are there a lot of wild birds around?
    I only ask because from your description, it sounds like you have red blood mites. Generally domestic birds get them from wild birds when they hang out in coops or pens with ducks/chickens.

    Here's what I would do, and even if that's not what they are this would be the first step towards eliminating them:
    1. Clean out ALL bedding (even in nest boxes). You are right to burn it, or dump it somewhere in the woods where the ducks can't get to it.
    2. If possible, wash out the coop. Spray it down with water, and use a bleach/water solution and give all surfaces a decent scrub
    3. Then buy some DE and sprinkle it over EVERYTHING. This stuff works wonders (be sure you wear a mask when spreading it as you shouldn't inhale too much). This stuff will suffocate bugs!
    4. Then buy some ORANGE GUARD (I got some at my local hardware store. You can buy it in a spray bottle or a jug) and give every surface a light spray (this keeps bugs and mites away)
    5. Then I would use mite dust and put it on all of your ducks (even if you don't see mites on them as they can carry them around).
    6. Spray the coop and sprinkle the DE every time you clean it out. And I would use the dust on the birds 1-2 times a week for at least 3 weeks.
    This is the dust I would use on the birds, but anything with PERMETHRIN should do the trick
    [​IMG]

    And here's the Orange Guard, it smells wonderful and works great too!
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. gravitystar

    gravitystar Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2013
    Jersey
    Thank you so much!
    These are the bugs that were all over:
    [​IMG]

    We do have a lot of wild birds around us. I went through 2 bottles of the Poultry spray on the house this afternoon and put new bedding in there for them tonight.

    Here is the part that really scares me, this is part of the pen:
    [​IMG]

    and the mites are on the actual structure of the pen, not just the house.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    If they are clover mites, they are plant eaters, from what I read. No doubt, they have a big "ick" factor. yikes.

    But aside from the DE, if they are not duck parasites, I don't know that you would need to treat the ducks.

    I would send your photo to the Extension Office near you. Often they have entomologists who can make a positive I.D.

    learycow is a great, experienced duck person, I value her input. Just thinking there are mites (animal parasites) , and then there are mites( plant parasites).
     
  5. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern Maine
    Thanks! And very true about the mites

    From the picture, I am thinking they aren't the blood mites. Those are much smaller and you only really notice them when they form a cluster.
    I would do as Amiga suggested, or if you can get a "sample" of them and bring them to your local USDA or NRCS office they may be able to help identify them especially if they are a plant mite.
    I would try dusting the ground and spraying the wooden structures of your fence as well. Mites are VERY good at hiding in creaks and crevaces and re-appearing later on when the coast is clear. So that may help get rid of some and deter others.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Neem oil is another natural safe way to treat houses, And a word of caution about orange guard. Just from my own personal experience, A couple years ago one of my hens hatched one chick they were both doing great and while mama and chick were out side I sprayed the inside of their coop and bedding with orange guard because about a month before this li one hatched mites had been in there anyway mama and chick spent the night and I am thinking with chick under mama even though bedding was dry the fumes must have gotten to the chick next morning she was lethargic and mama was distraught, not long after I found the chick dead. Maybe anything with fumes would have done this no matter how natural but I don't spray when I have babies anymore. With the neem I use warm water and sprayer go in and spray all cracks crevices and roosts if in chicken coop top to bottom let air dry by evening you can barely smell the neem.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I found a few tiny critters which I reckon were mites a few months ago, just in a couple of places. I pulled out a straw bale that was near the door, pulled out some bedding and put diatomaceous earth in cracks, on boards, and around the edges of the floor of the pen. Planned to neem if necessary at another time. This was not a big infestation by any means. I checked the ducks and saw no evidence of mites on them. I made sure to put DE down in the lower layers of the nests (there were two or three at that time).

    Did a big cleanout yesterday and saw no evidence of any critters. shew.

    Still put DE along the bottoms of the vertical boards where they meet the floor, just as a safety measure. Be careful with any of those dusty treatments for yourself and your ducks. But you knew that. [​IMG]
     
  8. Buckas

    Buckas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    Anyone have any experience with CERCARIAL DERMATITIS???
    I think I may have contacted it by standing in my ducks pond to clean it out. (I do that to save my back incase anyone is wondering what I was doing in their pond to begin with)[​IMG]

    OR...

    Anyone have any experience with BIRD MITES???

    Im leaning more towards cercarial dermatitis because I'm the only one with a problem in a house of 4. Besides Im also the only one who stands in the duck pond.


    I have had itchy legs since about July and of coarse just now went to the DR to complain. They claim its DERMATITIS (oh thanks) but havent a clue what Im reacting to. My blood work suggest a parasite or immune response to allergen (dermatittis) go figure!
    Anyone with DUCKS that has experienced an itch or rash, PLEASE HELP! Even if you have just ever had it and own chickens or other poultry, I would love to hear from you too.

    I haven't stood in their pond for at least a month or more. Just saying.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I think someone on here had that. Let me think who it was . . . . What are you taking for it, if anything?

    I don't know if it was ever resolved, but here is the thread

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/673769/rash-from-ducks/30
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  10. Buckas

    Buckas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    Thanks Amiga for the link I checked it out and posted hopefully I will get a response. The doc prescribed me a cream called Pramosone. Basically a band aid not the cure. She also suggested I get a lotion called Sarna, which I did. This summer when it started I instantly chalked it up to little bugs in the grass biting me, no one else seemed to notice those bugs though . It's cold here now so definitely not grass bugs!
    I'm grabbing at straws here, Im freaked out and think its fleas, mites, bedbugs, something gross like a parasite, whatever but no one else is affected! I have been using the lotion and cream for one week and nothing has changed. I'm not giving up though. The first doctor was a dermatologist, my next appointment will be with our family doctor.
     

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