Ugly Scaly Leg Mites! Oh My!

two early

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 21, 2011
I have read a lot of the posts about treating leg mites and am wondering what is the most organically "clean" method. I have been trying the oil method for 2 days and haven't seen any results. Plus, the chickens hate to be handled anyway, so soaking their legs in oil is a real ugly mess. I can't imagine ridding the whole coop and run of the many little nooks and crannies. I have always used DE but they got the leg mites anyway. What to do, what to do...feeling overwhelmed. Any advice appreciated.
Organic control of pests is almost never effective. I would use Eprinex. It will kill the mites, and any intestinal parasites. DE is not effective enough to bother with it. Wazine followed up with Ivermectin is useful and safe for worming, and the Ortho product Seven is effective for external parasites. The natural methods are only going to prolong the problem. I have yet to read of anyone truly controlling parasites with completely natural methods. I think we all want to, and that the natural methods help some. But the birds will continue to suffer unless proven methods are used.
I have dealt with scaly leg mites twice. It does take TWO weeks of daily dipping in mineral oil (or veg oil) to smother the mites. Some use vaseline but I find it easier to dip.

They can also go for the face (the mites) but I always dust my chickens with sevin or poultry dust alongside any scaly leg mite treatment. Repeat dusting in 10 days and make sure you don't get it in the face. I turn the chicken upside down on its back in a cardboard box lined with a plastic trash bag. I use a tied-off sock as a powder puff and dust around the vent, under the wings, and everywhere except the face. Take shower after, wear long sleeves, gloves, and mask.
this post is in reference to mites other than the scaly leg mite but it does mention sevin so I thought it might be useful to you

If they have a very bad case of scaly leg mites the scales on the feet and legs might not recover completely until the yearly molt of them. The cases I have dealt with were mild and I saw complete disappearance of the lifting of the scales in two weeks.
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If it's scaly leg mites you can kill them with oil but you also should oil the combs just in case they are there too. The oil smothers the mites. These are not the same mites that get on their bodies...those I use seven for. The oil smothers them in place. They get under the scales and excrete a substance the makes the scales bulge out and they live in there. It will eventually cause the toes and feet to die off.
This is good to know...I must have lucked out and the scaly leg mites just didn't invade the combs/face to begin with, is why I was able to get away with using sevin dust instead of oiling the comb area. Thank you!

*****revising my advice******* I will offer this in the future to others....oil the combs!!!
I had no idea until I ran across some chickens that were not being taken care of well. Eventually I stepped in. I had to bring some of them home to treat. This hen had lost most of her toes and I wiped her head to see what was wrong and most of the feathers wiped off down to raw skin. Freaky for sure.


This was after a week or so. They were so bad it took a while to get all the crud off.
OMG! Really? I had no idea scaly leg mites were anything more than a nuisance and discomfort. What a hideous example set by that poor little chicken. (Are you going to have her fitted for prosthetics?)
Thanks for the replies. I will continue with the oil and look into the ortho product mentioned. Also, from the pic posted of the back of the head, one of the hens looks like that also. So I will coat that with oil too. Thanks again.

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