Using DE to get rid of lice


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 16, 2011
So, I'm sure this has been going on since I've had my birds (5 years now0 because it never fails that each spring they all end up with bare bottoms but this year, after noticing that my biggest hen looked a litter sore, I took a look at the 'problem' and that was when I noticed the lice.

I'm aware that they all have them but her poor bottom, right around the vent, is infested! What little feathers she still has are covered at the shaft with eggs, some so thick that they look like baby q-tips. Currently some of my girls still have all their bottom feathers but I'm concerned and want to help. They are able to dust bath but I'm thinking that they need some help.

I'm going to purchase some DE tomorrow once I'm able to get into the city and make a dust bath in a tub but I was also wondering about dusting their rumps with it. Can I do that? Would it be safe to use around their vents to help out with the lice? I feel SO sorry for my girls right now and I'm also kicking myself for not noticing the issue sooner.

Living in Interior Alaska there aren't much pests to worry about and now that I have them, I want to help the issue as much as I can.

Thanks in advance!



Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Project Manager
10 Years
Mar 27, 2012
My Coop
My Coop
Actually DE isn't going to help much. It can work somewhat well as a preventative but once they have mites it really won't kill them. You'll want to pick up some Sevin 5% garden dust (comes in a red container) or a similar poultry or garden dust and dust with that. Dust the birds all over, then clean out the coop really well and dust that, since mites can also live in the bedding and cracks in the wood of the coop itself. Repeat in seven days to kill the ones that will have hatched since the first treatment, since the dust doesn't kill eggs, only hatched mites. I would also add it to dust bathing spot so they can be dusting themselves too.

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