Was it a red mite?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by krista74, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi everyone,

    I live in the bush in Australia. This morning I went out to my isolation coop to check on a chicken I had separated and was busy replacing water and feed when I saw a bug.

    It was a single bug, about the size of a plump match head, and it was right red - like, fire truck red. Literally, almost fluorescent red.

    I have not seen evidence of red mite presence before - the girls seem comfortable, are laying well, and have good red combs.

    Does this sound like a red mite, or just some weird bush bug. We certainly get a vast range of creepy crawlies out here, and I guess it would be odd to get a red mite walking along the wooden pen in direct sunlight in the morning?

    Thoughts?

    - Krista
     
  2. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Red mites come out at night to drink blood, usually you will see them at night on the bird, roof perches etc from where they have crawled out from. Ive never seen one that big but its possible, there are also grey mites which don't drink blood but do bite and itch, and are awful. a good spray with a mix of ether diesel and ripcord ( the strong stuff not the stuff form the hardware store as its watered down, well here in nz it is) or a mix of carbarol powder with water and dish soap will kill them and any other crawlies that get hit
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
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    Well, I've just come in from spraying the coop with a regular can of insecticide (chickens removed from the cage, of course) and a whole heap of those red bugs came out of the wood. I am almost certain it is red mite. I have moved the two chickens from that cage into another wire cage across the yard. It is constructed from sheets of wire mesh, and there is no floor in it (the dirt it sits on will be the floor) and also no roof other than a tarp I have just put over it. I am hoping the mites won't travel across the yard to find them? The birds themselves look clean so I don't think they are carrying them there. We are going to treat the pen with proper poultry mite spray on the weekend and until then we won't be using it.

    I am wondering what the odds are that the main coop is infested also? It is about 100 metres from the infected coop. Do mites travel from coop to coop or stay in their chosen domain? We are going to spray the main coop in a couple of weeks when hubby gets a day off, but until then fingers crossed there are none in there to bother my birds. I've certainly never seen these red bugs before. Pity I can't say the same for the brown snake that currently resides in my coop, but keeps disappearing as soon as I call hubby.

    - Krista
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I thought mites were more the size of standard metal straight pin head.
     
  5. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hmmm, so did I. Some were much smaller, but the first one I saw was a monster. There were hundreds of them that came crawling out in the end.

    They are a lot brighter red than I had imagined they would be - quite literally fire-truck red, not the deep blood red I was expecting.

    Unless, of course, this is just some other nasty bitey bug-type thing. We are in the bush out here and anything is possible. They certainly look like red mite as far as the body/legs are concerned. And they were hiding among the cracks in the wood of the coop.

    Either way, it won't hurt to treat the coop for mites anyway. Hubby has half a day off tomorrow morning so we are going to strip out the main coop and the isolation pens for the day and give everything a proper treatment. We are expecting over 100F tomorrow so there will be plenty of time for the coops to dry, and we will set the nest boxes up in the run so the girls can still lay.

    - Krista
     

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