What exactly am I looking at?

juliasflock

Songster
Mar 19, 2017
186
980
201
I keep my eggs on the counter, and while looking at my new layer’s egg, I noticed 3 tiny, tiny oval shaped grayish/tan color bugs on 2 eggs. I squished them immediately, with no effort or force at all.

I had surgery, so my kids have been putting the mail on the counter. We’ve had below freezing temps, but a small warm up around the time I saw the bugs.

We live in WI and have wooden mailboxes. This summer I noticed really tiny bugs on my mail on occasion. I googled at the time, and they are harmless little critters that like wet wood. They were darker than what I recently saw on the eggs. But if they were freshly hatched due to a quick warm up, maybe that would explain the lighter color?

Are lice less than a mm and soft, in that they don’t have a tough exoskeleton like other bugs?

I checked all my chickens and I didn’t see a single lice or lice egg.

I’m ready to do a full clean coop, spray it down and treat them. But now I’m doubting it’s actually lice, I haven’t seen any more tiny bugs, and our temp are back to freezing.

Sound like poultry lice, or a revival of mailbox critters from a couple days of warmer temp?

Thank you!
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,319
38,269
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Colorado Rockies
It's true of insect exoskeletons that they are lighter in color right after they emerge, then darken as they harden. But lice only live on the chicken, not in mail boxes or coops.

A likely explanation is that dormant larvae in your mail box got transferred to the mail, brought inside, hatched in the warmer temps and then migrated to the eggs somehow.

I would not waste time worrying about it, and certainly wouldn't waste time scrubbing down the coop unless it really needs cleaning anyway.
 

My2butterflies

Crowing
Apr 14, 2020
1,337
3,413
356
Minnesota
Did you check All your chickens vents?
They sound like they could be northern fowl mites. Around the vent is the only place I found them on a few of my chickens. I too saw a bug or two on an egg. I checked all 20 and only about 7 had them. That I could see anyway.
It could be that bugs got brought in with the mail, but I’d still check every single chicken over just to put my mind at ease. Little bugs give me the creepy crawlies!
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,283
29,287
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
It's true of insect exoskeletons that they are lighter in color right after they emerge, then darken as they harden. But lice only live on the chicken, not in mail boxes or coops.

A likely explanation is that dormant larvae in your mail box got transferred to the mail, brought inside, hatched in the warmer temps and then migrated to the eggs somehow.

I would not waste time worrying about it, and certainly wouldn't waste time scrubbing down the coop unless it really needs cleaning anyway.
I agree. Probably nothing to do with your birds since you found no pests on them. I do put poultry dust in my nest boxes which has permethrin in it. No issues with pests. Good luck...
 

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