What is the Best and Safest Way to Eliminate Mites?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CalBickieMomma, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. CalBickieMomma

    CalBickieMomma Songster

    Hello chicken folks! I've had an on-and-off-again issue with mites on my birds (doesn't seem too serious - am only seeing the little beasties near the vent area on my chickens - but I don't want it to get worse and I hate that my girls and boys have itchy things all over them).

    Anyway, I have diatomaceous earth and when I apply it, it seems to work a little at first, but then the mites come back. Is this because I'm not applying it often enough, or is it just not that effective? How often should it be applied if mites are present in order for it to work well? Is there another product I should be using that is more effective but safe for my chickens and the environment? I really don't want to resort to Sevin dust because I know it is horribly toxic - as effective as it is. Do any of you out there have any products you swear by? Thanks!
     
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  2. Kiki

    Kiki Is your thermometer calibrated?

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  3. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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  4. CalBickieMomma

    CalBickieMomma Songster

    Thank you, Kiki and ValerieJ! And I can spray this right on the chickens, correct? Should I try to get it between the feathers, or will spraying it on the surface of the feathers suffice?
     
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  5. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    I haven't actually had to do this, but I have read to spray the vent and under the wings. Also, you need to clean out and spray the coop, especially corners and crevices.
     
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  6. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    BTW, Pyrethrin is the organic version of Permethrin, but both use the same bug killer substances that comes from Chrysanthemums I understand. Something, a chemical I think, is added to Permethrin to make it last longer. Permethrin is readily available at most farm stores, but I couldn't find Pyrethrin at any of the ones around me. So, I bought mine on Amazon. I bought it to have on hand, not because I needed it right then. If I had mites to deal with I would buy what I could find at my local farm and feed store.
     
  7. CalBickieMomma

    CalBickieMomma Songster

    I'll probably have to spray them since the mites are on them, but I'll be sure to clean out the coop and spray it down, too. Thanks so much!
     
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  8. CalBickieMomma

    CalBickieMomma Songster

    I was reading about both those before posting this question and I learned that Permethrin is a synthetic version of Pyrethrin (but I thought it best to ask the experts here on Backyard Chickens just to be safe :)). I went ahead and ordered the Pyrethin from the Amazon link you provided - as well as a hand sprayer ;).
     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Yes, get it on their skin...around vent and neck, under wings, and on belly.


    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).


    Good post about mite ID by Lady McCamley:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/my-chicken-has-mites-now-what.1273674/page-2#post-20483008
     
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  10. CalBickieMomma

    CalBickieMomma Songster

    Thanks for the details! I keep reading about treating them with the spray or dust, but not EXACTLY what to do. They are definitely mites (teeny-tiny crawly bugs) and I mostly see them around the vent area - and in the head feathers of my poor little Polish girls.

    It's finally started raining here (I live on the California Coast and it's usually bone-dry :p) so I'm not sure if I can treat the run, but I should be able to treat the coop (there is a bit of water leaking in at the base, making the bedding damp, so I was going to wait and clean it out completely when we have a break in the weather - this coming weekend - then spray EVERYWHERE inside the coop before putting down bedding again).

    I did find some external parasite dust in my chicken cabinet that is composed of permethrin, so I'll dust them with that (vent area and under wings) tomorrow - since my liquid pyrethrin won't be here until Friday.

    Hoping this all works out! Never had a mite problem until earlier this summer. And to make things even more ''exciting'' around here, two of my pullets and my roo have bubbly eyes (read that was a viral infection and there is all kinds of advice on treating that, ranging from letting it run its course to getting antibiotics from the vet. Right now, I'm monitoring it to see if it gets worse. So far, I'm not seeing any lethargy - just one runny eye on each of them, with what appears to be swollen sinuses with one of the pullets and a slightly swollen eyelid on my roo. Still, they seem to be acting normal, otherwise).
     
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