Red mite help

The place to discuss chicken coops and runs.

Moderators: Marigold, victorias poultry

Post Reply
henboy
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:14 pm

Red mite help

Post by henboy » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:10 pm

hi all ive had poultry for many years now but the last 2 years ive been fighting constantly but getting no where with red mites ,
ive got 2 large sheds made in to chicken coops with perches nest boxes etc all very well ventilated , I keep these spotless clean poop out daily rub DM powder on perches and every month only if warm pressure wash the sheds out with jeyes fluid also spray smite over shed but im constantly getting red mites I think its bad now as there inside the trundle feeder lid , over years ive tried smite spray and powder , red diesel , creosote , DM powder and many red mite sprays but nothing is removing these not even smoke bombs , just to confirm when using these I have the hens away from the shed for at least 3 weeks for fumes to go , anyone have an tips or any sort of mixture I can make up from house hold products I can remove hens to another shed for time being
bigyetiman
Full Member
Posts: 804
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Re: Red mite help

Post by bigyetiman » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:37 pm

You do seem to have a bad infestation, and seem to have tried all the well known remedies, I assume you are doing the treatment to eradicate the mites then ones that will have hatched from eggs that have been laid. Trouble is the little devils hide in dark crevices and cracks during the day.
Sometimes the only way is to literally burn the offending coop and start afresh. Which isn't always practical
User avatar
rick
Full Member
Posts: 1573
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm

Re: Red mite help

Post by rick » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:41 pm

Hi Henboy and welcome!
Mite can be a real pain! I know there are lots of different opinions out there as to what is the best thing to do - and different takes on it have worked for different people - but this is my take on it and its worked for me (its based on knowing the enemy!):
Red mite have to visit the roosting bird in the night to feed and they achieve that on mass by following well laid trails from colony to perch to bird and back in time for morning. They are a bit like ants in this respect, yes they scout individually but the aim for the colony is to set up a path and go along it in their thousands. Walking there and back. Seeing red mite means that they are being successful as they are not red if they don't eat and you probably would have great difficulty spotting them in the first place. So, if the chickens are all roosting on perches and the mite cannot walk onto the perches then they will starve to death - very slowly, over a year but inevitably they will because they cant ever get at the roosting chickens.
Its worked for me - the perches are on metal posts with DE at the bottom. Of course, if a chicken doesn't roost on the perches one night for some reason then the mite get a meal out of it but they wont thrive in masses on a very occasional meal. I think string wound round a perch end with DE rubbed in would also work but haven't tried it. Wing and tails mustn't touch the walls. If the roof it very close overhead that may be a bit of a problem but I dont believe that the colony arrives in the thousands needed to support its growth by all dropping from the ceiling and then dropping off the perch to the floor to repeat the trick night after night.
The other nuclear tool is a big (farming style) steam cleaner. They don't survive that!

Trouble is, of course, a lot of roosting arrangements don't easily lend themselves to making the mite have to use a 'bottleneck' to get to the birds. I had to make new perches in a fairly big space with plenty of wing room. But if you can then a ring of Vaseline beyond the DE barrier would be very interesting! I don't think they will ever risk paddling knee deep through DE. Beer bottle caps make good little pools of the stuff at the bottom of the posts.
henboy
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:14 pm

Re: Red mite help

Post by henboy » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:06 pm

hi thanks for reply so today in the spare shed I have fully sprayed jeyes fluid then pressure washed it clean I will wait few days until fully dry then spray this product ive purchased called aparasit which claims to kill mites within mins and is good for upto 6 weeks so wish me look
User avatar
rick
Full Member
Posts: 1573
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm

Re: Red mite help

Post by rick » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:20 pm

Aparasit seems to be mainly marketed for racing pigeons. I think Ficam W is more commonly used for mites and chickens. Personally, I don't like either as they are indiscriminate insecticides but you wont be alone in using that option so good luck.
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 6210
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Red mite help

Post by Marigold » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:29 am

Are you thinking of using Aparasit on the chickens, or just on the coop? It looks pretty strong stuff, and would probably be used on pigeons because people wouldn't be eating their eggs. If you spray your chickens with it, there would need to be a very long egg withdrawal period as it's systemic and will affect the eggs and pass into humans. All the systemic spray-on mite treatments such as Fipronil (Frontline) etc are potentially very harmful to the health of both chickens and humans and should only be used as a very last resort on non-laying birds, if at all. If used in effective quantities on the coop, especially when spraying inside, you need to wear full protective clothing including a chemical mask, and wash everything afterwards including yourself and your hair, as the stuff is carcinogenic.
I think you're right to concentrate on trying to rid the coop of mites - I don't think you've said whether the coop is covered with roofing felt? If so, you need to remove all the felt and the supporting wood underneath, and burn it, as otherwise you will never get rid of the mites and mite eggs that will be tucked up in their hundreds and thousands between the surfaces. Replace it with single-sheet corrugated plastic, which will never need toxic treatments and will also improve ventilation at roof level and give nowhere inaccessible for mites to hide. If you remove the old felt and the wood layer, you will inevitably shake out some of the mites and eggs on to the surrounding ground, so it's best to move the whole coop out of the run if possible, and then stand the legs of the coop in tins of water or D.E. to prevent them crawling back in.
The other problem is dealing with mites that have got between the slats of shiplap coop sides, if you have these, as well as every inaccessible place where two pieces of wood join closely but leave a tiny crack. This is a big problem in wooden coops, and the only solution really is to burn the coop and replace it with a clean one, preferably plastic, which won't have the same problems. Think what you'll save, not only in time but on nasty chemical treatments for a problem that just won't go away!

One more consideration, important if you did change the coop and manage to beat the current mite crop - where are the mites coming from in the first place? Are there any overhanging trees where birds roost, especially pigeons? And do wild birds have any access to the chicken run, or if it's covered in mesh to exclude predators, do they perch on the mesh and shake their feathers? Any of these factors will lead to renewed mite infestation when wild birds preen and mites drop off on to surfaces below. A friend of mine who had never had any redmite left the door open to a clean run and came back to find a pigeon settled on a stool in there. She chased it out and found the stool was covered in redmite. She then used Ficam-W on all the exposed areas and nipped the problem in the bud. I'm sure that excluding wild birds is the main way to prevent infestations. I can only say that, in a roofed run with mesh sides that excludes wild birds, and a plastic coop, I have been keeping chickens for many years and have never encountered any redmite although the run is well shaded by large trees and we have far too many pigeons who live in them!

When you've got the infestation down to a lower level, you might consider using Red Stop in the drinking water. This is a herbal treatment, harmless to chicken and human health, which makes the chickens' blood taste nasty to the mites so they don't feed and thus eventually starve themselves. You use it at a higher concentration for the first week or two and then at a low maintenance dose. Worth a try, especially when you get to the stage of prevention rather than cure.
Shadrach
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:50 pm

Re: Red mite help

Post by Shadrach » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:10 pm

Hello henboy.
Large wooden coops are a problem, especially if built with planks or tongue and groove.
Red mite don't live on chickens so this means they are in your coop.
To date I have seen no scientific evidence that DE or any other 'natural' method often espoused on the Internet actually worked to rid fowl and coops of mites.
Permethrin based mite and louse sprays do work.

https://www.amazon.com/Martins-Poultry- ... B01LVWREWJ
henboy
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:14 pm

Re: Red mite help

Post by henboy » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:49 pm

hi everyone thanks so much for your advice up to now I fully emptied my shed and pressured washed out with jeyes fluid then left to dry few days and just sprayed the whole shed with the spray I mentioned earlier I got that advice from a local poultry farmer they claim wipes red mite out, I then puffed DM powder everywhere but mainly on perches , is there any last methods you recommend before putting hens back in also one other thing which I really want to work but ive never had success a dust bath I have a large sand pit shell which I added new play sand and DM powder mixed all under shelter but it only lasts a few days then the whole thing is empty ive tried cat litter boxes with lids still same surely other people have same problems
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 6210
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Red mite help

Post by Marigold » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Hi Henboy, for dustbaths you need a large container, at least 18" deep, with about 4" of sand etc in it. I use an old water butt cut down, and they roll about in the sand, scratch it up and then stand up to shake it out of their feathers. That's the point where all the sand is lost over the sides if your container is too shallow. Another idea is one of those huge plastic garden trugs, or any strong deep box will do. Some people use old tyres, maybe one on top of another to give height. Cat litter boxes or a shallow sandpit, as you say, simply don't do the job.
Post Reply

Return to “Chicken Houses, Runs & Equipment”