Another way to kill red mite.

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chrismahon
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Another way to kill red mite.

Post by chrismahon » Sat May 24, 2014 10:50 am

In the UK we had problems with whitefly in the greenhouse. I read they could stand heat and also read they could stand high humidity. But by way of an experiment I subjected them to both at the same time, flooding the floor with water and shutting all the vents. The temperature rose to 50 degrees and the humidity to 100%. Next day the plants were fine but every whitefly and every other bug in the greenhouse was dead.

We are having trouble with red mite at the moment. Treating the inside of the coop panels with a creosote/ paraffin solution inside results in them escaping to the painted outside. So I sprayed the outside with Nettex only to discover that a day later the surface was crawling with newly hatched. So into the greenhouse the panels went and all the vents were closed. Couldn't use water in there because we also have firewood stored. So the temperature in the sun hit 60 degrees (50 degree thermometer exploded) and every single red mite died.

I was wondering if the former method could be applied to a coop in-situ. I was thinking if the ground was soaked and a clear plastic sheet thrown over the coop and sealed to the floor, would the temperature and humidity get high enough to kill all the red mite? Perhaps something to do a few times every Summer? We can't do that here unfortunately as all the coops are under trees to help stop the felt roofing from blistering!

Any thoughts? Anyone already tried this?
Icemaiden
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by Icemaiden » Mon May 26, 2014 11:38 pm

How about erecting a mini polytunnel over the coop, Chris? That shoudl get the temperature up... Also, any chance of removing the felt from the coop? That must be something of a holiday camp for the red mite??

Personally I plaster my coop with diatom after I've cleaned it, & usually clean it with Poultry Shield (though it just got powder disinfectant today as it was about to lash with bank holiday rain). Following on from an earlier thread, I'm also expecting the ants in the enclosure to pull their weight... :lol:
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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chrismahon
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by chrismahon » Tue May 27, 2014 5:37 am

The ants are coming and going at the moment Icemaiden. They eat the mite leaving just the shell -feet and head. They are in another coop unoccupied at the moment but which had red mite in 6 months ago, so red mite are clearly still there. They have returned to another coop to eat the hatched, having eaten all the mite they could reach previously. I've seen them reaching into a gap in the wood from both sides to get to them.

The felt isn't a problem. Any red mite that got under it would cook in the sun here. None of the coops have been so bad as to get red mite under the felt anyway. That's a long way for a mite to travel to get to the chickens anyway -not their first choice. If you had a coop with a very low roof it would be a possible hiding place though.

We have a coop that we bought second hand years ago. When the weather improves I'll pull it out from under the tress and cover it with clear polythene for a few days before I creosote it. Can't be dismantled unfortunately, so I have to crawl in and last time I got eaten! As the temperature rises the mite eggs hatch I've noticed. So just before the heat kills everything the surfaces are crawling with tiny unfed mite.
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by Marigold » Tue May 27, 2014 7:45 am

chrismahon wrote:In the UK we had problems with whitefly in the greenhouse. I read they could stand heat and also read they could stand high humidity. But by way of an experiment I subjected them to both at the same time, flooding the floor with water and shutting all the vents. The temperature rose to 50 degrees and the humidity to 100%. Next day the plants were fine but every whitefly and every other bug in the greenhouse was dead.

We are having trouble with red mite at the moment. Treating the inside of the coop panels with a creosote/ paraffin solution inside results in them escaping to the painted outside. So I sprayed the outside with Nettex only to discover that a day later the surface was crawling with newly hatched. So into the greenhouse the panels went and all the vents were closed. Couldn't use water in there because we also have firewood stored. So the temperature in the sun hit 60 degrees (50 degree thermometer exploded) and every single red mite died.

I was wondering if the former method could be applied to a coop in-situ. I was thinking if the ground was soaked and a clear plastic sheet thrown over the coop and sealed to the floor, would the temperature and humidity get high enough to kill all the red mite? Perhaps something to do a few times every Summer? We can't do that here unfortunately as all the coops are under trees to help stop the felt roofing from blistering!

Any thoughts? Anyone already tried this?
You've already forgotten the Great British Summer over here, Chris. An inch if rain in the last two days, and I put the central heating on for a bit yesterday afternoon as I was cold indoors.
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chrismahon
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by chrismahon » Tue May 27, 2014 9:29 am

It's not so great here either Marigold. We had 20mm of rain yesterday and the day before we lit the wood burner to warm the house after a cold and overcast day. Forecast is a week of showers.

Still finding red mite on all the perches, even the freshly creosoted coops. They are on the ground and hopping onto the birds during the day, hitching a ride into the coops in the evening and jumping off in the morning. I've creosoted the coop ends so they can't wander. So every morning all the perches are inspected and all the red mite on them squashed. Red mite powder on the birds has no effect whatsoever -perhaps it's past the use-by-date.
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by dinosaw » Tue May 27, 2014 12:19 pm

I know your not keen Chris, but given how bad it is, give permethrin based powder a go just as an emergency one-off, it works if dusted everywhere as it kills any mites on contact, including those emerging from eggs. I was put onto it by an old fellow who had kept large numbers of chickens for god knows how many years.
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by chrismahon » Tue May 27, 2014 3:41 pm

Presumably this is ant and insect killing powder Dinosaw? I'm using Barrier Red Mite Powder which is Organic classified -smells a lot but doesn't work. Strangely enough the Barrier Louse Powder, also organic classified, works very well for mopping up a few basic lice.
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dinosaw
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by dinosaw » Tue May 27, 2014 5:00 pm

Yes, ant and crawling insect powder, I used to use Wilkinsons brand but any with permethrin as the active ingredient at 0.5% will do. The US military uses it as an anti insect pre treatment on their uniforms and it is also used as a spot on treatment in dogs. Obviously it is far from organic, but providing you clear the area of chickens when you dust and wear a mask you won't have any problems, I used it for 3 years with no adverse effects on my birds. The only caveat I would give is don't use if you have a cat that has access to the area as for some reason they can't process it through their system even though dogs and other mammals can. Barrier red mite powder I found bloody useless, as far as I am aware it is talcum with tea tree oil and lavender oil added smells nice but thats it.
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by Icemaiden » Wed May 28, 2014 10:31 pm

Can't you just dust each of the birds with Diatom? That's what BHWT advised me to do when I first picked up my ex-batts...
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chrismahon
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Re: Another way to kill red mite.

Post by chrismahon » Thu May 29, 2014 7:22 am

Diatom doesn't exist here Icemaiden. In fact there is very little available for domestic poultry keepers. Keeping poultry in the 'pet' way we do is only just beginning with the first Chinese coops making an appearance just a few months ago. Usually they have a simple stone coop and wander around the farmyard. Predator losses are just accepted, although a farm up the road put all theirs into an enclosure earlier in the year, as our neighbour did. We have a lot of foxes here which move in daytime under cover of the surrounding crops. Foxes look rather different to the UK version as they have longer fur and are very dark in colour. The tail looks like a dog's -not the 'brush' that we are used to seeing. They spend a lot of time calling to each other across the valleys- presumably because they all belong to the same group, even though they hunt individually.
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