New Red Mite product, eco friendly, long lasting

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Re: New Red Mite product, eco friendly, long lasting

Postby rick » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:47 pm

Hi MM,
Yes, the jet wash wasn't going to remove them - it was more that the place needed a good clean up.
My own opinion is that the mites didn't return from the boarding and that's because they showed up in large numbers 2 days after the hens were back. No time to breed to a large population from a couple of chancing interlopers - they were already there but very pale and not noticeable until they rushed out that night with great relief and tucked into my chickens - then they were red again!
Poor chooks, that must have been an unpleasant night but I presume the hatched hungry hoard were all drawn out by the event and thats why there were suddenly so many to squish. Haven't seen any since other than a tiny 5p sized group under the mat. Obviously they are still around.
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Re: New Red Mite product, eco friendly, long lasting

Postby MiteMagic » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:21 pm

Hi Rick, I don't suppose we will ever know fully what happened at your place, my comments relating to animal boarding, breeder sites and auctions I hope will assist others as part of good biosecurity practice to prevent the dreaded and deadly red mite moving in. It is likely they will show their evil face at some point, and once they are in and feeding, the flock will suffer horrendously. Some of my birds died, despite using every product I could find, before I finally toppled them once and for all and every year thereafter.
I take your point and agree, I think the majority of the mites were there already - red mite can survive without feeding for around 9 months and they don't even hibernate to preserve energy! So the barely visible grey ones were either adult but unfed mites or hatched nymphs waiting for a meal. This indicates then that the area under the mat may not be the only area they have colonised if they were in such numbers - it may be worthwhile doing another check in the hut.
The poor hens must have had a horrendous night - I cannot imagine trying to sleep with bugs crawling all over me, biting me and draining my blood.
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Re: New Red Mite product, eco friendly, long lasting

Postby rick » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:17 pm

A friend of mine runs a farm and has a big industrial steam cleaner as standard kit. Easy sterilisation of anything in its path but, of course, the hens have to be well out of the way for a while! A bit more laborious with a domestic steamer but that would also work - apparently they die, eggs and all, at 45 degrees C.
Diatom also works very well - they hate the stuff. As do lice although I'm not putting it in the dust bath ever again as I have come to the conclusion that fine dust, in one form or another, has been responsible for the loss of at least two of my hens so far.
Still, carefully hand applying diatom locally with a brush over a couple of weeks, and a normal earth dust bath, gets rid of lice.
Strikes me we are in a careful balancing act with domestic pet hens - big industry avoids most of these problems but culling the lot before a problem develops and in the wild hens just don't live very long either (big predators or not.)
(Not to mention worms!)
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Re: New Red Mite product, eco friendly, long lasting

Postby chrismahon » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:07 am

We use a steam cleaner and it is the most effective red mite killer of all Rick. Two years ago we had 5 coops infected and since treatment, no sign of them. Sparrows I think was the initial problem. Red mite and eggs die above 55C- we know this from treating sections of infected coops in the greenhouse, which over here can get to 60C. We have also wrapped a coop in clear plastic, but if it doesn't get to 55C inside the treatment is ineffective.
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Re: New Red Mite product, eco friendly, long lasting

Postby MiteMagic » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:14 pm

Diatomaceous earth is associated with lung irritation and silicosis, which as a fine particle dust is logical. However I still consider it a good product and I still use it around the vent area in the event I discover lice, a topical treatment as has been suggested. I think its use in coops, where hens would breathe it in over a long period of time every night, perhaps needs to be discouraged. It made me cough a lot years ago when I used to dust it around, so its use in the hen hut was promptly discontinued as it was clear to me the hens would inhale also, and I also suspect this is a factor in breathing/respiratory problems in hens. I do put a little in their dust bath, along with dry soil and sand but I think the best thing I use in the dustbath is ash. Wood ash to be precise, so if you have a log burner you can recycle this waste. It makes the hens a bit dirty, but mine are purely pets so I don't mind their scruffy appearance if they don't.
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Re: New Red Mite product, eco friendly, long lasting

Postby dinosaw » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:27 pm

You can of course paint DE on as a thick slurry if you want to avoid it being scratched up and becoming airborne, doesn't entirely stop it, but 95%.
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