red mite

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dye29
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red mite

Post by dye29 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:55 pm

hey guys ive figured out i have red mite i got a tube thingy from durham hens and slid wood out today and theres red mites on it , what is the best way to get rid of these mites ive done my hens with mite powder and ive been spraying my shed and perches with smite liquid but doesnt seem to do much any ideas what works thanks ste
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rick
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Re: red mite

Post by rick » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:30 pm

Don't dust the hens dye29. Nowhere on the Durham website does it recommend dusting the chickens - it says to use the dust on the ends of the perches (or whatever route the mite will be taking at night from their hiding place to the chickens as they roost.)
And then make sure the hens are roosting on the perches so the mite are cut off from their food supply - i.e. the hens.
That wont solve the problem in itself but at least the mite are then no longer arriving in hordes to bite the hens in the night.
When I had red mite last summer they kept coming back whenever my guard was down because there was a gap in the woodwork under the droppings tray that had escaped my attention and I only found it when I took the whole shelf apart. Sure enough - there was red mite central!
If you have sprayed all the surfaces with Smite sterilising solution then you will have missed the mite because they don't live on surfaces or on hens. They live in that gap in the shed construction that you haven't found yet!
That's why I suggested a hot air gun or a steam cleaner - a shed is a very difficult thing to sterilise. You need something that is going to get right into every hidden bit of its construction. If i has a felt roof then re-felt it and I bet you will find bucket loads of mite in there (especially if the perches are nearby.) You wont get under felt with a spray.
However, even if the shed is a nightmare to sterilise, if your hens are roosting on safe perches and you can keep up the regime then in 9 months time the last mite egg will hatch and die of starvation!
dye29
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Re: red mite

Post by dye29 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:35 am

would it help replacing the perches or not
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Re: red mite

Post by bigyetiman » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:05 pm

Not in the slightest as the mite will be hiding in nooks and crannies somewhere, then coming out at night to feed, then creeping back. They can also drop off a roof onto the hens to feast. The best way as Rick says is to steam clean into every crevice you can find or spray smite into the holes. You can make a paste of mite powder and cram into the crevice to.
If you have a coop you can dismantle you can give it a real good clean, otherwise it is just a constant cleaning sterilizing routine until you have got on top of it. Then seal up any hidey holes you find.
Red Mite just feed then crawl back into wherever they come from, so dusting hens is no good at all in this case sadly
dye29
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Re: red mite

Post by dye29 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:18 pm

so why do they sell mite powder for hens then , my shed is at a allotment so should i just keep dusting smite powder everywhere every day
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rick
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Re: red mite

Post by rick » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:49 pm

It is 'mite powder for hens' but for red mite you don't put in on the hen - you put it in the cracks and gaps around the coop/shed. It is also good as a barrier to stop the mite walking up onto the perch and back again in the morning - hence putting it at the ends of the perch.
Don't dust it everywhere and you don't need to do it every day. You seem to be looking for a magic, one shot fix. It doesn't exist but it doesn't have to be hard just will require some ongoing attention. Your not alone - red mite are very, very common. On an allotment they are constantly coming in on wild birds and in leaf litter, The difference with wild birds is that they can avoid a perch that is a hot spot for mite and your hens can't. You just have to make life very difficult for them to keep the population from spiralling out of control.
A shed on an allotment is a particularly hard challenge because there isn't any power to plug your hot air gun or steam cleaner into. The diatom powder is your only defence (along with the smite liquid stuff if you can get it where it counts).
Diatom powder is also useful for discouraging lice and in that case you do carefully dust the chicken with its head behind you so it isn't breathing it in. Or you can also dust it on just where the problem is with a small paint brush.
Marigold's suggestion of 'Red Stop' is also worth a try - might even be the magic bullet!

... Of course, the tube thing you bought has done its job by telling you you have red mite. It now has red mite and eggs in it so don't strap it back on the perch unless you've sterilised it first. 2 mins in the microwave will do that nicely. Or you can put down some small squares of ribbed rubber mat or towelling - the mite will go for that as a hiding place and you can easily see if they are still around by looking underneath once in a while.
dye29
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Re: red mite

Post by dye29 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:14 pm

thanks for help , you say heat gun i wa thinking of running a weed burner lightly over wood do you think it will help or do nothing .
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rick
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Re: red mite

Post by rick » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:11 pm

It will defiantly do something! You would have to be very careful not to set light to the shed of course. If you do try that then do it in the morning when you can keep the hens out of it all day and be sure that when they go to roost that evening it isn't still smouldering ready to catch light.
I would be a bit more strategic about it as well. The place you cant get at very easily (and also one place where the mite are probably hiding) is in the roof. Heat rises so you could spend half an hour gently raising the roof temperature until its too hot to comfortably touch. You then know they are defiantly not in the roof and that would be a big step forwards. Paint diatom slurry all around the inside roof edge so they cant just move back in.
If there are big gaps you cant take apart lower down then you can give them a quick blast and know the heat is travelling through but with smaller gaps you wouldn't get the heat in there before you set light to the timber. The heat gun is better in this regard as you can blow the hot air through the cracks.
Another way would be to use the torch as a general heater (or use a safer form of heater) to raise the whole thing above 55 degrees. Unlikely to heat the floor effectively though
You will still need to use the diatom to discourage a new infestation but would be starting from zero again at least
Please be careful! For both you and your chickens sake. If the HSE are reading this they will be having kittens!!!
You have just found out you have red mite. You've had them all summer and been blissfully unaware so all you need to do is put some measures in place to bring the population back under control. Controlling the population of red mite is, unfortunately, just a part of chicken keeping that is as ongoing as cleaning out. Although wiping them all out in one holocaust may seem like the thing to do it is more important to just get into the business of discouraging them. What you have done already will have already had some effect it just needs keeping up.

...There are so many reasons not to operate a weed torch in a shed that it would require several sheets of A4 to list them.
Oxygen depletion, gas bottle temperature, feed pipe temperature, flashover!!!!! etc. etc. etc.....

... says the man who is currently re-pointing the upstands on his own roof...
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Marigold
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Re: red mite

Post by Marigold » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:29 am

dye29 wrote:thanks for help , you say heat gun i wa thinking of running a weed burner lightly over wood do you think it will help or do nothing .
I've got one of those. It's a terrifying weapon. I use it to get bonfires off to a fast start...... It would certainly kill all the red mites if your coop caught on fire and burnt them all to bits.
As well as all the possible health and safety problems Rick has mentioned, you might catch your own hair on fire if you have your head inside the coop looking for good places to direct the flame.
Not to speak of barbecuing your chickens if you can't pen them up somewhere whilst you attempt it. I have a picture of them all crowding round to see what you're doing!
I know it's nearly Bonfire Night, but please don't try this!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: red mite

Post by Hen-Gen » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:22 am

I've read all these recipes for mite control over the years which vary in their effectiveness and are often laborious.
I'm afraid I go for the technological blitz. One spraying of malathion obliterates them. I also put a cap of this in my bath water when I had a dose of scabies. This is definitely not recommended but it worked!
Last time I looked malathion was not available in the UK but I had no problem having it sent from the USA.
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