Red Mite

Red mites start

off a pale 

cream/grey colour. They

slowly turn red then black.

Red mite is one of the most common issues encountered by chicken keepers.  It is more common during the warmer weather when it breeds rapidly, during the colder months it will go dormant and stop breeding.

It is carried in by wild birds so is unavoidable and needs to be made part of your weekly warm weather health checks.

Mites can reproduce 

within 7 days of

hatching.

They feed off

hens blood &

can cause

anaemia & 

death

They can

survive up

to 11 months

without a

feed.

IMG_8322.jpg
IMG_1881.jpg

Hens reluctant to go into the hen house at night

They know they will be eaten alive so avoid going inside!

Pale Wattle & Comb

As the hen loses blood her normally dark red comb and wattle become pale & anaemic looking.

Grey Ash like deposit in the chicken house

Mites droppings look like very fine ash in the corner of the houses & under perches.

Feeling itchy when you've been near the hen house.

k

To treat preventatively or for a mild outbreak

  1. Remove all bedding from chicken house. Bag up & seal - Any red mite in the bedding will not fall on the floor and crawl back to the house.

  2. Scrape away any dried droppings - Red mite hide under dried droppings as well as the undersides of perches and in any cracks and crevices in the chicken house.

  3. Do not jest wash the house!! By jet washing the house you will distribute all the mites into the area surrounding the house, they will simply make their way back to the house.

  4. Soak the inside of the house with a liquid mite killer such as Smite or Nettex Mite Spray - This will  kill as many mites as possible in-situ.

  5. Allow to dry.

  6. Puff Diatomaceous Earth powder (DE powder) all around the house - The liquid sprays don't have a long residual effect.  The powder will slowly dehydrate any remaining mites missed with the spray.

  7. Replace bedding and add more DE powder. Repeat weekly - If you leave it longer than 7 days the newly hatched mites will have reached maturity and laid more eggs.

  8. Give your hens a preventative tonic such as Oblitermite - This works by stimulating the blood to create its own natural toxins as an immune response which causes the red mites blood to coagulate.

Treating a heavy outbreak of red mite.

  1. Block up all gaps in chicken house. Set off a Insecticidal Smoke Bomb - By blocking up the gaps with newspapers or putting a blanket or tarp over the house the smoke will be held inside the house for longer and be more effective.

  2. Carefully bag up and remove bedding - either place it in a sealed bag or ideally burn immediately - This will prevent the mites crawling out of the bag and back to the house.

  3. Scrape out all dried droppings - Mites will hide under dried droppings as well as under perches and in all the nooks and crannies in the chicken house.

  4. Do not jest wash the house!! By jet washing the house you will distribute all the mites into the area surrounding the house, they will simply make their way back to the house.

  5. Soak inside of the house with liquid mite killer such as Smite or Nettex Mite Spray - This will begin to reduce the mite numbers.

  6. Allow to dry.

  7. Spray the inside of the house thoroughly with Perbio Choc - this is a powerful spray so use protection when using - This is a strong insecticidal spray that will have a longer residual effect.

  8. Puff Diatomaceous Earth powder around the house - All mites missed by the sprays will be dehydrated by the mite powder over the next few days.

  9. Replace bedding and add more DE powder. Reapeat every 7 days - Leaving it longer than this will mean the newly hatched mites have matured and laid eggs.

  10. Give your hens a tonic such as Mite Rescue Remedy - This will boost iron levels for hens who have lost a lot of blood.

Red Mite Treatments