Chicken Mite (also called red mite or roost mite) Red mites, roost mites, chicken mites, whatever you call then, these little mites can be incredibly problematic. It is terrible for your birds and creates a lot of extra work for you as well. If you’re purchasing new birds be sure to quarantine them until you’re sure they’re free of disease and pests like mites. A coop spray is a good way to get rid of chicken mites in the coop. There are several telltale signs that you have an infestation of chicken mite in your backyard flock. Chickens who are infested with mites not only are going to struggle to produce eggs, but they’re going to be more reluctant to go into the nest boxes (which is often where these biting pests like to hide). Now, how do you prevent them from coming back ever again? The following steps will work in most early cases of an infestation: Move the chickens out of their coop- While lice love to live on the chickens, they also dwell around them between meals. Chickens vs Guinea Hens: How to Choose Which to Raise, Introducing New Chickens to Your Flock (How-To Guide). Permithrin and several other good treatments exist. Garlic will not only help to repel pests, but it will also boost the immune functioning of your hens. They can be passed to humans, so it’s important to prevent these mites on your chickens if you live in an at-risk area. Treat- Dust diatomaceous earth (food grade) on all of the chickens. Spray this onto the floor of the coop and in the nesting boxes. This will help you spot pests before they can get the upper hand. The content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Also, keep in mind that mites can cause your chicken to be anemic. Over the years as a backyard chicken keeper and breeder, I’ve heard lots of claims and remedies for how to safely treat mites or lice on chickens and other poultry; such as products like ivermectin, Maldison 50, Permethrin (synthetic pyrethrum), Carbaryl (Sevin), pest powders, dipping solutions. Chicken mites are spread in a variety of ways. Mites don’t like the scent of wormwood and will stay far away. How Do I Prevent Mites? Herbs, with their natural oils and extremely strong scents, can be used to defend against mites as well as other pests. Tropical fowl mites are usually found on commercial poultry farms. Often referred to generally as just chicken mites, red mites are incredibly irritating to deal with. KnowYourChickens.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. These mites hide in the darkest areas of the coop during the day, then come out at night to munch on your chickens. You will want to start by thoroughly cleaning out the coop. How to treat chicken lice and mites Remove your birds from their usual living quarters. While chicken mites won’t necessarily infest your body as long as you bathe and wash your clothes regularly, you can still carry them around (4), so if you handle your hens to treat them, make sure to wash yourself and your clothes in hot water. Regularly inspect your chickens, paying extra close attention to the vents and beneath the wings. You will want to start by thoroughly cleaning out the coop. Some good options include: Many of these foods will also improve the immune system of your chickens – a necessary addition if your chickens are trying to battle these pests. A coop spray is a good way to get rid of chicken mites in the coop. Get all of your birds out of the coop, and remove anything that will move. Cleaning your coop is the most important step to getting rid of mites. KnowYourChickens.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Learn how your comment data is processed. I hope this post has helped you to detect, treat, and prevent the chicken mites that are hounding your flock! They have flat, oval-shaped bodies that are white when unfed but are bright red when the pests are fully engorged after a blood meal. If you spray your chickens with garlic, be sure to concentrate it around the wings and vent, where mites like to hang out. You might discover these same spots if you inspect the roost bars. Changing the bedding frequently, even if you use deep litter, will ensure your flock is healthy and happy. Instead, we dust each bird carefully using wood ash mixed with DE. Although they sound benign, with a life cycle that lasts a maximum of seven days, a single chicken mite can lay more than 100,000 eggs during this time – meaning they have the potential for some pretty serious devastation. Both lice and mites are often transmitted by wild birds, although that’s not the only way these pests can get into the coop. There are other treatments like poultry sprays. In particular, avoid the head area. You may not want to pick them up and cuddle them for a while, though! You can try the Ovante line, especially designed to combat mites. Grossed out yet? These pets live their entire lives on your birds. This plant can be tied into bouquets or made into sachets for the nesting boxes. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Wormwood is one such example. When the coop has been scrubbed with soapy water, rinse the whole place down with a high powered hose nozzle. Your article shared a lot of experiences for me, I will always support you. While some live on chickens, others live in housing and feed at different times. This Facebook follower of mine had to have her hen put to sleep from a severe mites infestation that she had been trying to control with DE, aka: diatomaceous earth , which failed to work as usual. If you do find your flock infested with chicken mites, don’t fret, there are plenty of ways to treat your flock and get rid of those pesky pests stat! Natural Mite Garlic Juice Spray To treat the coop with Diatomaceous Earth  or wood ash, simply sprinkle it everywhere after you do a thorough clean out. Chicken mites can be difficult pests to combat, their life cycle is difficult to thwart and they thrive in chicken coops. Clean up any spilled food or anything else that might attract birds and the priests. Add some iron-dense foods to your chickens’ diets. Possibly the most abused chemical in use with chickens currently is Ivermectin. What they have in common is how they are transmitted. You might also consider mint, lemon balm, and lavender – not only are these herbs aromatic and good at resisting mites, but they’ll also freshen up your coop! Treatment 1: Warm Water – Drying – Petroleum Jelly. Black and red spots on the skin of your chickens are the most common indicators of a red mite infestation. When the night comes, they begin to feed off the blood of the chicken. Copyright © 2021 Backyard Chicken Project. This will brush the ear mites off. Diatomaceous earth, particularly the food-grade kind, is another good treatment for chicken mites. This can be used as a treatment and also as an ongoing preventative. They also have small hairs along their backs and whip-like mouthparts. Many of us prefer a more natural treatment approach for ailments on our blocks so I have provided several natural treatment options. If you take a closer look, you may notice red or black spots near the vent or wings of your chickens. Being vigilant about your chickens and what kinds of behaviors and appearances are normal is absolutely vital. (We raise them dual purpose and I have an full eBook on how to raise them here.) This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Sevin Dust I found out has been banned for use on poultry. Chicken Diapers: Should You Really Use Them on Your Chickens? Apple cider vinegar has healthy probiotics to boost your chickens’ immune systems – but at the same time, it can help keep chicken mites at bay. Don’t worry. Before we delve into how to cure chickens with mites, let’s take a few moments to better understand how to prevent them (as much as humanly possible) in the first place – and make sure your coop is rid of them after an infestation has been detected.. Treat by spraying on the chicken and on the roosts, nesting boxes, everything. Depluming mites are similar to the scaly leg mite and are actually closely related. All it takes is one mite-infested chicken joining your flock to spread them to everyone! Hubs and I have anywhere from 20-35 chickens at a time. Chicken mites are tiny little creatures, with adult females of the species only about 1/32” long. Then, add some food-grade diatomaceous earth and wood ash to help prevent parasites. We publish weekly guides and articles written by experienced chicken enthusiasts! Some other herbs that are effective at repelling mites are garlic, chamomile, and thyme. Yep, another old favorite! The best way to approach this is to pick a day and start early. Often, being able to catch chicken mites early on can make a world of difference. There are lots of herbs and plants you can use to create a natural line of defense against chicken mites, too. Take the sprayer and spray the whole area (inside, outside, ground) with Malathion mixture. Just don’t get the dust in their eyes or lungs. This will help boost their iron levels. We’d love to hear them in the comments below! Poultry dust that contains permethrin is another very popular product used by chicken owner to treat chicken mites. Mites are obviously no fun for anyone. Clean your coop thoroughly (at least once) with this mixture before putting your chickens back in the coop. How To Prevent Chicken Mites. However, during the hottest, most humid months of the summer, your chickens might not want to bathe – or they might not get the opportunity to do so. So you’ve staved off an infestation of chicken mites – good job. Chicken mites, like many other parasites, absolutely hate garlic. In a study done at Clemson University, mite infestations were successfully dealt with using the topical application of garlic. If your chickens are suffering from scaly leg mites, you will need to use vaseline or some other type of petroleum jelly. To treat the chickens themselves, spray them with a garlic juice mixture. Garlic is not just effective at getting rid of chicken mites – it’s also great at preventing them, too. Found in warmer climates, this pesto is more common in places like the southern United States, Australia, South America, and other tropical locations. After the coop has dried, sprinkle either Diatomaceous Earth  or wood ash (completely cooled of course) all over the floor, nesting boxes, and roost. Thanks! Sparrows, squirrels and other undomesticated creatures are notorious carries of these pests and also disease. Hold your hen under your arm and keep her wings securely by her side, tip her gently down and examine the feathers around her vent. The name sounds like something out of a nursery rhyme, but when all is said and done, chicken mites are something that no chicken keeper wants to have to deal with. All of these tactics will help if you haven’t yet found mites in your coop, however, if you find your flock to be infested with mites, preventative measures aren’t going to solve your problem. Luckily, knowing exactly what chicken mites are – as well as how to prevent and deal with them – can set you on your way to preventing them from becoming a problem in the future. You likely won’t be able to see them. Scaly leg mites can be super painful for your chickens because they will suck blood from your chickens’ legs – just as regular chicken mites do. You should soak your chicken’s legs in warm and soapy water to try to get some of the debris from under the scales – do not pull off scales or poke around underneath them. You can make a bouquet out of these herbs and hang them in the coop, or you can sprinkle them around. If an infestation is severe, you might even notice eggs at the base of the feathers. Although there are several different types of chicken mites, including those that live on the chickens themselves as well as others that hideout in cracks and devices in the coop, they’re all problematic. Chickens who bite their feathers around their vents and around their wings likely have mites. We also coat all the roosts, the lower part of the walls, and the nesting boxes. Treat your birds while they are away so you’re reducing the number of lice and mites in one go. This mixture will suffocate the chicken mites when you mix it at a ratio of two cups of water to one cup of cooking oil to one tablespoon of dish soap. The DE will then dry the mites and kill them on the chickens. A couple of days later, treat the chickens again - this will get any remaining eggs and mites. Keeping a clean coop is only half the battle to avoid a mite infestation. Chicken mites can cause your birds serious discomfort as well as health problems such as anemia and, in extreme cases, even death. All you need to do is get it into the crevices and let it dry before the hens are let back in. Here are some of the most common. As a result, you may notice a serious diminishment in egg production. You’ll have to repeat this wood ash/DE treatment every week for at least four weeks to kill all new mites that have hatched. Make sure wild birds aren’t coming into contact with your chickens. The trick is to keep it up long enough to kill every mite that’s old enough to lay eggs, and every mite that hatches from those eggs. A bonus is the fact that they also cure blemishes and black heads, leaving the skin clean and radiant. We keep it under the covered roof so it doesn’t get wet. Therefore, it’s important to understand there are over the counter medicines you can use to treat chicken lice and if you’re more comfortable with this method, you should know what’s available. If you notice this symptom accompanied by any of the other issues, it could indicate a very severe red mite infestation. The most popular DIY treatment applied to treat Scaly Leg Mites on chickens is the use of petroleum jelly. They are one of the most common chicken pests. It’s up to you. In addition to getting rid of mites, it’s also known for getting rid of other pest like ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, and plant bugs on a variety of vegetable and ornamental plants. Chicken mites bite their hosts, extracting blood to fuel their voracious breeding behaviors. Chicken Mites Treatment: 4 Steps For Prevention. For a more detailed look at how to naturally treat chickens for pests, don’t miss our post on natural lice treatment! Lice and mites are terms that are often used synonymously, but the reality is that lice and mites, as they pertain to chickens, are two separate beasts. How to Get Rid of Chicken Mites. Put them into a chicken tractor or let them roam while you decontaminate the space. Creeping, crawling, disgusting little buggers, chicken mites are external parasites that pose problems not just for chickens, but for all kinds of poultry. You’ll want to boost their immune system by feeding them greens, meat, and eggs. Use the below recipe once a day for two weeks, then twice a week for two weeks, to rid your chickens of mites. Required fields are marked *. The cycle of dusting the chickens can take a month or more. If you need to spread it in the coop, remove chickens before dusting to prevent respiratory issues. Bird mites, also called chicken mites, are pests that many people don’t think about. There are several steps you will want to take. Take measures to prevent birds from sitting on your coop, and keep the coop clean at all times. Now we move on to the chemical weapons used in the ‘insect wars’. This means removing any and all bedding and dousing the floors, walls, roost bars, and nest boxes with a mixture of water, cooking oil, and dishwashing liquid. Dry the legs well and then cover them in Vaseline (petroleum jelly). If you raise chickens, you’ve likely heard all kinds of horror stories about these unpleasant creatures. How to treat Northern Fowl mites: Immediately treat your chickens with a safe insecticide - try diatomaceous earth, absorbacide or Pestene. these pests, however, attack the feathers of your birds by burrowing into the feather shafts. Most parasites dislike the taste of blood that’s getting a regular dose of iron, so consider adding iron to your chickens’ diets. Let me tell you a little bit about my flock and coop first. It’s all too easy for them to contract chicken mites, so you will want to monitor them for any changes. First, they’ll be scratching and itching a lot more than usual. The only way to know for sure though, is to check. 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