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Red Mite

Mel&ben Junior Member
edited March 2013 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Hi Everyone

What are your options on the best way to deal with Red Mites? The horrible little things have moved in, I've scrubbed the house within an inch of its life today but I have a feeling there will be more in the morning! Any ideas will be most welcome.

Many thanks



  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    hi do you have felt on your coop roof - an absolute magnet for them if theyve set up home there the only way to get rid of them is to replace the felt
    theyre a nightmare to get rid of - one tip is to leave all the doors and windows of the coop open in daylight as the rays of the sun even in winter can kill them - thats why they scamper off to find dark places
    if possible remove the roosts as they usually love to hide at the edges of these . spray or scrub everything before putting them back and put some vaseline or double sided sticky tape at the ends of the roosts and rub some mite powder on the rest of the roost.
    a colony of red mites can set up home in the head of a screw so bear that in mind when youre spraying and pay particular attention to any cracks.
    hope you win soon
    xx kath
  • Mel&ben Junior Member
    edited March 2013
    Thankyou, yes we do have a felt roof! Do you recommend and sprays or powders to use? There are so many on the market, which is the best??

    Thanx again

  • doormouse Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    When we see a few, we assume there are hundreds and spray once a week with Poultry Shield. My hens stuff themselves in the nestboxes to sleep, don't perch, so we also use a mite/lice powder on the floor of the coop mixed in with the woodshavings.

    If they really take hold then we arm ourselves with paintbrushes and buckets of White Spirit - the vapour sends them running then you just paint over them and watch them squirm...hard, dull work that brings out the psycho in me!:eek: :D

    Occasionally I have used my cat's Frontline on the hens - not tested or recommended but it has worked for me - 1 pippette between 4 hens...good luck!:) M
  • Littlechick Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    Mel, I would get rid of the felt for a start. Do you have a pressure karcher washer? I pull my houses apart and jet wash all the cracks etc then use poultry shield. When its dry, use de. Then be vigilant, its so hard to get rid of. Good luck
  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    Hi Mel & Ben, Haven't heard from you since you covered your hen in purple spray:D How are your hens?

    Re the red mite; you never really get rid of them completely, it's an ongoing battle to keep the numbers as low as possible.
    When you spray your hut you should be able to find out where the red mite strongholds are; usually under perches and perch brackets, around joins in the wood, and felt rooves.
    Having found these strongholds, dust with diatomaceaous earth and check daily. Squash any mites that are visible, and re-dust when required. D. earth is brilliant once you know where the mites hang out.

    You may want to consider replacing your felt roof with onduline felt (a heavy-duty corrugated felt).

    Here is a good link for diatom. earth:
  • MEN AT WORK Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    The first time we had mites I as amazed at how they just kept coming out of the tongue and groove cracks as I pressure washed. If possible a coat of water based varnish in the summer can seal these joints so they can't get in. The next attack was 2 years later when I opened the poo bin and found it infested. :eek: I bin bagged it and burned it all down the garden. They were attracted by the poo as there were none in the coop.2 feet away.
    I scoop almost daily as my girls don't perch ,so I think that regular scooping must prevent them finding their way in. I clear all the bedding out every few months, wipe down with jeyes and dust the empty coop and the girls armpits and bottoms. So far so good. Easy when you have only 5 ladies I guess. :cool:
  • Mel&ben Junior Member
    edited March 2013
    Has it really been as long as the purple spray incident?? Well things have changed since then, it didn't matter how much purple spray we used bubblegum attacked every hen she met, the final straw was when after seeming getting along well with her new friend Mable we left them alone for a couple of hours only to return to find Mable has a hole in her side and her intestines hanging out!!! That was the final straw and sadly of maybe not so sadly bubblegum had to be dispatched! We started again with 2 new hens and all had been well.

    Only having a small coop it is easy to clean which I do regularly and never seen mites before, I actually enjoy cleaning it out it gives me satisfaction to give then a shiny clean coop! They have only come to light when one of my hens wasn't well and found she had mites sucking her dry! So it's war in these things, it's been much better this week, the Vaseline trick is great and I've bought some poultry shield, the instructions say to spray then clean it out, can I not spray again after to leave it to kill the bleeders?

    Thanx for all your help again

  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    Sounds like a very nasty situation:( an experience like that would have put a lot of people off trying again:eek:

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