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Massive mite infestation problem

Hi, can anyone please advise me on a mite problem. I have 5 hens and a cockerel and have noticed that one hen looked really poorly with feathers missing and thick scales on legs. Realizing that this was due to mites , I bought a spray from the vet and cleaned out the shed etc. I also used one of these self releasing sprays in the shed where I store the straw for the chicken shed and also threw a few handfuls of the special dust powder into the straw. However, I have noticed that there are still mites , black and tiny red ones, in the straw storage shed . My dilemma therefore is, that I am fighting a losing battle if using infested straw in chicken shed. I could try buying fresh straw, but what to do with existing pile as have loads of it as kindly neighbouring farmer gave me one of those massive round bales . In any case, I dońt have the space !
Anyone with ideas please.

Comments

  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    hello
    youve got a problem there !
    the trouble with using straw is that it has plenty of room inside each blade for mites to hide so really difficult to kill them all
     ivermectin / hypermectin used on the chooks will kill any that bite them but wont stop any from trying and youll need lots of mite powder / de earth in the straw too
     if youre in a country where the weather is nice at the moment then open up the doors and windows and let sunlight into the storage shed - sunlight, however weak kills mites
    not sure what the red mites are that you are seeing as the red mites i know only turn red after feeding .
    when you think about how much sprays and powder are going to cost you it may be better to cut your losses and replace the straw . compost or burn the old stuff
    let us know how you get on
     kath

  • Hi, Thank-you for your reply. I do actually live in Germany and weather is superb. What I have done today is taken out a small amount of straw and placed it in the sun on a wheelbarrow. Intend to do this till all straw is used up for chickens. (Cannot burn the stuff as have already been cautioned because of fire risk to neighbouring fields.) Btw. What can one perhaps use instead of straw? Anna
  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    hi Anna
    ive always used hay for the nesting area but a lot of people use sawdust or the bedding used for horses. All bedding has its pros and cons.
    The chicken with scaley leg mites may need ivermectin to get rid of the mites more effectively than just spraying and keep an eye on her to ensure the legs / scales dont become infected (scaley leg mites live, breed, eat and poo under the scales so any cuts or scratches can be a big problem )
    hope shes ok soon
    kathx


  • We swear by Diamatceous Earth. It’s kills just about any crawling insects. Think of it as a powdered form of microscopic razor blades. It kills bugs by ripping open their ectoskeletons. And it’s harmless to pets. By the food grade DE. Not the kind that you put in pool filters, which contains silica fibers which is dangerous to breathe. Huge difference between these 2 types. Food grade DE can be found at most feed stores. It works wonders! Even ok for pets with fleas. Good luck!
  • The chicken with scaley leg mites may need ivermectin to get rid of the mites more 
  • I had the same problem until I discovered the power of the power hose. I have a cheap one and use it to wash down the whole hen house twice a year to keep all mites under control. The insectacide sprays never solved the problem, and some hens died. When I discovered this I also used a compressor to blow the mites out of the chickens feathers, far away from where they usually forage, and  then rinsed them under the tap and used a hair dryer to dry them. The chickens actually loved the whole experience and are all still around and very healthy, I have 10 of them.
  • Clear the straw and burn - clean unit thoroughly and supply new bedding.
  • edited March 9
    Mites are tiny little parasites that love your chickens. They do cause pain to your chickens, but they also can make them terrible, cause them to lose their feathers, and even kill them. So, you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth into your chicken coop which is a preventative measure of treatment. After that, make sure to clean the coop, otherwise the mites live in cracks, bedding and food bowls of the pen, so a clean start is important. If you want to get rid with mite infestation properly, then you need to go for pest control services or you can call up the bird mite control professional.
  • Aelida, did your mite woes go away?  Have you heard of Elector PSP? It is a safe option for treating the mites (spray the skin in the target areas, vent and under wings, as well as surface, cracks and crevices of coop). It's pricey, but most say that its well worth the investment. I put straw in nest boxes until I read that mites love the hollow shafts of straw. Now I use cedar shavings, but even that is not necessary. They make plastic inserts that provide enough cushion for an egg, and they are washable if an egg is broken/eaten in the box. Otherwise, "bedding" isn't really useful. I use a thick layer of sand in the run and scrape under the coop's roosts daily. 
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