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Look for Red Mite in Shavings

Battling red mite again. Yesterday we stripped the Big House, pressure washed the two nest boxes and perches and sprayed with Poultry Shield. Even after a really good pressure clean, when the nest boxes dried, there were still mites crawling on the wood. So more Poultry Shield. Clean Aubiose in the run. 

Decided to leave out the shavings which they usually have in the nest boxes . If you use shavings, do check them for mites. I used to check the roosting bars, nooks crannies but didn't think about the shavings. If you look closely you might see little specks on the shaving flakes... or around the edges of the box. Use the back of a nail and squish.. it will pop and there may be blood too...

So after the mega clean (all day job 11 hours) I put in puppy pads into the nest boxes. The hens also had a good dusting of Battles Louse Powder. This morning there were a few red mites on/under the pads plus quite a few dead lice (that powder obviously worked!). Rolled the pads up and threw them away..  If I had put shavings back in the boxes, I would have been back to square one again. So it's puppy pads for the next few weeks while I fight the red mite, not very comfy for laying an egg, but should help to keep the mites more under control during the hot weather.

I have been trying to control this mite for months now. Using DE, Red mite powder, Poultry Shield, Red mite spray, etc etc and am getting fed up with it. Really wish someone would come  up with a product that really worked and had a residual effect so that new hatchings would be eradicated as well.


  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    Jules, they are nigh on impossible to eradicate and will make their way back to you on the feet of animals/people/wild birds etc if you succeed in doing so.

    I bought a sack of DE a few years back and I SMOTHER everything. When they showed up a few months back I cleared out the old bedding and bought out my big shakers of DE. I have smothered everything at least twice a week and they are kept at bay. The chickens don't seem to mind at all that they are 'powder coated'.

  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    I find that using anything that makes the hut/shed wet tends to make the atmosphere moister - creating even better conditions for the red mite. Although one thing the sprays do help with is letting you know exactly where the red mite are hanging out!

    What worked for me was I used to spend about half an hour every evening puffing DE into all the strongholds, and using a scraper to make sure it went right into every crevice!  I hate to tempt fate by saying it worked, so I won't say it!

    Good to see you back Jules - I was wondering if the forum has died!
  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    Yes it did seem a little quiet on here. I guess we were all busy. 
    It's very frustrating Sandie. I have managed to beat it in the smaller houses, but the Big House is difficult. The DE doesn't seem to work too well as they must be able to get through it all (liberally applied everywhere, even onto and into the shavings) to keep feeding and having blood in them when I squish them.. Helen, the house is very dry. I think I have a super mite strain here.. immune to everything I throw at it.

    You are right Sandie, the mites are probably sitting in the compost heap where I was putting the shavings before I realised. Grrrrrrrrrr.

    Update - Day 2 after the Big Clean... not much evidence of mite now on the puppy pads. :)
  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    Jules....maybe burn the shavings? I don't think even red mite survive flames!

  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    The shavings now go into the rubbish bin at the front of house but ground will be well contaminated I guess.. Can't face burning shavings every day! The pads are working well. DE underneath so they are hopefully zapped if they crawl underneath to hide haha  ~X(
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