Red Mites in February???

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Red Mites in February???

Postby EssexLady » 17 Feb 2015, 18:17

Just cleaned the hen house (or rather he who cleans when asked has!) and we have red mites. I thought they were warm weather beasties. Any one else seen any and what are you recommendations for destroying the beasts?
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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby crazypianolady » 17 Feb 2015, 20:45

Any mild spell and they'll become active. :evil:

Ficam W.

Don't waste your money on anything else. :grin:
Last edited by crazypianolady on 17 Feb 2015, 23:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby subruss » 17 Feb 2015, 22:28

as above seems expensive but works, I only spray once a year now so works out cheaper in the end :thumbright:

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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby drfish » 18 Feb 2015, 16:34

My first £10 worth of Ficam lasted around 18 months. Still seems to work even though the liquid has turned brown/black. Not seen a beastie since I last sprayed.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

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And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby organic chick » 18 Feb 2015, 21:46

drfish- what do you apply it with? Do you need mask/gloves etc. Just for future reference.
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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby subruss » 19 Feb 2015, 10:42

I use one of those small hand held sprayers and I all so have a larger garden sprayer so you can use whatever suits you really. YES YOU MUST WEAR SAFETY EQUIPMENT, I wear a mask, goggles,head covering and gloves. Read instruction carefully. :thumbright:

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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby drfish » 19 Feb 2015, 15:11

As above, I also use marigolds and a dust mask. It doesn't seem pungent or acrid, but I'm quite sure it wouldn't be good to breathe any sort of quantity of it in.

Be careful if you're near to any bee hives, nest etc, as it will kill ALL insect life that comes into contact with it. Although I have seen spiders survive it.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.
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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby organic chick » 20 Feb 2015, 10:52

Thanks subruss and drfish, comments noted. As an aside our ageing feline only seems to come to life when a spider cross HER room, then wham, it is no more! :cat:
Penny and Freckles - the WArren Girls'
Star and Flopsy (the latter of the floppy comb) both members of the White Star Faction.
Fedora and Florence the Cream Legbars
Emily (see Emily lay) and Erica the Light Sussex babes
1 current husband aka the structural engineer
1 large organic allotment
The Lady Isabella Pickford-Fiennes, a feline of distinction and excellent mouser

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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby EssexLady » 21 Feb 2015, 18:46

All the stuff I've read says Ficam W should only be used by licenced pest control peeps - also, I keep bees so it's not a good plan.

What are your thoughts on other means to kill the beastly red beasties???
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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby kated » 22 Feb 2015, 14:42

There has been some animated discussion in the past about the use of Ficam by ordinary folk and the consensus seems to be that if it is available to buy and you use it sensibly nobody is going to come and stop you. As to not using it if you keep bees, I can see your argument. I would have used it anyway but very, very carefully and on a day when bees were not active. However, if Ficam is out, then you could try creosote (the real stuff is best, but again, others on here seem to find the fake type works too). From personal experience, creosote will work and then fail to work. I did have quite good results with WD40 - yes really! You can put vaseline on the perch ends to stop the blighters crawling along but it comes down to rigorous checking and cleaning. Whatever people say about Poultryshield, it doesn't work - it's a disinfectant first and foremost.

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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby ladyplumber » 22 Feb 2015, 20:17

I use plain old ant powder from poundland or anywhere else - just check that it contains Permethrin or it won't work :)
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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby kated » 23 Feb 2015, 15:35

Very true ladyplumber - it's excellent, but the same problem of bees might be relevant.
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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby EssexLady » 23 Feb 2015, 19:45

A solution without a substance highly toxic to honey bees would be good! I'm going to ask my bee keeping mentor tomorrow night what their advice is.
THanks for all the suggestions - good food for thought.
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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby drfish » 24 Feb 2015, 18:00

The problem is, you'll have a hell of a job finding something to kill them that won't harm bee's. Most insecticide works in the same way, by 'suffocating' the insects by blocking their ventricles, or by breaking down their outer shell. The problem with Ficam, and indeed ant powder/diatom, is that they leave a residue behind that stays active for some time. If you can guarantee the bees won't get in the coop, then it should be ok. If you can't though, I wouldn't chance it as there is a high probability the bee will collect said residue, and take it back to the hive with them, further spreading it. Ficam is incredibly potent for it's quantity, whereas ant powder/diatom would take a considerably more in order to have negative effects.

You could try neem oil, mixed with a few other choice 'organic' compounds, such as nicotine. It won't be nearly as effective, but if you can get on top of the breeding cycle, you can crack them.

I only went with Ficam because I got lazy and it got out of control. I was keeping them in check prior to that a mix of neem, ant powder and diatom.

Can you not put a net over the coop/run to keep the bees out?
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.
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Re: Red Mites in February???

Postby EssexLady » 26 Feb 2015, 18:11

Thanks drfish; there is no run! The chicken house is in the garden and there are no fences/cages to keep the chickens in as we live in a farm cottage so they wander all over the farm.

I think I'll have to stick with jet washing and cleaning with poultryguard/drying/diatom powder/ inspect and repeat!
Chickens are all happy though, all laying every day.
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