Red Mite questions

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Red Mite questions

Postby Joseyjo » 04 Sep 2016, 21:20

Hi, I have had chickens for around 7 years and have just had my first experience of red mite - I had become complacent about checking and found them last weekend, by which time there were lots. Now I REALLY wish I had paid more care with preventative measures but a hard lesson has been learned. I have some questions though...

I have been treating with Poultry Shield - removed the chooks from the house for a few days so I could treat it 3 times before putting them back in, with Diatom in dust bath and sprinkled around inside house when I did return them. I know some people don't rate Poultry Shield much for getting rid of mites, but I have found loads of dead ones, and today when I cleaned house for the 4th time I only saw about 3 live ones in there. Is the issue with Poultry Shield that it won't have touched the eggs, therefore the problem can reoccur? I did buy some spray with Permethrin which I was waiting to use only if I really need to.

I have actually just bought a 2nd hand eglu -seeing all those mites crawling out of the crevices has put me off the old wooden house which I will be burning (maybe a bit drastic I realise). The hens are in the eglu tonight for the first time. I know some mites might find their way into the eglu, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to see them more easily and keep on top of the problem. If I find they are hanging around I might use the Permethrin spray on the wooden perches in the eglu. Is there anything else I can do to discourage them from infesting the eglu? (I have already sprinkled diatom in it, and will continue with putting it in the dust bath.)

My final questions are about the mites which seem to have been dislodged from the hen house (maybe when I hose-washed the hen house first with water before I had any Poultry Shield (mistake), and probably sent them off around the garden :x ) Every time I go out I find one or two crawling on my feet... I am being as careful as possible not to bring them in, but I have a cat and unfortunately I'm sure she will be picking some up. I have treated her with Frontline - does anyone know if this will kill the mites (obviously they'd have to bite her first). Also, are the mites likely to hang around in the garden for long? Or will they wander off to find another host? Is there anything I can do to reduce them in the garden, other than treating the hen houses regularly?

Has anyone had red mites and brought them into the house.... if so how did you go about removing them? I know red mites can live for months off a host and don't really fancy being bitten in the house for the next few months.
Joseyjo
 
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Re: Red Mite questions

Postby organic chick » 05 Sep 2016, 16:32

Yup. Cats, dogs, horses. See this link for more information http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377040/ which may help you.

I have never used Poultry Shield so cannot comment. We use a combination of Smite, weekly plus Permethrin and Diatomaceous earth powder DAILY. I would suggest you remove your perch from the Eglu if a wooden one. You should be able to get one of the more modern ones which are plastic.
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
organic chick
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Re: Red Mite questions

Postby Joseyjo » 05 Sep 2016, 16:57

Hi and thanks for the link. Reading that article and others I have seen on the internet there seems to be disagreement over whether the mites just "test" a mammal but don't actually feed properly ... enough to reproduce. Even the scientist in that article refers to hypothetical situations where the mites might manage to feed successfully through mammal skin, rather than there being solid evidence that they do so. (Plenty of anecdotal evidence that they bite to some degree though!) What do you think? I suppose the problem is that the experiments just haven't been done so scientists have to go on a relatively small number of cases.

If they do bite my cat, will the frontline help to kill the mite? Again there seems to be conflicting information on the internet.

I found 2 full mites just inside the eglu egg door when I checked this morning, so I will do a thorough check before they go in to sleep tonight to remove any I can. I did wonder about getting plastic perches... I wonder if I could make my own rather than buying the more expensive eglu ones! I will keep a very close eye on the perches for the next few days... or would it be better to leave them perchless?
Might also sprinkle DE under and around it tonight!
Joseyjo
 
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Re: Red Mite questions

Postby organic chick » 07 Sep 2016, 12:52

They do need a perch. and Diatom - yes go for it.

Agree about the "science" of mites. Bit of a minefield really.
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
organic chick
Chick
Chick
 
Posts: 278
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