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
) 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.