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Red blinking mite

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I am having an enormous battle with red mite. I’ve kept chickens for over 10 years, in omlet coops. This year the red mite are seemingly out of control. I’ve jet washed, steamed, sprayed (commercially know sprays). I’m currently covering everything in diacotomous earth. The girls have been treated with ivermectin. Don’t know what to do next. The blighters keep jumping on me. Poor chooks even stopped laying recently. An advice greatly received 

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There are two parts to controlling red mite; those in the coop and those that remain on the birds. Cleaning the coop is easy: just steam clean it. If the mites have evolved immunity to the chemicals that you are treating the birds with (and that happens because we've had to deal with it), then they will just stay on them and keep infesting the coop. Unfortunately Omlet coops don't work for killing the mites on the chickens unless you use chemicals and they won't work forever. For that you need single removable perches, treated at each end to keep the mites from reaching the coop or getting back on the birds. Not really helping you here unfortunately. All I am saying is that you will never get the red mite under control until you have coops designed to deal with them and your red mite are now immune to Ivermectin, so you need another chemical that works.

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I've noticed on multiple sites over the last few weeks that red mites seem to be out of control for many people this year. I'm wondering if it might be something to do with the abnormally warm and dry conditions. We'd never had them once before this year, although about 4 years back we did have to treat the hens for lice.

This year, we've:

  • Taken out all the bedding and substrate and treated the floor with DE before laying new stuff down (twice now)
  • Dusted the hens with DE, in addition to their dirt bath
  • Treated the hens with Ivermectin
  • Vacuumed out the coop and the shelter, and treated it all with Indorex and Dergall every 5 - 7 days for the last 2 weeks - dusting it with DE in hard to get to places
  • Continued cleaning the coop regularly with the Nettex Total Mite Kill (the pink stuff)

It's only now into the third week that the mites are clearly dying off and reaching a manageable level for both us and the hens. The vet thinks that once we've done all that again for another week, we will *finally* have them at a low enough level we should be able to release predator mites that will eat up the other mites, but they don't actually bother the birds themselves!!

*Crosses fingers*

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This year has been really bad for red mite according to my 'chicken lady'. I've never had a problem with an Omlet Mk II Cube (since purchase in early 2019). This year, we were infested. I think I've beaten them now with regular cleaning and anti-mite spray. However, a BIG TIP for those with an Omlet AUTO DOOR - the back (which is hidden from view) is full of nice open compartments, for the strength of the unit, where the mite hide in numbers. It was only when I had to remove a malfunctioning auto door that I discovered this and only then did I beat the blasted mite. I've reported this to the help desk, who have passed it on to the design folks. In the meantime, I covered the back of my replacement auto door with plastic film and tape to seal it against future use. Fingers crossed, but so far so good. 

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