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I’m just back from working abroad, cleaned my chickens out yesterday and got covered in tiny grey bugs. I used a professional pet sitter for the chickens (won’t be doing that again) who didn’t inform me of any changes in my chicken’s behaviour but one has lost some feathers and is red underneath when I turn her over.  

I have ordered some treatment for the chickens, put powder in the coop etc and even panic bought a plastic coop as I want to burn the old wooden one!!!!!!  But the coop is in an old wooden summer house, I’m assuming they will be everywhere and I’m still seeing bugs on me which is freaking me out  I’ve had 4 showers!!!

Any advice greatly received.  

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As the name suggests @NewChickenMum, Red Mite are red, but only when fed, otherwise they are a light brown colour. You may be seeing newly hatched mites, but the proof is going to be finding the hiding places they use during the day. If they didn't hide the chickens would eat them on sight. Look in the corners and under the perches for clusters of them. Red mite are extremely difficult to eradicate, but not impossible. Some will remain on the hens and be carried into any new coop, so repeated treatment will be required. We have wooden coops and the only thing that has actually worked isn't any of the chemicals available (because they rapidly evolve immunity) but a simple steam cleaner. Strip the coop of bedding and clean all the joints and gaps with a fine steam jet. Coat the ends of the perch with chemical which stops the mite getting off and hiding. Kill all the mites you find underneath every morning and steam again. Takes about a week of this, sometimes two, until you don't find any more.

Red mite do just fall from the sky (off birds), but they are usually carried in by new hens or perhaps someone who has them on their clothing after visiting an infected coop elsewhere. We were plagued by red mite for years until we realised that they were carried by the hens themselves and that the chemicals only work short term. Chemicals will just buy you some time to find a steam cleaner. Chemicals won't reach all the gaps either, particularly in weatherboarding, unless you turn the coop upside down.

Not necessary to burn your coop. Just leave it unoccupied for 12 months.

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Pretty sure sign of a red mite infestation when the hens won't go into the coop @NewChickenMum. Must be pretty uncomfortable (understatement) when thousands of mites are puncturing your skin to drink your blood. When cleaning out the coop, don't use a vacuum cleaner; we did once and ended up with an infestation in the hose when the eggs that were sucked up hatched.

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