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snaps

where do red mite come from?

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I'm currently dealing with red mite. I have some questions if anyone out there has the patience, with apologies if this has been raised before - although I have searched the forum.

 

Where do they come from? I know they are supposed to come from wild birds but how? Do the mites drop off and re attach themselves to the hens? Do they brush against each other (as with head lice)?

 

And if the wild bird theory is true then presumably hens kept permanently in the eglu run or under wire don't get red mite?

 

Also, we didn't get red mite for the first few years of owning an eglu. It's just in the last year or so we've started to get them. Don't know if others have had the same experience?

 

Finally, if I'm extra vigilant with keeping the eglu free of them (checking every day, treating regularly) then will the problem eventually disappear?

 

I'm about to treat the ends of the roosting bars with creosote as soon as it's a fine enough day to do it early enough to air and dry properly. I've heard this can be a good deterent and that it doesn't matter if it's not the real stuff (banned a few years ago).

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They live in any wood, trees, sheds, wooden roosting bars. They come out only to feed on the birds, hens or otherwise, generally at night.

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I think it is a bit like when you dig a new pond in your garden - suddenly frogs and tadpoles appear, but where from goodness only knows :roll: Trouble is I love frogs, but am totally neurotic about red mite. I think that the warmish, dampish conditions that we have had since the beginning of last August mean that the red mite problem is extra bad this year :anxious:

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Thanks for your answers, Egluntyne and Chubby Chook.

 

So it looks as if red mite have a mystery past. :?

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Hi

I had a problem with red mite once. I had bought a solution that you dilute and hadn't mixed it correctly :oops:

I bought a solution called net-tex mixed correctly :) sprayed the coop inside and out with a pressure sprayer, once dried I covered the inside of the coop with lime powder paying particular attention to nooks and crannies, then fresh bedding with even more lime powder sprinkled into it. I do this as a weekly routine in the summer and as much as possible in the winter, if it's a wet gloomy day, I just spray and dust the bedding. I have been doing this for 2 years now and never had a problem since. Hope this helps! X

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Thanks lozboz. It's not so much how to get rid of them (which I think, for the moment, fingers crossed) we are doing), more how they get there in the first place. I get that they can lie in the ground and hide in wood etc and that they're carried by wild birds - I've heard especially pigeons - but if they're only active at night and lie dormant during the day they must somehow attach themselves to the hens and get carried in to the eglu. I just wondered how they do it. perhaps just moving the eglu onto another piece of ground might find some hiding in the grass?

 

Also I would love to hear from anyone who keeps their hens solely in the eglu and run or under wire whether they get red mite.

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When the red mites feed from the birds at night it is common for the odd one to get left on the bird after they have fed - that's how they are carried.

 

Anywhere with nooks and crannies can harbour them - I' heard of chicken keepers infesting their homes after treating their coops. The main thing is to be vigilant and to keep up a regular mite-busting routine.

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They will come in on the wild birds, if they drop off the birds and get picked up by the chicken and carried into the house, the chickens could come into contact with them against a tree while FRing etc or bought in on new birds being introduced to the flock...

They can also come in on bedding, especially if you are using straw as the blade is hollow and a great place for them to hide.

 

Red Mite can live up to 9 months away from a chicken and the life cycle is 7 days so thats why you need to keep repeating treatment as they tend to only kill adults and not affect the eggs.

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Looks like when you've had red mite once it's more likely to return. That makes sense really, thinking about the odd couple staying on the hen, dropping off, getting into the grass, the wood, breeding, breeding, breeding, staying alive for up to six months, marshalling its troops and launching another attack. :wall:

 

Thanks for all responses.

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I had RM for the first time last year, and the little blighters were crawling in the grass next to the hen house as well as in it. Vile :vom:

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I`ve kept hens for almost five years and have had an eglu cube from the beginning.

never had red mite until last summer. My vet treated them all with Ivermectin and it cured the problem

up untill a few weeks ago when they returned. I got some Nettex total mite kill and it did the trick. I am

at a loss to know why they got red mite as my lot never free range and their WIR has a roof

 

Joy,

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You need to keep up a regular quarterly routine with that vet product Joybelle. Use the Total Mite Kill on the housing and dust it with Buz Busters... works for me.

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I now think of red mite like head lice. I am extremely susceptible and merely have to step inside a classroom for them to call a party. Like headlice, Red mite get to know where the best sites are and tell all their mates.

 

Joybelle, like you, I find that really puzzling. I suppose some of your original red mites might have somehow escaped detection and hidden in the cube somewhere. Or from wild birds perching on the roof and casting off a passenger?

 

I certainly didn't realise until I got everyone's helpful replies quite how persistent they are.

 

Red Mite The Undead :evil:

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Citronella and eucalyptus oils help to repel them, as do other repellent products such as Red Mite Powder, but get one with permethrin or pyrethrum in it to really nuke them.

 

snaps, you are right to call them the undead :lol: they can last for ages in nooks and crannies without a blood feed, that's why they are so hard to eradicate in old wooden coops with felted roofs; they hide under the roofing felt for months. :evil:

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Yep, they can last for up to 9 months without a blood feed... they can't reproduce without it but will still stay there waiting for the next opportunity!

 

They only come out of the hiding pace for half to 1 and a half hours to feed and thats only every couple days which is why its best to scrub housing and get the products into where they will be hiding rather than relying on them coming into contact with them.

Mites are becoming resistant to permethrin + other chemicals so people looking for alternatives... doing my dissertation on it! :D

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