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yvonne.jones.3597

Red mites invasion on soil - help!

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After 4 years of happy chicken keeping I’ve been hit this summer by mites, first scaly leg mite and now red mites >:( I think it might be down to having a pigeon nesting in the tree above my coop. 

I have 2 eglu go’s, one an up, attached to either side of a low WIR, the up also has its extended run attached onto the WIR. 

All the chickens sleep together in one coop, usually the up which is the one infested. I am treating with total mite kill and DE, and moved the girls into the other house to sleep however I noticed some mites are already moving in there- they seem to be crawling along the top of the run on the weatherproof cover as well I suspect as being on the girls  I have ivermectin drops on order and am waiting for them to arrive  

My biggest problem though is that it is not just the coop that is affected they are in the soil around. The run and coop are on bare quite sandy soil and I can’t move it because of the space in my garden. I can’t walk up to it without having tiny immature mites crawling over my shoes and up my legs. I have used about 1kg of DE already in and around the coop and run and it doesn’t seem to be helping  

Any suggestions for anything else I can use on the ground please?? Or are there any success stories to give me some hope?  I am going mad checking myself constantly for creepy crawlies even though I’m undressing at the door and showering, I’m still finding the odd one on me in the house :(

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I thought they were destroyed by exposure to light.  Dogmother is the expert here.  My vet told me not to bother treating the chickens as they don’t live on them.  Just treat the house.  I spray the house, especially in crevices, with anything with permethrin in it. Ant killer has it.  Repeat after 4 days till the cycle is broken.  

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Patricia is right in that red mite live on anything and just move to their hosts (chickens) for feeding.  The couple of times I have had an infestation I also used ant killer after a thorough clean (dismantling everything), but you have to be careful as it is poisonous to cats, so may not be suitable for open ground.  I repeated the treatment every 7 days I think (from memory the lifecycle of red mite is 10 days, but without looking it up I can't be sure).  Also, different products have different strengths of permethrin so check the active ingredients carefully.  This did work, but it was a contained infestation, in the house, so hopefully someone else will have a success story on the same scale problem as you have!  

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Thanks I now have some ant killer spray and have invested in a protective overall. I’m starting to get horribly squeamish about them crawling on me. Mind you something has been munching on me overnight as I have little red bites on my stomach so my fears may have been justified. Last thing I need is having them in the house too! 

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We also have the little blighters and as OH was main cleaner he was also covered in bites despite showering and shedding clothes in utility room. I also have few bites on stomach.

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I’ve used ant killer spray and the puffer type.   I think it might be worth spraying then pumping some into crevices too.  Daphne is right.  It’s poisonous to cats and aquatic life. So keep away from fishponds too. 

Flea spray also works.  Permethrin is the ingredient you need to look for. 

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Are you sure these are red mites because they stay hidden during the day and only emerge at night to feed on chickens? I read recently of an infestation initially thought to be red mites that turned out to be 'springtails' which were feeding off spores on a Christmas tree. They got everywhere including into the chicken coop and the owners house. They also jump up from the ground or any surface and get into clothing.

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The total mite kill spray is the best thing you can get - buy the ready to use pink one and then get the concentrate to fill it up from. You dilute the concentrate 1:10 with water. Be sure to shake them before use/dilution as they have a coating agent (which you won't find in ant products) that will keep the active ingredient on the surface of the coop, and continue to knock the bugs down. I would swap the DE (which can be quite nasty for our lungs and the birds' air sacs too) for the nettex Buz Busters powder, which contains the same active ingredient as the total mite kill spray. Use this regime every 3 days until you have knocked the problem back, and then revert to weekly use.

I'm afraid that the panels on the Go product are more inclined to harbour mites than the Classic or mark 1 cube.

Not licensed for use on poultry in the UK, but I use an ivermectin-based spot-on preventative on my flock, which keeps all lice and mites at bay.

 

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Thanks all. I had a day off work today so I was prepared for war. Protective suit and hand held sprayer at the ready and.... I opened the back door to the coop expecting to be covered in a swarm again but instead there were dead mites everywhere. I think the new DE that I got seems to have been more effective. Only a few live ones ended up crawling on my gloves as I was cleaning and still a couple onto my boots and up my legs but way fewer than before 😀

Beantree- i definitely think they are red mites as I’ve seen some of them at night that are more red than others and when you squash them they have blood in. They also crawl but definitely don’t jump. I am wondering though if I have something else as well as I saw some crawlies on my watering can as I was filling it and that was about 2 meters from the coop but they looked like unfed mites.

i think though my main error when I first saw the problem and starting cleaning is that I removed the droppings tray before they were dead so loads of live mites got scattered on the earth beneath the coop. Lesson learned. 

dogmother- I looked for the buzz busters powder but could not find it, is there anywhere online you know of that sells it?

i definitely agree about the outside panels on the go offering a place for them to hide.  I have left them off my badly infested coop for now as the girls are sleeping in the other one anyway ( no sign on anything crawling in there when cleaning today 😀🤞). Also there are vents in the back door which lead in between the inner and outer layers of it and I am certain they are hiding in there  I have tried puffing powder into the slots! It seems the perfect hiding place which I’m surprised of as one of the selling points of eglu’s for me was that they reduced the chances of mites  

ive been looking at permethrin based smoke bombs too which apparently you can use inside chicken coops ( hens removed of course) and I thought this might help to penetrate into all the cracks and hidey holes. Has anyone tried these? Thinking of using one in my bedroom to make sure. I woke up yesterday morning with about 8 tiny bites on my stomach and then another 1 this morning so think I’ve got something indoors biting me now. Have been googling pictures of red mite bites on humans- goodness there’s some horror stories out there. I think I should stop looking!! 

 

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Flea spray for the house should work in your bedroom.  I got some from the vet, but you can get it online I think. I think a smoke bomb inside might be dangerous.  It would certainly set off the smoke alarm! 

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16 hours ago, yvonne.jones.3597 said:

dogmother- I looked for the buzz busters powder but could not find it, is there anywhere online you know of that sells it?

 

Cotswold Chickens sells it - there's a shaker, which you can refill from 2kg or 5kg tubs. Well worth it. It doesn't show on their web shop for some reason, but ring or email them on aagoodlifeco@gmail.com

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On 15/08/2018 at 11:04 AM, The Dogmother said:

Not licensed for use on poultry in the UK, but I use an ivermectin-based spot-on preventative on my flock, which keeps all lice and mites at bay.

 

Thanks Dogmother - I've gleaned a lot from this to get organised for my new rescue flock.  I've found Beaphar invermectin for birds up to the size of parrots - I've always avoided their products for cats and dogs, but are they OK for Chooks?

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If they are in the skin of the panels then try blocking the holes with silicone as well.

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I’m still finding them on the ground at the back of the go up despite keep using all the treatments we’ve mentioned. :( I think they are dropping out of the base of the rear door. I think I might actually have to try to unscrew the inner panel on the back door to take it apart to get to the ones that are hiding inside. There’s so many holes and slots in it between the inner and outer ( some for ventilation) there’s no way I can block them all due to the locking bolts for the door coming out the sides. 

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When I had them in my cube I took the whole lot apart to treat it.  Spray it first or the ones that drop out risk reinfecting it.  I also washed the roof of the run and treated the top of the cube to catch the ones that drop down from the pigeon nest. You have to get in all the nooks and crannies.  I also treated the girls with Invermectin 1%.  It worked and haven't seen them again (touch wood).

On the ground it could also be harvest mites (chiggers) jumping onto you they climb up and bite you around underwear lines. ugh!

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1 hour ago, Plum said:

On the ground it could also be harvest mites (chiggers) jumping onto you they climb up and bite you around underwear lines. ugh!

And don't i know it!!! I hate harvest time for this reason - we walk the fields most days, and the dogs love chasing mice out for the piles of straw - they return with chiggers in their ears, so are being treated with Thornit's. I am wearing elastic bands on my ankles in an effort to keep the critters out!

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I’ve googled pictures of harvest mites but they generally seem to be more browny-red? What are crawling onto my feet are mainly quite pale greyish things, only the odd one is brownish which when squashed has blood in. They definitely look like the pictures of unfed red mites. I’ve got myself a proper big spray bottle now for my TMK with a wand to make it easier to reach into the cracks and crevices without having lean inside the coop so much. 

 

4 hours ago, Plum said:

When I had them in my cube I took the whole lot apart to treat it.  Spray it first or the ones that drop out risk reinfecting it.  I also washed the roof of the run and treated the top of the cube to catch the ones that drop down from the pigeon nest. You have to get in all the nooks and crannies.  I also treated the girls with Invermectin 1%.  It worked and haven't seen them again (touch wood).

How many times did you have to repeat cleaning before you got rid of them? I’ve been super thorough with taking everything apart, who knew there were so many little holes and hidey places in an eglu! Even the nesting bars have some tiny gaps made by the strengthening dividers underneath that you can’t get a cloth into so I’ve just had to spray and hope.... but there are still a few back the next day. 😡

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I took it apart to the last nut and bolt once using TMK and everything was soaked.  Any manufacturing injection  holes in the panels etc were filled with silicone sealant.  The mites can live inside the panels.  I doused it with Diatom as it went back together.  Then used TMK for 2 cleans weekly after that for a normal clean.  Didnt see any more after that.  So must have worked together with Invermectin.  I changed the run material and sprayed perches etc with TMK.

There were whole colonies in each bit I took apart, I'm itching now talking about it.  Good luck

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You do need to double check the lifecycle of a red mite and do it for at least one cycle, if not two as you need to get rid of those which may just have been laid because the adult was missed.  The only times I had red mite was in a Classic coop and from memory I dismantled it completely, including as many screws and bolts as I could get out, either 2 or 3 times with a very thorough cleaning (I just used Poultry Shield, but now I would deffo try TMK) toothbrush at the ready, followed by permethrin.  It did work.  But equally it made me realise Eglus are not red mite proof and the design/manufacturing process is not perfect.  However, I figure its better to have to do such a time consuming deep clean, then it is to try to deal with red mite in a wooden coop, which thankfully I never encountered.

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Use the TMK spray (dilute 1:10 when you make it up from concentrate and remember to shake it) and Buz Busters combo every 3 days until you've knocked it right back, then revert to your weekly regime using those products. That should keep you lice and mite free. :D

See my advice in this thread on spot-on products

 

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If you think that you have them on yourself, then strip off on the back doorstep (I kid you not!!!) and have a hot shower with a dog flea shampoo that contains permethrin. Clothes will need to go straight in a hot wash. This will help to avoid you infesting your house as well. Anthony form Cotswold Chickens went out the other week to help a customer of their whose coop was heaving with mites; he was suited up, but when he got back to the yard he noticed hat they were crawling all over him - luckily they have an outdoor shower for horses, which he could use. He burned his overalls and fumigated his truck!!!!

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Yes I think it was every 3 days I did it.  Clare that's good, I didn't know you could use permethrin on humans.  That must have been some infestation Anthony went to.  Yvonne I would call Anthony B|

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Yes, it's the same active ingredient as in head lice treatments, so not the most organic of things to be using, but it saves having a house infested with mites - they are like bed bugs!

He said that the coop was heaving with them :vom: and really needed burning and starting again - he had mixed up TMK in a back pack.... he must've looked like ghost busters!

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My neighbour spotted me suited up in my blue overall with hood up, just told him I was doing a spot of cleaning! 😂

i do strip on the doorstep despite the fact I have double decker buses go past just the other side of the garden wall sometimes so I’m risking giving an eyeful! Learnt to my peril a 40c wash wont kill them. Washed some trainers and went to hang them on the line and there were still some crawling on them 🤢 now i wear wellies boots covered with permethrin spray and coated with DE!

also ivermectin is licensed for use in humans as a cream or tablet for scabies which has reassured me in using it. Makes me wonder why the recommendation to not eat eggs for 7 days after treating chickens but then I guess that’s just to be sure as the testing hasn’t been done. There’s no way there could be a higher concentration in the egg than you would take as a treatment dose though. 

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