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Red mite In the run.

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red mite in the run?

After finding an infestation of red mite in my cube, I have completed a deep clean using poultry shield, lots of DE and airing the coop and roosting bars daily whilst it has been sunny. I have managed to get them almost hopefully gone in the cube and the traps I have set have come up empty for the last two nights.

I only have 2 old ladies in the cube due to loosing one of my hens recently, so it’s easy to clean and only one hen is laying as my 8year old is enjoying retirement. 

i also have 4 beautiful babies  that are 8 weeks old  ( 3 buffs and a dark Brahma)  who are sleeping in a dog crate at the end of the walk in run. When I cleaned the bedding out today I noticed two mites ( so know there must be more ) so have deep cleaned the tray, put DE in and mixed loads in with the bedding in the run, focusing on the sides and wood of the run that is nearest to the crate.

the crate is covered by tarp on the top and partially down the sides.  I removed  the tarp today cleaned it and kept in the sun and I am happy to do this daily for however long is necessary.

Due to the age of these little ones they will be sleeping in the crate until they are at least big enough to hold there own against my old girls. So I am wondering has any one got any tips of how I can minimise the mites in the run or any tips on the best thing to use to treat the run, so that the mites don’t just climb back in to the crate. Will DE surrounding the crate be effective enough on top of cleaning?

 My walk in run is large 6ft x 18ft and is a wooden frame with Perspex  roof so I think the mites could be living in the wood of the run? I have coated the exposed wood near the temporary coop with DE and will get some poultry shield and spray all of the wood, but I am at a loss as to how to stop them crawling back into the houses? and have no idea how quickly or far they can travel to feed?

I have considered trying to get some Exzolt as I have read it can now be sold to back garden flocks so is less expensive but not sure how easy it is to A) get hold of and B) get the dosing right for mixed age and weights of birds.

i also know this is going to become a yearly battle as my next door neighbour has an old wooden coop and has battled for years and now controls them rather than eliminating them, but would welcome tips on how to keep the little ones safe whilst being in crate.



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Not sure the red mite will be in the run. Most likely they have stayed on the chickens and dropped off them in the night. All you can do is keep cleaning the coop until all the mites have gone.

We found red mite in a coop which had two hens in it. The coop was steam cleaned thoroughly then the perch ends were creosoted (only the ends the hens couldn't touch as it would burn their feet) which stops the red mite crawling off to hide in the bedding. First morning there were roughly 1300 under the perch which was then sprayed. Next morning about 50, then 20 and so on. After a week there were none. We didn't have another infestation, so when they have gone that's it, unless wild birds bring them in again.

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Oh Beantree you have given me hope.

They have def decreased to almost zero in the cube, i doused them with boiling water the first time but may invest in a portable steam cleaner as that sounds great.

I thought they were in the coop only two apart from when my other temp coop at the other end of the run had some in, and my new chickens are in separate housing so have not mixed or been in the big girls house. 

I will stay on top of my cleaning regime and hopefully they will either be very controlled or will hopefully be gone.


fingers crossed. 

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I'm sorry to hear this - it is a soul-less task trying to get rid of red mites. I'm afraid that DE, whilst a sort-of preventative won't eradicate the mites; you need a product containing permethrin for that.

Strip down and clean your housing thoroughly, when dry spray it with nettex's total mite kill spray (pink one) this is refillable from their concentrate which is a cheaper way of working ;) Get this in all the nooks and crannies. You need to shake this product before use as it contains a coating agent, which stays on the surface after drying and continues to knock down the mites.

Powder it all with their Buz Busters powder, again working it into all the nooks and crannies.

Repeat this every 3 days to break the mite breeding cycle, then revert to using it as part of your weekly cleaning regime once the infestation is knocked back.

A couple of points going forward:

  • Keep the inside of the coop as dry as possible - no paper, straw or hay. Consider using Aubiose or Aubichick hemp bedding in the housing and run as this keeps very dry.
  • Consider asking your vet  for (or buying online) an off-licence Ivermectin spot-on to use on your birds, this not only controls on-bird parasites, but also red mites. Use this quarterly.

Vigilance is key ! You can find more information about lice and mites here


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Thanks Dogmother, I have the nettex spray on order and have been cleaning the coop daily and I have three sets of roosting bars for the cube so have been changing these daily, spraying and leaving in the sun. I have probably gone a bit OTT but I guess that’s one benefit of working from home. I

is it worth spraying the wooden frame of the run with the nettex? 

luckily I have always used hemp bedding so that’s not a problem was just worried more about the babies in the crate, can I use the spot on my 8 week olds? 

I guess I have been really lucky in 8 years of chicken keeping this is the only time I have seen red mite! But will def be on high alert forever more! Horrible things. 

Thanks for the advice! 

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