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Anyone else having mite problems this year?

(16 Posts)
mehgalegs Mon 06-Oct-08 10:23:17

In 10 years of hen keeping I have never seen a red mite or louse.

Yesterday was a shock. My front yard chooks are v.old and have all stopped laying. They looked awful, bedraggled moulting but looking much scruffier than normal. I was horrified to find my speckeldy crawling with mites.

I clean them out weekly, use diatom powder in the bedding and scrub out the sheds with Jeyes fluid twicie a year.

Their shed was absolutely full of mites. I cleaned it out, poultryguarded it, lit a really smokey bbq in it and smoked the buggers for over an hour, they were still coming out of the gaps.

Have sprayed again, diatomed and will spray again every few days.

Last winter was too mild to kill them off apparently so it's like a double whammy this year.

Anyone else having similar probs?

mehgalegs Mon 06-Oct-08 20:37:30

Weel, I have been Practical Poultrying it this eve. Red mite is rife this year. The solutions seem to be:
creosote (although it is now banned!)
Diatom and Poultry sheild (which I use)
Blow torch - DH torched them yesterday, they crackeld rather well!
Limewash - might try this next
Something called Buzz Buster.

Will report back (if anyone is interested)


NappiesGalore Tue 07-Oct-08 12:28:13

i am itchy too sad

keep getting bitten to hell every time i go near the hen house <scowl>

and yes, ive found mites, but not on the hens yet, in the house. i know they must be feasting overnight. yuk!

have just built a shed im converting, then im going to liberally coat the interior with creosote substitute and hope that works

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 07-Oct-08 12:32:29

Had a terrible time with them over the summer. It took three attempts with the powder (can't remember the name) as well as bleaching, scrubbing, and hosing down before we got rid of them. One of the girls died - we'll never know whether it was because of the mites or a combination of that plus heat and old-ish age sad.

mehgalegs Tue 07-Oct-08 13:09:36

I am sure I can still feel them in my hair NG. W&P we had to dispose of our two old speckeldies and two of the rescue birds. they were very old but in such a bad state from the mites. I feel awful, I thought they were just moulting, I should have noticed sooner. sad

I have just cleaned out my broody shed, scrubbed it down with poultry sheild in every nook and cranny, no sign of mites thankfully. It will stay empty until spring now but I shall carry on spraying and diatoming it each week I think.

The lady at the local smallholding supplier here said that it is really hard to get rid of them all. She said they will be under the roof felt, and under the floor of the shed. I will spray and spray and if we get a dry spell try painting inside of shed with lime wash.

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 07-Oct-08 13:16:15

Oh definitely, don't stop spraying, no matter how obsessive it may feel grin, keep going until you are 110% sure they are gone.

The good news is that they don't like human blood, or so I'm told. So they will jump on you but will give up on you within 10-15 minutes. But, I know, just the thought and the memory of them on your skin makes you scratch. Tbh, at first, before I actually noticed them in the henhouse, I thought I was having a weird first trimester symptom! Eventually I noticed the connection between checking for eggs and getting itchy arms!

NappiesGalore Tue 07-Oct-08 16:57:10

something has definitely bitten me, and rather a lot. all over my scalp, on my back and arm... wtf is living on me?? grim!!

mehgalegs Tue 07-Oct-08 17:03:55

I have bites along my hairline at the back of my head. Maybe they have to bite first to realise they don't like human blood.

Also getting slightly panicky as our mate is here plumbing in our new hot water tank at it looks like he might not get it finished tonight and we have no hot water. eek - I need a hot shower now!

Also having terrible problems for the first time ever - poultry shield ain't working, neither is diatom, neither is dettol. Will try jeyes. Am hoping that we have a cold snap soon and they die off.

NappiesGalore Tue 07-Oct-08 17:33:29

oh no meg! fingers crossed for the hot water...

tortoiseshellWasMusicaYearsAgo Fri 10-Oct-08 11:55:17

We had a big red mite infestation - sprayed them all with poultry shield and lots of red mite powder on the hens. I sprayed them all at night and that seemed to help as it was while they were out.

TheDuchessOfCorpseBride Mon 13-Oct-08 13:43:03

[grim-faced emoticon]

Thankfully we haven't. I dread getting an infestation in the main henhouse because it's an old brick-built loo and has nooks and crannies galore. No felt though and it has a hard tiled floor which is no doubt better than wood.

Best of luck with the spraying. Let us know how 'lime wash' works out if you use it.

fourkidsmum Fri 24-Oct-08 18:42:40

we treat the chickens with the ivermectin drops we had for mangey guinea pigs! I did check with the vet first that this is ok! that at least clears the chucks - though you can't eat the eggs for a month but they do start to look healthier very quickly.

when we have run out of poultry shield, i have used the spray the you get from the vet for treating your house against cat/dog fleas (not the stuff for the actual animal), then shut the chickens out for a few hours to be sure not to poison them. this seems to be effective.

It has definitely been a bad year though...

needmorecoffee Fri 24-Oct-08 18:45:45

endless problems. Been using every toxic substance known to man including derosect and still they crawl out. Hate getting them on me as petrified they will get established in the house and feed on us for ever.
I assumed the plastic eglu would be mite free after years of problems with wooden coops but its just as bad. its just easier to clean.

MarmadukeScarlet Tue 16-Jun-09 07:51:27

Have just returned from 2 weeks hols. We confused as chooks were laying only 3 eggs some days (9 chooks) although 7 sat/sun.
Checked under the perches and yup, bloody heaving with them.

My neighbour obviously didn't use poultry shield as instructed on weekly clean, as not a trace the day we left when I cleaned them out.

God I'm itching all over.

I'm meant to be going to buy a dress for a black tie event on Sat, I guess that will have to wait.

I am armed with p.shield, jeyes fluid and louse powder - any other ideas? I only have a chef's blow torch, but am willing to keep reloading it!

How did you go with the lime wash for those that used it?


elsied Sun 21-Jun-09 11:00:51

This might seem a daft question, but is it obvious when you get a mite infestation? I have had my chucks for 6 weeks and everything seems OK, but I have noticed black specks when cleaning them out. They don't move or anything so not sure if I should be concerned. The chickens seem healthy and are laying well (except the one that's just gone broody but that's another subject). Thanks

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