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Hen Mites

 
Alison Thomas
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Location: France
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Yikes, all of a sudden we are inundated with tiny little dot creatures that swarm all over you whenever you touch anything 'chicken'. That includes egg collecting. If you touch anything, these tiny beasts whizz up onto you and make you uncomfortable for the rest of the day. And they transfer to anything you touch and can only be washed off it seems. Are these hen mites? How do we get rid of them? DE it seems is non-existant in France so other suggestions would be most welcome.
 
Jay Green
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Sulfur powder, garlic powder and even wood ashes. Place the powder/ash in the nest boxes and dusting spots and on the chickens. Mix a solution and paint your roosts. You can even place garlic in the feed or water to repel them from the inside out.

Make the wood ashes a regular part of their bathing/living routine for preventative. Add the garlic powder to feeds for the same reason...just every now and again place some on the feed for a week.
 
Alison Thomas
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Geee thanks Jay - one thing we have got LOTS of is wood ashes. And we have lots of garlic growing (like 350 plants!) - can I do something with that or does it need to be powder?
 
Jay Green
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You can juice them and add to the feed or water...go easy because fresh garlic is strong. You can also rub a mashed clove of garlic on their roosts. Vampiric parasites hate sulfur....avoid it. Could be where the whole wearing garlic to ward off vampires came about...the information is actually true.

You can dry that garlic and pulse it in a food processor to make some great powder as well.
 
Katy Whitby-last
Posts: 280
Location: North East Scotland
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Sounds like red mite: they live in the house so you need to clean it really thoroughly - they lurk in all the crevices, particularly under roofing felt. a blow torch over everything can help to get rid of them but you need to do it very frequently to catch them when they have just hatched out. apparently tobacco repels them and there is a research study on essential oils from Newcastle university I think but I can't check it at the moment as I am on my phone.
 
Katy Whitby-last
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I've found the link regarding the essential oils http://www.ncl.ac.uk/afrd/assets/documents/website_pressrelease2.pdf
 
Alison Thomas
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Thanks Katy - garlic wash it is then. We had a burning session in the hen house yesterday and there's wood ash in all the bedding and in the dust baths. It was mega gross yesterday when I noticed that these beasties came swarming out of the light switch when you put on the light - that's when my husband decided that he'd help

Do the mites transfer to ducks and geese?
 
Jay Green
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Here's an interesting article and info on a different way to rid of red mites:

http://poultrykeeper.com/red-mite/predator-mites-for-red-mite-control
 
Alison Thomas
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Do these mites survive if they have no host? Can we compost the straw from the hen house? We're on to the 3rd blow torching and there's definitely less scratching on the part of the hens since they've had their ash baths.

But I noticed today that something that horribly like the same thing was running around on one of my goose's beaks. Do they transfer to other birds? We have geese and ducks. If so, how do we deal with that since they don't have dust baths.
 
Alison Thomas
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Arrrgh this is horrific. I had to get up at 5am this morning to have a shower - our cat had come in through the window (our henhouse is right next to it - a stone outhouse) and jumped up on the bed and all of a sudden these darn beasts are crawling all over me, in my hair everything. We are attacking the situation with something every day and we're about to order the predators. But I've just read that these mites can live for 10 months without a host!!! What hope do we have
 
Katy Whitby-last
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Try using a different bedding as mites love straw. Spray the house and all equipment with Poultry Shield every 7 days with a high pressure sprayer to get it into every crevice in the housing. Dust all poultry with DE every couple of days making sure you get it around their necks, vent and under their wings. Feed the hens lots of garlic in their water. If you can put them into temporary accommodation whilst you blitz the housing that will help. Check feeders and drinkers as they will hide under them too.

Sounds awful. I do know of people who have had to burn their hen houses as the infestation was so bad. Some people even resort to Ivermectin.
 
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