Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Poultry and Pets => The Hen House => Topic started by: joyfull on July 31, 2012, 10:55

Title: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on July 31, 2012, 10:55
I thought that I ought to put this photo up again that Hillfooter posted just to show everybody what red mites look like. The ones in the photo are red showing that they have recently been feeding. If you squish them you get a blood smear. If they haven't fed then they are grey. They really are tiny.

here (http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=72773.msg829682#msg829682) is the link.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: Spana on July 31, 2012, 11:28
Can i add my photos as well  :) They might help someone who doesn't know what to look for.

(http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c176/Codswolop/Redmite2.jpg)

The before feeding stage. They are so small that unless you know what you are looking for they are easy to miss.

(http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c176/Codswolop/DSCF1763.jpg)

(http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c176/Codswolop/mites.jpg)

They need to have a blood feed before they can breed, so if you can catch them at the before feeding stage you save a lot of work and stress for your chickens :)
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on July 31, 2012, 12:25
Thanks Spana, great to see the before feeding photos  :)
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: andy46 on July 31, 2012, 19:47
Thats a good idea for all us newbie chicken owners who would not know what they where looking for thanks xxx
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: GREEN FINGERED NOT on August 06, 2012, 10:22
Hi  I ended up with a bad infestation over a year ago as my chicken shed is a 6x4 garden shed that has been adapted, it has a tar roof and is awaiting its new non tar roof in the next few weeks.  As I do not normally go in after dark I really had not noticed the mites and it took some work to get rid of them.  I sprayed every day and also used very soapy warm water as the mite has a waxy coat.  However I also went in every night and did a lot of squishing with my hand and then had a shower straight after as well as washing the clothes I had on - all a great phaff but worth it for the chickens - The easiest option would have been to burn the shed and replace it with a new one, however, with the cost implications of that it was not practical at the itme so tried those options as well as powder on the floor and end of perches in the shed and have not had any visible return of the mite - I do make sure that once a week a go into the shed at night with a torch and shine it along the perch to see if there is any movement.  Hope you never have a problem with them. :wub:
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: wildwitchy on August 13, 2012, 16:56
I had a very bad time with the things about 2 years ago. Tried all sorts (minor and major chemicals) and tbh I had to get rid of my wooden coops and go plastic. It's the only way to go. I wouldn't use wood again for my poultry now, it was a nightmare. They even got on me.  :(
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on August 13, 2012, 19:23
me too which is why I have plastic too - even though plastic coops can still get red mites they are far easier to eradicate the little blighters.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: morbidia on August 17, 2012, 21:23
As a fairly new chicken keeper I got quite a shock when I discovered red mite in my coop. I knew they were a risk and kept a look out for them but to be honest wasn't too sure what I was looking for but I soon found out, I treated my coop and thought I had sorted the problem out but then noticed some more so I decided to take my coop apart. I was horrified to discover that my coop was badly infested and that what I had thought was a minor problem was a massive infestation. They were in all the gaps and joints of my wooden coop which I couldn't see until I took it apart. I absolutely blitzed the coop and then I applied Diatom to all the nooks and crannies with a soft paintbrush and also put some on the bedding. This seems to have got rid f the initial infestation and I keep checking and reapplying the Diatom in the hope that it will do the trick. I also put vaseline on the underside and ends of my perches then sprinkled diatom onto the vaseline, I haven't found any on my perches since then
When I can afford it I am going to buy a plastic coop as I think this will be easier to keep mite free
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: wildwitchy on August 18, 2012, 13:48
Well as I said I had to get rid of my wooden coops as like you morbida, they were in all the joints etc, so I just took it apart and chucked it. After that I used a plastic keter garden storage box & put a perch in it which served well but I still wasnt happy with it. This year when I got my polish,pekins & ducks I bought two plastic barrels (screwd some plastic pipes to bottom to make them stable, cut a square hole on the top to collect the eggs - when they lay!!) & and covered cat litter box and I use them now. The ducks use the barrels and the chix all seem to squash into the cat litter box! The barrels were 10 each and the litter box was 17. They are in a walk in coop though. No red mite and easy to keep clean - just soapy water & bit of disinfectant.

See pic.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/wildwitch67/DSCF2436.jpg)
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: Angela B on August 23, 2012, 20:02
I had persistent problems with red mite and tried various solutions, best I found was to mix Diatom powder with water to a thin paste and paint it all over the inside of the hen house (wooden) and any where else the critters were seen. It leaves a powdery reside that seems to have done the trick. I also sprinkle it on their bedding.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on August 24, 2012, 04:57
here (http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=81422.0) is Hillfoooters recipe for mixing diatom to a slurry for painting.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: Chippet on September 05, 2012, 07:50
Pics are great thank you!!
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: alaj on September 28, 2012, 19:31
Wildwitchy! What a fantastic idea! I just scuttled out to the kitchen to show my luvverly husband who is almost as impressed :D
In general though, this thread has been handy since we had spotted an odd looking bug in the old henhouse (due to be pulled down any day,its our old summerhouse and not really ideal) and its been a process of elimination. Didn't think it was a red mite but now I'm 150% sure.
Thanks x
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: wildwitchy on September 28, 2012, 20:55
Wildwitchy! What a fantastic idea! I just scuttled out to the kitchen to show my luvverly husband who is almost as impressed :D

Thank you alaj! I must say i've got to blow my own trumpet and they have been good! I refuse to pay for Eglu's. They can be swept & hosed out in 5 minutes. Plus they're cheap!
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on September 30, 2012, 07:57
Please note that you can still get redmites in plastic housing but they are easier to eradicate.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: Abacus on October 01, 2012, 19:46
I use wooden coops but I steam clean (using a wallpaper stripper) & hoover out the dead bodies and that seems to work okay.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: littlelion on October 10, 2012, 18:46
I am new this website but would like to offer the following.  I breed 5 varieties of hen and buff orpington ducks. This summer i bought some black copper marans placed them in quarantine but it soon became obvious that they had mite/lice.  Once I had got over the annoyance as I have never had either before.  Prevention is better than cure and I clean and spray and even use a dual pond vac to clean the joints. I also use both plastic and wood coops. I used the powder on the birds and in the bedding.  Cleaned out every couple of days and burnt the litter. It took ages I even dipped one of them in the solution. I have now tried 'spot on' flea control on two of the hens.  A week on and they seem fine the redness has gone and there does not seem to be any sign of the mite moving around. I will be keeping a check and posting updates. This seems a good forum.

website link removed - if you wish to post photos of your birds please post them on this forum, thanks.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on October 10, 2012, 19:44
this thread is about redmites not mites and lice which is a completely different subject. For mites/lice we have long advised people to use either kitten strength frontline or the frontline spray but as neither of these are licensed for poultry you really should get these prescribed from a vet and sign a disclaimer for them.
Redmites do not live on the birds but live in the coops, they only venture onto the birds to feed over night.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: kopperdrake on January 05, 2013, 10:29
Having suffered red mite on more than one occasion, my tried and tested method is:

1) Spray coop with Poultry Shield
2) Thoroughly wash and disinfect coop with a weak Jeyes Fluid solution and leave to dry.
3) Rub diatomaceous earth (DE) into the wooden perches (the only wood I have in the coops now I have replaced the wood coops for plastic).

Weekly maintenance, with usual cleaning out routine:

1) Sprinkle, quite liberally, DE over the wood shavings that I use both under the perches and in the nest boxes.
2) Scrape any fouling from the wooden perches, clean if necessary in a weak Jeyes Fluid solution, and also reapply DE to those.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: ehs284 on January 09, 2013, 17:20
Just for interest:

http://www.worldpoultry.net/Layers/Health/2013/1/UK-research-project-to-control-poultry-red-mite-1141598W/?cmpid=NLC|World%20Poultry|09-jan-2013|UK%20research%20project%20to%20control%20poultry%20red%20mite
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on January 09, 2013, 17:27
interesting but we have to hope the vaccine (should they develop one) will be available in small quantities otherwise it won't really help backyard poultry keepers  :(
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: smiler43 on May 17, 2013, 21:24
We had red mite last year and we didn't notice, they hadn't fed so were grey.  Hard to spot as coop dusty anyway and we used to use DE too (obviously not enough).  Now changed to plastic coop, I know we can still get them but hoping it's easier to eradicate.  Hope we can see them easier too as the coop is black!  :)
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: HAPPYCHICKENHOME on June 25, 2013, 12:04
I also got redmite, I have a 6x4 adapted shed, we put board around the bottom of the shed to around 4ft high so that the birds have smooth wood next to them and not the lattes of the shed - it was onerous to erradicate and I found I was addicted to going out each night and squishing with my finger, although you need to put your clothes in the wash at the back door and have a shower straight away - I also used warm, very soapy fairy washing up liquid to give the house a good soak then as it was drying used a more chemical based solution with the powder on the floor at the end, it took around 2 weeks of this every day (the weather was warm enough that it dried out every day) and then a bit less for another week or so and put the powder all around the floor edges each night.  I still have the shed and clean and spray every week and have had no reoccurance, but still go down when its dark every few weeks have have a good look around.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: newchickenkeeper on June 25, 2013, 13:25
Yack! Horrible fiends. I do wonder whether my girls might have something like this. Since I got them they do scratch and itch a lot. I might douse them just in case :)

Where would I be best to spot these critters?
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: GrannieAnnie on June 25, 2013, 13:31
If your perches are removable, take them out and look in the join where the perch sits.  You can also rub a bit of kitchen towel along the undersides of the perch, if it comes away red, that is the mites.   Also if you go out at night with a torch and shine it up to the roof of the coop, you may see them falling down, they don't like light.

They are grey and really tiny, then turn red and get a little bigger as they feed, then as they get older they turn black.  You may also see what looks like white dust around perches and up the sides of the doors.  That is their poop!  yukky things, I hate them.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: newchickenkeeper on June 25, 2013, 16:14
Thanks GrannieAnnie I will certainyl do that tonight! Typical though....my ladies sleep on the foor in a big pile of straw, the don't tend to perch and the roof is so high lol. I will have a look around though and ue some kitchen towel for a swipe about.

Do they cause itching?
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: splash101 on June 25, 2013, 16:43
Do they cause itching?

Making me itch just thinking about them  :(
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: GrannieAnnie on June 25, 2013, 16:55
They can.  The first time I found them I was claening out an old set of nest boxes that hadn't been used for ages and they were all in the shavings.  I had a purple coat on.  When I looked, there were 1.000's of them all over the sleeves, up my arms.  Awful little things.

So if I have to clear them out now, (OH won't do it)  I get to the back door andhave to take everything off (luckily neighbours can't see!) and chuck it in the washing machine then go up for a shower.

They can live for 38 weeks without feeding too!  :ohmy: :ohmy:
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: ANHBUC on June 26, 2013, 17:44
Thanks GrannieAnnie I will certainyl do that tonight! Typical though....my ladies sleep on the foor in a big pile of straw, the don't tend to perch and the roof is so high lol. I will have a look around though and ue some kitchen towel for a swipe about.

Do they cause itching?

There are other mites that can cause itching such as ear mites.  The red mites generally don't live on the chicken but in the coop.  They crawl up the chickens legs to feed at night.   :(
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: newchickenkeeper on June 27, 2013, 17:19
I will have to have a look. Mine seem to be itching a lot just all over and one sneezes a bit too :( I hope I haven't bought ill hens, such a shame to stress them out with a vetvisit or something having only just got them :(
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: capax on July 09, 2013, 08:15
We had a bad infestation a year ago and tried all the usual things, it was a nightmare, in the end we actually varnished the whole of the chicken house which basically traps the blitters in there, now if we see anything we varnish again with a low odour varnish that dries quick, getting into all the little cracks.  Makes the house eaiser to clean too.  The whole process didn't take long (we have a old converted shed) and less stressful for the hens, and helps keep the house in good condition too! If you have a bad infestation, it can take a couple of applications but definately a good alternative approach.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: barley on July 16, 2013, 23:35
I don't wait to even see them - my house is sprayed religiously every 2 weeks all year round
( we use poultry shield ) it come in 5 litre bottles and is applied using a spray bottle 
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: Tigerwren on August 21, 2013, 11:47
I cleaned out our coop before going on holiday.  Our eggs have reduced recently and I thought nothing of it as our neighbours eggs have all reduced too.  Yesterday though I found literally thousands of the RM.  It took two hours of poultry shield and lots of DE to even get my girls to think about going to the coop again.  I checked again last nigh with a torch and there are still a few dozen.  I am going to make a thick paste today and cover the whole coop.  Then another full taking apart this weekend and repeat next week.  Hopefully that should do the trick, but they are quite resilient little beggars! >:(
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: HAPPYCHICKENHOME on February 06, 2014, 10:55
As they have a waxy exterior the other thing I used was hot\warm water with a good helping of washing up liquid to have a nice soapy mix the breaks down the exterior of this blighter and sprayed the inside of the hen house with that when the weather was clement enough for it to try quite quickly as well as Jeyes Fluid and hour or so after with a fling about of powder when it was all dry ready for the chickens on a night - I can manage this because my chickens are not in the house all day they are out in the garden roaming and lay eggs generally on a bag of sawdust in the garage - after such a large infestation it did take several weeks, but, have had no sign since as I do empty the shed, burn the sawdust and poop then disinfect once a week in the winter and generally twice in the summer
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: RubyR3d on February 26, 2014, 20:34
Whenever I have problems with my hens I have a lovely old chap in the village who I take them to. He advised me to use frontline cat strength. A couple of drops at the base of the neck and between the wings. Also I put a couple of drops on
A piece of tissue and leave it in the nest boxes where they roost. Very effective and isn't systemic so you can carry on eating the eggs. He breeds and sell his hens all over the country and is very knowledgable. :)
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on February 27, 2014, 15:37
As Frontline isn't licensed for poultry you should really go to your vets and ask for kitten strength and then sign a disclaimer for it. Some people say you shouldn't use it incase it passes into the eggs but your vet can advise on that - my vets prescribe the frontline spray.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: Sideshoot on March 18, 2014, 06:58
I had a horrendous red mite problem, tried allsorts of solutions then hit upon an idea...
My dad in spain has a problem with palm beetle and uses an insectcide spray to kill them, brilliant stuff he said so i accuired some to try in the coop. Took all precautions with the birds, the results were immediate. After two treatments applied with a hand pump pressure sprayer they had been wiped out, not just the live ones but the eggs too.
It works out sooo much cheaper than the official marketed products too.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: joyfull on March 18, 2014, 17:23
As a responsible forum we can only advise you use DEFRA recognised products.
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: RubyR3d on June 22, 2014, 13:18
I've read some ppl use lime. Is that gardening lime used for cabbages etc thanks
Title: Re: Red mite photo.
Post by: ChicKenKen on July 30, 2014, 17:32
Hi, we keep just 4 hens and like most have had the occasional invasion of red mite, however with the warm humid weather we, or rather our hens have been overrun with the little monsters.

Having spent in the last few weeks around 40-50 on diatoms, sprays, washes, etc. and following the instructions to the letter we made no progress and our hens decided that they were not going in to roost at night and frankly I cannot blame them, even putting my head near the door had me scratching and I decided that new and drastic action was needed and I came up with the idea of using steam from my wallpaper stripper, this is a 2.5 kilowatt model that holds about a gallon of water, I removed everything from the hen house, closed the doors, blocked the vents, and put the steam hose in through a gap and then watched it heat up like a steam room, after about half an hour I was amazed to see the mite appearing on the outside in their thousands, coming from gaps smaller than you would think they could get into and in such quantities even from under the felt roof that they fell like damp dust. While they were trying to escape they were sprayed with mite killer. After an hour the outside of the coop was averaging about 50 degrees and inside was around 80 degrees measured with a thermal imaging camera.

Afterwards, wearing gloves I used the steam hose in every crevice as steam gets where even water cannot and then finished off by going over the ground with the steam plate to finish off any others. Today I can see not a single moving mite, and in theory at least I should have killed the eggs off too. I will now repeat this weekly for a while to make sure no stragglers find their way back, the hen house survived very well with no warping.

One thing I have not seen mentioned about red mite is that the little horrors as well as crawling around also float very easily even in light air movement, they are really like living biting dust , I discovered this when I put a bag of rubbish into a bin with used bedding already in there, within seconds I was itching just from the mites that were blown up into the air from dropping a bag in, its no wonder they end up in our hen houses.

ChicKenKen