How to get rid of a Serious Red Mite Infestation.

I went on holiday for a couple of weeks to come back and find one of my chicken houses was full of red mite! Not just on the ends of the perches but in every crack and crevice and in every corner. Red Mite are notoriously difficult to remove once they get a grip on a chicken house. When the weather is warm, red mite multiply very quickly and before you know it, you’ve got a serious infestation to deal with.

Dealing with a serious Red Mite outbreak.

So how do you deal with such a serious red mite infestation? Normally, for small numbers I would wash the house down with poultry shield and use a number of other red mite products here and there to kill off these unwanted visitors but with so many mites in the chicken house, more serious action was required. Here’s what to do:

Allow yourself a good couple of hours…

Cleaning the chicken house to remove red mites

Cleaning the chicken house to remove red mites

  • Clean out the house, remove all loose bedding material. Strip the house down as much as you can. Remove as many parts as possible including pop holes, automatic pop hole openers and anything else that will unscrew easily.
  • If you have a felt roof, remove this – yes, unfortunately you will need to re-felt the roof. If you don’t you will find millions of red mites will still live happily under the felt.
  • Using a high pressure hose / pressure washer, wash the house and parts down. Get the spray in every crack and crevice. This will take about 45 minutes if done properly. If you miss a crack, hundreds of mites could be hiding in there so it’s really important to ensure you get into everywhere possible. The spray will bounce back and soak you at times so wear old clothes and be prepared to get wet.
  • Wait for the house to dry 10 to 15 minutes. Now look at it carefully – you should see red mites crawling around. These are the guys you missed that are coming out because they have been disturbed and are wet.
Spread generous amounts of Diatom on the bedding material.

Spread generous amounts of Diatom on the bedding material.

  • Go over the house again from top to bottom, again concentrating on the cracks.
  • Repeat the above process as many times as necessary until there are very few mites coming out. The more you remove, the better. Even small populations can multiply quickly.
  • Put your house back together. If you had a felt roof, leave re-felting until you are mite free for a couple of weeks. A temporary waterproof material should be used – plastic is ideal.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of diatom onto the bedding. The manufacturers recommend 500g per M2 which is quite a lot.
  • Put a handful of diatom into your hand and rub it
    Diatom should be rubbed into perches

    Diatom should be rubbed into perches

    into each perch, taking particular care around the ends and the underside. When you have finished it should be white and smooth, like a gymnasts bar.  Red mites have to crawl over this to get to the chickens at night.

Monitor the house for a few days, particularly on perch ends and re-apply diatom to the perches every couple of days or as soon as it starts to wear off.

If you have got into all of the cracks successfully, you should notice a drastic reduction in the number of red mite in the house – if you still find reasonable numbers, make up a spray mixture of poultry shield and spray onto these areas using a hand held plant mister.

Continue using diatom for a few weeks until there are no more signs of red mite.

diatom

Click to see Diatom products on Wells Poultry

You will find lots of articles on Red Mite here on the main poultrykeeper site, there are also other posts about Red Mite in my blog – including My Top 4 Red Mite Products

If you have any other tips on controlling red mite or would like to leave a comment then please feel free to do so below.

You can buy Diatomaceous Earth from specialist poultry product suppliers – for example Wells Poultry.

I usually buy a large tub around 2KG as shown to the right but I also bought a small puffer bottle / shaker that is useful because you can refil it from the big tub making it easier to apply and less wasteful.

What do you think?

  1. just found out how hard it is to get rid of these mights, cleaned the whole coop out, replaced the roof, a week late i find a little nest of them, time to get the pressure washer out!

    • I’ve cleaned my coop out completely and used a blow torch to lightly scorch between each crack and its worked a treat. You can even see the little clusters of mites frazzle as you go!!!
      Just make sure you move quite quickly so to not scorch the enclosure too much!

  2. I’ve just discovered that we have a red mite infestation in our chicken house so i’m set to do a really big clean, but if you use a pressure hose to remove the mites, do they not just crawl back when they’ve dried out a bit and move straight back into the house again?

    • Yes, I’m sure some will but it would be a long and difficult journey for them and I haven’t seen any crawling back up the legs of the house. The main reason for the pressure washer is to get them out of the cracks which is the most difficult thing. Once washed, many more will come crawling out as well that you didn’t get with the washer the first time. Poultryshield is useful to use first on the house – this is a detergent based product that washes the waxy coating of the mites off and causes them to dry out and die.

      If the numbers are reduced to a sensible level in the house then you stand a fair chance of killing them with diatom but you must keep repeating treatment before 6 days so they don’t have a chance to reproduce….. by the bucketload!

  3. I`ve just lost one of my hens, have 2 left – both are losing their feathers & do not want to go in the Henhouse at Night, all 3 had stopped laying around 2 weeks ago, but poor Linda got weak and died one Night in the Henhouse.

    I have been putting them in at Night, In the last hour though I have read all the comments above, & text, and know I have Red Mite problems (And a felt Roof)!
    I have an allotment so plenty of garlic, which I will crush & put in the water, I will take off the felt Roof & jet out the House & buy some Diatom & Red mite powder.

    I was looking to get another couple of Hens to replace Linda, but should I wait until I have cleared out The Red Mite?

    • Very sorry to hear this, although I have heard similar stories many times.
      If it is really bad, I would move the hens for a couple of weeks to alternative accommodation…. so that they get a break from the mites and can recover a little then, I would consider using a combination of treatments – Jeyes Fluid isn’t so friendly but kills them dead with contact.
      It will take several treatments to reduce the red mite numbers right down – the important thing is to remember their lifecycle in this warm weather is 5 or 6 days – so you must repeat treatment before they can lay thousands more eggs again…
      It is not impossible to rid the hen house of these but to be honest, a few from time to time doesn’t bother the hens that much as long as you keep on top of their numbers. The diatom long term seems to keep their numbers down for me although from time to time I still get an outbreak.
      Good Luck!

  4. Just came back from a weeks holiday, and found we had red mites. We’ve only had chickens for a year and this is the first time i’ve ever seen them so i wasn’t really prepared, is there anything i can use quickly and at hand as the weathers bad so i can’t use a pressure washer?
    Also as they are only in one corner of the house, should i be worried that they have fully infestated the whole hut, the chickens still look very healthy though one is laying fragile eggs. what supplements can i give them?
    any help would be appreciated as i’m still a bit of a novice!

    Emily

    • I would order some poultry shield and diatom – then spray the infestation with a garden / greenhouse hand sprayer and rub diatom on the perches for now. When the weather is better, you can strip the house down and check out the full extent of the problem.

      Their normal feed and greens etc should contain sufficient nutrition but there are numerous poultry vitamin supplements available.

  5. hi i have hear ivermectin is good for chickens, as its an easy drop on the back of the neck and treats red mites fleas and worms in one go, can anyone advise on this and if you can eat the eggs during application. many thanks

    • Vets sometimes prescribe Ivermectin to treat chickens with lice and it is also effective for most species of worms. I don’t know how good it is for red mite but I have heard of people using it from time to time. Many poultry keepers use Ivermectin drops on their birds since it can be bought online (eg for pigeons). It is licensed under the small animal exemption scheme which does not allow it on the use of animals that produce food such as chickens.

      I would be breaking the VMD guidelines by encouraging you to use it – only a vet can prescribe its use under the Veterinary Medicines Cascade.

      There is more information on Ivermectin in our Medication section.

      Hope this helps…!

  6. I’m glad I have found this site as I too am going mad with these mites. I first thought they were from outside and found them all over my bed as my covers had been drying on the line (by the chickens). When I cleaned out the coop I found millions of them in there crawling in the cracks.
    Have been cleaning and cleaning and dusting with powder for a week now but still finding these things in my house and crawling outside. The hens seem fine and still lay every day. I have used frontline on them and powder.
    My worry is that I have 4 dogs, a cat and rabbits who all share the garden and surrounding out buildings. I think I may be best re homing my chickens and burning the coop, as I am worried they will keep spreading and affect my other animals. If I find a new home for my girls will they take the mites with them even though they have been covered with powder/spray? They are tiny dots and a pale colour, but some do have a dark back and white spot as mentioned before on here.
    They are so horrible and I have to crush them between my nails to kill them.

    • Yes, red mite can feed on other species including dogs and people, however they need the dark cracks and crevices to live in and will only thrive with a regular feed. Just about every poultry keeper gets red mite and very few end up with a problem elsewhere.

      I always strip off after a big clean up and shower and have never had them in my house. The dogs would be best kept out of the chicken house and if you get them under control to a manageable level, you should find that you can manage the problem without too much difficulty.

      The key thing to remember is to re-treat before 7 days because once you have ‘got rid’ of red mite, there are usually some eggs hidden somewhere that will hatch and turn into adult laying mites within a week during warm weather.

      Yes, unfortunately the hens can carry the odd mite – in dark places under the wings is a common place and infect a new home however if you wash the new house down with poultry shield and dust with diatom, the few mites they carry will be unlikely to be able to take up residence.

  7. hi
    I have had an infested coop, I have four hens and noticed one looked a bit ill and she is only young, and she had stoped laying. I put 2 and 2 togeather and went and had a good look at the coop…it was crawling in the red mite. I washed it with soap and water because I didnt know what else to do, also put the chickens in a shed for the next night. The next day i went back out and there was just as many red mites in there.
    I then used a wall paper steam striper in the coop and watched them all dying. i had to take the roof felt off, this is where the “nest” is i found thousands under there. also behind the hinges on doors. This has worked really well, still finding the odd mite but got powders and sprays down so they are dying now. Will be giving the coop another steam in a week or so and the out side of the coop needs to be steamed. All four of the hens was refusing to go into the coop at night. I was having to place each one in. Hope this helps

  8. Thanks, they are such horrible things!

    The chickens had been refusing to go in the coop and now lay outside only. They are very unhappy! I tried blasting with a jet spray, drying out and pouring disenfectent down all the cracks, drying out again and then using the powder EVERYWHERE I could. We even removed roof felt and did all under there.

    I then felt ready and lifted the chickens in last night, as I don’t like them roosting out. Wish I hadn’t, today there were MILLIONS of big fat red ones everywhere. Obviously had a good feed last night and I now feel terrible. I just want to burn the thing and start again. Our coop was quite a cheap one and seems to have cracks and crevices in so many places I feel that they’ll never ever leave. Their run is also round a few trees and I’m worried they’ll be in the tree bark.

    I did spray the chickens with frontline but that hasn’t worked. The steam cleaning idea could be my next one.
    Someone said bath them with vinegar. Anyone heard this? Could it cause them too much stress?

    I just feel that I’m letting the poor hens down all the time.

  9. Helen :
    Tim. Wow, thank goodness I found this website and blog! I was getting myself in a right state worrying about my chickens and the severe infestation of red mites. You have given me some great advice to go and try asap. I had been using Diatom for the last 18 months, initially to try and erradicate the lice that some of my ex-battery hens had got (although this doesn’t seem to have helped) and was in complete denial that we would ever get red mites. It was only when I was cleaning the hen house out about a month ago that I noticed that the wood appeared to be actually moving it was so covered in mites. I then scrubbed the coup with Jeyes liquid and ‘scattered’ Diatom powder around the perches and laying boxes only to find that the little buggers were back within a day or two. I now realise that I have been far too mean with the Diatom powder and am going to dust like crazy in the morning and then power wash at the weekend (am working until then!!).
    My poor chickens, (not all ex-batts) they look so pale and fragile. We have 10 chickens and have been barely getting 1 egg a day. I feel that I have really let them down and will be much more vigilant from now on. On a positive note, one of my girls roosts in a tree outside the hen house and she looks great!!
    Thanks for your time and effort in supporting and advising all us worried hen lovers. x

    I have had hens for 4 years and never had any trouble with red mite. However this year i bought 5 scruffy hens and within a week the 2 hen coups were infested with these awful creepy crawlies. I have used jeyes fluid, pressure washed and creosoted both coups inside and out, treated the birds and nest boxes with red mite powder, bought smoke bombs, sprayed with total mite kill…….and surprise surprise they are back!!!! I have lost one hen and another one looks very pale and weak. I feel i am failing these poor birds and all i seem to be doing is itching and finding the disgusting things everywhere, they are driving me mad……….HELP

  10. If I bought a second coop and left the old one vacant and away everything, how long would it be before they die out? I’m thinking of having 2 coops to swap between when I’m doing a big clean or dealing with these problems…..

    Would that work or would they lay dormant and come back to get them again?

  11. H Jones :
    If I bought a second coop and left the old one vacant and away everything, how long would it be before they die out? I’m thinking of having 2 coops to swap between when I’m doing a big clean or dealing with these problems…..
    Would that work or would they lay dormant and come back to get them again?

    I think i read that they can lay dormant without feeding for 8 months!!!

    • Yes, I have proved this. Last summer I put around 10 red mites into a jam jar and checked them every month. There were still a few crawling around after 7 months. By 8 months, they were all dead but they are incredibly resilient. They had no water, or food in the jar.

  12. Hi Tim do u think an eco plastic coop with a datachable roof would be better than a wooden coop? I have 20 hens and 2 coops, i am now trying frontline as a last resort (which my vet recommended). I must say the farmers creosote did reduce them dramaticly, but are still evident.

  13. Hello,

    Is it safe to use the red mite powder on a duckling? He is 4 weeks old and is in between full feather and downy stage. I’m struggling to find any information that says don’t or you can use it so any advice is greatly welcomed.

  14. Hi
    I sprayed my hens with frontline, but nothing changed!
    Think I am going to buy a new coop, burn the old one and start again, hopefully if I keep treating the new one even without mites in it, they won’t be tempted.

    I really think there needs to be more out there to help against these horrid things and more warnings to people when they are looking at chickens! I had heard of them but never ever thought they were so common and so hard to get rid of.

  15. After reading all of this and trying all the treatments – I’m itching all over and will order a plastic hen house!

  16. Thanks for all the help..
    I gave up in the end, burnt the coop and re-homed chickens to a free range local farm. The farm know they had mite but have creosolted their coops and have more expert knowledge and space than me to keep on top of them if they do take a few with them.
    I just couldn’t cope with them and they were too close to my back door for comfort.
    Godd luck everyone!

  17. Hi

    We have or hopefully had an infestation of red mite. It was so bad and the coop was very old and hotch potched together so was due for renewal.. So we had us a bonfire and bought the girls a new coop. My 3 girls have been diactomed to within an inch of their lives and the new coop is pure white inside lol, so hopefully this will now eradicate the buggers. Thought we did loose one girl to them before we realised how bad they had gotten over the 2 weeks we were on holiday. The coop stands on slabs and they were treated with Diactom too. Apart from keeping a close eye on the girls and the new coop over the next couple weeks any other suggestions ( i have garlic in their water, and diatom in their favourite dusting area) Would a few drop of tee tree oil help if put on the back of their necks?? Should I get poultry shield and spray the new coop anyway? Is there such a thing as over kill with these things?? Oh and I am sick of finding them crawling over me :( Sure they have snuck in the house on me.. but if they have they will be dealt with with diactom on the furniture lol..

    Thanks to everyone for their help and advice.

    Karen

    • I haven’t tried Tea Tree on the chickens themselves – but remember the mites live in the house most of the time so I would think it would be more effective on the ends of perches… Good Luck…

  18. Was wondering if a good frost or the well below freezing temps of winter will kill some of the mites?

    Of course I understand they will survive under and around the water as it is kept warm to prevent freezing.

    Have lost 3 hens to the mites even though have used tons of diatom and thoroughly cleaned the coupe and used a torch all over inside and out, and put garlic in their water, even dusted all with the diatom.

    Some reduction in the mites has been noticed, but still have a problem, do not want to use chemicals.

    Any other suggestions?

  19. I have also a problem about this Red Mite Infestation, and I think the information and guide that I have read in this post are effective so I will try it at home. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Shall I buy some kind of protection for myself? In other words can these red mites suck blood from humans?

    • They don’t normally. They will annoy by crawling on you and making you itch. Sometimes they have infested houses and I’m not sure if they are biting people or just giving a reaction from crawling on them. I think the mites need to be hungry. I always strip off and shower, washing my clothes if I get them on me.

  21. I have a very serious red mite infestation in the coop and now in the house. The coop is a small wooden coop on a stand. Only 3 chickens – who are free range during the day. The mites exploded in population during a time that I was caring for an ill family member and not paying as close attention. Now when I touch the coop or even approach it, the mites swarm on me. They are also now in the house and attacking family members. We have looked at them under a microscope and they appear to be red chicken mites.

    I even put petroleum jelly on my feet and legs tonight when I put food in the coop and still got mites on my legs. I was very careful not to touch anything except the wire door so I think the mites came from the ground up.

    How effective is the power washing? My husband is concerned that it will just spread them around. What is your experience in that regard? Is there something to spray the ground and nearby plants with after you power wash?

    One neighbor suggested using a blowtorch on the coop (with fire extinguishers handy). Has anyone tried that?

    How do I keep the mites off of me so I don’t spread them around when I take the birds out to spray them and when treating the coop? My shower is upstairs and even going into the house to shower may take them indoors. Petroleum jelly didn’t keep them off my ankles. Getting a bit desperate here!

    Look forward to your suggestions.

  22. I have just got four ex batt hens and I think I found a red mite on one of the eggs this morning! Before they arrived we thouroughly coated the coop and the run in poultry friendly varnish and paint. We are also using hemp bedding as this is supposed ot be more difficult for the mites to live in. Is it possible the mites came on the chickens and will die with no wood to live inside of? I hope so. We have predator mites which we are about to release and I have also heard that putting garlic in the chickens water will stop them biting. Any help would be greatly appriciated. We are very new to this. We are four days in!

  23. I tried power washing, then a 20% solution of Jeys followed by a red mite insecticide. That didn’t work so I used a blow lamp on the whole of the inside of the hut then sprayed it with insecticide. And still they came back. So, I burnt the house built a new one sprayed it with the red mite spray (‘effective for 3 months’ on the can) and let the chickens in. The next morning there they were back again – only a few but they will multiply!

  24. i see tea tree oil mentioned here a lot. i never used that for mites nor have i known for sure that we had chicken mites but here is what happened for us. We do have chickens and now that i think of it; i have to say we did start noticing a mite infestation in our house every year since getting the chickens but the last two; Woo Hoo! No investations. btw: We didn’t know if we had bedbugs or mites, (didn’t see either however have seen red mites outside)
    3 years in a row we’d have several occurrances of waking up with several bites. This is what i did and what i now do every spring, throughout summer and into fall.
    Eucalyptus Globulus Essential Oil.
    i can recommend a brand that i find most potent. For treatment and prevention: i dust my furniture and floors, wash my clothes and bedding, towels too and in our hand wash (i recommend Miracle II soap), dish soap, everywhere i can think of, even sprinkle on our carpets and on our furniture and in our vacuum. Even spray it in a mixture of MII Neutralizer & soap and other oils to ward off ticks too; onto the bottom of our shoes, around our ankles, wasteline and on our clothes when going outside. You may contact me for the Miracle II soap and Eucalyptus Globulus. btw: the Essential Oil Desk reference suggested Eucalyptus Globulus for dust mites… this is how i came to use this. It works. Not one bite after less than a half days work to get rid of infestation and then upkeep by using the EG in my cleaning, etc… as noted above. i never used it on my chickens but that’s not to say that i wouldn’t. i tend to think the MII soap & EG EO would be great used together to wash out infested chicken coops. That’s what i would do. Now that i’m getting itchy, i think i will do just that… just to be on the safe side. What i love most; EG EO is safe and effective and also has more that one benefit including antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral benes among other things. Also effective and i would tend to think crucial for severe home infestation is diffusing Eucalyptus globulus into the air. Not sure how to tell you to diffuse into chicken coop but happy to discuss that with you. You’d need a specific type diffuser so let me know if i can help you there too. i’d like to think my experience may help you to make the most of your efforts. Besides: it is my pleasure to be of service.

  25. I visited a friend for about an hour to help her move a plant. Her hens were in a coop in a in a different part of the garden but I got infested with mites- they must have been in the grass they had been feeding on.
    I am having a difficult time getting rid of them particularly from the pair of trousers i was wearing. Even washing in 60′C water did not work.

  26. go to your wholesalers and buy a gallon of white vinegar buy a pump action pressure sprayer about £7.00 and spray the lot.soakthe place under perches in cracks seemsto work and is cheap about £3.00

  27. how long does the diatom and the diatomacious earth last? Does it break down? I am thinking I need to get some to have on hand.

  28. How do you get red mite in the first place? We have had chickens for the past 13years and have never had any trouble, we have recently changed our feed supplier and that is the only thing we can think of that has bought the pesky red mite in!
    We have two goats that live in the same stable as the chickens, should I be worried that they may have the mite as well?
    Last question.. The stables are wooden, weatherboarded at the top&outside and lined with chip board inside from the floor up too out chest height. The walls are literally crawling with them, will I ever get rid of them? Help!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Wild birds are the usual culprets – they can often be found near nests. Red mite can sometimes cross species (have a read of my post here on red mite in the house).

      If they are in hard to reach places, you are right, it will be almost impossible to treat.
      Something you could do is vacate the stable, treat it (a steamer would also be useful) then close the doors and leave it for a few days before re-treating. Look up Mitey Perch which stops the mites from getting to the chickens, and cover the place with diatom. There are also companies that spray diatom onto the walls / floors of poultry sheds commercially. If the mites can’t feed, eventually after 8 months they should die off – just be careful not to carry them to other places on clothing.

  29. Well……….Now it is my turn…………..
    Terrible infestation is threatening to abort my little hobby of hen keeping. Last year all was well, but on reflection , I was naive this year when I rehomed 3 ex battery hens………It then all started.
    I have now been spraying with different strengths of ‘Smite’…………now going to try the white vinegar,next will be Jeyes……..At my wits end here. My sons are fed up with the mites everywhere………I love the hens, don’t want to let them go………………..
    Anyone based near Hampton,Middlesex?,,,,,Do call 07861 448 445
    thanks
    Liza

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    • Hi there I always clean the hen house out with strong diluted Jeyes every week and soak anything you can in the same solution for at least half an hour. Make up the same solution in a hand sprayer and spray anything you can’t soak or reach. If you do this continually i.e. every week the problem certainly is kept to a minimum and all other bird viruses and problems too.

  30. Hi just found red mite in my new chicken coop, hopefully just found it in time as heard somebody I met has got it really bad in her flock. I kept horses and ponies and remembered a liquid call Deosan Deoset. fly repellent. Not licenced for red mite but was very good so just got some and sprayed my coop. You dilute it down, it’s a bit pricey but so were my lovely hens. I thought it was worth a try, loads of red mite washed out dead !!

  31. We have them too, they are driving me to the point I want to rehome my 3 ladies, its getting silly and enoughs enough. I feel a complete failure to my ladies but I cant stand these things crawling about any longer

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  32. Pingback: Red Mite Returns (again...) | The Poultry Keeper Blog

  33. Thanks for this help I came home from holiday to one huge infestation. It has been torrential rain but been steamed and steamed and cleaned. I am gonna go out today and see myself but thanks for all helpful comments here I have many approaches now. Hope others find relief too.

  34. I have red mite infestation. I have tried smoke bombs, then cleaning out bedding and burning it. Spraying poultry shield and then diatom powder so hen run and house, perches, nest boxes look like a winter wonderland. I have also used an entire can of mite kill spray inside hen house – which is meant to have a three month lasting effect. Dusted my girls, legs, under wings, all over… I bombed the hen house on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Changed bedding. Went in today, moved the fresh nest bedding and there were two large clumps of red mite swarms…… Aaarrrrgggghhhh.

    I am going super chemical, have bought a hand sprayer and am going to drench every inch, underneath, inside and all over the entire hen run, hen house……..

  35. I’m switching to a giant dog igloo and PVC piping for a chicken run. Cedarcide kills mites. Bring it you filthy things. Burning the coop and rebuilding before I lose my sweet silkies.

  36. so as I see it. Buy three coops, burn one and don’t keep chickens?
    Seriously though how do you quarantine new birds?

  37. Having read some of these comments feel very gloomy! Just been out to burn my chicken bedding, with lavender oil round my wrists to prevent the little beggars from running on my arms and a shower cap on my hair. It’s been 7 days since I noticed the mites and I have been waging war on them every day, but the previous comments make me wonder whether it will ever end. I have kept chickens for 13 years and NEVER had this disgusting infestation. Yuk

  38. Hi.
    Have the same problem!!! And already giving up fighting!I want to re-home my 3 ladies now. Live in South Bedfordshire. Do yo know here I can find the new home? Many thanks

  39. Help! Has anyone found a way to get rid of the red mites/lice from the chickens on people. I have sores on the lower part of my scalp, shoulders and neck and periodic stinging sensations before a raised spot appears. Scratching with fingernail reveals a small pinhead size creature. Samples taken to our county’s ag extension service only showed a garden thrip. The red things I have found in my hair and on back of my head are bigger than thrips. I am desperate to get rid of them. Does anyone know what I need to do? This has been going on for several months, shortly after someone dropped off their chickens on our farm. Prior to that event, we never had this problem. I am not really sure these are red mites/lice from the poultry. PS: bits hurt, don’t itch and have even been infected. I need sleep and relief!

  40. Put a tray under the perches to catch the bugs when they fall off the birds to go find a crevice & mate and lay eggs,
    cover the tray with kitchen towel or similar and soak it with a mix of 2parts apple cider vinegar, 2parts cheap coke(pop),1parts disinfectant or Jeyes fluid, 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid, stay up all night with a strong LED light and change the tray cover every 30 mins & re-soak.
    repeat until you are totally exhausted then use Ivermectin spot on