Poultry Shield Vs. Red Mite – The battle begins!

Chicken House getting rid of Red Mite with Poultry Shield

Washing the Chicken House out after cleaning with Poultry Shield

The weather has been warm over the last few weeks and we haven’t had any significant rainfall over the last couple of months. I thought I would spring clean a few of my chicken houses with Poultry Shield before there is a hose pipe ban which is bound to be on the way.

Whilst dismantling some of the perches, I found the dreaded Red Mite so have waged war against them with Poultry Shield.

Red Mite multiply rapidly during warm weather and they are on the rise in backyard flocks. Red Mite never used to be a problem in days gone by because most chicken coops were traditionally coated in Creosote to protect them against the weather but it also had the effect of eradicating the mites as well. Creosote substitute was introduced a few years back and unfortunately this doesn’t provide any protection against the dreaded mites.

I was introduced to Poultry Shield about 4 years ago. It is one of the safer it is probably one of the best known products on the market, and has been really well tested by many fanciers

How does Poultry Shield Work?

Red Mites have a waxy coating on their bodies. Poultry Shield effectively dissolves this and over 24 to 48 hours, the mites dry up and die.

Poultry Shield is diluted down at a rate of 20 parts water to 1 part Poultry Shield for cleaning and protection but it is recommended to be used at twice the strength (10:1) when you are trying to eradicate a red mite infestation like this. Poultry Shield is available from various sources, expect to pay £20 for 5 litres but as a cleaner and Red Mite treatment, this should last a year or two for the average small flock.

Let the Red Mite battle begin!

So I have started battle with the Red Mite. I have washed down the house with Poultry Shield, inside and out and in every possible nook and cranny. I have concentrated my efforts around the perch ends where I could see clumps of mites and an hour later, I have hosed the house down before replacing bedding and straw in the nest boxes. I will rub diatom onto the perches tonight to catch any remaining mites that fancy a free lunch and will re-inspect (and probably re-wash) the house out again next weekend.

What do you think?

  1. Pingback: Red Mite Products - My Top 4 Safe Red Mite Products | The Poultry Keeper Blog

  2. My chickens went off in their coup which was mite free to be looked after by a friend for two weeks. When they came back they were crawling with millions of mites, their combs were pale, they had stopped laying and were thin. I washed down the house constantly spraying with neem until no more came out. Fortunately it was a sunny day and the house dried out nicely. I shook Red Mite Barrier powder along the floor of the house and the nesting box mixing it in with the bedding (Shavings). The chickens have picked up over the week and now have blood red combs and are laying again. I have just repeated the exercise but poured boiling kettles of water over the roof, nesting box and roosting bars but although the millions have gone there are still a few tiny mites which got onto me as I had to crawl into the coup. I chucked my clothes in the washer and jumped into the shower. I am now waiting for the house to dry out before replacing the bedding. I have sent for three of the four treatments you advise and will keep you informed. Does anyone know if the eglu go is easier to keep mite free than the usual wooden coup. Great blog Tim.

  3. Yes, red mite has to be the worst pest chickens can get , they crawl into the tiniest cracks and crevices to hide in the day, so are hard to find, and only come out in the night to suck blood form the chickens. Did you know they are distantly related to spiders? It took me ages to get around to eliminating my red mite problem as i had noticed them long before i did anything about them but they all were small and grey in colour so i didnt even consider them to be red mite, but sure enough they soon became to look like a huge red hot ballon on legs after feeding! If you have red mite, treat them fast as believe me you would not want to loose birds over such a tiny could have been treated cause