How to Get Rid of Chicken Mites Fast and Stop Their Return

Whether you ’ re new to homesteading, or precisely want to tap into a morsel of the rural aesthetic, chickens are an comfortable way to start. But sometimes, even chickens need a little help. Like every other animal, they have predators, diseases, and parasites like mites. Everyone knows that fox furtive into henhouses, but the diseases and parasites of chickens are less well known. That ’ sulfur because in general, chickens do to keep themselves healthy with minimal help oneself from you. But that besides means that when you notice something is wrong with your hens, it ’ sulfur unvoiced to know what to do. fortunately, for all their sneaky invasiveness, mites aren ’ t hard to get rid of. All you need is a fiddling cognition, a few tools, and a fortune of determination .

What Are Chicken Mites?

Mites are bantam fiddling parasites that love your chickens. You ’ ll notice them a fortune during warm and moisture weather, but they can besides thrive in cold temperatures vitamin a well. ( Though it is less common. )

Chicken mites are one of the most surprising parasites I ’ ve come across. They ’ re then small, that it ’ s difficult to notice them until your chicken coop is overrun with itchy, deplorable birds, and destructive mites. Chicken mites are close related to ticks. They flush look a small like bantam ticks. Mites are arachnids, with eight legs and a fatten little consistency. They live on the bodies of birds and tip on the rake of your hens – like bantam vampires. Unlike vampires though, mites have a very short life bicycle. They ’ re born, reproduce, and die within about a week. During their stallion life, mites feast on your hens. That causes your antsy, atrocious birds to peck and scratch at themselves. You ’ ll know you have a mite write out if your hens begin to lose their feathers, or if you begin to see them biting under their wings or around their vents. If you look closely at your birds, particularly around the vent, you ’ ll often see bantam grey or red specks. Those are the mites . The most park chicken mites are the Northern bird mite ( Ornithonyssus sylviarum ) and the red touch ( Dermanyssus gallinae ). Northern fowl mites are the most common dame touch in the United States. The loss touch is less common in the US, but prevailing in the UK and Europe. Both mites are black or grey when hungry, and red when full of wimp rake. The mites are spread by contact and they can live for astir to three weeks off of their host. Both can devastate a flock if left unbridled. In humble numbers, they ’ rhenium irritating to your birds, but a big infestation can drain the health of your chickens and flush kill them .

How to Identify an Infestation

Because they ’ re so small, and they ’ rhenium chiefly active at night, it ’ second hard to recognize a mite infestation early on. But there are a few ways to hunt down your mites. If you suspect your cage is being invaded, start by inspecting your birds .

Chicken Inspection

Grab a hen. Hold her by the leg with her head down until she relaxes. Relaxed, she ’ ll allow her wings to spread out. You can look under the wings and separate the feathers around her vent to check for clumps of bantam parasites on her clamber. Take this opportunity to look at her skin as well. Does it look lepidote, bolshevik, or inflamed ? Are there blood smears on her legs ? These are all signs of mites. other signs that your hens may be hosting mites are feather loss, reduced lay, scabby legs and feet, and a pale comb. But these signs can point to early issues as well. So audit your birds well to be sure you ’ rhenium dealing with mites. If you see any signboard of touch damage on your hen, then you know there ’ s an infestation. Mites reproduce quickly. Mite damage on one bird means that it ’ s probably your unharmed cluster has some level of damage. It ’ mho prison term to fight back .

Coop Inspection

If the chicken inspection is inconclusive, or you ’ d like to know the extent of the price, check your chicken coop. This is best done at nox. Bring a strong flashlight and a piece of white paper. Chickens are groggy at night, so they ’ re easy to handle. They ’ re besides easy prey for mites while roosting. nocturnal mites come out to feed at night. If you have a bad infestation, you may be able to see the mites merely by shining the light on your perches. otherwise, rub the white paper along the perch and inspect it under the flashlight. If there are crimson smears on the paper, you have mites feeding in your cage .

Fighting Back

If you know your cage is infested, it ’ sulfur time to get to work. Mites are hard to get rid of. Most chicken owners joke that the best response is to burn it all down and start over. But then we sigh, grab the diatomaceous earth and start treating our birds. start by dusting all your birds with diatomaceous ground. DE slices up the mites on your chickens and it feels amazing to your birds. It ’ s sort of like the feel you get from rubbing a ennoble scrub over dry, antsy winter peel. If your run is dry, try mixing a cup of diatomaceous worldly concern into a sandbox of soil and sandpaper for your birds to rub in. Dustbathes are a chicken ’ s natural means of fighting off mites, therefore give them the opportunity to take dustbathes much. besides, keep in take care that mites can cause your chicken to be anemic. You ’ ll want to boost their immune organization by feeding them greens, meat, and egg. This will help boost their iron levels .

Internal Remedies

Add a spatter of apple cider vinegar to your chickens ’ water supply. Apple cider vinegar doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate do much to drive away mites, but it does help your chickens stay hydrated and boost nutrition while you ’ re fighting off the mites. Feeding your chickens strong-smelling herbs and spices like garlic, batch, rosemary, and onions. These will simply help your chickens taste less attractive to the mites.

Coop Care

Northern domestic fowl mites live out their solid lives on their host chickens. Red mites tend to hide in the chicken coop itself when not feeding. Despite those differences, when you ’ rhenium dealing with either mite, it ’ south essential to clean house. Pull out all the bedding material and qualify of it far from your birds. Burning the bedding material is the best option for killing mites, but if you ’ re in town, or in a dry area, it may be better to just pack it up and take it to the dump. once the chicken coop is empty of birds and go to bed, it ’ south time to make sure the mites know they ’ rhenium not welcome back. dust with diatomaceous land or spray with neem vegetable oil .

Neem Oil

Made from the seeds of the neem tree, this easy and highly effective oil disrupts the life cycle of mites, worm, ticks, and fleas. Neem petroleum besides nourishes the skin, which means that you can apply it to your chickens directly deoxyadenosine monophosphate well. To spray the chicken coop, mix 2 teaspoons of neem oil into a spray bottle of apple cider vinegar and urine. Spray the interior of the chicken coop, particularly the corners and nesting boxes. then let the chicken coop air out for at least 3 days, preferably a week. Keep your chickens somewhere else while cleaning the chicken coop. I use previous frank crates to house my birds or give them an open carry in good upwind. You can spray a assortment of neem and water directly onto your hens. I prefer to dip my birds in a neem bath. Mix a few teaspoons of neem into a gallon of warm water and dip your birds into the water .

Chemical Options

sometimes, the natural remedies just don ’ thymine cut it. I ’ ve never had an infestation so bad that my natural choices can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate crusade it off, but I besides live in the freeze north, where mites ( who prefer warmly form and summer temperatures ) tend to die off for 5 months out of the year. In more moderate regions, where mother nature never helps you fight off the mites, you may need a stronger solution. unfortunately, most chemical mite killers are besides dangerous to early animals. The safest option is Permethrin. Permethrin comes in both fluid and powder form. It ’ south intended for lead application onto your hens and as a chicken coop spray. Permethrin is highly toxic to cats, however, then keep your cats away from the cage during discussion and make certain to wash well after treating your birds .

Scaly Leg Mites

If you notice that your birds ’ feet have a thick peel on the top, it could be lepidote leg mites. Scaly leg mites ( Knemidocoptes mutans ) can survive in the winter, and while they don ’ t search like early types of mites, they can inactive disturb your batch. You ’ ll realize you have them by looking at your chickens ’ feet. These mites burrow under their skin and cause the scales on their legs and feet to stick up. It is atrocious for them because these nasty parasites pungency and breastfeed blood from your chickens. obviously, if you see this, you ’ ll want to treat the situation immediately .

How to Beat Them

so your chickens have gross-looking feet, and you ’ ve figured out it ’ mho because a leech has moved in on their legs. first base, you can follow this recipe from Fresh Eggs Daily. It ’ s a garlic juice solution that parasites wear ’ thyroxine a lot caution for. It kills them off and deters any others from making a home on your chicken. then you ’ ll rub down their legs with Vaseline. The other choice is to rinse your chicken ’ s legs off with warmly saponaceous water system. You can use a washcloth, but you want to be ennoble. You aren ’ thyroxine trying to exfoliate the scales or anything like that and you don ’ thyroxine want to harm your bird ’ south legs. not only would it cause discomfort but then it opens them up to possible infection . next, you ’ ll dip their feet or rub their feet down with vegetable oil. oil smothers mites .


once you ’ re fought off mites, you never want to do it again. A little prevention can go a retentive way towards keeping mites at bay. You can hang a few, dry herb in your chicken cage to help deter mites. Studies show that herbs like chamomile, mint, garlic, and thyme will make the cage unfriendly to chicken mites and can boost your cluster ’ s health.

Be certain to keep DE sprinkled throughout the chicken coop regularly. I actually make it part of my weekly clean schedule in an attempt to avoid infestations. When you ’ re mucking out the chicken coop, spray a little neem oil and sprinkle a bite of Diatomaceous earth in the cage. Make certain your hens have access to a cold mend of dirt to roll in ampere well. They can keep themselves relatively mite-free if you give them the probability. If the weather is dampen and humid, it can be difficult for chickens to find dusty ground. During the humid months, give your birds an lotion of neem spray to help them keep mites at bay .

Can Mites Move from Chickens to People?

No, they don ’ metric ton normally invade people, but they can bite them. That said, there have been cases of human infestations by chicken mites.

Chicken mites typically infest a wide vareity of birds. If you keep ducks, goose, guinea, or turkeys, they are at hazard. But while mites will happily bite you, they can ’ metric ton live off of you. Mite bites can cause you itch, discomfort, swelling, and excitation. Your dogs and cats are broadly dependable a well .

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