What are red mites?
Poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) are blood feeding parasites that live in your coop. They come out at night for a blood meal from your hens. Red mite are notoriously difficult to eradicate because, not only do they reproduce in 7-9 days, but they can survive without a blood meal for several months!
Red mites will feed from any bird and can be brought into your flock by wild birds, or another carrier like a dog or squirrel. They don’t feed from mammals but they may hitch a ride! During the day they live in the cracks and crevices of your coop, and once your hens have gone to roost they come out to feed. Their short life cycle means that their population grows rapidly. If left untreated your hens will stop laying, become anaemic and may even die.
Wooden coops offer more hiding places, particularly if they have a felt roof. It is really important to do a thorough check every week.
How to Eradicate Red Mite
To eradicate poultry red mite, it is essential is to treat as soon as you notice any clusters. Repeat treatment every 3 – 4 days. Just a few days delay can allow the population to explode.
We recommend our Coop Clear Powder to sprinkle under the bedding and in the nest boxes every time you clean out your coop during the summer months. Then, use the Coop Clear liquid in a spray to directly target any clusters and to really get into the corners and joins within your coop. Coop Clear contains a patented di-sulphide extract from garlic which bugs hate. By making their environment unpleasant it will slow their reproductive rate and reduce numbers. Coop Clear is completely natural so there is no risk to hens or humans. The spray can be used even while the hens are in the coop. Buy the bundle here.