Controlling Red Mite in Chicken Houses
Getting the upper hand with a severe Red Mite infestation requires persistence and attention to detail, and it may involve using more than one approach.
1. Your hygiene routine and wearing suitable protective clothing to prevent the spread of mite between sites is essential.
2. Seal up of as many joints and crevices as possible, to reduce the number of areas which harbour mite.
3. Efficient disposal of mite-infested litter and debris, to prevent re-infestation (we suggest burning).
4. Repeat treatment needs to be undertaken within 6 - 7 days to maximise the effect and 'catch' the largest possible number of mites.
5. Constant vigilance and prompt treatment of any hotspots.
6. Use of a poultry tonic or vitamin supplement to help the birds recover and increase their resistance to re-infection.
Cleaning routine with Smite Red Mite Liquid and Smite Powder:
1. Firstly, spray liberally with 6% solution (2 30ml pump shots per litre water) of SMITE concentrate on to equipment and nesting areas. This reduces the number of mite initially. SMITE is not licensed to be sprayed on the birds, but it is safe to spray the housing with the birds in situ and any overspray will not cause a problem.
2: Remove all equipment and bedding from the house, including any perches, as these can harbour mite in the joints. We suggest burning the bedding if possible.
3: The henhouse and equipment should then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to a clinical standard, using a 6% solution of SMITE. Take care to remove all litter and manure from every area, thus removing as many mites as possible. Pay particular attention to cracks and crevices, perches and joints.
4: Follow this cleaning routine by liberally sprinkling Smite powder throughout the house before replacing bedding, perches and equipment.
5: Repeat above and spray the whole house again with a 6% solution 7 days later. In ideal conditions, Red Mite have a reproduction cycle of 7 days and this will treat any eggs which have hatched since the initial spraying. In severe infestations, the treatment should be repeated every 6 days until the infestation is under control.
6: For continued control, routine spraying with a 3% solution of SMITE (1 x 30ml pump dose per litre of water) should be done every 4 weeks, without fail, even if mites are not visible.
Complementary good practice for henhouse cleaning:
In addition to the essential 'full cleandown' procedure detailed above (which cannot be avoided!), consider the following additional good practices to discourage reinfestation:
* There is no substitute for good husbandry and vigilance! Keep your birds clean, and well supplied with fresh drinking water and food.
* Be observant, look for pale faces and wattles, 'depressed' birds, lacking vitality, reduced egg production and weight loss, or even weight gain. Reluctance to enter the house at night is also a sure sign of problems.
* Use diatomaceous earth (a natural mineral product) throughout the year. It is a very fine powder which can be sprinkled on the litter and in the nest boxes. The grains have razor-sharp edges which shred the mite exoskeleton when they come into contact with it. It is a natural mineral powder that is safe for hens.
* Remember that brand new housing is vulnerable (including plastic henhouses), don't be complacent!
* Use a good poultry tonic or herbal supplement to increase the resistance of the hens to mite attack.
* Garlic, either as a supplement added to the drinking water or feed, is widely reputed to be an effective mite repellent.
Reproduced by kind permission of PestTrappa Tel: +44 (01246) 264635 or firstname.lastname@example.org