Red Mite 1





Type: Poultry Mite

Description: Getting rid of red mite is no easy task and it can be very frustrating. The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, is a tiny blood sucking ecto-parasite of all birds, not just poultry. Red mites feed on the bird between one and two hours each night, only in the dark, retreating during the day into cracks and crevices in the hen house, where they lay their eggs and are therefore notoriously difficult to eradicate from the housing. This can make them hard to spot and treat before the infestation becomes large. They live in cracks and crevices in your chicken house, coming out at night to get a meal from chickens and can cause significant anaemia and death. Red Mite is reddish in colour when engorged with blood and has sucking mouth parts and are spiders with eight legs in the adult stage and look like crabs.

Infestation: A red mite infestation can be instigated by visiting sparrows or pigeons or other birds or by the introduction of infected stock or second hand housing. They can be transferred from bird to bird although they mainly live in housing. Mites are not species specific and will feed from any type of bird.
Detection: Look for the signs of red mite close to where birds roost at night and near to nest boxes where broody hens may sit for long periods of time. Once they have had a feed, they appear as clumps of red that turn to red blood when squashed. Since they feed at night, they are difficult to spot during the daytime.

Prevention: Paint the woodwork with carbolineum and spray the house with a paraffin-soap emulsion or effective chemical, repeating the process 3-4 times at intervals of no more than a week.

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