A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

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A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

Postby lucyallpress » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:14 pm

Yesterday I was outside in the hay barn when I noticed one of my hens acting strange. So I caught her and placed a towel over her so I could have a closer look. I had a look around her vent (which did have a bit of poop stuck to a few feathers that I have been meaning to trim off) and to my horror I found red mites & a lot of them!! I quickly got a mask, gloves & my pestene powder and my Mum held her upside down while I sprinkled and massaged into her feathers the pestene powder under her wings & around the vent as well as trimming off the poopy feathers. She does look a bit happier this morning but I’m guessing the red mites will be in the chicken coop & on my other hens too!!! :(

What is the best way to go about treating this? I’m thinking I will have to powder all my hens? Does everyone use the pestene powder? I want to get onto it as quickly as possible -which will have to be this weekend as I work full time. Or would the best treatment be a drop on each hen or either Eprines or Cydectin? But I have just wormed them with flubenol, so will this be a double up? I am also going to clean out the coop & was thinking of setting a flea bomb off in there? Has anyone ever done this before? I would plan to set it off first thing (once they are all out of course – so around 7.30am) and leave it closed up for the period recommended then air it out before they go back in to perch for the night.. any thoughts on this?

This is the first time I have noticed/had red mite & I was feeling sick thinking about it last night as well as feeling very itchy! I clean the coop out regularly and always clean the perches and fly spray them & put the pestene powder in the nest boxes.

Also, 4 of my hand raised girls sleep in a separate perching box & I checked one of them yesterday and she was completely clear (but I will still powder them for prevention).. But I was wondering, because the rooster perches in with the ‘contaminated’ hen/s & probably has them himself can he transfer them?

Any advice will be much appreciated!!!
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Re: A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

Postby ChickyMum » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:08 pm

Hi Lucy

Normally red mites don't live on the birds - they feed off dead skin and suck their blood (vampire)
what you may have seen is lice as they live on the bird and are especially seen around the vent area

Using Pestene powder would definately have helped your girl feel better, a lot of us use Pestene and/or DE as a controller for lice, making sure they have access to a dust bath is also a great way that your girls can keep lice under control
I would "dust" all of your girls as a precaution and also add some to their nest area

As for the red mite - the best time to see if this is a problem for your girls is to go out at night with a torch and handy towel and wipe the underside of the perches if there is a red mark then you also have red mites, you may also see them crawling on the girls legs. I have found that Vaseline mixed with DE smeared on the ends, underneath and sides of the perches including any nooks, cracks etc will stop the progress of red mite a good sprinkle of DE at the ends of perches and flooring material will also help

I personally have not used chemicals for lice so can't comment on the use of these or flea bombing their house
There is a good thread/are good threads on here re both lice and red mite

Hope you manage to get it sorted
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Re: A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

Postby Marina » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:44 pm

Hi Lucy,

a flea bomb is a waste of time, both against red mites and against lice. Mites live in the timber joints, in cracks and sometimes, especially in so-called 'mite-proof' plastic houses, in the dirt. The fumes from a flea bomb won't reach them in nearly high enough concentration to kill them. Resistance is the only thing you'll achieve over time. Lice live on the birds so no effect on those while your gilrs are outside.

Yes, you will have to powder each and every one of your chooks against the lice you've seen. If the infestation was bad, a follow-up dusting a week later is recommended.

Lice spread from bird to bird while they are roosting (or mating) and often the rooster is the main culprit when it comes to spreading lice, even if he only has a very minor infestation.
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Re: A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

Postby lucyallpress » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:22 pm

Thanks ladies, now I know I'm dealing with lice I can research a bit more & have seen a few pictures of what the louse eggs look like at the bottom of the feathers. This is definitly what she has. I don't have set up dirt baths but they are always in the horse shed (which is out of the rain and still gets sun) which is dirt/sand and they love bathing in there and making little holes which my mum just loves, not! They also have lots of loose sand where they dust bath, hide and forage under our macrocarpa trees.. So it suprises me she got them so badly, maybe there is another problem? I have read that old cage birds can't prene themselves very well as their beaks have been cut & she is an old cage bird so maybe this is why... I will keep investigating & dust all of my girls and see if any of the others have the same problem........
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Re: A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

Postby Marina » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:29 pm

Hi Lucy,

if your hens have plenty of opportunity to take dust baths all year round they shouldn't get lice. However, sometimes there is an individual bird who seems to be very susceptible and the lice just thrive on it. Maybe she isn't dust bathing effectively? This could be the case with your hen. The best dust bath opportunity may not help.

You'll have to treat all your birds because if one bird has a heavy infestation the others will have a few lice, too. It's not a problem for them as they'll probably get rid of the lice again but there will be the potential for reinfection of the susceptible bird. I'd make it a habit to treat the susceptible bird once every 2 months or so and that should keep the lice in check without the need to treat the whole flock (but one initial treatment for the whole flock will be necessary).
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Re: A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

Postby lucyallpress » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:24 pm

Hi Marina,
I got to take another look at my girls last night before it got dark & all the live lice on first hen I found with them were gone so the pestene powder worked. The real problem is now the egg clusters which are really hard to get off… Do you know any easy ways (preferably without bathing) to get them off? We thought we will use the mini horse clippers which will just clip the feathers and clusters off… I looked at a few of the other older hens and they have egg clusters too! :evil: Going to be a big mission but I will know what to look for and do next time to prevent this from happening again.. I think it’s the older hens which I never see dirt bathing that have the real problem… I still feel itchy! Thanks for the advice :)
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Re: A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

Postby ChickyMum » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:48 pm

Hi Lucy

I had a real bad lice problem with one of my girls and she had lots of egg clusters so I ended up (on Marina's advice) pulling out the worst feathers. Place a finger each side of the feather to keep the skin tight and just pull it out.
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Re: A Flea Bomb to kill red mites in house?

Postby John123john » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:37 am

I think flea bombs only kill fleas. If you want to kill mits try to check any spray or traps.
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