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Red Mites And How To Prevent Them

Published on March 15, 2013 by Penny Roberts in Chicken Care

As we are approaching Spring and slightly warmer weather, it is time to start thinking about that perennial pest – the Red Mite!

Keeping your coop clean is vital to ensure your precious girls remain healthy. Depending on how cold winter has been, it’s likely that most red mite will have been killed off. However, you can never be too careful with these particular critters.

Red Mites are parasites that like to live hidden away in the cracks and corners of your chicken house. They are difficult to see as they appear after dark and, if left to their own devices, will jump onto the nearest chicken and feed on its blood. Left unchecked, they will soon get everywhere as it only takes 7 days for the Red Mite to hatch and reach full adulthood. Before you know it you’ve got a pest population explosion on your hands.

Places to check include the ends of perches where they join the coop, gaps between the window and the sill, in nesting boxes and any joins or cracks in the timbers. If your hen house roof is covered with felt then check this carefully – it is a favourite haunt of the Red Mite!

My Grandmother (who is a young 96 years of age) always tells me that prevention is better than cure. That’s why I always use a special disinfectant during my weekly coop clean. This can be either a liquid or a powder. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a steam cleaner then that is the ultimate solution, but for most people using one or more of the many professional anti-mite products is usually sufficient.

At the end of the day it’s all part of Mother Nature’s challenge, but if you keep your eyes peeled for activity and use preventative measures regularly then your girls will be protected against this little nastie!

Red Mites And How To Prevent Them

Tags: Red Mite, chicken, chicken coop, disinfectant

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