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Poultry Red Mite - a pesky problem.

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) is a blood-feeding ectoparasite that can cause stress and discomfort to your backyard flock. Usually active between May and October and with a surprisingly speedy lifecycle (it can take as little as 7 days for the mite to hatch and grow into a breeding female), they can quickly make your flock’s life very uncomfortable. And sadly, once they have moved in, they can be difficult to get rid of.

They are a surprisingly common problem for many chicken owners. In a Swedish study, 19% of backyard flock questionnaire respondents said that their hens were infested with poultry red mites. However, after further investigation, the number was actually found to be 67% suffering with infestations!

First signs are often hard to spot – flocks can demonstrate a reluctance to go to bed at dusk, a drop in egg-laying and tired or lethargic hens. Owners often only realise they have an infestation when they accidentally get the mites on themselves or see them smothering the perches or chicken’s bedding in the coop.

Poultry Red Mite can be spread by humans, wild birds and rodents, so infestations can be hard to control and re-infestation is always a possibility. We recommend treating your flock twice a year to help keep the mites at bay.

Historically, treatments to eradicate the mites have been at best tricky, at worst a misery. With many chicken owners divided over the safety of using traditional products, some have even resorted to using banned chemicals or having to purchase an entirely new coop and setting fire their old one!

Thankfully, times have moved on and with the ever-increasing numbers of back yard flocks in the UK - estimated to be over 3 million birds, the time has come for a modern solution to eradicate this troublesome pest.

Call us on 01635 47170 and find out how we can help you to quickly and easily eradicate these unwelcome coop-invaders, with a simple solution that is added to your flock’s drinking water. Or click here to request a call back.

1 i Höglund, J., Nordenfos, H., Uggla, A., 1995. Prevalence of the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, in different types of production systems for egg layers in Sweden. Poultry Science, 74 (11): p. 1793-1798. gallinae): a potential vector of pathogenic agents. Exp Appl Acarol 2009; 48:93-104.

2 I. Karabozhilova , B. Wieland , S.Alonso , L. Saolnen & Dr B. Hasler. Backyard chicken keeping in the Greater London Urban Area: welfare status, biosecurity and disease control issues, British Poultry Science 2012, 53:4, 421-430.


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