Also helpful is the use of diatomaceous earth in the coop (especially in the cracks and corners), in the nest boxes, in the dust bath areas, and even on your birds.
But sometimes even the most proactive chicken owner will find mites on their hens. If you find yourself in that position, here's some ways to combat the infestation.
How to Get Rid of Mites
There are commercially available sprays and powders to help eliminate mites once they're present. It's a good idea to spray the coop and the surrounding environment as well as your hens. Make sure to get the litter, the nesting boxes and both sides of your birds.
There are also pest resin strips available for mites and lice. These are often placed in nest boxes or near food/water containers to make sure all chickens are exposed to them.
Some chicken owners periodically dust their hens with pest control powders made especially for lice and mites as a preventative measure and can be shaken onto the birds, especially under the wings, and around the vent areas.
All of these methods come with directions which need to be followed in order to successfully treat the mites without harming your flock.
A Note About Red Mites
Remember when dealing with red mites that they don't live on your chickens, but in the cracks of the coop. Thoroughly disinfect your coop and pay special attention to those problem areas where mites might be hiding. If you have access to a pressure washer, that's all the better. And some people have reported using a wet dry vacuum to clean the coop prior to disinfecting it (although if you do this, I'd suggest that you designate the vacuum to coop cleaning only and not use it in other ways around your house and property).
A Note about Scaly Leg Mites
The old-timer chicken farmers suggest using petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) on the legs of your infected chickens. This will suffocate the mites and kill them. This is a non-toxic, inexpensive home remedy, but it's also messy.
There are also sprays for leg mites available through a veterinarian.
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