How can I prevent red mite?
First rule of thumb for prevention of Red Mite is to be vigilant: It is important to keep an eye on your chickens, these mites live in the housing but you will be able to tell if your chicken’s health is being affected by an infestation. Also check housing regularly and catch any outbreak fast – it makes it that much easier to deal with.
a. Housing: Check the housing carefully every week when you clean it, pay special attention to all the nooks and crannies, ends of roosting bars and the nest boxes.
b. Chickens: Keep an eye on your flock for any unusual behaviour, give them monthly health checks after they have gone to roost (they are more biddable then). It really helps you to know what’s ‘right’ for each chicken and spot any issues quickly.
Bedding can make a huge difference. Try not to use straw, hay or newspaper: Mites and lice love heat and dampness, so eliminating these from the housing helps to keep the parasites away. Straw and hay also both harbour mites in the stalk tubes and contain dust spores, while newspaper will ‘wick’ wetness and get damp. We all love the image of a hen sitting on a nest of straw, but in reality, you are best to stick to something dried such as one of the shredded hemp bedding.
Another handy tip is to use Nettex Total Hygiene Powder in the dust bath. A dust bath in your covered run encourages social behaviour, and Nettex Total Hygiene Powder in the dust bath promotes hygiene and dryness creating an inhabitable environment for mites.
If you do spot any mites clean your coop weekly and treat for any possible mite problems using the Nettex 4 step regime and repeat weekly to help deter future infestations
1. Thoroughly clean out the coop with Nettex Virocur Disinfectant, remove all faeces, dry matter and bedding.
2. Spray the entire coop with Nettex Total Mite Kill Ready To Use Solution– this will disinfect as well as eradicate mites. Both products contain a coating agent which will continue to act on the mites even after it has dried – therefore always shake the product before diluting the concentrate and before each use.
3. Apply Nettex Total Hygiene Powder liberally over the surface of bedding, perches and nest boxes and refill with fresh bedding. It’s also important to include the Total Hygiene Powder in dust baths.
4. Additionally, use Nettex Total Mite Kill Aerosol Spray monthly to treat hard to reach areas of the housing such as cracks and crevices. This high velocity spray will penetrate deep into these areas where mites like to hide. A regular routine like this will help keep the mites at bay and ensure that your flock is parasite-free and healthy.