WHAT ARE RED MITES?
Red mites (D. gallinae) are small parasitic blood-feeding mites that affect birds that roost at night such as chickens, turkeys and pigeons. They are more active in the warmer season. Mites generally reside in small cracks and holes in housing, and are active at night, gaining access to the bird to feed. After feeding they return to crevices away from direct light, to mate and lay eggs, which then causes a rapidly growing population of red mites in only a matter days. Whether you keep poultry, fancy fowl, or pigeons, an infestation of mites can cause a huge problem in your bird housing system.
WHAT PROBLEMS DO THEY CAUSE?
If your housing becomes infested with mites, your birds can become seriously affected. Issues may arise such as:
- Skin irritation, loss of feathers
- Increased stress response in your birds
- Decrease in egg productivity
- If the infestation has existed for a while, the bird may become anaemic which could result in death.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR?
- Symptoms to look out for are a pale comb and a restless unhappy bird
- Blood stains on eggs can occur from laying hens eggs squashing mites when laid
- Excessive preening, poor feather quality
- Lifting perches or equipment to see blood stains or mites hiding underneath
- Running a plastic card along crevices can also reveal blood stains. Wooden housing fixtures are porous, so mites can hide more easily in the wood than metal or plastic surfaces
WHAT TO DO IF AN INFESTATION HAS OCCURED?
- Remove your birds from the housing and use a mite control product in the house or loft
- Ensure the surfaces to be treated are dry before product application
- Apply a control product in and around the housing, paying attention to in corners, holes and crevices where mites may reside
- The mites do not live on the birds so removing the birds from the area does not get rid of the problem, mites can live in housing for up to 9 months without feeding
HOW CAN WE HELP?... MIGHTI-FLO
Mighti-Flo is our natural mite control product. It is an effective 100% natural way of controlling mites without using any unsafe chemical or pesticides in the process.
Mighti-Flo includes diatomaceous earth, which is sourced from sea fossils known as diatoms. Diatoms are very tiny, abrasive and sharp fossils which can be viewed only under a microscope. Mighti-Flo is effective at killing mites and other insects that have a waxy outer coating. When red mites come into contact with Mighti-Flo, the waxy coating is damaged and mites consequently dry out and die.
HOW TO USE MIGHTI-FLO:
- If housing is infested, remove birds temporarily, remove litter, and apply Mighti-Flo thoroughly to all clean, dry surfaces including corners and crevices.
- Some people find it helpful using a large paintbrush to apply powder to the holes and crevices.
- If there are any perches, be sure to apply under these also.
- Apply to nesting areas and dust bathing areas as this allows the birds to ruffle the product through their feathers. Their natural dust bathing behaviour is effective at removing mites.
If you follow this guide routinely, reapplying every 3-4 weeks to ensure all lifecycles of red mites have been killed, then your infestation should be gone.
- Using Mighti-Flo regularly as part of your clean-down procedure, in dust baths and nesting areas helps to ensure your birds are well protected.
- Additionally, gently ruffling it through your birds’ feathers, and applying Mighti-Flo to the cracks, crevices and areas you know are prone to mites will help keep them under control and reduce the chance of any future infestation.
- Mighti-Flo is effective at killing mites, lice, weevils and insects that have a waxy outer coating (waxy cuticle).
Anpario's Mighti-Flo is a natural mineral powder effective against most types of insects and mites, including red mites, hog lice and grain weevils.
- Chemical and pesticide free.
- Can be used as a preventative method to stop infestations from occurring.
- Safe to use directly on birds and in housing to eradicate existing mites.
Like using any powder, use in a well ventilated area and be careful to avoid inhaling the product, we recommend wearing suitable protection whilst handling.