Anyone who keeps and raises chickens knows that there is a possibility that the chicken houses could become infested with mites. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life and the red mites are the worst of the culprits. This infestation could occur if you are on vacation or away for a few days. Coming home and finding the mites is a horror, however, there are ways to get rid of the pests. These mites could also appear even if you are at home.
To determine the best way to rid your chickens of the mites, it also depends on how many mites are there. If there are just a few, the chicken house just needs to be washed down with poultry shield. To be sure that the mites are really gone, it’s also good to use several other products made to kill red mites. This could also help to prevent them from coming back too soon.
However, if the problem is very serious and there is a huge mite infestation, more drastic measures need to be taken. This process could take two or three hours to complete so it’s important to allow that much time before getting started.
The entire chicken house needs to be cleaned out. Any loose bedding and other materials should be removed. Take down the house as much as possible and remove most parts including the pop holes. Take apart everything that can be unscrewed. There are automatic pop hole openers available to remove the pop holes.
If the house has a felt roof, this definitely has to come off. The mites could easily make a home right under the felt, and there could be thousands of them. A pressure washer or high pressure hose will be needed to wash down the whole house and also the parts. A perfect job should take at least 45 minutes to complete. No cracks should be missed because the mites could still congregate in one crack.
After about 15 minutes the house should be dry. If there are any mites coming out yet, the wash needs to be done again to get the leftovers. Once again, let the house dry and check for mites. This should continue until no more mites are seen. Once this finally happens, it is the time to put in fresh bedding. Also, use a good bit of diatom on the bedding and into each perch so that the perch is all white from the diatom. This will prevent the mites from crawling over the perch to reach the chickens.
If the roof was felt, wait about two weeks before re-felting. Plastic should be used in the meantime to keep the house waterproof.
The diatom should still be used for several days whenever it starts to wear off. Even if the red mites are still around, another mix of poultry shield should be sprayed into the places where they appear. Once they are really gone, the diatom should still be used for several weeks to keep them away.