NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Red mite!  (Read 1751 times)

Torty person

  • Joined Sep 2016
Red mite!
« on: September 14, 2016, 02:18:46 pm »
Please can anyone help with this? Many thanks. Carol

Hi I'm wondering If anyone is able to help please. We have always managed to keep red mite under control over the last 20 years by using a blowtorch on removeable  perches and down cracks and joins. This year, following the heat wave we are experiencing, we seem to have an explosion of them. It also seems that they are dropping off the roof onto our heads when we go in there (probably because the roof has felt on it where they're all happily breeding and they're dropping through the cracks) we are going to move the chickens out and clear all the bedding out, replace the roof with tin and spray with something to eradicate the mites as much as possible. Our problem is that we keep bees and our two hives are only a few metres away from the chicken house. Please are you able to recommend anything we could use which will obviously not harm our bees? Many thanks.
Carol


« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 07:22:34 am by Dan »
Voss Electric Fence

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 08:58:06 am »
The main brands are nettex and red barrier. I haven't kept bees so I would call nettex and red barrier and ask them about bee safety, or post on a beekeeping forum what harms them. Your beekeeping books might tell you about which chemicals not to use nearby but you presumably already looked there.

A tin roof will turn the coop into an oven if it gets any sunshine.

Don't forget to get a big tub of diatomaceous earth.
I distribute it along all the edges where the red mite normally crawl out of to get to the chickens, and under the perches on the floor. Catches them in the act.
It's also mixed in with the bedding in the nest box and into their dustbath, if there's just diatomaceous earth in the nest box they won't use it hence why I mix it.
That's helped a great deal.

You'll be covered in red mite after cleaning out the coops, remember to spray your clothes afterwards 'cause they survive a 60C wash. Speaking from experience  :( 

You will need to repeat it all a few times in a week as the mites will fall on the floor and simply crawl back up.

Good luck.


Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 09:23:52 am »
Onduline works better than a tin roof.  If you're keeping the chickens somewhere else for now could you leave the spraying until the bees have hunkered down for the Winter? 

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 10:22:25 am »
Onduline and DE - so far they've worked for us. The onduline is easy to handle too. Just make sure there's a good frame supporting it or it can sag under weight of heavy snow or water.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 10:02:25 pm »
Creosote - if you can keep the hens out for a few days and as it is a liquid, it shouldn't harm the bees either...

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 11:55:43 pm »
Yes, Creosote, the real stuff.  That in combo with the flame thrower and DE has been enough for us.  We apply the DE to the hens as well (logic tells us that some mites must hitch a ride on the birds, or they wouldn't spread).  Our first ever hen house, which was at least 3rd hand, maybe more, was so infested we set fire to it and started again, with a converted garden shed.

To avoid mites down your neck while you're cleaning the house, get a white paper suit from somewhere like B&Q.  They are cheap, disposable, have a hood and sleeve cuffs which can be tightened (nothing's 100% against mites but it does help) and stick them on the bonfire afterwards. Then scrub yourself and any clothes you wore under the paper suit.  Wear tight rubber gloves too, over the wrist cuffs, and wellies with the legs of the paper suit tied with string.  It does look funny but who cares  ;D
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chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 06:47:53 am »
Sounds like a really bad infestation if they are in the roof Carol. Felt covered plywood is what we have on our coops and haven't ever had red mite under the felt.


We have tried all the chemicals (and creosote) but what works best for us and is environmentally friendly is a steamer with a fine jet. We treated 5 coops last year and have had nothing this year.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 08:28:36 am »
Had a bad infestation in our chicken house a couple of years ago- set light to it and started again. Built a new house from scratch- no felt for the roof just sheets we had leftover from an agricultural shed, Creosoted the whole house inside and out. The perches are removable (broom handles). Sorry to say if your house has that much redmite you will never get rid of it however much DE, poultry guard spray and blowtorching you do.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2016, 12:43:03 pm »
Worth remembering that the chickens will be carrying red mite on them and will therefore infest any new wooden coop which hasn't been first treated with creosote. We've tried products to get the red mite off chickens without much success. The only thing completely effective is to creosote the ends of the removable perches to trap the mites and then squash them every morning until none remain. This can take weeks, or in the neighbour's case over three months and they are still coming because they have been deposited in various soil baths around the property.

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2016, 06:04:05 pm »
I have had a problem this year and sorted it with creosote and ivermectin treatment for the birds , I was surprised at how meany mites come out when I was painting but all dead now !

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Red mite!
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2016, 10:42:45 am »
Had a bad infestation in our chicken house a couple of years ago- set light to it and started again. Built a new house from scratch- no felt for the roof just sheets we had leftover from an agricultural shed, Creosoted the whole house inside and out. The perches are removable (broom handles). Sorry to say if your house has that much redmite you will never get rid of it however much DE, poultry guard spray and blowtorching you do.

Twizzel, broom handles are really bad for chicken's feet! Better lengths of 1x1 inch with the edges sand-papered off.

 

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