Treatment for Chicken Mites

Asked July 31, 2013, 12:27 PM EDT

What's the best procedure to eliminate an infestation of red chicken mites from the chicken coop and layer hens? Their coop is made of wood and lined with straw. The nooks and crannies of the roost are crawling with tiny red mites.

Clackamas County Oregon

3 Responses

Move the birds out of the coop. Clean out the litter, any organic material, and manure. Use an approved pesticide, such as permethrin (I am currently away from my office and don't have the list of approved pesticides with me). Spray the pesticide into all the cracks in the coop. Give it a couple of days, add clean bedding, and return the birds. Get back to me next week—I will be in my office.

Thank you for this advice. After some searching, I found a liquid permethrin product called Permectrin II 10%, which is recommended for chicken mites. Does this sound like the correct product to you?

About keeping the birds out of their coop for a couple of days—I don't have another place to keep them. If I clean the coop and spray it in the early morning, would it be terrible if I returned the birds to their coop at dusk on the same day?

In four years of keeping chickens, this is the first time I've seen mites. I recently changed the coop litter from wood shavings to straw. Is straw more prone to harboring mites than wood shavings?

The product is fine. Follow the label instructions for dilution and spraying, as well as for safety equipment. This is a pretty safe product, so after spraying, you can allow the birds to return after the product has dried.