Do Chickens Get Mites

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Mites are tiny, annoying parasites that will feast on many different types of animals during warm and wet weather but also thrive in colder temperatures as well. Mites are often compared to ticks and even look a bit like those minuscule bugs. However, they are completely different and can be hosted in a number of animals. So, do chickens get mites?

Chickens are able to get mites. In fact, there are specific types of mites, chicken mites, that are known to only feed on chickens. They have a very short life cycle but they can make your life all the more annoying when they have found a chicken to live with.

Getting rid of chicken mites isn’t as complicated as you might assume and you can make sure your poultry are free and clear of this nuisance with a simple chicken mites treatment.

Do Chickens Get Mites

Chickens definitely get mites and the bugs can be transported to your coop in any number of ways. Mites will take just about anything to get to your lovely, spotless coop. On your boots and clothing, even on you, are wild birds, rats, and other creatures.

It is important to remember that if you present your birds in local or national exhibitions, there’s always the possibility that they’ll pick up some unwanted visitors from other birds, animals, or people at the event.

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How Do I Know If My Chickens Have Mites

Take a hen by the legs and hold her down with her head down until she relaxes. To check for clusters of small parasites on her skin, look under her wings and split the feathers surrounding her vent. Examine her skin as well: is it scaly, red, or inflamed? Are her legs covered in blood smears?

It might be difficult to tell whether there are mites in chicken coops since the bugs are so minute that they are difficult to see with the naked eye. However, as shown above, there are techniques to tell whether your chicken coops are infested. There are also other things to look for.

girl holding chicken

Feather loss, decreased laying, scabby legs and feet, and a pale comb are all symptoms that your chickens may be infested with mites. However, these indications might also indicate other problems. So thoroughly check your birds to ensure you’re not dealing with mites.

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  • To find out roughly how many eggs some chickens are expected to lay, check the best egg-laying chickens, to see if your chickens have decreased their laying yield.

If you notice any signs of mite damage on your hen, you’ve got a problem. Mites have a high rate of reproduction. When one bird is afflicted with mites, your entire flock is likely to be affected. It’s time to retaliate.

chicken mite

Check your coop if the poultry inspection was inconclusive or if you want to know the extent of the damage. It’s preferable to do this at night. Bring a powerful flashlight and some white paper with you. Chickens are simple to handle at night since they are sleepy. While roosting, they’re also easy prey for mites.

At night, nocturnal mites emerge to eat. If you have a bad infestation, putting a light on your perches may allow you to see the mites. Otherwise, brush the white paper along with the perch with the flashlight and check it. Mites are feeding in your coop if there are red stains on the paper.

What Do Chicken Mites Look Like

Female chicken mites are tiny, measuring around 1/32″ in length. They have flat, oval bodies that are practically white when unfed, brilliant crimson when just fed, and gray to black after the blood meal is partly digested. Chicken mites have long, whip-like mouthparts and are coated with microscopic hairs over their backs.

Dermanyssus gallinae

How Do You Get Rid Of Mites On Chickens

Dustbathes are a chicken’s natural defense against mites, so give them plenty of opportunities to do so. It’s also worth noting that mites might make your chicken anemic. You should offer them veggies, meat, and eggs to help their immune system. This will assist in increasing their iron levels.

Diatomaceous Earth (Amazon link) can be used as a natural way to prevent mites. It is a type of sedimentary rock that is made up of the remains of tiny aquatic creatures called diatoms.

The exoskeletons of these diatoms are composed of silicon dioxide, which is also known as silica. When diatomaceous earth is ground into a fine powder, it can be used as a natural insecticide.

Diatomaceous earth works by puncturing the exoskeletons of insects, causing them to dehydrate and die. It is an effective way to control mites, as well as other pests such as ants, cockroaches, and fleas. 

When using diatomaceous earth to control mites, it is important to apply it to areas where the mites are likely to be found, such as in cracks and crevices, or on perches and nesting boxes their dust baths, and even the chickens themselves. It is also important to reapply the powder every few days, as it can lose its effectiveness over time.

Natural homemade mite spray for chickens with mites

Tea tree oil (Amazon link)

Eucalyptus oil (Amazon link)

Lavender oil (Amazon link)

Cedarwood oil (Amazon link)

Mites are tiny parasitic insects that can infest chickens, causing them a great deal of discomfort and sometimes leading to serious health problems. While there are several commercial products available to treat mite infestations, many chicken keepers prefer to use natural methods to control these pests.

One way to prevent mites from infesting your chickens is to make a homemade spray using essential oils. Several essential oils have potent anti-parasitic properties that can help keep mites at bay. A few drops of these oils added to water will create a powerful spray that can be applied to your chickens’ feathers.

The following essential oils are known to be effective against mites:

To make a mite-preventing spray, simply add a few drops of one or more of these essential oils to a cup of water or carrier oil and shake well. Then, using a spray bottle, mist your chickens’ feathers, taking care to avoid their eyes and face. This spray can be applied weekly as a preventative measure, or more often if you have noticed mites on your chickens.

Can Mites From Chickens Live On Humans

Yes, they can. Although it is not common, chicken mites can be transferred from chickens to human and vice versa. They are known to bite humans just like they do chickens, although it is not as common.

mite on hand

The biggest challenge you would face if mites from chickens do infest with humans is that they will also spread around the households, making themselves home in furniture and especially beds. This will prove to be much harder to get rid of than eliminating them from a chicken coop.

Can Humans Get Chicken Mites

Yes, humans can get chicken mites although it is generally not nearly as common. The most common mite to infect a human would be the red roost mite. Other popular mites, such as Northern Mite, tend to not bother humans.

Wrap Up

So, do chickens get mites? Mites are tiny creatures that can be a big nuisance for chickens and their owners. There are different types of mites, but the chicken mite is known to specifically feed on chickens. These little pests have a short life cycle, which means they can quickly become a problem if not treated. If you’re dealing with mites, there are several things you can do to get rid of them. Cleaning your coop of mites and treating your chickens with an anti-parasitic medication prescribed by your veterinarian.

keep an eye on your flock and inspect them regularly for any signs of mites.

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