Red Mite Information

Dermanyssus gallinae

The poultry red mite is a blood sucking, tiny nocturnal parasite that feeds on the blood of hens and other birds. They are a vector of pathogenic poultry infection both bacterial and viral such as Salmonella sp, Newcastle Disease & Fowl Typhoid.

Facts about poultry red mite:

Poultry red mite offend vary in colour from a greyish white when they are unfed, red or dark when feeding and black when digesting.

They do not fly, however they crawl along the perch at night and attack the birds while they rest. During the day they will go into hiding in all the cracks and crevices where they mate and lay their eggs. The female is ready to reproduce within 24 hours after feeding – they will feed up to an hour a couple of times a week.

They normally feed around the breast and legs of the hens, which causes the birds pain. If the hen is in pain that may increase their stress level this could result in a decrease egg production. Other signs of poultry red mite are skin irritation which can increase the risk of feather peaking and possible lead to cannibalism.

The poultry red mite can cause blood spots on the eggs which could lead to a substantial loss to the farmer. Other signs are that the hens may be reluctant to go into the house at night; a grey build-up of dust in the coop, this is the detritus from the mite. Hens may look anaemic and lethargic sitting hunched up in a corner rather than actively scratching around.

Life cycle:

Red mite lay their eggs 12-24 hours after the female takes each blood meal. After 2-3 days, the eggs hatch into a 6-legged larvae, the larvae does not feed but moults after 1-2 days to an 8 legged prontonymph.

The prontonymph feeds and moults after 1-2 days to become a deuteronymph. The deuteronymph feeds and moults after 1-2 days to become an adult.

The adult stage is resistant to starvation and able to live up to 34 weeks without feeding.

In the presence of the host the life cycle can be completed in just 7 days.

How to control:

Lodi UK currently has two products on the market that will help you to control your infestation:

Organ-x Powder - is an organic, naturally-mined, mineral product made up of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. When crushed to a fine powder it feels similar to chalk powder to the touch, but when viewed under a microscope the fine particles resemble shards of broken glass! It is this ‘broken glass’ effect which is deadly to the poultry red mite.

This can be used in animal or poultry housing, apply directly onto nest boxes, slats, and all areas where the birds roost or animals live. Apply the powder liberally to problem areas paying particular attention to cracks and crevices. It can also be applied directly to the bird or animals.

In addition you can apply this to the litter and it will lower the odours by mopping up ammonia.

Perbio Choc RTU - is a liquid professional insecticide that contains 0.64% permethrin 0.63% tetramethrin.

Perbio choc will help you control your red mite infestation as applying this product directly to the hen house either by spraying to fogging it will search out and hunt the cracks and crevices for the red mite and kill them within seconds.

It is the UK strongest insecticide and provides you with up to three months residual against the red mite.

Three helpful tips on how to treat with Perbio Choc RTU:

  1. Identify the areas during the day so you know where need to treat
  2. Spray later in the day/ early evening as that’s when the red mite start to become active
  3. Keep the 1st three treatments close together i.e. 3-7 days apart (depending on the infestation)