How I Treated and Prevented Mite and Lice Infestations in my Backyard Chickens
I enjoy starting my day with fresh eggs from my backyard chickens. However, my excitement turned to dismay when my husband brought home 9 new hens without any quarantine period, resulting in a mite infestation.
Despite my efforts to use pymetherin spray and diatomaceous earth to treat the infested chickens and coop, the infestation persisted. The situation worsened when I noticed lice on my existing flock, requiring me to prevent the infestation from spreading.
Living in a wooded area, I could not let my chickens free-range to prevent predator attacks. Therefore, finding a solution to the mite and lice infestation without harming my chickens or egg production became my priority.
In this article, I will share my experience with treating mite and lice infestations in chickens and provide alternative solutions to prevent the spread of these parasites.
In this article, I will share my experience with treating mite and lice infestations in chickens and discuss some alternative solutions that can help prevent the spread of these pesky parasites.
Mite and Lice Infestation in Chickens
Mites and lice are common parasites that can infest chickens, causing a range of health problems such as feather loss, anemia, and even death in severe cases. Mites are tiny, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of chickens at night, hiding in the crevices of the coop during the day. Lice, on the other hand, are wingless insects that live on the skin of chickens, feeding on their feathers and skin.
Both mites and lice can cause discomfort and stress for your chickens, leading to a decrease in egg production and overall health. It’s essential to detect and treat these infestations early to prevent them from spreading and causing further harm to your flock.
Treating Mite and Lice Infestations in Chickens
When I noticed the mite and lice infestation in my flock, I immediately took action to treat the affected birds and prevent the infestation from spreading. Here are some of the steps I took:
- Pymetherin Spray and DE
I used a pymetherin spray to treat the affected birds and the coop. I sprayed them down once a week for two weeks, but the infestation persisted. I also used DE in the coop, which is a natural pesticide that can help control mites and other pests. However, it was not enough to eliminate the infestation.
- Elector PSP
A friend recommended Elector PSP, a potent insecticide that can be used to control mites and lice in chickens. I was hesitant to use it at first, but after doing some research, I decided to give it a try. Elector PSP has no egg withdrawal period, which means you can use it without affecting your egg production.
I applied a small amount of Elector PSP to the affected birds and the coop, and it worked like a charm. The infestation cleared up, and my flock was back to their healthy selves in no time. Elector PSP is a bit expensive, but it’s worth the investment, as it lasts a long time and gets the job done the first time.
- Cattle Pour-On Ivermectin
Another option for treating mite and lice infestations in chickens is using a cattle pour-on ivermectin. I have never tried this method, but some chicken keepers swear by it. You can put a couple of drops of the pour-on ivermectin on the affected birds’ skin, and it will kill the mites and lice.
Preventing Mite and Lice Infestations in Chickens
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to mite and lice infestations in chickens. Here are some steps you can take to prevent these pesky parasites from infesting your flock:
- Quarantine New Birds – If you’re bringing new birds into your flock, make sure you quarantine them for at least 30 days before introducing them to your existing chickens. This will allow you to observe the new birds for any signs of mite or lice infestations and prevent them from spreading to your existing flock.
- Clean and Disinfect Your Coop – Regularly Cleaning and disinfecting your coop regularly is essential to prevent the buildup of mites and lice. Remove any debris or droppings from the coop and clean all surfaces with a disinfectant solution. This will help kill any parasites or bacteria that may be lurking in the coop.
- Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – DE is a natural pesticide that can help control mites and other pests in your coop. You can sprinkle DE around the coop and on your chickens’ feathers to help prevent infestations. Just make sure to use food-grade DE, as industrial-grade DE can be harmful to your chickens’ respiratory system.
- Provide Dust Bath Areas – Dust bathing is a natural behavior for chickens and can help prevent mite and lice infestations. Provide a dust bath area in your coop by mixing sand, soil, and wood ash, which will help your chickens keep their feathers clean and free of parasites.
Mite and lice infestations can be a significant problem for backyard chicken keepers. However, with early detection and the right treatment, you can get rid of these pesky parasites and prevent them from spreading to your entire flock. Remember to take steps to prevent infestations from occurring in the first place, and you’ll have happy, healthy hens that produce delicious eggs every day.