How to Control Mites in Poultry

By Mary Nakirya,Mayuge

These are small insects that suck blood from birds. They are one of the biggest problems in poultry keeping especially to laying birds. They usually hide during day and at night they return to the birds to feed causing severe irritation and stress. They can be carried into your flock from wild birds and can survive without feeding for over eight months. They can also be spread by rodents that enter the poultry houses.

Signs of Red Mites
 They hide around perch ends & cracks in the walls or wood
 Anaemia and death in young chickens
 Pale comb and wattles
 Restlessness
 Blood spots on eggs
 Birds may stop laying eggs
 Reduction in egg laying

 Keeping the beddings clean and fresh, change the litter atleast every 4 months. And removal of feathers.
 Periodic scrubbing of the feeders and nesting boxes with soap and water
 Regular inspecting of the poultry house to hold the problem before harming the chickens.

Natural Control
 Use of garlic:
It is believed that the red mite don’t like the smell that comes off the skin or the taste of blood after the birds have eaten garlic. Thus garlic is a good pesticide to repel them. To make the pesticide crush a hand full of fresh or dried garlic cloves into water. Give the birds to drink at their pace. The garlic can also be added in the chicken food.
 Remove all the birds, clean the house removing the movable beddings and pile the rubbish in sacks or burn them so as they don’t enter the house again
 Spray all the cracked areas in the room
 Leave the house to dry before putting back the birds
 Spray every after 5-6 days before the mites reproduce again
 Crush fresh Eucalyptus leaves and mix in bedding to repel mites.
 Using dust, sand or ash, make a dusting box for your chickens. A dust bath can act as a natural way to getting rid of external parasites since they use it for bathing. Also one can add artificial dusting powders to dust baths so that it gets into the places you have missed. When mites try to enter the birds, they will rub against the pesticide.
 Mixture Paraffin and Vaseline and smear into cracks and fractures on the wall and wood. It chokes the mites killing them.


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