Red mites extremely early this year
Red mites among chickens are a nuisance to both chickens and their owners. It is best to prevent these parasites from emerging in the first place which requires you to take action early on. The earlier Red mites are identified, the better your odds of preventing an outbreak. Red mites become active at 5 °C but as temperatures increase, so does their level of activity. They thrive under warm and humid weather conditions. Keep in mind that spring is starting early this year! This is why it is a good idea to put up a red mite test now and treat the pen with Finecto+ Protect preventively.
The past winter remained virtually frost-free and it looks like spring will be starting very early. The natuurkalender.nl website by Wageningen University keeps a close eye on the natural environment. Late February, they issued a statement announcing that spring is likely to start five weeks earlier than usual!
The average temperature across January and February 2020 is projected at 6.8 °C which would make it the warmest January and February months since the first thermometer measurements in 1706. December 2019 was extremely mild as well. Bulbs and trees have begun to bloom all over the place. Natuurkalender writes: “A comparison of this year’s flowering observations with the standard situation, leads us to conclude that blooming in 2020 has begun a whopping 35 days earlier. A five-week difference…the phase nature is in right now, usually doesn’t occur until late March, early April”.
Treating red mites: start in time!
Keeping their numbers as low as possible can control red mites. This is done by checking the red mite test every week and proceeding with treatment as soon as the test comes out positive. One red mite will lay 8 eggs a day, which is why it is so important to start treatment immediately. They procreate at lightning speed. The more red mites, the longer it will take to get their population under control.
Red mite prevention roadmap:
This year’s red mites have already become active. They are laying eggs but those won’t hatch in large numbers until temperatures increase. This roadmap will help avoid a huge red mite outbreak:
1 – Put up a red mite test underneath the perches and check them on a weekly basis.
2 – If possible, unscrew the entire pen and use a high-pressure cleaner for a large spring cleaning.
3 – Spray the chicken pen with a thin layer of Finecto+ Protect. It will cause newly hatched larvae to dehydrate on their way to your chickens. A layer will remain effective for around 3 weeks as long as there are few red mites around.
4 – Install red mite bins underneath the perches and fill them with oil. Refill as soon as a layer of dust has formed.
5 – Make a sand bath for the chickens
6 – Use Finendo+ Cox & Worm to make sure your chickens have strong immune systems.
7 – Start with Finecto+ Oral through the feed as soon as possible when there are red mites in the test underneath the perch. Finecto + Oral ensures that the red mites cannot convert the blood into new eggs.