Mites birds/chickens

What are red mites?

The official name is Dermanyssus Gallinae Degeer or red mite. They are parasites measuring about 0.1 to 1 millimetre. To reproduce they need hens’ or birds’ blood.

Red mites hate light. During the day they hide as much as they can in dark places such as cracks and seams. When it is dark they move once every 6 to 10 days to a hen or bird to suck blood. After that they return to their hiding place to reproduce.

Red mites cause a lot of stress and agitation in hens and birds. If the infection is serious hens do no longer want to spend the night on their perch. They are frightened of being stung. You could compare it with spending the night in a hotel room with 80,000 flies buzzing around your head. Red mites cause anaemia with loss of condition and production and even death. Red mites can transmit diseases. They have a negative effect on the external quality of the egg caused by dots of blood on the shells. In birds the whole brood may be lost when there are mites in the nest boxes. Not only animals are affected. Red mites can migrate to humans and can bite irritatingly. They cannot reproduce with human blood only. The only remedy for people who are sensitive to red mites is to shower and put on clean clothes after a visit to an infested henhouse. No red mite can survive a temperature of over 65° C in the washing machine.

How do you recognise red mites on the hen/bird?

  • Hens/birds are agitated
  • Hens do no longer want to roost at night
  • Pale combs
  • Poor condition
  • Very often birds’ clutches are lost
  • The mites descend on the animals at night. Therefore in the daytime you cannot find any mites on the hens or birds themselves.
  • If there are mites on them in the daytime, they are a different sort of mite for which Finecto Oral is suitable.

How do you recognise red mites in the coop / cage?

  • Small mites hide in small dark seams and cracks
  • In ornamental fowl many mites in nest boxes
  • Blood spots on the eggs
  • Running mites in the dark
  • During the day they hide as much as possible
FAQ View FAQ

Life cycle of the red mite

An adult red mite moves to a hen or bird once every 6 to 10 nights to suck blood. This feed is enough for her to produce eggs for 6 to 10 days. Depending on the temperature they hatch after 2-3 days. These are the small white mites in the first larval stage. They pupate after 1-2 days into a proto-nymph, the second larval stage. After having eaten blood for the first time they pupate into a deuto-nymph. The third larval stage. They need 12 – 48 hours to pupate into an adult mite. A whole cycle can be completed in 6 days!
The adult mite normally lives for 6 to 8 weeks. But when the circumstances deteriorate due to a lack of feed or cold, an adult mite can survive for years in a sort of latent condition. Mite eggs too can keep for years without hatching. When there is feed again they will soon emerge once more.

Life cycle of the red mite

How do mites get in?

The population in a “red mite nest” can consist of as many as 10 layers. Even if you manage to reach the places with a spray, you will only affect the outer layer. Everything underneath remains unaffected.

Exponential increase

Exponential increase

The red mites’ hiding place does not only contain adult mites. 35% of the number is still a mite egg, 10% is in the first larval stage. These are the small white mites you can see. They pupate to the second larval stage, also called proto-nymph. 10% of the population consists of proto-nymphs. The third larval stage is called deuto-nymph, 22.5 % of the population. and finally 22.5% are adult red mites. Proto-nymphs, deuto-nymphs and adult mites suck blood from hens and birds, 55% of the population.

1 red mite lays 8 eggs per day

1 red mite lays 8 eggs per day

At temperatures above 20° C red mites produce 8 eggs per day, but they also lay eggs at 5° C. That means that problems with red mite in hens and birds start in winter. These eggs do not hatch until the temperature increases in the spring. The development to larva and mite starts at 10° C.

55% of the population sucks blood

55% of the population sucks blood

The red mites’ hiding places do not just contain adult mites. 35% is still at the egg stage, 10% is in the first larval stage. These are the small white mites you can see. These pupate to the second larval stage, also called proto-nymph. 10% of the population consists of proto-nymphs. The third larval is called stage is called deutonymph, 22.5 % of the population. And finally 22.5% are adult red mites. Proto-nymphs, deuto-nymphs and adult mites suck blood in hens and birds. 55% of the population.

Why is it so difficult to combat red mites, and what are the risks?

Our henhouse is infected with red mites. We are in a panic and would like to protect our animals and ourselves against these parasites. Therefore we buy a chemical insecticide (pesticide) against mites to kill them. After use we see dead mites on the floor. But a few days later the problem is at the same level again. How is this possible?

Mites hide during the day

Mites hide during the day

Normal pesticides do not attach themselves to the surface. Therefore their effectiveness is very short-lived. When we use the pesticides during the day the red mites are not on the move and therefore they are not affected. This means that using pesticides during the day is not very effective.

Red mites eat once every 6 to 10 days

Red mites eat once every 6 to 10 days

Because 55% of the mites present go to the hens or birds for a meal only once every 6 to 10 days you will only hit 16% when you spray them with insecticide in the dark. The rest stay in the hiding place and therefore remain unaffected. Therefore spraying in the dark too is only partially effective.

Mites protect themselves by making nests that consist of layers

Mites protect themselves by making nests that consist of layers

The population in a “red mite nest” can consist of as many as 10 layers. Even if you could reach these places with spray, you will only hit the outer layer. Everything underneath remains unaffected.

Finecto, the solution for red mites

Thanks to years of experience gained by professional poultry farmers and amateur breeders we know that a chemical pesticide with 100% effectiveness is practically impossible. With the natural Finecto+ approach we make the problem manageable in an animal-friendly way. The result is healthier, relaxed animals and better egg-laying and breeding results.