How to get rid of red mites in chicken coop with baking soda? Is it effective for large infestations? Or just for regular cleaning? How to apply it? What are the other natural remedies to eliminate these small pests? How to detect them in a coop? And finally, what are the insects that eat red mites?
I- Brief reminder of the appearance of red lice
A red louse is a mite, whose scientific name is Dermanyssus Galinae. These parasites feed on the blood of chickens after dark, a huge risk for any breeder.
Red mites often appear when the weather is nice. During this particular seasonal period, their reproductive cycle speeds up.
They can then lay up to 200 or 300 eggs per week. The hot and humid climate is favorable to them.
It is therefore during this period that you have to be most vigilant, and detect the slightest sign of affection on the hens.
It is difficult to know how red mites get to homes where humans live.
A larva being able to survive 9 months without feeding, it is difficult to eradicate them completely.
II. Where to find red mites
Red mites often appear in the gaps in the wood around the hens’ roosts. This is not the only place to find them.
Red mites mostly try to stay close to their prey and their food supply.
However, there are some places that are more susceptible than others where you are most likely to find red mites. These include roosting attachments, as well as the areas between and under nesting boxes.
III. How to get rid of red mites in chicken coop with baking soda
Start by cleaning your chicken coop. Take down the shelves, empty your water containers, get rid of all litter and droppings.
Sweep and scrub everywhere, focusing on the areas where red mites most often hide. That is, all the gaps and nooks and crannies.
2) Choosing a disinfectant
To be sure of the effectiveness of the disinfection, choose the most powerful natural products. For example, you can try bleach or white vinegar. One of the main advantages of white vinegar is that it preserves the health of your poultry.
You can also use baking soda, which you sprinkle all over the affected areas. However, it is important to understand the limitations of baking soda in eliminating red mites in the case of a large infestation.
Baking soda is highly recommended for disinfecting the places where these tiny pests are found, but not for getting rid of them permanently on a large scale. That’s why we will give you in the following all the natural tips to eradicate an infestation of red mites.
This involves disinfecting the poultry house. However, if one of your hens is infected by red lice, then consult a veterinarian.
The veterinarian will give you instructions on how to best care for your hen.
3) Disinfection of accessories
If you have done the cleaning properly, then you should have taken down the feeders, as well as the perches. Don’t forget the waterers, and gather all these parts to rinse them.
To do this, use a high-pressure cleaner. The jet will remove the dirt effectively.
Next, immerse all these items in water with white vinegar and a good amount of baking soda.
Leave them in for at least 30 minutes. The other option, especially if these items are too large, is to spray them with the solution, then sprinkle them with baking soda.
Once the solution has dried on them, rinse them with clean water. Let them air dry.
4) Disinfection of the chicken house
Again, you will need to use a water jet. Run it all over your coop, especially in the corners and gaps. Do not neglect any place, neither the hinges of the door nor the ceiling. Clean absolutely everywhere.
After that, use the disinfectant you have chosen (bleach, white vinegar…) in a spray bottle. Spray the solution in all corners of the chicken house. Do not rinse, let it dry. Rinse with water afterwards. Once everything has dried, you can reassemble the removable parts of your coop.
To disinfect and renovate the wood of your floor, sprinkle bicarbonate on it and sprinkle with white vinegar. After half an hour, scrub.
It is important to know that baking soda is only effective when red lice have not yet spread.
Baking soda is more useful for regular disinfection and maintenance.
IV. How to detect the presence of red mites on poultry and birds
Detecting the presence of red mites on poultry and birds is not always easy. First of all, because these mites tend to hide in dark corners during the day.
If your chickens start to lose their energy, it may be due to a red mite infection. You will notice that your chickens are weak and their movements are slow.
Some chickens may even have lost their color in their crest. If you have any doubts, start by checking their eggs. Red mites leave red marks on the hens’ eggs.
You can also check the hens’ droppings. If they form white powdery deposits, then there is a good chance that red mites are present.
To be sure of the presence of red mites, you need to check every nook and cranny around your hens.
As a reminder, red mites may hide, but they never stray too far from their prey.
V- Is baking soda harmful to chicken?
Baking soda is in no way dangerous for chickens and poultry.
It is one of the safest natural ingredients. Even if they ingest it in large quantities, they will only have a little diarrhea at most.
V- Can we put baking soda in the chicken’s water?
Normally there are no known concerns regarding baking soda in chicken and poultry water.
On the contrary, putting some of this natural ingredient in their water will strengthen their immune system and give them more energy.
The main thing is not to put too much: just half a teaspoon per liter of water will be enough.
VII. How to create a red mites trap
To create a red mites trap in your chicken coop, you need to set up some sort of refuge. The idea is to create a dark, hidden area not far from the hens, so that the red mites will want to take refuge there.
This can be done by hanging a wooden board under your perch. If you have red lice in your coop, they will take refuge there. Check your trap constantly.
And get rid of them by putting them in a soap solution. Then put the trap back in its place.
VIII. Tips for eliminating mites in a chicken coop
To eliminate mites from a chicken coop, it is advisable to clean the coop thoroughly. A sanitary vacuum may be important, but it may not be enough.
You can also opt for synthetic solutions. We are talking about organophosphate-based products (malathion, methyl, dichlorvos…).
Products based on pyrethroids (cyfluthrin, permethrin …) can also be effective. But to destroy eggs and larvae, they are not always ideal.
You can also change your wooden hen house for a plastic one (I say this with all reservations). It is easier to clean and has fewer corners where red mites can hide.
IX. Other solutions to kill red mites
1. Diatomaceous earth
This is a natural solution against mites. Diatomaceous earth comes from a sedimentary rock called diatomite.
Simply sprinkle it all over your chicken coop to kill red mites. Do it with gloves and a mask, for more precautions.
For me, this is the most effective natural solution for permanently eliminating red mites, and it is almost completely safe for chickens and birds.
2. Black soap
Mixing black soap with water is another way to get rid of red mites in your coop.
Simply add two teaspoons of black soap to a liter of water. Spray this solution wherever you think they may be.
They will be asphyxiated.
3. White vinegar
Spraying shelves and roosts with white vinegar will protect your chicken coop.
White vinegar is very effective in stopping the spread of dust mites, including red mites.
Bleach can be very beneficial in eliminating red lice. One trick is to use a syringe to apply bleach, especially in the smallest corners.
Bleach is not incompatible with insecticide powder. Pour some at the entrance of your hen house, so that the legs of your hens are impregnated with it.
X. Insects that eat red mites
The best choice for controlling red mites that may infest your chicken coop are Androlis.
These are mite-eating insects, but they are safe for chickens.
Androlis are easy to obtain and come in bottles.
To release them, you just have to pour the wood shavings into the hen house. The advantage of Androlis is that it works on the larvae and eggs. This prevents further proliferation of red lice (mites).