Karen C.
user 83873082
Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
Post #: 69
I watched Dr. Micco examine a chicken for mites and you could see very small holes in the feathers close to the body.
Laura B.
Group Organizer
Norco, CA
Post #: 593
I bought a pair of magnifier glasses, like the ones the local vets use... it's amazing to see so much detail with them... I look like a total crazy woman with those glasses checking my boys and girls' butts, under wings, everywhere... helps a lot and I would highly recommend it :)

user 62165332
Long Beach, CA
Post #: 31
Thanks everyone. The mites actually got to me and my daughter also. When I saw the prescription was permethrin I realized it's the same stuff as the hens. So I pulled out the guns and bought Sevin and Adams and a huge jar of Vaseline and some poultry dust. Spayed the inside of the coop with Sevin, Vaseline all over the ends of the roosting bar, poultry dust under wings & on butts, new clean sand on coop floor, DE mixed w sand and in ash pit...

Whew! Did I miss anything?? Also had to wash everything in MY house but that's another story! Anyhow all the above had immediate positive effect: two eggs again the next morning after about 10 days of next to nothing. (2 is normal, since the barred rock and brahma aren't yet mature - shouldn't they be, at this point btw? Almost 8 mo now!).

I'll dust them again in a week just to be sure. As miserable as we humans were with the itching, I want to make sure no more bugs!!
Danuta or D.
user 13056871
Reseda, CA
Post #: 88
"Red Barn" has it & "Kahoots" as well- just find the closest one by you on line
Roberta K.
user 10948851
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 620
I wish i could take back all the DE i've used. I'm doing deep litter and i hate the thought that I added DE because now I don't want to use it in the yard once it's composted. I'm trying to encourage a healthy eco system with all types of critters including insects and i worry that using any compost from the coop will have enough DE to kill the good insects. Ughh!!! I think i'll put it around areas that i don't want ants like around the beehives and around the entrances to the doors of the house.

I have through in some wood ash but i'm really going to try and get more this winter. I have DE if someone wants it. I don't think i'll use much unless i dust a chicken. But I feel a little better about using Frontline which supposedly does work as a topical and would breakdown in the environment. I've used it for indoor chickens with lice and it seems too work though just having lots of soil seems to be the best. Someone suggested just giving the bottoms of the chickens a spray while they are roosting every 1-2 months.
Brandi G
user 48566262
Pasadena, CA
Post #: 275

Frontline worked great here. I'd use it again before I'd touch DE.
I use wood ash and it usually prevents any issues. I always have plenty of wood ash, if anyone wants it. We burn wood in out fireplace and BBQ. That's where I get mine.
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 355
Brandi - which Frontline do you use, and how much, and how often? I haven't found any solid answers yet. My solution to mites was to use Sevin, since I also am suspicious about the long-term health effects of breathing DE. It worked great, knocked down the mites overnight and made the girls much happier. The only problem was that I contaminated my compost pile with it when I cleaned out my coop at the end of the year, and it took a long time to get started again. So I won't do that again - I like the idea of Frontline much better. I'd like to be prepared in case I get another outbreak so please educate me about the Frontline - I'm all ears!
I give my girls lots of opportunities to dust bathe, with fireplace ashes, and it seems to keep the parasites under control. Granted I'm sure they're there, but not at a level that's harming the hens.
Susan J.
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 115
Hi everyone, how do we know if our chickens have mites? What is the best way to ward them off before they appear? My chickens & ducks all look healthy, no signs of worms in their poop, no spots that look like fowl pox, no weight loss, I haven't seen any signs of sickness, but now I'm concerned reading about all these ailments they can get! The one thing I've noticed lately is a lot of feathers around the yard and coop. Do they shed feathers during certain times of the year? Or could this be mites?! I don't see them scratching nor plucking feathers, and they all look clean and healthy overall (their bodies) and the fallen feathers look normal.

So, what is the bottom line on preventive maintenance to prevent mites? Someone here posted carbaryl, what is this? Where can we buy it? And Roberta, you mentioned regretting putting DE in your yard, why is this? Are you saying it kills ALL bugs, including good bugs that kill mites?

I haven't bought DE yet, however the cheapest spot I found to purchase food grade DE is at Henco, $21 for a 50 pound bag, however they need notice to order it (no extra charge), so it could take 1-2 weeks for them to receive it. Stephens sells 40lbs for $21, so you're getting 10lbs less for same price. (I just called both places 9/26/12).

I read this on DE from University of Kentucky: "Believed to be a natural insect control powder. Theory: kills roundworm eggs, neutralizes ammonia, absorb methyl mercury, E. coli, endotoxins, viruses, as well as eradicates some pesticide residues and drug residues." Source: University of Kentucky, http://afspoultry.ca....­

carbaryl - can we sprinkle this all over to kill mites?
Roberta K.
user 10948851
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 622
I regret the DE because it will hurt all insects and I'm trying to encourage them in the garden. I think that insects are good. I'm not sure if it is harmful to worms but from how it works (stabs them like blades) then I think it would.
Brandi G
user 48566262
Pasadena, CA
Post #: 278
As I posted in the respiratory forum- the issue with DE is that it is silica based. It is an irritant. It is really bad to breathe. So for both chickens and people, having it get airborne is really not good. If you look at the Wikipedia page for DE, it even says that wearing a respirator when handling it is recommended. So unless you want to put respirators on your chickens whenever it is airborne...

Cynthia, About the frontline. I looked all over and found that you can buy the kind for dogs, I bought a pack for small dogs because I only have six chickens. i used a hypodermic needle to put tiny drops on each chicken under each wing and directly above and below the vent. On the two big ones I put an additional drop on the back of the neck the way you apply to dogs or cats. All the BYC people and California poultry people seem to agree frontline is the best one. I found the PetCo or PetSmart, on Arroyo Pkwy, had a store brand, Sentry. It was half the price and the same active ingredient as frontline. The small dog one was about 30 dollars for 3 doses. I used one dose for all my chickens with a little left over. It's about 7 to 10 dollars per treatment, if you look at getting 4 treatments out of the 3 month supply. This makes sense since my chickens are maybe 4 or 5lbs each or so, and the box was for dogs 22lbs to 30lbs or something of that nature. So I used enough on 6 to cover about 25lbs, I'd guess.

I probably won't repeat it unless I see more lice/mites. I do use wood ash in my nest boxes under the Timothy hay and change it every month or two. I've never had mites in any number, but the lice came in when the girls weren't feeling well. I'd use it again in a heartbeat since it seems to have no effect on the hens, other making them feel much better.

With wood ash and access to frontline when I really need it, I'd rather not risk respiratory distress for me or the ladies. I also don't want to kill my soil. I've worked so hard to keep even my grass organic so I can have a flourishing ecosystem in my my yard. I was rewarded this summer by tons of butterflies (huge ones!), praying mantises that stuck around, tons of wild birds (which may bring mites and lice, but they are so cute!) and so many hummingbirds that I had to refill 2 feeders every other day. I think it's worth it to have the life cycle alive and working and a happy garden.
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