Mite Problem

red mites on wood with crevices

Mites can live in the cracks and crevices of a wooden coop.

Peggy : I Think I have a mite problem in my run, what can I use to get rid of the mites that won’t harm my hens, I have 2 hens that are each setting on a couple of eggs and don’t want to endanger the chicks if they hatch. A friend said I could put out sevin dust, but I’m not sure how safe it will be for the hens. Thanks for any help you can give. Peggy Flatt

My Reply : People have successfully used sevin dust (which contains Carbaryl) with poultry in years past, and swear by it, but it has been banned in some countries (including the UK and Australia) over human health fears. There are many poultry pest products available, a lot of which are non-chemical – often they will have food grade diatomaceous earth as one of their ingredients (sometimes it is the only ingredient). If purchasing diatomaceous earth directly you must be sure to get the food grade kind (there is also a type that gets used in pools which is not animal friendly). A little goes a long way – it is very drying and although the food grade kind is safe for chickens and animals you don’t want to create a dust cloud in the coop that they will then be breathing in whilst sitting on the nest or get it into their eyes etc. (really, the same goes for any dusting product and when applying, gloves and masks are recommended). Food grade DE is a natural product and can be a good prevention and/or for mild treatments but if you have a major infestation you may need something a little more aggressive – there are several poultry mites treatments on the market and all will come with their own specific instructions for use. As mites tend to live in the crevices of the coop another natural ‘treatment’ is to clean the coop – I keep an old vacuum cleaner for jobs like hoovering around any crevices in the coop and then steam clean as well – in theory that should at least reduce the numbers of mites if any were hiding out in there.



  1. Naomi August 13, 2017 at 12:39 am

    We use DE whenever we clean out our coop, a little bit in the nesting boxes and roosting area helps keep mites away. Sometimes they eat it and it doesn’t do them any harm.

  2. John Vertigan August 13, 2017 at 12:57 am

    I use DE in the coop, their dust bath areas and the food. I will do a major coop clean soon and plan on bleaching it out let it dry on the next hot and dry day, that should kill pest as well.

  3. Ronnie Windland August 13, 2017 at 4:01 am

    If you could move the chickens to another coop and clean out the old litter and sweep everything down good and get some commercial bleach at Lowes or some other home improvement place like Lowes take a 2gallon sprayer like you use to put chemicals on your yard add 1 quart per gallon of water and spray everything down until it’s wet floor to ceiling and the run needs it too. Let it air dry for a couple days and air out and you should be able to kill all the mites the water touches. It’s a whole lot cheaper and does as good a job as the expensive mite killer solutions. I once asked a vet about if it would work and he said anything that will kill the aids virus will easily kill a little mite and he was right after rubbing each chicken down with DE dirt and putting them back in no more problems for over 2 years but I do mix DE dirt in their dust bathing spots and it completely cured the problems for just a few dollars hope that helps it sure did for me.

  4. Vincent's human friend August 15, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Vinegar (distilled white) works well for killing mites and is non-toxic as a daily maintenance program. Also it is cheap. What works the very best is cedar spray. The best is wondercide – because it has been made safe for use around animals. But you need to remove the chickens before spraying the surfaces and let it dry before letting them back in. I also got their small spray bottle for people and pets and very carefully sprayed the legs and underside of tail feathers on my rooster – making sure he didn’t breathe it. It’s an ongoing issue here in Florida, but vigilance pays off.

Leave A Comment