Upon identification of lice or mites in any flock member, treatment should begin immediately. There are many different products employed to eradicate mites and lice with varying degrees of effectiveness, among them are: Avian Insect Liquidator, David Grays Powder, Pestene Powder, Superfine Diatomaceous Earth and products like Neem Powder or oil. Please be aware that natural products such as Neem and Diatomaceous Earth need to be used regularly in the environment to be actively working and will not trreat a outbreak, they are prevenative products only. When lice or mites are detected on one bird, the entire flock should be treated. Treating birds after dark when they have gone to roost is the easiest way to treat the entire flock.
One product that we love to use and recommend highly is Avian Insect Liquidator. This product comes in three sizes. The 500ml ready to use with a trigger spray, and two sizes in concentrate (100ml which makes up to 2litres and the 500ml which makes up to 10 litres). We suggest mixing the 500ml into a nice large bucket with warm water into the 10 litre solution and dipping your birds in the solution. Make sure that you do not get the solution into ears, eyes, nose or mouth areas. We suggest doing the dip method every season change as a prevention to a outbreak. After dipping each bird, use the remaining solution to spray out your coop. We also suggest spraying your timber coops with this product every 4 - 6 weeks. Avian Insect Liquidator keeps actively working for 6 weeks and stops the cycle of hatching survival.
Red Spider Mite is much harder to eradicate than the common mite, and many people do not realise they have an outbreak until a fatality is found (this is why using a prevention method is very important) Red spider mite live in the timber and generally come out to feast on your birds of a night time. This makes your birds very anemic and a good indicator can be if your birds do not want to go into your coop to roost at night!
We often have the conversation with customers in store that believe they have been using preventative measures and have trouble believing a fatality has been caused by mites but after long conversations get to the point they may have only used a powder in the base of the coop and nest boxes perhaps, or may only use a product once every 6-12 mths etc, and it is important to note a spray such as Avian insect liquidator or coopex needs to be used on walls and roof areas as this is where mites will love to live and breed. Using a powder only will not keep mites and lice at bay, especially in a wooden coop.
Treating both the coop and the birds is the only option. This needs to be done regularly as red spider mite breed at an alarming rate. When treating the coop pay particular attention to timber that is overlapping, tongue and groove and where timber joins and meets. Mites LOVE to live in the hard to reach areas and will continue to breed if not eradicated quickly. Stronger products may be required to eradicate completely such as Maldison, Malaban Wash or Coopex. These products are for the coop treatment only and not to be used on the birds (we suggest Avian Insect Liquidator for the birds themselves).
Always wear a respirator when applying Pestene and diatomaceous earth and the job is much easier with the help of another person to hold the bird, I dust underneath the wings and vent area of each bird sparingly but thoroughly. I also clean and treat the entire coop with particular attention paid to nests and roosts.
**Treatment must be repeated twice after the initial application in 7 day increments, in order to kill the eggs (nits) that had not hatched at the time of the previous treatments.**