Will Red Mite Infest Your House?

Empty house
Leaving Home because of Red Mite? Photo: Tony The Misfit

Over the last five or six years, I have been dealing with the dreaded Red Mite in my poultry houses and trying different control methods to get rid of them. Since posting “How to get rid of a serious red mite infestation” (when I found a large number of mites in one of my hen houses: Summer 2009), the comments to my post have been flooding in. It’s a popular post and hopefully it has helped people to remove the dreaded Red Mite from their chicken house.

From the comments that were made, a few people were saying their own house (that’s house, not poultry house) had been infested with Red Mite and many people were asking whether Red Mite can bite / feed from us. From my own experience of dealing with red mite, I have found that they will crawl on me and make me itch but a shower gets rid of them and I didn’t believe that they could feed from us or other species. Unfortunately I was wrong…

Here are some extracts from a comment received from Laura in Ireland for example that really made me think I should investigate this further:

“We haven had a serious mite infestation for the last 6 weeks in our own house brought in probably by the dogs and ourselves, as we were all very scratchy all over and definitely getting bitten by them and no amount of scrubbing would remove them.”

and she went on to say

“…I would really like to know if there is anyone on this blog that has had their own home and body infested and how they dealt with it.  We are getting a steamer for the houses and are praying for a very cold winter to kill them off and going to keep our heating off, but so far vets and doctors have very little knowledge about these new breed of red mites that definitely reproduce on and bite humans. It is frightening if this strain of red mite really takes affect in the UK and Ireland, as it is very nasty, tough and reproduces at a bionic rate.”

So there does appear to be a problem here. Laura seemed to think that this was a different type of red mite that would bite humans so I decided to go to the experts at the University of Newcastle to find out more.

Dr George (now with the University of Lancaster) has been studying Red Mite and told me this:

“With regard to red mite feeding upon humans, it seems that this is actually more common than once thought. An increasing number of reports in the academic press are identifying cases of this, where red mite have also been found to infest other mammals (including rats and horses). In my opinion it’s likely that this has always been the case, but that such infestations have ‘traditionally’ been misdiagnosed. That said, I’ve never personally been bitten and I suspect that avian hosts are more preferred by the mites, where they may nevertheless take a meal on an alternative host if desperate. The ‘deserted birds nest in the attic’ is a classic case of this, where red mites (and other avian mites) are forced to leave the nest after the young birds have fledged – often encountering a human meal as they do so!”

Ideas for treating your house for red mite.

There are numerous products out there that will treat poultry houses but what can you use in your house?

Well, in commercial poultry houses, red mite are treated with pesticides, although there is growing concern that some mites are becoming resistant and different types of pesticide are used to try to prevent this from happening.

There are pesticide based products that are designed to be used in the home to remove common fleas that can infest the carpets and other areas of the home. These traditionally would have only been available from a vet but now are available from companies like Medicanimal. You spray it around the carpet /  edges and under skirting boards in cracks and then vacate the room, leaving the door closed for a couple of hours. Follow the manufacturers instructions and certainly don’t breathe the spray – ideally wear a mask. One I have used is Ardap Spray and another similar product is Indorex spray (called Knock Down in America).

There are pest control companies that will deal with fleas in a home. They will have access to knapsacks of pesticides that they can use so if things get too bad, it might be worth calling them in. I would still repeat the spray application every 3 to 4 days. The life cycle of a mite is 7 days – so treating before they have a chance to lay eggs will reduce numbers faster.

Chilling the mites, as suggested by Laura, leaving her heating off over the winter may stop them reproducing and feeding but I don’t believe it will kill them – they can survive in a poultry house outdoors over the winter.

Newcastle University are testing different essential oils since these contain chemicals toxic to pests. For example, linalool from lavender is toxic to red mites. Their latest research shows that red mite mortality rates decrease with time – so the oils need to be fresh to work. My granddad used to hang fresh Lavender bunches in his pigeon loft and I thought it was to keep the loft smelling fresh!

The female red mite lays her eggs after a feed. There is also evidence though from Newcastle University that the acaricidal effect (killing power) of essential oils increases as mites are starved for longer periods of time so could covering yourself in an insect repellent  preventing them feeding for a few days whilst treating your house may help to knock down more mites?

Diatom is safe and can be used in the house – dust cracks and crevices – the good news is it will hoover up without leaving a mess afterwards.

Eat more garlic! The locals in Charente, France where I sometimes stay eat a lot of garlic and say it stops the mosquitos biting them (and Vampires?)… I give my birds crushed  garlic (2 or 3 cloves) in their water to keep them healthy and I am sure this is why I have had far fewer problems with red mite this year. I mentioned this to Dr. George and he replied:

“…some work has been going on there recently to control red mite using garlic in either feed or water, so the fact that this has worked well for you should be of particular interest to them.”

I look forward to finding out more about this and will share it with you when I do but it may help you to get less bites.

If sofas or chairs are infected, I would get rid of them. There are just too many places for them to hide.  (Sorry!)

I hope this gives you some ideas of things to try around the home, if I come across any more information, I will share it with you here.

There is a section on the site covering red mites here.

Have you had Red Mite living in your house or biting you? Please leave a comment to help others who read this.

The following two tabs change content below.

Tim Daniels

Tim is the founder of the poultrykeeper website and lives in Bedfordshire, UK. He keeps Light Sussex large fowl, Silkie bantams and hybrid layers for eggs, Abacot Ranger ducks, Brecon Buff geese and some quail.

Latest posts by Tim Daniels (see all)

  • Laura Loo

    HI Tim, Thanks so much for looking into this for us – we are so grateful! Will keep you posted on our progress. Fingers crossed. :)

  • Natasha

    Hi, I would like to say that the varroa mite feeds of of you, and they are red, but the red mite is a different kind of mite, does this mean the red mite or do u mean the varroa mite?

    • Tim Daniels

      No, it’s Red Mites we’re talking about here that usually infest poultry houses and birds nests.

  • bryony trafford

    Hi, I am letting you know the latest on my red mites!! I have successfully desimated them with Toal Poultry Solutions Red Mite kill ready to use pink spray. I brought red mite into the house, they have definitely only bitten opportunistically and died after 4 days or so. None were red in the house, despite being with several dogs and cats, so they weren’t getting enough blood to breed, I hope. Frontline spot on does not kill red mite on dogs or cats. Have had success with flea sprays(Permethrin) for furniture and flea collars (Permethrin impregnated) for cats, as permethrin spot on can kill cats this is out. I now take all my clothes off, after treating the coop, put them in a bin bag with flea spray and shake them around, then go in the shower! NB The info about Frontline spot on was from Merial, the manufacturers, they do a fipronil spray which should work. Hope this is helpful to others.

  • Laura Loo

    Hi, Thanks for info. I heard a vet on TV saying Frontline does not work for mites and that this summer (in Ireland) has been dreadful for the mites on dogs, which like us, is taking a long time to treat. I think vets are using a combination of Advantage and steroids on dogs (which they used on ours), to get rid of these horrors. The hens seem to be ok now and the rest of us including the dogs, house and us slowly getting better thankfully, also with the help of the weather getting colder. We are also doing a lot of steaming everywhere which I think is helping a lot and lots of Diatom DE. We freeze our bedding and clothes daily. wash ourselves twice daily, apply tea tree and epson salts to bath and try and keep skin as dry as poss, as they love oily skin. I have learned that mites and other parasites love people with a lot of yeast in their system (candida), as yeast is formed by sugar from foods we eat, which like us, they love. Which explains why some people do not get affected by them living in the same house as others being affected. The anti parasite diet is very similar to the anti candida diet. Also having a dehumidifier helps alot, as they hate dry air. We did try mini fogforte fumers all over the house, but found the house very prickly the next day, so not sure they are that effective. Fingers crossed we are completely successful soon. Will keep posted :)

  • kokorako

    I want to have a go mixing a spray of natural oils to keep the red mites still left in my 2-hen coop unhappy. I plan to spray into the crannies, under the perch etc. Any ideas on the mix level of peppermint, lavendar, eucalyptus, citronella and tea tree?

    • Tim Daniels

      I’m afraid I don’t know. You could run some tests with a solution – take a jar and get a few mites in there by tapping them out of a crack, then add a piece of cotton wool in the bottom and moisten with your test substance – make sure the mites are on the solution (but not drowned!) then check them 12 hrs, 24 hrs etc later and see how many die. This is essentially how they test the products only using laboratory containers and so on.

  • Jill

    Whew … I’m glad this problem is finally getting some attention. A friend bought hay bales for her garden and fowl run which, it turns out, were infested with red mites. The mites soon colonised the hens but also adopted my friend as a host. She is covered in bites and has had an allergic reaction to the toxin. These critters are aggressive, hardy and nasty. My friend has been dealing with them for months – they are throughout her house and garden and she can’t even sit in her driveway without being invaded. (They’re small but you can see them in direct sunlight.) She has had them identified by the local vet and they are definitely red mites. She feels sure they are breeding on her body and sees ‘bubbles’ under her skin where she feels they are laying eggs. People have called her crazy but she is a professional counsellor and very level-headed. Needless to say, these things are driving her mad. They crawl on her at night and keep her awake. They also crawl into her nose and mouth.

    She vacuums every day, washes all her bedding in super-hot water, ‘cooks’ all clothes and bedding in the clothes dryer, has had her house, garden and car bombed with insecticide etc etc. The mites are lessening but have virtually wrecked her life. These critters should be seriously studied and solutions developed. I suspect many people could be suffering from an infestation of bird mites but don’t know what they are. (We are in South Australia.)
    Jill

  • Laura Loo

    Hi Jill, So sorry to hear about your friend. She must be unbelievably strong to have put up with the horrors for so long. We have only been two and a half months and they really affected us. My Mum and myself still have mites infested on our body, but our animals and home seem to have cleared. These mites definitely reproduce on you, which vets said they could not. There is so much vets and the medical world don’t know about these parasites, but they need to get their head out of the sand soon, as these horrors are getting out of control . We tried the Lyclear and Derbac – body treatment with 5% Permethrin for mites and lice, which must have been like mineral water to these guys, as had no effect. Our doctor even said he did not know what to do next. We are going to see a tropical medicine doctor next week, so fingers crossed. I will blog more info as I go along with our horror problem.

  • Laura Loo

    Hi there, Just following up on our progress. The tropical medical doc did not know anything about bird mites, so was no help. We still have the mites on our bodies and the dogs are still a bit scratchy, but getting slowly better. The house is better, but on hot days, you can feel slightly scratching in a couple of rooms – this Sept and Oct has been unusally hot in Ireland, which has not helped the situation. Thanks to the weather getting cooler in general, the infestation is slowly improving. I am trying the parasite diet (no sugars or refined sugars etc) and think you need to do it for a while before it has effect, so will continue with it. I think when dealing with these parasites, there is no magic pill, but only keep trying different ideas. There are blogs on the internet which you can read people different treatments and how they got on. Looks like permethrin etc is not working anymore for many people suffering from all theses parasites eg: lice, scabies, mites etc. They even had it on the news last week in Australia that 80% of the locusts are not dying from being sprayed, which is very serious for farmers.
    I am now trying tonnes of vaseline and Neem oil (stops the reproduction cycle) on my affected areas and at night put extra vaseline around my eyes, nose and mouth to stop them coming down from my hair into these areas, which is really works. The vaseline actually suffocates them, so put a good dollip on. I also sleep with a shower cap – material, not plastic – as the plastic heats up your head too much, which makes them hatch. I also put two cups of epsom salts in the bath at night, which also really help. Another thing I noticed is sleeping in a sleeping bag and a couple of squarts of repellent has really stopped a lot of activity on my body – not sure why, but definatley much better than duvets, sheets or blankets. We continue to freeze our bedding daily – I also have an allergy mattress cover, which also gets freezed. Wash clothes at 60 degrees. Shower in the morning, epsom bath in the evening – get scrubbers and either sulfar soap or perfume free soap (perfume attracts them). I also use T Tree deodourant, as they also hate T Tree. Freeze the clothes and shoes I wear daily and continue to hoover (strong hoover) and steam the home. I will post again any new ideas for people as I go along. The main thing is if anyone gets these horrors on their bodies, to try and keep as calm as possible. I noticed the more stressed I got (which I also read in other blogs), the more activity would occur. One blogger thought that they might be attracted to a stress hormone, not sure why, but try to keep as strong as possible and do plenty of exercise – not easy at all, but really helps situation. Good luck and be in touch soon. Laura

  • Ann

    Hey Laura,
    I live in Wicklow and have had a bird mite infestation since late August. Great to find someone else in Ireland !!

    I’ve sent samples to an expert for identification but I think they are probably northern fowl mite. We have chickens outside our bedroom window and sparrows nested in both eves of the house this year.

    I’ve tried all sorts of *things* but decided that strengthening the host is best route as my husband is bothered by them at all.

    So far epsom salts have worked best for me – I cover myself in a solution and let it dry – usually get 6 -8 hours without too much crawling after that.

    My eyes have been badly affected – the one place that is really hard to protect. I often go to sleep with cotton wool pads soaked with witch hazel and borax lying on my lids.

    I had a bath with Citricidal the other day and that seemed to kill a lot of them (gawd, how many can there be!).

    I use DE on the carpets and steam the bed and clothes as don’t have a freezer.

    Today we are going to spray the house with Permethrin. I am totally fed up with them but it seems that it takes time and persistence to get rid of them.

    It is great to hear about your protocol. I haven’t been to a doctor yet as have been waiting for the identification to come through.

    Keep blogging and thank you,
    Ann

  • LauraLoo

    Hi Ann,

    Great to hear from you. I am in Wicklow too! – if you want to contact me, I will give my details to Tim.

    We also did have the hens right outside my extension which must have made us more vulnerable to the mites. I now think my Mum and I have contracted morgellons disease caused from the mite infestation. We have sent samples to our vet and all come back negative for parasites. Only a couple of weeks ago my Mum and I decided to put olive oil over us for a few hours, which is supposed to smother any parasites, and all theses black and white specks came out of our skin. After getting on the internet, we ticked all the boxes for morgellons disease. We even sent the specks to the vet and it came back negative for parasites (another trait of morgellons). The dogs are still scratching, which has the vets scratching their heads thinking what is going on, but supposedly from my research the animals can get it too.

    Morgellons sounds like it is becoming an epidemic. They are even saying that many of those people on birdmites.org and other bird mite sites and forums actually have morgellons (invisible bugs causing horrors). You might be lucky and just have a mite infestation, but do check the websites below to be sure.

    Check out http://www.morgellonsuk.org.uk and http://www.morgellons.org.
    Fasinating reports from Dr. Staninger at http://www.staningerreport.com/#indexMainWindow.html AND
    http://www.healinggrapevine.com/morgellons/is-morgellons-contagious.html

    I have today emailed both morgellons US and UK to get more info on doctors that can help in UK or Europe, so awaiting their reply. If we did not improve or got worse and could not find a doctor in Europe, we would go to the US.

    From what I have read, Dr. Staninger treatment is a detox program (which I presume would be very strict and maybe focus on no sugars, refined sugars – anything that causes fungus or what parasites like) and far infrared sauna (to get specks and toxins out of body) twice a week.

    I will blog again any new info I get and how we are getting on.

    Take care,

    Laura

  • Ann

    Dear Laura,

    Yikes – Morgellons! When I first got the *mites* I read birdmites.org and saw that quite a few people progressed from mites to Morgellons and wonderd if this is because all the skin washing etc strips the skin of it’s natural defenses and leaves it vulnerable to other invaders? I’ll read more on your links now.

    I’d love to get in touch with you – quite a coincidence that we live in the same county.

    Tim, could I get contact details for Laura from you ?

    Meanwhile good luck with your search for treatment.

    all the best,
    Ann

  • LauraLoo

    Hi Ann,

    Great to hear from you. Not sure how or if we definately have it, but sounds like it :(. Also not sure if this was due to stripping my skin, but I have a feeling this morgellon thing whatever it is hangs around parasites, animals, plants etc.. because the symptoms have been happening from the start of the body infestation.

    I got a responce from morgellons UK and they know of doctors in UK and also stated they have fellows suffers they are in contact with in Ireland, so not alone. They are going to ring me, so will keep you posted.

    Tim if you are reading this, will you give Ann my email address? I will keep posting my progress and any new info, for help anyone that is going through this nightmare.

    Thanks for posting my posts!

    All the best,

    Laura

  • Tim Daniels

    OK have passed on your email address. Keep us posted, we’re certainly thinking of you. Take care, Tim

  • LauraLoo

    Thanks Tim, myself and Ann are now in direct contact. I will be in touch soon. :)

  • K

    Hi everyone. I recently had a problem with mite infestation in my chicken coop and also on myself and in my home. I found this page while researching how to eradicate the mites and wanted to share what worked for me. I live in South Australia and had three backyard chickies. I only found out they had mites when one of my chickens became ill and we took her to the vet, who pointed out the problem. I checked the other chickens, and sure enough found mites all over their bottoms, quite horrific.. Unfortunately, our sick chicken didn’t make it and had to be put to sleep, and I’m sure that the mite infestation contributed, if not caused, her illness. I’d also been experiencing bites on my body that I’d gotten overnight (and had mistakingly assumed I caught fleas from a hotel I’d stayed in a couple of weeks earlier) but when I found out about the mites it all clicked and once I started looking for them I started seeing them all over the chicken coop, crawling up my feet when I went outside, and up my arms when I handled my chickens.

    This is how I solved the problem:
    1. Chickens and chicken coop. Removed all the litter and burned it. Washed out the house with a high pressure hose, then scrubbed it with Malaban Wash (got this from the poultry supply shop, and have since noticed that Woolworths sells the same thing, called Malowash, for dogs and cats). I paid particular attention to the crevices and cracks in the house, and repeated the washing three times. It took about 2 hours, as I wanted to be thorough. I let the last Malaban wash dry, and then spread poultry dust through the house, and put down a light layer of fresh straw. I raked through the chicken yard, removing the top soil, and then sprayed the malaban all through the yard. At this point, I noticed that the mites were still crawling over my feet and up my legs, so I resorted to moving the now clean chicken house to a separate area of the backyard. I also now put crushed garlic cloves in their water to reduce mite biting. 7 days later, I cleaned and poisoned the house again, and bathed the chickens again to kill any mites that may have hatched since the last washing. For the yard, I sprayed it with Malaban and pymetrhin spray, and shook out ant granules containing bifenthrin. I sectioned off that part of the backyard, and won’t be going in their for a while!

    Next, I washed the chickens in Malaban wash. I placed them in a bucket of it so that the level reached their bellies, then massaged it thouroughly through their feathers, until I couldn’t see anymore mites. I then put them into their clean house and created a new, temporary yard, and sprinkled the perimeter with poultry dust and bifenthrin.

    2. Me
    After washing the chickens, I had mites ALL over me, so I took off my clothes outside and dumped them straight into a tub of poison. I’d bought a laundry soaker from the chemist for lice, which cotains Maldison (the same active ingredient in Malaban, so I figured it would work) I also got some paper towels, dipped them in the wash and wiped down my body, as I had about 20 on my skin. Jumped straight into the shower, scrubbed all over with a mixture of soap, tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus oil, then washed my hair in lice shampoo (again, Maldison, same as Malaban wash).

    3. House
    To get rid of mites in the house, I first started with the front and back patios. Swept them, hosed them down with a high pressure hose, then tipped buckets of Malaban wash over the tiles and scrubbed them. When they were dry, I liberally sprinkled bifenthrin-containing ant granules all over the patio, and then also sprinkled a thick layer of borax directly outside the front and back doors to reduce tracking mites into the house.

    Inside the house, I vacuumed EVERYTHING. Room by room, I moved furniture away from the walls, vacuumed the furntiture, took the couch apart and vacuumed every surface, even underneath the couch, the bookshelves, just everywhere. I then maded up a bucket of borax, malaban, tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus in hot water, and mopped the entire house with it. I washed the skirting boards and the walls, and washed the furniture with it too. I took my bed apart and washed the frame and each slat with it, and then also sprayed my mattress with the essential oils in water. I soaked all the bedding in the maldison laundry soaker before washing it. Shoes I put in a garbage bag with the essential oils and sprayed with Baygon Egg kill bug spray with cypermetrhin and sealed them up. I also sprayed along the skirting boards and corners of rooms, around window sills etc, with the spray, and then shook borax around the corners and gaps under the skirting boards.

    4. Car
    As we’d transporter our sick chicken in the car, I had the inside of the car professionally cleaned. After that I sprayed almost an entire can of the baygon spray and closed all the doors and left it for a few hours. I then wiped down the surfaces with the essential oil mix.

    5. Maintenance
    To ensure the house and I stayed mite free while still treating the chickens, I kept a tub of Maldison outisde at all times, and after feeding, bathing, cleaning, or doing anything with the chickens, I would get undressed outside, dump the clothes straight into the tub, take off my shoes and leave them on the borax by the back door and go straight into the shower to scrub with tea tree oil.

    And that’s it! The chickens are doing much better and I don’t see any evidence of mites on them anymore, though I plan on checking them and their house regularly, and including the malaban wash and poultry dust everytime I clean their coop. After taking these measures, the mites were completely gone. I had no more bites despite handling the chickens daily to check on their condition.

    I hope that helps. Good luck everybody!

  • K

    Oh, I forgot to mention something important. All of the above cleaning was done on the same day. It didn’t make sense to me to clean and kill the mites in the yard, and then just go into the house where there were more mites, as I would just keep spreading them back and forth. Same with the car, not point cleaning the whole house, only to jump in your car and then bring them back into the house after all your hard work!

  • Sinead

    I live in Ireland and i thought i was the only one suffering from mites. my problem is i am getting bit at night time, i have had a pest control company into the house over the last 2 years to spray the house. after the first spray i had no bites for about 6 months. now its frequent again , the company suggest i contact my G.P. which i did, i was given a cream from lyclear, it only seems to work when i have it on. i don’t know what kind of mite is in the house, i am so exhausted form lack of sleep , its hard to function the next day. i can’t keep using cream every night, i’ve also used insect repellent, it had a small effect. i feel i have similar sysmtoms to the lady who is a psychologist above in one of the comments. i would greatly appreciate any advcie .

  • LauraLoo

    Hi Sinead,

    I am Laura who this “mites infesting your house” is about. Sorry to hear you are having a bad time with the mites. We still have whatever these mites are, which for us is known as morgellons disease. I do think for me there is a link between collembola and morgellons, not red mite, as we were using compost in our hen house. I think we originally got infested by some mite or collembola and this morgellons thing whatever it is came along, as we do have crystal specks coming out of our skin still, but luckily feeling much better.

    I dont know what you have, but one thing I think is important with any parasite or bug is they thrive on sugars. alcohol and refined sugars, so try to avoid these as much as possible. I also avoided fruit, but now occasionally have berries – less sugar. I went to a naturopath to get guidance for the best possible diet, making sure I was not accidently eating refined sugars and definately getting the right nutrition. You need to get your immune system up, because the best way to protect yourself, is from within your body. The interesting thing is since the infestation I have only had alcohol twice and both times I would get a couple of lesions afterwards from it, so I know for sure sugars brings them on.

    I still get the crawling sensations (especially in hair) and a bit of muscle twitching in all areas on body, mainly after eating or sometimes at night. Its weird, as it seems to go through cycles and you feel different sensations at different times.

    At present we are following some of the advice of this site: http://www.stopskinmites.com/ The cedarcide products are so expensive, plus the delivery from US is nearly double, so we cannot use it very often, but I definately think it helps. Another advice from Megan is Arbonne products, which have definately helped so much and they are not expensive. There is a Arbonne rep in the UK to get the products if you want to try:
    * RE9 Advanced Nourishing BodyWash
    * BefoRE Sun Damage Control Water Resistant Sunscreen SPF 30

    I will keep updating any products we try out that really helps with this nightmare. Thankfully life is so much better at the moment.

    Sometimes whats worse is not the actually bug infestation, but the fact that the medical community do not know how to help. I know for Morgellons there are some doctors in the UK that could help you if you are really bad, even if you do not have morgellons. Just check with Jo in http://www.morgellonsuk.org.uk/

    Anyway, hope this info helps you.

    Laura

  • Kay Watson

    Help! I’ve found these tiny bugs in my rented flat (I’m on the top floor in the roof) for a few months now and the tests came bac they are red poultry mites YIKES! Pigeons sit on my windowsill ( I don’t invite them them but there we go!) and there is scaffolding there as well so it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a nest there as well. Do you think they couldbe coming from the pigeons? Please help, with that and a mouse problem I just want to move out!

    Kay

    • Tim Daniels

      Hi Kay,

      You poor thing, that doesn’t sound good. The mice should be easily fixed, there are lots of good companies that will come in and help, or you could set traps / put down bait stations yourself. Living in the country with chickens, I have to keep on top of them regularly myself.
      The Red Mite probably came in from birds nests – most likely when the young left the nest. They are more of a problem, as you might be gathering from people’s replies to this post. There are lots of products that can help but you may wish to consider contacting your landlord if they were there when you arrived. You could ask him to check for nests and block any birds from nesting this year which will help to stop them feeding and multiplying.

      I can highly recommend diatom as a safe product when used as per the directions. Good Luck…Tim

  • Kay Watson

    Thanks so much Tim, really appreciate the response. I’m so exhausted by all this so its great to get some good advice! I’ll look into diatom and will let you know how it all goes! Thanks again.

    Kay

  • Candi Hunt

    Thanks from Palmer Texas. I have two teen daughters, Amber and Morgan, and know for a fact that chicken mites can and do bite people and spread to other people and even spread to people by their dogs having contact with chickens that have mites too. I do not want my daughters to keep dealing with chicken mites. Your information helps.

  • annie

    I have kept chicken in my back garden in kent for 3 years. Last year, after several attempts at spraying and dusting, I burnt the 2nd hand chicken house.

    I asked my son to build a new run, in a different place in garden and I ordered a new house from internet. New house, new run, new area. Some new chicken from a reputable breeder and away I went from october last year. 20 chicken in a house recommened for 25, from pekins to rhode island reds and several in between… The children loved different colours and collecting a few eggs each day..

    Then on monday to my horror I noticed a few on the back wall!!! I went down with a cold, checked again tonight and the house and chickens are covered!! I am so sad, it cost so much money and time to set up again.

    Please can any one give me any idea’s. I feel like getting rid of the chicken’s and burning the whole set up! Such a lot of work for a few eggs a day, this used to be real fun. The excitement on my childrens faces each day guessing how many eggs, they would find. Now i cant let them near the house.

    Just sitting here typing this, I feel like they are crawling all over me! [ there are not of course]

    • https://poultrykeeper.com Tim Daniels

      Hi Annie,

      Sorry to hear of your red mite problems. Have a look at the other post in my blog about How to get rid of red mite: and on the main poultrykeeper site about Red Mite
      We get them every year and all you can really do is keep on top of them. It takes a huge effort to remove them completely.

      Some key things to remember:

      In the right conditions (warm temperatures) they can complete their life cycle in 6 days from egg to egg laying adult. They multiply very quickly. When treating, repeat BEFORE 6 days.
      They can live for 8 months or so without a feed.

      You can get them down to a manageable number and just keep on top of them but the more you clean the house and treat, the more chance you have of getting rid of them – just make sure you inspect weekly through the summer months. A white tissue rubbed along the underside of the perch at night will show red smears of blood if you have them.

  • Stephanie

    I could actually cry reding this. I have the vile creatures in my room. In my bed and in my hair. I hate the chickens best of all they’re my dads and I’m the one suffering :(
    How can I get rid of them?! I can feel them crawling on me :'(

  • TaureuLee

    I have had success in getting rid of somekind of critter that resembles a mite. No doc can confirm this for me though. My battle has been lasting for 1 year now, when ever i get rid of it completely, it comes back, because my place of work is infested also. So when ever I’m on vacation I successfully get rid of them, only to get it again in a few weeks back at work. I,m not sure if its the office or the people. ANYWAYS, the most successful product to kill these things, and keep them away SULFuR cheap, effective .. I mix it with my fav. creams (one with out alcohol), with alittle teaTREE oil and voi-la. It take a few days for them to die, but it works. I put the powder directly on my mattress under my sheets ( about 1/4 cup), and instantly got a good night sleep for the first time in 10 months. YES.. the sulfur is a recipe from our grandparents and great grandparents to treat scabies, and lets face it, scabies IS a type of mite. yes, I am the only one suffering in the family also, but i see some people at work who are infested alot more that I am. They think its eczema and treat it with cortisone.. that the worst making the bugs stronger.. stay away from cortisone !!!

  • Andrea

    Hi all. Have found this all very useful, thanks. I have 6 chickens and have been really struggling with red mite this year, not helped by me going on holiday for a week recently and so not being able to spray; as fast as I clean it all out, they seem to be back faster. And I’m finding them on me and my daughter and in the house (they are crawling across the laptop screen as I type!) which is making me paranoid every time I feel an itch. As yet, I’ve not been bitten, it’s just the crawling and the worry of other people seeing them on me – I am in middle of a course of dental treatment and am worried that I’ll be in the chair and a few mites will start marching about my face! And now they seem all over the garden – I can get them on me without even going near the coop – found some on my guinea pigs yesterday & in one hutch (I have 4 hutches & 8 pigs & we’ve been battling some other kind of parasite on them for the last few weeks, too). And now the cats have fleas. Oh, it’s all such fun. ;o)
    For the mites, I am using a ton of diatom in the coop because after trying a range of other things, it seems to work the best for me for keeping the numbers down. Poultry Shield doesn’t seem to touch them (though I know it works for others.) When I open the coop and see them, especially after hosing, I spray them direct with permethrin which seems to kill them on contact. :o) Hurrah, a small victory. I also sometimes go out at night and spray inside the coop with permethrin when they’re out more (much to the chooks’ annoyance as they’re trying to sleep and I’m shooshing them from one perch to another so I don’t spray their faces!)
    I’m going to look into some of the other suggestions above, too. I will beat the buggers!
    My biggest problem with it all is cost – I am a single mum on a very low income and am spending £20 plus a week on stuff. And it’s not even getting rid of them, or even making much difference. I love my chooks, and my daughter is devoted to them, but if I’d known before I got them that it would be like this, I would never have got them as it’s just a nightmare all round. :o(

  • LinF

    Hi, I’ve been reading with interest all the hard work involved in ridding outdoors and indoors of mites…I live in Essex, and this is my tale of woe…

    I’ve kept hens for several years, but recently noticed that I was covered in mites….a pale brownish colour, are these the dreaded red mite?…I’ve at last located the area where they are infested, a stable door which was used as a roost at night for a free range cockeral and his hen (fox got the cockeral two weeks ago so the hen is now in the run with all the others.
    I’ve used a Defra recommended product and also Poultry shield, am & pm for over a week and still the pests return, scrubbing and sponging it on, I think they are imbedded deep in the wood. I feel like burning the door!
    They are on the door post and lintel, and am sure I’ve had them dropping on to my head and often feel itchy.
    I shower and hairwash with Teatree am & pm and will follow further advice given in this column.
    Oddly, I don’t see them in the hen house (maybe not looking too carefully), but find it difficult to treat my hens single handedly, sounds agood idea using a bucket tho’.

    I do find that when I clean out the hen house the chickens go off lay for a while….like your other contributer I am looking to build another large run away from the current site, but i would be really upset if the problem persisted!

    I recall years ago where I rented stables on a disused farm, that there was an enormous empty barn, and was told by an elderly ex farm worker not to go in (I already had, it was fitted out as a huge poultry barn!) as they had had poultry mite infestation and you just cannot get rid of that!
    Does Jeyes Fluid combat the mite?
    I think I’ll burn the door….

    • Tim Daniels

      Take a look at this page – there is a close up photo of red mite – you can see them grey before a feed, red after a feed and their eggs. You normally find a grey ash like substance (excreation) around the cracks they are inhabiting.

      Yes, Jeyes fluid kills them as long as it comes into contact with them.

      Everyone reading might be interested to know that there are a number of new products coming onto the market at the moment that look good as well. One is a predator mite that has been tested in Germany. I will blog about it once I have tested it – but I need to find a local coop that hasn’t been treated with any chemicals first – quite difficult because people usually treat the house the moment they find the mites. If anyone is interested, leave a comment asking for details and I will forward on the email address of the people selling them.

  • simon

    I have had red mites for about a year, until this weekend i had them under control, or so i thought, i opened up the coop to clean and under there perchs there was hundeds of thousands of them! I had to make the choice of maybe having them come into the house via other pets of people, of getting rid of them, i choose to get rid of them spent all of sunday burning them and my coop and trying to console the kids, if this problem was talked about more before chickens where sold as back yard pets, hopefully this sort of thing would not happen so often.

  • Sarah

    Hi
    I am looking into the predator mite for treatment of Red Mite
    I have literally given up trying the ‘off the shelf’ products and am now at the end of my tether.
    My chicken have no become the dreaded chore of the day knowing I am going to end up covered in mites!
    Any feedback on the predator mites will be gratefully appreciated!
    Thank you!

    • Tim Daniels

      I am hoping to test a predator mite shortly although they don’t like houses that have been treated with chemical products. I can put you in touch with a supplier if you wish but you would need to give your coops a serious wash down with the hose before introducing the predator mite for the best chances of them working….

  • Mags

    Hi there.
    I am looking after my neighbours chickens for 10 days. I go to them twice a day. Tonight after seeing to them, fresh water, food etc, I got home & found these tiny little things on me, clothes, hands etc. Now, not having chickens myself, I have no idea what they are! They seem to be about a mm big, & similar to a head lice. Sort of see through, opalescent in colour I would guess. I have spoken to a friend of mine while I still had these little creatures on my clothes & she told me to strip & get them in the wash straight away. Now, my 3 children were with me, but they did not get in the pen with me, but were standing very close to the chickens, so now paranoid about my children being covered like I was! Now, I rang my friend & told her, & offered to treat the chickens, but they said no, don’t bother! I’m sure they don’t believe me! But what the hell am I supposed to do in the mean time! I can’t leave the chickens to fend for themselves, but equally don’t want this hassle twice a day! Please, any advice anyone??
    Many thanks in advance!

  • john roberts

    Hi- im a casual reader passing thru , saw u posts , and have a probable solution to u problems.
    Raid have a new product out called Raid Night & Day which is a plugin diffuser (like the insect mats), that is designed to work continuosly for 24 hours a day , for 10 days at a time. I had a problem like yours and several of these plugins cleaned my place right out. The active ingredient is transfluthrin so there is no adaption like there is with pyrethrum .It is safe enough to use continuosly for 10 days. I found that it was effective enough to kill cockroaches as well as flying insects.
    I would try one in a room for 10 days and see how it goes. Then put them throughout the house. Cost is only $10 from the local supermarket for one.
    Its something that worked for me.

  • Doerte

    We discovered red mite for the first time yesterday, not bad after 3 years of having chickens. The blog was hugely helpful and I bought some products straight away and ordered a whole load more, to keep things at bay long-term. What really shocked me, was to read that the mites can spread and infest your home too. Realistically, is there just a very low chance of this happening or do most chicken keepers end up with mites in their homes?? In the latter case, we will seriously consider getting rid of the hens or at least not replacing them when their time comes…… Have many of you given up because of the mites and worries for your children and homes?

  • jane

    Hi, I know this seems mad, but in an attempt to “get rid” of red mite from coop I rubbed all cracks and crevices with vaseline and lemons/lemon juice, bit of a gooey mess but it worked somewhat, I dust the birds with Diatom too, there are still a few about, I’d definitely not call it an infestation though, I’ve not had any in the house, but regular bug patrol and treatment is the answer I think. The next clean out will be with Jeyes Fluid (thank you for that advice) on everything but the birds I think….do they live “on” the birds and therefore crawl on and off them etc, so even a clear house may not be the end of them???

  • Carl from Cumbria UK

    Found red mites in our small coop this week for the first time, treated liberally with Barrier red mite powder, burnt bedding and cleaned thouroughly, few days later hardly any remaining – with the ones that are left not looking too happy!

    Will repeat treat every few days for a few weeks until all traces are gone.

    The five ladies look much happier already, can’t believe the difference – although still not eating or laying normally yet. Will keep a close eye on them over the coming days and weeks.

    Fot severe infestations, a local friend told me that Jeyes fluid will decimate them and used once per year will keep them away.

    Use wood ash in dust baths as this also kills the little red beggars!

    Good luck everyone!

  • Charile Stone

    Stephanie :
    I could actually cry reding this. I have the vile creatures in my room. In my bed and in my hair. I hate the chickens best of all they’re my dads and I’m the one suffering
    How can I get rid of them?! I can feel them crawling on me :’(

    I feel your pain. My house is infested by these damn creatures.

    @ Tim Daniels

    Tim, I followed your guide on how to get rid of red mite, it worked for about 2 months and now.. here we are again.

    We’re seriously thinking to move and change city.

    Charlie.

  • Steven Spellborgh

    Hi there. I suggest that, since red mites can survive for up to 10 months in an empty hen house, it is important to clean housing thoroughly. House designs should eliminate hiding places for the mites as much as possible. Chemical controls, if used, should be used in rotation to avoid the build up of resistance. Anyways,the following solutions you have made mention are effective, but I haven’t tried it inside the house. How sure is it that it would be safe for my kids?

  • Rob Este

    We have an infestation of mites which seem to be resistant to just about everything, have tried most of the treatment off of this site, to no avail, anyone know where you can get Preditator mite from, as suggested by Tim Daniels, and as have been finding out they do bite, and they do survive in the house, as we find them in the container when we hoover, any suggestions please.

  • Carl from Cumbria UK

    Update to previous posts ref getting rid of these pests – we got a tip from a farmer that the best thing for red mites was hydrated lime. This is a fine white powder that you can also make limewash from. We got a 25kg sack from a farmers supply company for under £10. Sprinkled liberally under the bedding, brushed it into the crevices etc not seen a SINGLE red mite for nearly a week now.

    If you are at the end of the road – Hydrated Lime will blitz them, with no ill effects on the Girls either.

    Later learned that this is also a favourite with pigeon fanciers to keep lofts pest free.

  • Ana from Perth-Australia

    Mitesinfestation.

    I’m and my 6 months old baby having a bad time during many months with bites,itching hair,burning sensation,red spots as a allergy reaction. This was happening after we got a bed bug infestation from the next door apartment.I’m not sure where they coming from.I’ve trying to catch some samples but not was a mite.I can’t see them just fell this horror movie that our lives are now.I’ve put in the bin mattress,give away new bed frame,contract a pest control that did one application,gave a year warranty and never came back.I don’t know what to do? the doctor don’t believe on me because they can see anything only the red spots that they called eczema.I’ve been crying and getting despaired.I’m not sure if is a dog,bird,rat mite?Please help!
    by Ana from Perth Australia.

  • Faye

    Have had a problem with redmites this year – first time after 3 years of keeping chickens – they are so bad now that even if I go into the run to change water etc I am crawling wiht them. I found one in my bed this morning ( red – obviously been feedig)) and I am covered in bites. constantly feel itchy especially in my hair and legs. I have spent hundreds of pound this year trying to get rid of them on the girls and nothing seems to work. My next step is to burn everything. Any tips on checking to see if I have a colony of redmite in my house?

  • Lionel Guy

    Tim Daniels :
    Take a look at this page – there is a close up photo of red mite – you can see them grey before a feed, red after a feed and their eggs. You normally find a grey ash like substance (excreation) around the cracks they are inhabiting.
    Yes, Jeyes fluid kills them as long as it comes into contact with them.
    Everyone reading might be interested to know that there are a number of new products coming onto the market at the moment that look good as well. One is a predator mite that has been tested in Germany. I will blog about it once I have tested it – but I need to find a local coop that hasn’t been treated with any chemicals first – quite difficult because people usually treat the house the moment they find the mites. If anyone is interested, leave a comment asking for details and I will forward on the email address of the people selling them.

    Hello, I really interested in tying the parasitic mites, please forward the info. Thanks

  • anne

    I have no answers, but will tell you that we are infested right now, from a bird feeder outside out kitchend window. I am the only person who is affected, and now have the infestation interally, where they have entered and reside within my body. I am currently researching where I can find help to get rid of them, and have a doctor appointment in two days. Trying to figure out how to convince him that I’m serious. There is a medical paper written in April of this year by three Drs. regarding this exact issue. Called “Formication Due to actual parasite infestation from Bird Mites”.

    If anyone knows of a specialist who will help me treat this, please tell me. I think that I am not long for this world if this keeps up…

  • Viviana

    Hello, we had red mites with our first 3 hens one year ago, they were adult hens we saved from a badly kept home, and came to us with the mites. Ant powder from Wilkinson got rid of them. Those hens were killed by foxes in February (the foxes managed to open the locked door of the coop one night, they are clever and desperate). We got 3 new hens in May. Found red mites in the coop in August. The hens never stopped laying eggs and never showed any distress, but since I have seen the mites before, I recognised them immediately. We tried to get rid of the problem straight away, but the mites of course come back and in big numbers each time. Ant powder did not do the trick this time, so I tried a pink liquid sold in the pet shop (from which btw I think I got the infestation through hay), 75 ml cost £8.49, used it all in one go on the coop. This disturbed the hens, as the day after I only had two eggs instead of the usual three. Two days later, the situation was worsening. I went to collect the eggs and saw lots of black mites crawling on my hands and arms. I made the mistake of coming inside the house and just wash my hands and arms, and got straight to the laptop to check the internet for a better solution to the problem. The mites are now in the laptop. I think Carl from Cumbria would not believe this, because I thought I was going mad as well, but it is easier to see them on the screen than anywhere else. I then stripped downstairs, and had a shower straight away, washed my hair, etc. and I have done this each time I go to the coop (which is at the far end of the garden, away from the house) ever since. However, I have seen some red mites on my face, alive, since then, although they are not red, but grey. I think they have not bitten me and this is why they are not red, but they could be on the sofa as well as in the laptop (which is a warm place). I am a teacher and I fear the moment when in the middle of a lesson a student could say ‘what is that Ms, crawling on your face?’. I think there is no exaggeration on this thread, and I believe that these creatures can drive anyone mad. I have now received 5 litres of Poultry shield (much cheaper to buy it this way) and did the treatment yesterday (used 3 litres of diluted product in one go). What has surprised me is the fact that the hens seem not to be affected by the mites (no change of colour on combs, nor in eggs production). I think there is a difference between what a farmer would do in this case and what casual poultry keepers do. Farmers probably wear overalls when they deal with their chickens, and do not go in the house with those. But I go to the coop with my normal clothes on, and then immediately back in the house. I really feel for Laura and all the other people who have their house infested (I think that mine will be too soon). I am trying not to panic, but I am one of these people that start scratching as soon as someone mention lice. So I am scratching these days and do not know if it is because the mites are really on me all the time, or just because I think they are. It is a stressful situation and I think that being able to talk about it somewhere where you can be understood is helping. Thank you Tim for giving this chance to people. Also I understand the frustration of casual keepers who have to spend all this money for the battle against the mites. The eggs we get from our hens are like gold, if you count the cost of the coop, building the runner, the food, and now even the chemicals. I got the hens because I found them therapeutic, they calm me, they are funny, and at the same time they produce eggs, but if the mites are so problematic and add stress to our lives, I agree with those who said here that the info about it should come with the hens.
    Good luck everyone! Viviana

  • Jane

    In answer to Doerte above – yes I do think there is now a much higher chance of getting home infected. Had a farm 30 years ago with 1000 free range hens and mites could be knocked on the head quite easily. Now retired with just a few hens in garden and can’t get rid of them which have infected home. They must now be more resistant to chemical treatments available.
    Thanks, all, for very useful advice – I will be trying several of the remedies suggested and will report back if I manage to get rid of the little blighters.
    Good luck everyone

  • Viviana

    Could there be a connection with red mites and one hen with white ears? Maybe she had them this colour before the mites arrived and I did not noticed, but could it be that this is a sign of the hen becoming anaemic? On another blog I saw a picture that said white ears are normal, but now I am not so sure.
    Thanks

  • smith

    We have never had a problem until this year and i thought i was alone on this but how wrong was i. My daughter 7yrs has been showing poultry for two yrs and this year she has been over run herself by the horrid mite, we found them laying in her hair and what we thought was exma turned out to be the mites nesting under her skin. Personally we found that treating with strong nit solution and leaving it on for 2 days and then doing this 7 days later has worked. In-between treatments she uses tea tree spray and we repeat until the cycle is broken. The key is to defiantly break the cycle. Bedding has to be washed daily, until they are gone. I always make her strip off at the door and shower as soon as she comes in from being with them. I also used Red mite spray in the house zapping them if i saw them. You can defiantly see them though even if they haven’t had a feast i used to go in her room with the lights down and spot them. You will be pleased to know that she is free of them and so is the house but our poor hens are still suffering.

  • Maggie

    I have been keeping chickens for 3 years and recently (for the first time) found red mites living in my chicken house…this must be the reason why my hens are not laying. The chicken house is situated 300metres away from my house in a field where there is no power or mains running water (only an old bath catching rain water). Therefore, I can not jet wash the chicken house. Instead, I borrowed my husband’s hand held blow tourch and burned those little B’tard to ashes. I have done this for the past two days and will carry on for a couple more days. I have not use any other products, one to keep the cost down and secondly trying to be eco friendly. So far so good. fingers crossed.

  • Jane

    I’ve tried everything suggested above – and these are what I feel helped – epsom salt baths and head lice treatment, boiling my clothes, moth treatment in wardrobes, diatom in my bed/furniture/carpets, insecticidal sprays with permethrin and pyrethryns.

    I still have an itchy rash which moves around my body from one place to another. As soon as one patch clears up it flares up somewhere else. But no sightings of mites in house or on me now.

    Read somewhere that red mite can carry chicken pox virus so wonder if I have developed shingles after being bitten by them. So, off to chemist now to get lycine supplement which apparently may help fight this virus.

    Will report back after Lycine!

  • Arthur Chipouras

    My house has been infested with(I think) red mites for 3 month now. I’ve had it tented, set off foggers and sprayed many types of insecticides. None of these things worked. My body has also been infested for 3 month. Ive tried almost everything. A friend told me about a roomate she had about5 years ago. She said the bites looked the same. Then she said clear fingernail polish. To my disbelief that has worked better than anything else i’ve tried. I’ve just started so I don’t know the final outcome but it looks better than anything from anywhere else. Including doctors.

  • Penny

    Hi have been reading all the posts with interest. This is our first year keeping 3 chickens and they have mites. We have been treating them with Jeyes buut it didn’t do a lot of good. We have started to use Poultry Shield dor the coop and diatom for the girls. But I have noticed mites in the house and it is freaking me out! I have even found mites on my clean washing and by the sound of it are impossible to get rid of. I don’t know what to do! So far no one has been bitten and the mites that I have found in the house are still brown so they haven’t found anyone to feed off yet. We have a cat and a dog, both of which I am treating with Frontline spot on because I thought it treated all mites and ticks but from the posts this is not the case. Am also waiting for the household spray to come as have ordered it online but I don’t know if its going to work. I don’t know what to do it seems not a lot works :( Am really worried now, we have just moved into our dream house and suddenly we are threatened with a nasty insect that can’t irridicated all for the sake of 3 hens bought for our son who is chicken bonkers. If I had known the trouble mites bring I would not have got the chickens.

  • Jane

    I don’t think my itchy rash can be shingles now as it is not occurring on just one side of my body but centrally now in several patches on my trunk.

    So now wondering if I still do have these mites nesting under my skin as several people have reported this – how can I find out, please, if this is the case?

    Also – Arthur – what do you do with clear nail polish – do you paint it on the skin?

  • Laura Loo

    Hi Jane / Arthur,

    I am just checking in on this site on occasion and noticed your message. I’d maybe try liquid plaster first and see if that works before using something harsh like nail polish. We are much better, but the key for me was diet more so than anything else – staying off sugars / refined sugars & caffine, supplements, keeping calm – as noticed the more stressed the worst the crawling etc sensations. doing plenty of exercise, epsom baths and trying not to focus too much attention on the parasite/bugs whatever it is if possible. For me anyway, whatever these bugs, parasite, fungus’s are – still haven’t a clue what they are, I am not sure it is red mite. My main symptoms now would be more internally – twitching under the skin on various parts on body, especially just after eating which does not bother me. Occasionally I might feel the itchy, crawlie sensations on my skin, but it is usually due to eating badly, so do a big clean of house and bedding and once back on proper diet, the symptoms settle down and are less frequent. Thankfully I have my life back – not like the start of the infestation back last summer, which was like a horrific horror movie, so my heart goes out to anyone going through this.

  • Andrea

    I have four wonderful chickens and a lovely coop and run for them, i had plenty of room so thought i would get a few more chickens? BIG mistake i bought three more from a local paper advert, they arrived and i left them to settle for a while, on closer inspection they were plastered in mites/red mite,i was devastated it was to late they had been in run, coop and with other chicken, i had to ask the seller to pick his chickens up, i cant see any thing on my chickens and this is eight weeks later but there coop is covered in red mite at night, i have tried lots of product to no avail, i think now the time has come to invest in a new coop, after spending out x amount on products that don’t work you may as well buy a new one :)

  • Sally

    Hi everyone, my house had been taken over by red mites, i’m due to have a baby in 20 weeks and i’m terrified i’m not going to be able to get of them for when the baby is born, we have 4 chickens at the top of my garden which have never laid eggs and after reading up on red mites i think this is where they r from. I also have 3 cockatiels which live in my house in my living room and there cages and them are full of these things, every night i can feel them crawling all over me on my arms and face around my mouth and nose and on my chest. I’ve cleaned my birds out daily but by the next day there is a fresh nest of these things. 2 of my tiels are a breeding pair and are about to lay eggs but i’ve had to throw her nest box out due to a massive infestation in there and put a new one in but thats just going to end up the same way, I’ve been told to use something called Sevin Dust 5% but it’s only avalible in the US and everywhere wants at least £20 just for shipping and i really dont have that sort of money, I know its only a small amount but my partner only works 16 hours a week and christmas is coming and a new baby on the way isn’t cheap. I’ve now started finding them in my bedroom and i think they r on my dogs! I just want them all gone before i go insane. What can i do???? Please help

  • sue

    Carl from Cumbria UK :
    Update to previous posts ref getting rid of these pests – we got a tip from a farmer that the best thing for red mites was hydrated lime. This is a fine white powder that you can also make limewash from. We got a 25kg sack from a farmers supply company for under £10. Sprinkled liberally under the bedding, brushed it into the crevices etc not seen a SINGLE red mite for nearly a week now.
    If you are at the end of the road – Hydrated Lime will blitz them, with no ill effects on the Girls either.
    Later learned that this is also a favourite with pigeon fanciers to keep lofts pest free.

    can you use this in your home and will it have any adverse effects on my dogs.

  • Maggie

    I have posted a message on 22/9 about using a blow tourch, I thought I got the red mites under control but I was so wrong, everyday when I go and inspect the hen houses, there are still red mites crawling about, everyday, I feel like fighting a losing battle. It is so disheartening. However, I have good news for you all poultry keepers out there. With the warm October weather, there were lots of little flies about in the hen house, so during the day time while the chickens are out in the field scratching, I spray the hen house with LOTS of fly spray (from pound shop), shut the door, return to let the chicken back in the hen house to roost in the evening. The next day, I found hundreds of thousands of DEAD red mites near the perch. However, at the same time, I did put Diatom in the hen house, so try the fly spray to see if you get result. Good luck.

  • sue

    Hi we have red mite in the house seems all the sofas and beds are infested as well as the dogs. We have pulled apart the dogs kennel and treated it as well as having the house treated with stingray me we had a pest control company to do this, after watching him bought the stuff myself and have treated all the house again. Our clothes and us are washed within an inch of our lives. Not sure what else to do. Any ideas welcome as getting desperate.

  • CINDY

    O.k. how do you know if it’s these red mites and can animals like cats bring them in I seriously think my head is infested with these things. My family keeps telling me Im crazy, but I am sitting around watching them all scratch including the cat. I have bathed in epsom salt put alcohol in my hair on my body and bleached my hair. I have scrubbed with antibacterial soap and bought every kind of deep shampooing product I could find. this has been goig on for months and i am getting a little fraked out not to mentio OCD washing bed sheets vacuuming beds floors shampooing them. But the worst is it genuinly feels like these things are 10 feet deep in my scalp. HELP!!!!!!

  • CINDY

    Sue can you put the fly spray in your hair?

  • sue

    Update on our mite problem two more visits from Rentokil setttes in skip as are our beds two very distressed dogs and one very expensive car looking like heading for the crusher. Not sure that i can keep up this pace..

  • mel

    Hi, I have been battling with red mite in my house for about 3 months now. Every time I think I’ve got rid of them – back they come. The worst thing is my partner is not bothered by them and thinks I am imagining it now (especially as I have not actually seen any in a long while). But the crawling sensation is always there and gets worse if I dont hoover and wash bed stuff all the time. I no longer have my chickens because the whole situation has been too stressfull. Perhaps sue would let me know if getting rid of sofas and bed will solve problem? But i have a horrible feeling that they could be all over house.

  • sue

    mel :
    Hi, I have been battling with red mite in my house for about 3 months now. Every time I think I’ve got rid of them – back they come. The worst thing is my partner is not bothered by them and thinks I am imagining it now (especially as I have not actually seen any in a long while). But the crawling sensation is always there and gets worse if I dont hoover and wash bed stuff all the time. I no longer have my chickens because the whole situation has been too stressfull. Perhaps sue would let me know if getting rid of sofas and bed will solve problem? But i have a horrible feeling that they could be all over house.

    we also have got rid of the chickens and yes we are also very stressed and the hoover is out two or three times a day, and the washing machine on all the time so i can totally understand how you feel. i can’t say that getting rid of the bed and sofas has helped , but it made me feel better and another place that they can’t hide . our’s are all over the house you can see the little black pepper spots in all rooms.
    can you tell me what you used to get rid of them ?. we have also thrown out anything that’s not needed to help eliminate them . have found them in the tv and laptop also.
    let us know how things are going and if the men from renokil
    come up with a solution i will let you know.

    • Anne

      Did you manage to get rid of red mite in house/on person. Please help I am trying everything but to no avail. Pest man has been and sprayed house but they are still crawling on me at night. This will be the 4th week of torment. Any solutions to this please

  • sue

    CINDY :
    Sue can you put the fly spray in your hair?

    i wouldn’t like to say that you can use fly spray but try derbac m from the chemist you can use it on the whole body. and yes cats can bring it in sorry.

  • mel

    CINDY :
    O.k. how do you know if it’s these red mites and can animals like cats bring them in I seriously think my head is infested with these things. My family keeps telling me Im crazy, but I am sitting around watching them all scratch including the cat. I have bathed in epsom salt put alcohol in my hair on my body and bleached my hair. I have scrubbed with antibacterial soap and bought every kind of deep shampooing product I could find. this has been goig on for months and i am getting a little fraked out not to mentio OCD washing bed sheets vacuuming beds floors shampooing them. But the worst is it genuinly feels like these things are 10 feet deep in my scalp. HELP!!!!!!

    i really sympathise – its horrible when no one in the family believes you and yet i also can sit and watch others members of family scratching away (especially at night) and they’re completely oblivious to it! There must be a way to get rid of them i feel like im going mad and quality of life has been seriously affected as cant think of anything else but mites. i really dont want to be at home anymore.

  • mel

    hi sue
    can i ask if you have treated your dogs with anything, i have one dog he has frontline but ive read that this has no effect on red mite.

  • sue

    mel :
    hi sue
    can i ask if you have treated your dogs with anything, i have one dog he has frontline but ive read that this has no effect on red mite.

    hi we have been treating them with advocate,our vet said that frontline is not any good for mites but due to the amount of mites they picked up we coated them in vasealine for four days that seemed to help but not very attractive to look at, were now spraying them with apple cider vinegar.
    seems to be a bit of a catch twenty two situation they pick them up from the house and then in turn the house gets them back from the dogs

  • sue

    mel :
    hi sue
    can i ask if you have treated your dogs with anything, i have one dog he has frontline but ive read that this has no effect on red mite.

    hi we have been treating them with advocate,our vet said that frontline is not any good for mites but due to the amount of mites they picked up we coated them in vasealine for four days that seemed to help but not very attractive to look at, were now spraying them with apple cider vinegar.
    seems to be a bit of a catch twenty two situation they pick them up from the house and then in turn the house gets them back from the dogs .not a nice place to be should feel safe at home.

  • Stacey

    Hi everyone, i have recently found red mite on my canaries, i have moved to this house 4 months ago and have lost 6 adult canaries already including 2 this week and over 20 babies and only upon checking one last night that had died i found red mites all on it. So i wondered if perhaps the other canary and quail that died this week was the same and decided to check out the birds outside ( i have 80+ birds outside over 10 aviaries) to my disbelief i found them in all the cages! Since being on the phone all afternoon to places trying to find something to get for it i suddenly wondered if these are what have been in my house (or furniture) i had this little tiny bug that you could only see upon focusing really closely on a white speck to see if it moved in my bedroom 8 years ago before i left home, i have moved 3 times since then and every time i would move over summer i would find this same bug everywhere all through my things and in winter would disappear. I have just learnt that this is what it more than likely is and because they dont get to feed all the time is why they appear clear/white. i have been advised to fumigate my house. For a good 8 years i have been suffering extreme dermatitis, and itchy scalp and really just feel itchy all over and reading this makes me shudder. I never thought these little critters would live off us or feed off us, can they really feed on humans? I am really at a loss as to what to do, not only have i got 10 aviaries to treat and 80+ birds but my whole house! and the stuff i have been advised to get for the birds costs $50 a bottle which only makes up 10L at a time! I could be using quite a lot especially when they said i should treat 3 times in the forst week then weekly for another 3 weeks and then monthly!!
    Im however glad i am not the only one and that others feel my pain – many people i have told think i am crazy and im the only one that can spot the bugs!

  • Sharon

    Got Rid of – Cure – Remedy for – Success – Biting Mites
    Dec. 2011

    I woke up this morning and could honestly say: I’ve got my life back! Last night I I didn’t have to:
    ~ vaporize menthol crystals in my bedroom for two hours before being able to get any sleep;
    ~ spray down my plastic-covered mattress with 25% ammonia;
    ~ spray the baseboards and floor around the sink with the ammonia so I could brush my teeth;
    ~ wash my hair with Selsun Blue while soaking in an Epsom salt bath;
    ~ make up the bed with freshly washed and bagged bedclothes just before getting in;
    ~ I didn’t even do one load of laundry yesterday with ¾ cup of Borax and 1 cup of ammonia – high heat, washer and dryer – packing straight from the dryer into plastic bags.
    Last night, for the first time in seven months, I sat comfortably on our upholstered sofa and calmly watched television – knitting – never once having to spray a bite with 1:8 Bug Arrest! The mites(?) are gone! Don’t give up hope. It can end, and when it does, you won’t believe how quickly peace can come back into your life.

    As you hunt for help, you will find that there are people suffering similar symptoms from what seem to be different pests. In particular, I had the type of pest that simply cannot be seen with the naked eye, so that is all I can speak to. If you see mites on your pillows or walls, you may want to check out birdmites.org. There’s lots of great advice there for everybody. Yes – it’s scary. And yes – if you’re early into this you’re going to want to run away (Like I did, many times, before I gave in and kept reading). It’s so depressing to find there are people who have suffered this for years. The web needs more posts about people’s successes. Here’s mine.

    First, I must offer my eternal thanks and gratitude to Shannon and Jacob of the Shanspirations blog [http://www.shanspirations.org/?p=112]. They have moved on from this topic (bite-free for years) but have left their hard-earned knowledge posted for those of us who came after who are suffering this same nightmare.

    Also, on their site I came across the godsend post by Chelz [http://www.shanspirations.org/?p=107]. (Thank you!) It turns out I had already conquered the mites but didn’t realize it due to the fungal skin infection that comes along with them. I had been misreading the fungal movement as mites for at least a week or so. Anti-yeast diet change, supplements, and 1% clotrimazole all over my body, morning and night, is calming those feather (and sometimes sharp) itches. (The sores and bumps are still there, probably Morgellons-type symptoms [www.morgellons.org]. I’m hoping I’m treating it early enough to avoid full-blown Morgellons.)

    I believe the biggest, most important factor in getting rid of the mites was spraying the house with Nylar. I used Martins Insect Growth Regulator (IGR).
    ~ This product does not kill the mites. It only keeps the young from being able to mature and reproduce. The adults and the nymphs are still living and biting for several weeks.
    ~ Vacuuming everything, moving all the furniture around, and spraying everywhere seemed to lower their numbers for a couple of days, so be warned: It’s very discouraging when the numbers increase again shortly thereafter.
    ~ Try not to despair. For me, it took four to five weeks after the initial spray to eliminate them. I sprayed twice – two weeks apart. I don’t know that the second spray was necessary, but the dip and then increase in their numbers panicked me.

    The Shanspirations blog [http://www.shanspirations.org/?p=112] with their step-by-step instructions is an invaluable resource and is the place to begin. I can’t thank them enough for their loving and generous spirits. They fought wisely and tenaciously and then took the time and effort to share their knowledge with the rest of us. They have, no doubt, been an inspiration to hundreds (thousands?) of desperate seekers. I followed many of their suggestions.

    A few things I didn’t do that were on the list:
    ~ I didn’t dust the house with Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and/or pyrethrum powder.
    ~ While I got rid of every bit of fabric that I could, I wasn’t able to clear all cloth out of the house. I was the only sufferer of three people living in the home. I did limit my clothing choices to clothes I had washed and bagged. The rest sat unused in closet and drawers. (I haven’t had the courage to try wearing any of those yet.)
    ~ I wasn’t able to vacuum everyday. Maybe the weeks till the Nylar worked would have been less trying if I had vacuumed more.
    ~ I didn’t wash hard surfaces with bleach, but I did spray ammonia solution everywhere.
    ~ For me, the Vicks VapoRub was a mistake. The sensation was horribly unpleasant – cold and burning at the same time – even making me feel like my skin was suffocating. And, the bugs were biting my now greasily uncomfortable skin within the hour. I had to get up and take another shower.
    ~ The menthol crystals worked best in my bedroom (to lessen the number of bugs, but didn’t get rid of them). The other areas of the house didn’t seem to permit the vapors to become concentrated enough to be effective. In the car they may have worked, but spraying the car down with ammonia solution with windows shut every night also seems to have gotten rid of them (now that I’ve stopped re-infecting the car everyday).
    ~ With too much heavy furniture in a tiny, downsized home, infusion-cleaning the carpets was too overwhelming for me to attempt. It was going to be my next effort, though, when I began to think the Nylar hadn’t worked.

    It could be that change in diet and supplement taking was equally important as the Nylar in this fight. Like many others who suffer this problem, I was candida compromised before it started. We tried to investigate why I was infected while two others in my home were virtually bite-free. A pH test showed my system to be unhealthily acidic in comparison to their healthy alkaline status. There are lots of good books available on this topic. By now, you’re an expert at researching. You’ll certainly find some that seem most useful to you.

    I couldn’t walk away from this unbelievable misery without offering up my success and hope for others who are still in the throes of it. My prayers and heartfelt best wishes go out to you in your battle. I am changed. I know all of us who live through this life-altering hell are. But it’s change for the better, I hope… I believe.

    [I’m planning to send this to all the sites I found useful. Thank you to all of you who are reaching out to others to help in this struggle. Please excuse the duplicates.]

    • Tim Daniels

      Thank you for sharing this – I hope it will help others…

      One thing I am doing is re-writing the main poultrykeeper.com site and adding 5 or 6 more articles about Red Mite and how to remove them (from poultry houses) I will also put together a page on Red Mite in the home and try to summarise the most valuable information for people looking for help. Once this is done (We plan to launch the new site – April – May 2012) I will let you know here as comments on this article from people who have been through this will be invaluable to others I’m sure. The poultrykeeper.com site gets far more visitors than the blog.

  • Sharon

    Thank you for this forum, Tim. I know you’re helping many people. Best of luck with your new site and, of course, your chickens!

  • Jane

    Thought I’d pop back here with some good news! My rash began last January and no amount of visits to doctors or pharmacies and their treatments had any effect (if anything made the condition worse). Then I discovered we had red mite in the hen house so I changed direction and began treating our home and myself regularly with pyrethrin and malathion alternatively. That and epsom salt baths every day. Today I just have one small patch of infection remaining – so not clear but almost there. But am sleeping at night – bliss!!

  • sue

    Jane :
    Thought I’d pop back here with some good news! My rash began last January and no amount of visits to doctors or pharmacies and their treatments had any effect (if anything made the condition worse). Then I discovered we had red mite in the hen house so I changed direction and began treating our home and myself regularly with pyrethrin and malathion alternatively. That and epsom salt baths every day. Today I just have one small patch of infection remaining – so not clear but almost there. But am sleeping at night – bliss!!

    Jane. Where did you get the malathion from, I can only find it on American sites. I have just ordered some Nylar as Sharon seems to think this is good

  • sue

    update on how things are going home much the same but as soon as the nylar arrives i will try this (thanks for the info sharon) . Dogs seem to have improved they have had 3 lime sulphate dips, double up on advocate at vets advise and garlic capsules 4 a day for 2 days then down to 2 a day also coated them in vaseline for the past couple of weeks fingers crossed this has helped them . will update on the nylar when we have used it.

  • sue

    update on how things are going home much the same but as soon as the nylar arrives i will try this (thanks for the info sharon) . Dogs seem to have improved they have had 3 lime sulphate dips, double up on advocate at vets advise and garlic capsules 4 a day for 2 days then down to 2 a day also coated them in vaseline for the past couple of weeks fingers crossed this has helped them . will update on the nylar when we have used it.

  • mel

    sue :
    update on how things are going home much the same but as soon as the nylar arrives i will try this (thanks for the info sharon) . Dogs seem to have improved they have had 3 lime sulphate dips, double up on advocate at vets advise and garlic capsules 4 a day for 2 days then down to 2 a day also coated them in vaseline for the past couple of weeks fingers crossed this has helped them . will update on the nylar when we have used it.

  • mel

    mel :

    sue :
    update on how things are going home much the same but as soon as the nylar arrives i will try this (thanks for the info sharon) . Dogs seem to have improved they have had 3 lime sulphate dips, double up on advocate at vets advise and garlic capsules 4 a day for 2 days then down to 2 a day also coated them in vaseline for the past couple of weeks fingers crossed this has helped them . will update on the nylar when we have used it.

    sue where did you order the nylar from? having trouble finding it.

  • sue

    Just an update on our situation. Having vaselined the dogs and giving them garlic capsules, it seems to have helped them. Thought I would give it a go also and have had 2 good nights without feeling too much ( vaseline doesn’t do the sheets a lot of good though, but what the hell ). Still waiting for the nylar to arrive

  • Jane

    sue :

    Jane :
    Thought I’d pop back here with some good news! My rash began last January and no amount of visits to doctors or pharmacies and their treatments had any effect (if anything made the condition worse). Then I discovered we had red mite in the hen house so I changed direction and began treating our home and myself regularly with pyrethrin and malathion alternatively. That and epsom salt baths every day. Today I just have one small patch of infection remaining – so not clear but almost there. But am sleeping at night – bliss!!

    Jane. Where did you get the malathion from, I can only find it on American sites. I have just ordered some Nylar as Sharon seems to think this is good

    Hi Sue, I’ve used Derbac M which contains malathion – it’s a treatment for head lice, crab lice and scabies mite. Used it all over body every 6 days. And then used Lyclear (permethrin) on itchy spots in between treatment times! Still got a couple of itchy areas, but is a whole heap better than it used to be. I’ve a feeling these little blighters are lying dormant and the eggs not being killed by the chemicals

  • Sharon

    Hi Sue, I saw your post to the site and have been waiting to write back until I had something more positive to report. Your post came during a re-infestation. If you read Shanspirations, you will remember that they had a few of these after ridding themselves of the mites the first time. As they said:

    “Using these methods, we became free of the mysterious bugs. We found that re-infesting ourselves through some forgotten clothing not washed with the correct cleaner could happen easily. But we now had the tools to treat these minor resurgences quickly and easily before they had a chance to get out of hand. Gradually things got better and better. We never went back to the misery of what we had started with and had endured for over 2 and a half months. We pray that others will have similar results.”

    I knew it might happen but hoped it wouldn’t. Well, it did happen, and it lasted a couple of weeks, which was longer than I expected. I was terrified that it was going to keep escalating. Thank God it is now back to almost zero for the last few days.

    As it got worse, I did have to go back to: washing sheets every day; spraying kitchen and bathroom floors (especially around baseboards) with ammonia solution before spending any time there; not sitting on upholstered furniture; spraying chair (especially cracks and crevices) and floor around it with Bug Arrest solution before sitting; spending more time out of the house; being very careful to immediately bag all clothing I had contact with; sometimes needing a second set of clothing during the day; washing all laundry in borax and ammonia and bagging straight from the dryer; extra vacuuming; Epsom salt baths every night and showers in the morning. But – I did not have to spray the house with nylar again (though I was beginning to consider it); I was able to sleep through the night every night; I could be out in public without feeling like they were all over me; my car never got re-infested. It was never as bad as what I had endured for half a year.

    I still believe it’s the nylar that makes the difference and I’m very interested in hearing your results after you use it. Remember, as I mentioned, it does take a few weeks to take effect after applying (after an initial couple-of-days drop in activity).

    Keep the faith! I’ll keep reporting on my situation, too. Unfortunately, I realize I’ll probably have to go through this again a time or two before it’s all really over, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Best of luck to all!

    Sharon

  • mel

    thought i would post an update – have been having a lot of sucess with lavender essential oil, i had heard it could reduce their numbers and this has proved sucessful, but i havnt been able to get rid of them completely. i spray it all over the carpets furniture and bed and have my life almost back to normal. But I really want to get rid of them so am ordering the nylar and waiting for that to arrive (hoping that this will have worked for sue.) will update hopefully with good news.

  • Sharon

    Hi Mel,
    Wishing you the best of luck with the Nylar. My situation here is still getting better since my last post five days ago. Got home late last night, didn’t have the energy to change the bed clothes or take the Epsom salt bath. Slept like a baby. Let’s all keep posting our outcomes, and hopefully help others not to have to suffer as long as we did.

  • mel

    thanks sharon
    fingers crossed we will all be back to normaility soon!

  • Sia

    Hi all. We have had mites for the last 3 weeks. Originally though it was fleas only to discover empty bird nest in the loft. The carpets have been spraied twice now and it has been fumigated last Tuesday. Still this morning my boy got bitten. Have lost all hope, have binned all my jumpers. Waiting for the man from Rentokil on Monday. Have tried the lavender, not sure if works.

  • Itchy & Scratchy

    Hi all,

    I would love some advice on minimising the effects of these tiny demons. I saw a few red crawling pin prick size dots about a week ago but thought nothing of them until we all broke out in what the doctor seems to think is chicken pox. But since it has spread to all the occupants 3 of whom had been vaccinated and two who had it I started to look for another reason. We had a myrna birds nest outside my sons window and the baby bird fell out of the nest. I probably stupidly took it to the vet near us and it was euthanised since they are a pest in our area and it was covered in lice. But I figured it was better than it dying and rotting on my porch. Now we all have a red itchy rash (bumps ranging in size). Pest company is sure it is red mites from the now vacant birds nest entering the house. Would have preferred the chicken pox. Advice on how to get rid of them. I have 3 very young children and am dreading having to sanitise all their clothes, bedrooms and toys not to mention the rest of the house. How fast and far can they spread? Even worse is I just bought a new bed and unpacked it before realising the bugs were here. Can they go to school and daycare while we have the infestation? HELP PLEASE

  • Sharon

    Hi. So sorry to see more folks suffering from this. Especially homes with children in them. I just want to point out that all the extreme measures I had to go through were for a different kind of mite. One so small that it can’t be seen, even with a magnifying glass, but its bites can sure be felt. The bites don’t always hurt (though sometimes they do, quite a bit), but they can always be felt as at least a fluttery feeling on the skin before a big itch. The red, visible mite is apparently a true bird mite. I don’t know if you need to go to the same extremes, but nylar is actually an insect growth regulator (IGR) and not a toxic poison. It just keeps the mites (any kind) from being able to grow to maturity to reproduce. It is used inside homes when needed. The instructions just stress keeping children and pets out of the area being sprayed until everything is completely dry. And you don’t have to soak things. A light misting seems to do the job.

    I had another brief re-infest a couple of weeks ago over a rainy couple of days. They seem to thrive in humid conditions. Then it went back down and another drizzly couple of days passed without an upsurge. Two steps forward, one step back.

    For skin, epsom salt soaks (about 2 cups for a half full bathtub) seem to help. Maybe some antifungal cream on problem spots if you are having the lingering skin condition that many of us have. I’ve got a lovely big patch right on my forehead at the moment.

    Best of luck to all who are fighting this battle.

  • Sharon

    One thing about nylar. While it is not so bad for humans and animals, it is devastating for other kinds of wildlife, including fish. If it gets into a pond or a lake it will destroy the ecosystem. On the ground, it will kill off everything, the good insects along with the bad, and a domino effect can occur. Not something to be taken lightly.

  • Terry

    Hi all, don’t know if I am on the right site, but I am in America. And I too am suffering from what I can only presume are red mites. I had canaries and I noticed this year that none of my hens were sitting and the babies were dying. During one attempt to save a chick, I noticed several little brownish dots race onto my hand. I had been scratching and itching for some time and had these little red pimple dots all over. Pretty soon I started feeling the bite of them. My son, has not felt anything. The canaries were inside my house, but I also had several abandoned bird nests outside my sliding doors. After consulting with an Entomologist and Parasitologist, it was confirmed I was dealing with a red bird mite. I have a compromised immune system and as someone mentioned earlier I read some of the truly horrible stories on birds.org. So I panicked. A good friend of mine took the canaries (I literally turned over all my expensive canaries to her), called a pest control technician and fled my house with my son and two dogs. He sprayed with a pesticide called Onslaught in the house and treated the attic with Nygard. I have never heard of Nylar. I returned to my home and have been cleaning and vacuuming and praying for just one good night of sleep. But that has been elusive. Mites seem to especially love to attack my face, and I have found several in my mouth and nose. Even now, although I gargle constantly with Listerine, I have this lump in my throat which won’t go away. I have spread Vaseline in my nose and ears which seems to keep them at bay. I have had some get into my eyes, and that is probably the worst cause my eyes hurt a lot now. I used an organic dust on the dogs and have toyed with the idea of using Sevin dust, but I know that it is very bad for dogs. The mites, after about a week have started to be less apparent, but just as I think they are leaving or dying, they suddenly have a fresh spurt. I have my sofa and chairs wrapped in plastic and a mattress protector on my bed….but I just can’t seem to keep them from biting me. The Parasitologist said that mites can not reproduce off human blood, only avian blood, their natural host. But someone mentioned in this blog that there was a study where mites were in fact able to reproduce off human blood. My only hope was that they would all die sooner or later because they could not reproduce. The fumigant I used was a cycle interrupter…and I was told that within three weeks they would all be gone. I am trying to plan my daughter’s wedding this coming summer and I am so afraid that I won’t be able to do this. Have these mites become so sophisticated that they have become immune to pesticides and have now gained the ability to reproduce without avian hosts? Does anybody know? And does anybody know what I can do to keep mites from getting into my mouth. I am so upset by this. I am using Avon Skin So Soft Bug Repellant and Tea Tree Oil, but they still keep biting and invading my body. I am truly becoming depressed.

  • mel

    hi terry
    im really sorry to hear about your situation, im in the uk but it sounds like the same thing. we had chickens and were infested in our home but now things are a lot better. i am the only one in the family affected by these mites. All i can say is ive had them sinse oct last year and it was unbearable and depressing at first but now is 100 times better unfortunately it seems to be very difficult to get rid of them. i would say my situation at the moment is that i hardly notice them now, as long as i keep up my every other day routine of spraying neat lavender oil in all the cracks of my sofa, washing all clothes etc on hot wash cycle and the latest thing i have purchased is a steam cleaner that i have just started using. if i dont keep this up then they soon start to become a problem again. the best thing i can suggest is to read sharons blog and go to the shanspirations web site (they seem to have got rid of them completely. unfortuenly it all seems to take up a lot of time and money. but things do get better and you will get your life back. i am hoping to get rid of them soom and will keep you posted.

  • Terry

    Hi Mel, thank you for your reply. I think the UK appears to have this problem to a much greater degree than the US. At least if one goes by what one reads. That along with the fact that many products I would have chosen to use, seem to only exist in the UK…Like a product called SMITE. Can’t find it here. And to top it off, after contacting two very well educated Parasitologists, I was told firstly that they had never heard of a home as badly infected as my own, and secondly, they really had nothing to offer me in the way of suggestions.

    Fortunately, this site here has saved my sanity. People here talk about this problem without some of the hysteria I found on other sites, and the issues are placed within a more logical framework. That, plus, there are very real success stories and such great words of encouragement. Yours Mel, along with Sharon’s and all the others who have talked about this have helped me tremendously. And of course I latched onto “shanspirations” to help me plan better and what products to use. She did a marvelous job.

    Four weeks have gone by since my initial spraying and after almost 3 weeks, I finally had to contact my Pest Technician and have him come back out for another spraying. He did not use Nylar again (that is supposed to last for up to 7 months), nor did he repeat with the Onslaught. Instead he used a different insecticide called Zenprox. I had maybe two night of peace when the mites returned in force. It is very difficult to weather these ups and downs as it eats away at your faith that they will go away and stay away. So, I decided to really tackle my own offense and pledged to getting rid of most of the fabric in my house. This was a hard decision as I had just purchased new furniture and I really hated to throw out my parent’s clothes as they had both just passed away last year (they were living with me while I cared for them). Every time I looked at their things I would break down and cry, so delving into their things and tossing them out was going to be a challenge. But I had no choice. So I started with the closets. I had thought I would not encounter too much of a problem as the closets had been sprayed. All that was left were some things which were hung up. When I started taking these out of the closet, I was literally swarmed by mites. I could not believe it. And it was dark out so I had thought they would be out and about looking to suck me dry. But that just spurred me on. I knew the residual in the carpets would not last forever, I think I had another month, so I have been plummeting through other closets and all the drawers. Having 4 people’s worth of clothing stockpiled, this has been an endeavor.

    As I have worked I have noticed several things. The mites are much smaller than the initial ones. Their bite is less painful. I have surmised that the IGR has in fact been working and these must be juveniles, perhaps recently hatched. I have been trying to find out how many weeks of egg hatching I might have to endure, but there is just no way of really calculating it. The other and much more disturbing thing that has been happening is that these mites appear to love getting in my nose and mouth. While cleaning out closets, they were piling inside of my mouth no matter if I had Vicks Vapor Rub on, Vaseline, Pesticide lotion, tea tree oil, nothing would keep them out. I even wore a face mask and once out of desperation put duct take across my mouth. Nothing stopped them. I was gargling and spitting up so much that eventually I was spitting up blood. What a nightmare. But I think it was because I was just determined to get through every closet that I relentlessly bombarded myself with them. I started taking stuff out of the closets and throwing it onto the floor. My logic being that if the carpets were sprayed heavily with the insecticide, what better place for the clothes to go. I have also thrown out at least 50% of what I have while the rest is going to be bagged and put in the garage, or washed and put in ziplock bags. Today I am going to dust with DE and Permythrin. I believe, that all of my efforts and I think especially the IGR is bringing my mite population down…finally, but oh so slowly.

    So I still have to shower every day and run to jump into bed (freshly laundered), and douse myself in Vaseline and Avon’s Skin So Soft with Bug Repellant…but while before that did not deter the mites…now it is. I have tried to logic these bugs out, but have not been able to do it. I thought that once they discovered there were no avian hosts in the house, they would leave. Not So. I thought that two different insecticide applications would kill them all. Not So. I thought that since mites can not live on human blood or canine blood, they would die. Not So. I have garnered an entirely new respect for these critters. And while we, as humans, may have the superior intellect. We may not be able to outsmart something we can barely see. I am hoping that my persuasive tools will help them see the light of the outdoors.

    So, what have I learned: Endurance is the only way to win. IGR is definitely our friend. Insecticides are only as useful as you allow them to be; hanging clothes, clothes in drawers, anywhere the insecticide does not touch, can still be infested. If the mites won’t go to the insecticide, then you must take the insecticide to them. And it is a slow process, as the mites may have to walk through the toxin a couple of times before it kills them. I have learned that we don’t know much about mites, but they seem to know much about us. Lavender oil does not bother them too much, they don’t like peppermint and they hate tea tree oil. And one of the most surprising things I discovered, quite by accident. If they get in your mouth, you can gargle with Listerine and it will help, but gargle with Coke and it gets rid of them. I am far from having won this war. They continue with their relentless attacks, and surprisingly they attack during the daylight hours and not so much at night. Why this is, I don’t know.

    And perhaps the best thing I have learned; that people will come together to share knowledge, hope and inspiration. You just have to look for them. And here I have found that. I will keep you all posted as the battle rages. Thanks everyone.

  • Terry

    Hi all, well I am back to being extremely discouraged. The mites have become so horrible they are getting into my throat at night. Takes me all day long to get rid of them by constantly gargling and rinsing my mouth. Because I am disabled, I don’t leave the house, so I guess I am just a 24 x 7 moving feast. I had finally worn myself out so that I have had to pack up a bag and go to a motel. I made sure to pack only freshly laundered clothes, sprayed my suitcase down with ammonia, bathed the dogs in an organic mange control shampoo and then took a long hot shower and put on the usual bug repellent. Still took two days for the mites to leave us alone in the motel room. I had to go back there today to just pick up a couple of things and came right back and am now covered in mites. I just don’t know what to do. My house is all but empty. All of my clothes are either bagged and put outside in the garage, hauled away or washed and in bags. I can’t find anything to wear most of the time because I am afraid to take anything out of the bags. I have had a professional spray my house with nylar and an insecticide. Then 3 weeks later, sprayed again with a different insecticide, and now they are coming back a third time to spray again. I am beginning to think I will never have my home again. I literally can’t live there. Even with Vicks smeared all over my face and nose before going to bed, they still get into my nose and mouth. The torment of this is unbelievable. I try to stay upbeat and positive and I do everything that everyone says with regard to Ammonia and Borax. I have peppermint crystals burning, a dehumidifier running, I have tea tree oil, lavender oil, citronella…on and on. I have tried everything. Even dusted all the corners and sidewalls with Diatamaceous earth, nothing is slowing these guys down. Every time it seems to get better for maybe a day or two, it returns worse then ever. I am thinking about just moving out for a couple of months. My daughter is getting married in June and I can’t even see her for fear I will cause an infestation in her home. I am wondering if I need to tent my house and use Vikane. I hear that works. Has anyone ever tried that? Any suggestions would really be welcomed.

  • Chloee

    About a year ago, my mum started getting red mite bites.. at the time we had no idea what it was causing it though. She’d get a terrible rash along her tummy which would turn into several lumps, bigger under the skin than on the surface. After about two weeks the lumps would dry up and go, but as this happened more would develop. The doctors had no idea what this was, but it all started not long after we’d moved the chickens outside into their new house. My mum instantly started to clean out their house with various anti red mite things, and eventually she very rarely got bites.
    However over the last few months she hadn’t been cleaning as regularly and I went to sort the chickens out one day, I have now got only two bites, but both incredibly painful. They only seem to appear on areas of our body that have come into contact with the chicken house, (even through clothing) my hip where I leant against it, and under my arm where I reached in to get eggs. The bite on my hip has started to dry up and go, but the one on my underarm as doubled in size now, I can hardly move my arm and am in constant pain. I’ve tried everything, even to just sooth the pain a little..
    Does anyone else react as badly to these bites? and have you found any ways to treat them? Or is this something completely different? Pleasepleaseplease any help is appreciated.

  • http://www.tynyllidiart.co.uk Ian

    Spraying sheds with 25% solution of dettol is very effective in reducing the population of red mites.
    It is difficult to eradicate them totally as they live in the nooks, cracks , joints etc of the shed. As it is non toxic to humans, the risk of contamination you get spraying with miticides is not there. You can also give the hens a onceover when they are perched at night. It also works on scaly leg mites.

  • Sharon

    Terry, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having such a hard struggle with these little demons. I will suggest one thing for you to think about. We are all probably allergic in different degrees to the bugs. I still get the rare bite, I think, but for the most part, now, I just get the sensations of bites, the creepy crawly feeling, and I still have skin conditions – lumps and spots that scab over. When I get the feeling and, on scratching, I find a lump or a scab that was already there, I know there’s no bug, just a skin reaction. What’s happening in your mouth and throat sounds to me like it could be the allergic reaction to their bites anywhere on your body. For me, knowing that what I was feeling was probably no longer a mite, but just a skin/nerve response to previous bites, helped so much psychologically. As only those of us who have gone through this can know, feeling that you’re covered in bugs all the time is a torture in its own right. I can’t imagine how awful it’s been to feel them in your mouth. Could you try taking an antihistamine for a couple of days and see if the movement and biting sensations in your mouth and throat dissipate a bit? Chloe, you and your mother seem to be highly allergic to the bites. Maybe an antihistamine would help you?

    You don’t mention if you’ve cut sugar out of your diet. That, I believe, helps with the lingering skin problems. I still develop new, itchy lumps on a pretty regular basis, but, always, it continues to get better. It seems possible that as my health improves through my improved diet, I am just not as susceptible to the mites’ negative effects – I am more like the other people in my house who had no problem with the mites in the first place. I believe my system was badly compromised by yeast, and I believe the mites were able to exploit that. A very good book on the topic is, “The Yeast Connection” by Dr. William Crook. I will tell you, I’ve lost weight, am more clear-headed, less tired, have less digestive tract trouble, and simply feel much healthier.

    The other thing that occurs to me is that the Nylar the pest control company applied may not have been good. I know that on my bottle of Martin’s I.G. Regulator, which I bought online, it states you have to mix the solution just before using it. You cannot use a batch you mixed up previously. I have some in a container right now that I have to take to the hazardous waste disposal site. I’m planning to do another light application now that several months have passed and Spring is here. I’m going to mix up a small batch and just use a squirt bottle, spraying on carpets and baseboards.

    My heart is with you in your struggle. Know that it can end. Let us know how you’re doing.

    Sharon

  • Terry

    Hi Sharon, thank you for all your suggestions. I can try an antihistamine, that’s for sure. I am leaving no stone unturned. I can tell you that mites have definitely gotten inside of my throat because I am always spitting them up. Gross right! So I am constantly sucking on menthol drops and have Vicks Vapor Rub always around my mouth and nose. I was reading that mites can actually get into your lungs and from there into your blood stream, which of course concerns me tremendously. In fact, I have an appointment to see my doctor on Monday to check out my lungs as I appear to have some kind of bronchial infection.

    I had read what you wrote earlier so I definitely cut out the sugar in my diet and have upped my vitamins intake along with fresh fruit, although I have to limit fruit as that too has sugar. And I have forced myself to dial down. I have totally exhausted myself with cleaning and spraying and vacuuming until I have become a weak shadow of myself. Had to leave and go to a motel for a week just to get some rest. So, since there is no way I can battle these guys with just me alone, I have changed my tactics. Instead of trying to rid the house of mites, I am just trying to protect me and my little dog. I am trying to set up perimeters of safety within the house and keep that area clean and as mite free as possible while treating my skin and clothing to pest repelling products. A good friend of mine did some research and came up with a very interesting clinical study on the effect of essential oils against the red mite. Here is the link in case anyone is interested. http://www.zooparaz.net/scientia/2010_11_02/sp2010-pp071-075%20-%20Magdas.pdf
    I have ordered some Neem oil and will mix that with other essential oils I have found and try and keep myself coated with it. The red mite, without an Avian host, is supposed to live no more than 9 months. Their average life cycle though (from what I have read) is 90 days. I can not afford to throw out my furniture, although I have tossed out half of my clothes. And I truly can not afford to move and start over. So all I can do now is wait these critters out. I hope that as the weather warms, they will find the outside avian hosts more desirable then my inhospitable human body. My only concern is whether mites can indeed live off of humans. I truly hope that is not possible. Like you, I believe that having a stronger immune system one of the best defenses against a mite attack. Unfortunately I have a rare disease which seriously affects my immune system. But I am working on strengthening it as best I can by getting good rest, eating right and getting exercise. Through this process I have also lost a lot of weight. Would not recommend this as a weight loss program, but it does seem to work.

    Thank you for the thoughts about the freshness of Nylar. I believe my PCO mixed it here right before using it as I saw the products in the jugs he brought, but I will double check on that. If the IGR is working, then I would hope that it is reducing the population as they can not lay eggs. However, it sounds like a reapplication of Nylar might be in order. I will keep you all posted as this challenge in my life continues. I sure hope I am up to it.

    Everyone here is really terrific. I wish everyone the best of success in their continued battles.

    Terry

  • Terry

    Hi, just a quick question for anyone out there? Has anyone used Vikane gas effectively for killing mites and their eggs? And/Or has anyone used Poultry Shield in their homes effectively. I have heard of both. Still desperate here. Have narrowed down my living space to almost nothing and still, with all the cleaning and spraying of my room and my body, mites are relentless. I have lost 25 pounds in past 6 weeks. It is really starting to take its toll on me. I sound like such a desperate whiner, but…(sigh) I guess that is what I am. Hope everyone else is turning their own tides against these things. Terry

  • Terry

    Hi, me again. I have talked with a PCO in Hawaii who tells me that they have been dealing with a mite infestation (epidemic) since 1998. The gentleman I spoke with said that his own home and truck had become infested after returning home from treating another home. Since then they have developed a product which he says really deals with the mite infestation issue. He told me that in Hawaii they are now dealing with more of the microscopic mites which burrow into the skin and less of the visible mites. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here has ever heard of them? They have products under the web site of Cedar Bug Free. Their products are all organic and they have products which stop the itch and can treat dogs and cats as well. He told me that mites burrow deep into the carpet and will lay their eggs there as well. When I told him that I had used both an adultacide along with an IGR, he said that if the PCO is just treating the surface of the carpet then the mites will stay buried until it is safe to come out. And even though the residual on these products is supposedly long lasting, that the chemical companies are wrong as they don’t last for very long, thus they are ineffective against mites. They have a powder which needs to be groomed into the carpet, then you need to fog the house, treat all animals (and yourself), make sure to wash all your clothes in the laundry additive they have, as he says hot water and dryer won’t necessarily kill the mites. And you have to make sure and spray your outside area (lawns, bushes, etc.). You have to be absolutely thorough. Then you have to periodically fog for a few weeks or month after that. Then you should be pretty clear. So, I know of cedarcide and I know it has mixed results. This product also uses 10% cedar. So, out of desperation I am tempted to buy their products, but thought I would reach out to everyone here first. So please, anyone out there know about this? Thanks so much. Hope everyone is staying strong in the fight against mite. Terry

  • Terry

    Hi Cindy, I am so sorry for all that is happening to you. I too have tried different shampoos. I found one shampoo made by Nature’s Gate that had tea tree oil in it that really helped me. For some reason, tea tree oil, peppermint products and neem oil help a lot. I am also taking an antihistamine which helps with the itching. When it gets really bad I find I am hopping into the shower a lot. I have smeared Vicks Vapor Rub into my hair along with all types of oils, whatever works. I am finding that I need to change up what I use constantly as though they build up a tolerance to it. Constantly have to stay one step ahead of them. I wish you all the best, but I hear you!! Your life is like mine…Or I should say your Non-life is like my Non-life. One of these days just sitting on the couch without being attacked will seem like a vacation. Best of luck to you

  • janet

    I have found a site that sells Predator Mites…they actually eat the red mites and then disappear when the red mites are gone…they do not feed on humans. I think you can buy about 100 of these “triple threat” predator mites for about $12. I am just using them outside but that might be a start to your infestation problem!

  • Terry

    Hi Janet, do you know where I can check into buying some predator mites? I am going to start in using the Cedar Bug Free products I purchased and will let you know how they work. I can tell you the guy I have been speaking with has been very very helpful and knowledgeable. He does not promise a quick cure to these things, but he does say they can be beat. I go from the highs to the lows depending upon the day. Some days I think they are starting to go away, only to have them reappear. And they are everywhere. So, I am trying to take one day at a time. Going to leave and take my son and dogs to a motel for a while and then make day trips back and forth while I treat everything in my house, my yard, car, etc. Thought I should consider a Plan B with the predators just in case. I have read where some people just throw in the towel and have to move out. If this next treatment does not work, I think I might have to do that myself. I hope everyone here is finding some success with their fight. By the way, I have read that the reason the mites have been on the rise is due to the increased amount of free range chickens being raised and the lack of chemicals being used to treat them. I guess with the desire to raise more humanely and with fewer pesticides, we are opening ourselves up to a bug that is able to take advantage of this. Just something I heard, but was wondering why this seems to be getting worse.

  • joan mace

    I have just discovered that I have red mite in my hen house and unfortunately never saw any signs until I became infested with them, I am my wits end as I have now found them on me and biting me and also on the cushions of my sofa, If I had knwon what a terrible problem this was before I got my chicks I would never have gone in for hen keeping. I started off with 3 hens and now have 9 as I have so enjoyed keeping them over the last 3 years but ne er in a million years did I dream that I would have this horrendous problem. I have used poultry sheild and diatom in the hen house to see if that will help and feel that I want to burn the old house and get them a new one, but the nightmare for me is having them on me and in my home and I dont really know what to do, I would so appreciate any suggestions

  • Deborah Edwards

    I have a chronic infestation of red mite in my poultry house at the moment that is proving hard to get rid of. A lady who shows her hens emphatically told me today that it is creosote painted all over the poultry house and Frontline flea drops for cats and dogs on the backs of the hens necks are the only sure way of ridding the pests. I was contemplating burning the hen house and starting again! Also I have come in tonight and had red mite on my arms which have bitten me and drawn blood so they do feed on human hosts.

    • Tim Daniels

      There are other ways I have been trying. I am currently looking at “Mitey Perch” which stops the mites from getting onto the birds in the first place and I have a trial of Predator Mites going on in one hen house from Chickenvet at the moment. So far so good, they appear to be working well.

  • Lin

    Hi all
    I have been going to the doctors for the past two years with what we considered to be scabies as I have had an infestation on my scalp. The other day going into the chicken house I came away with mites running down my face and neck. It now seems that it isnt scabies at all, but a serious infestation of red mite in the chicken house. I have also been nursing a couple of really poorly hens after they have been broody for too long, and successfully brought them back to life, but in the meantime, have reinfected myself with this monsters. They are awful and will not leave my scalp very easily and I have even been catching them by using sellotape when they run down my neck and arms. We have been washing bedlinen and towels at 60 degrees every day after use and I cannot think of any way of getting rid of them. I have also been drying my hair with a very hot hairdryer in an effort to kill them off that way. I have only just realised what it is when I went into the hen house to collect eggs and a host of them fell down on me from the roof of the hen house. It is the stuff of nightmares. Help!

    • Christine Fuller

      I had them in my hair I got some thing from the chemist used for treating head lice or nits the foam one is easy and it did work wear a hat when in the chicken house.

  • Jane

    Reporting back to tell you about what eventually seemed to work best for me. I tried over the last 18 months almost everything suggested here and many helped but nothing got rid of the mites – they just kept coming back in another patch of skin.
    Dermisil for scabies, now called Naturasil in UK. I used both the liquid and lotion repeatedly for 4 days on 4 days off for a few months and they have now left my body. I just have a few lumps left on the back of my neck in my hairline where it all began. Continuing to blast those bumps with the liquid!

  • Tina

    When i get an infestation i clean the henhouse out thoroughly then put a mask on and using a talcum powder container i ‘puff’ diatomaceous earth in all the joints and crevices of the hen house, then in the air and around the perches. finally i put fresh sawdust down and scatter about 15 -20 grams per square metre of the earth over the sawdust. i keep the hens in for 24 hours and by the time they have finished scratching about they will have the earth in their feathers as well. It has even cured scaly leg on my cockerel.
    i buy in bulk and its lasts a long long time and is much more economical. i also worm my 3 dogs and all the poultry with it, and its chemical free.
    worth a try

  • Marianne Sansum

    Hi, I have had a similar problem, but believe I have a solution…..we got some hens about 4 years ago, and never in a million years did I realise the mite problems they have, We had to get rid of our wooden coop and we got a plastic on (amazing) no where for them to hide, I cleaned it our every day using Ardap spray, its brilliant, found mites in the coop but thery were all dead, you have to keep on top of it though…for the Chickens a friend of mine who breeds them told me to buy some Frontline drops (yes the kind you use for dogs and cats) take it to your vet and get him to water it down, and use it on your bird……amazing works like a dream…as for the mites in the hous….yuk yes we had that too, we used Ardap spray in the house, but normal insect sprays will get rid of them eventually you just have to be patient and break the egg cycle, but all of the above works, it did for us……happy mite Killing – Marianne

  • ed andrews

    jays fluid seems to work well! but what shall i do about stopping them from infecting me?

  • amos seay

    i have chickens next to my house and now i have these mites in my house my shop and in my truck. i have had as much as 2000 bits on me at one time how do i get them out of my house the health dep. does not seem to care much about it. the city people here like the man that have the birds and not so much me so there for they will not help. i need help getting something done. i have had to stay out of my home .for weeks at a time. this has been going on for 2 to 3 months. i have sprayed alot of poisons that did no good but give me insecticide toxicity.so i need some one that can do something about it. thanks

  • Claire Bennett

    Hi all, After keeping hens for 9 years mite free, this year our luck ran out, and I have found quite a few. I googled toxic essential oils, and found that, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Clove, Rosemary, lavender oil are all toxic. I also use neem oil as I understand that it breaks their life cycle by preventing reproduction, however when that runs out I probably wont replace it. I put all the oils in a spray bottle.. using about 20 drops of each, a teaspoon of detergent and fill up with water.

    This seems to have almost irradicated our infestation, but I could always find at least 1 each day. Sadly I omitted to treat the hens as I was led to believe they dont live on them, however my eldest hen of 9 went anaemic which drew my attention to the fact she was crawling with them, so the whole flock has now been treated. So she has been my host for them which perpetuated the breeding cycle.. but now I’m on the case, and even through a recent warm spell I haven’t seen anymore..

    So I can only conclude this spray I make is the bees knees!

    Hope that might help someone.

    I am very careful to not spray the animals or even there straw in the nest boxes, as the hens like to move the strar with their beaks. And you need to be careful with overspray with other pets in the vacinity. THESE OILS ARE HIGHLY TOXIC

  • Niru

    Have you tried diatomaceous earth? Check it out. This is a powder that you sprinkle everywhere (put in a sock and dust with it, wear goggles and mask). Rips the little bugs into shreds. Safe to eat (used to filter wine, water and to filter water ni swimming pools). Make sure you get the correct kind. I am just about to do this in our house in France.

  • Niru

    OK – Diatomaceous earth does do the critters pretty well – dusted everywhere on ourselves sat around for hours, then washed ourselves. Fine. Then unfortunately we got infected again from mites coming in through windows. Not many – I dont actually see any of them, just got bitten yesterday after cleaning some windows and felt the crawling.

    Since the larvae can apparently develop on human hosts, have decided to treat the most occupied parts of the house tomorrow with tetramethrin and premethrin bombs and also got a dryer to dry all our clothes at high heat.

    The parcels of neem and tea tree oil I ordered have not yet arrived.

  • claire

    Hi, looking after a friends hens, saw mites for the first time on my arm/face in my hair last night…but now realise that the the bites i have been getting each night are from this little buggers…so i must have been infected almost a week now…have been cleaning, steaming, insectaciding the house all day today…washing/steaming everything i have come into contact with but really worried they have nested in my mattress – what can i do to erase them from that ??? Anyone managed it?? or does the mattress have to go? appreciate any help on this , thanks

  • Caz

    Can chicken mites infect guinea pigs?? I usually move my hutches up nearer the house for the winter but my neighbour has a chicken coup the other side of the fence which has had mites.

    • https://twitter.com/eyupmiduck Gena Froggatt (@eyupmiduck)

      Guinea Pigs usually suffer from recurring mites and my hens have been known to have red spider mites.
      I feed garlic powder to my hens and I mix it in with layers mash (as I rescue ex caged hens, they’re used to mash anyway and even weaned onto pellets they will flock back to the mash) the hen houses are sprayed with a steamer at least one a season and continually dusted with diatom.
      From my vets, I get a sizeable bottle (about 250ml) of Ivomec/Ivermectin and use a pipette to apply to a g.pigs neck and I can also use this on the poultry on their necks and in water. I also give the poultry apple cider vinegar in their water. I give them play sand with diatom in as a sand bath. I try to do ALL I can to keep on top of it but my husband recently came in with some on him and didn’t strip at the door. I noticed a couple of anaemic hens but I’m unwell and I don’t know if he follows my routine

  • Sharon

    I posted here a year ago with a different kind of mite problem not related to red mite or poultry, but a microscopic mite that is infesting people in their homes. It’s appropriate that this thread has gone back to the poultry mite, but I wanted to add the following in case anyone suffering from the other mites is still finding their way here:

    Revolution on your pets, too.

    It’s been over a year for me and I still have my live back, but I also still maintain a strict diet. I still have skin issues and I still feel them in very small numbers – just a small nuisance now. I didn’t mention in my first post that monthly application of Revolution to the cats seems to be important in keeping the numbers down.

    Hang in there, those of you who are suffering. I had the worst phase of it for around seven months. Maybe it plays itself out in a year or so…

  • Robin

    hi Sharon, I have been dealing with some type of no see -em since 2003. some days I think mites, other days I think chiggers. The many Vets & Doctors I have paid thousands of dollars to, act like dumb ass’s who can’t be bothered. What is this other mite are you refering to?I have never had a hen or a hen house. Just homeless people , & they’re dumpster crap. Chiggerx cream seems to work the best for myself & two dogs. Good luck to all.

    • Barbara

      Hi Sharon, my name is Barbara and I also have problems with noseeum. For some reason I think like you, sometimes I think it’s mites and noseeums. My head is infested. I’ve been to several doctors and the say it’s scabies. I went to the emergency room last night and he looked at me under a big light and he said I don’t see anything except the raised bumps on your head, they are red. He came to the conclusion that I have lice. He gave me Malathion for my head, I have it on now and my head is burning….I gave him so noseeums and skin scrapings to have tested.

      I can’t wait until they figure out exactly what it is that’s biting me. The doctor said it will be a week before the results. I am wondering if anyone knows if noseeums leave anything on you. I had a lot of stuff around my mouth a couple days in a row and it grossed me the hell out!!!!

      I have been washing everything in hot water and drying them 70 minutes! Also I’ve steam cleaned everything, vacumed daily, mopped floors daily and cleaned the car daily. I’m still finding little specs of white stuff everywhere. They just fall out of my hair or off me. I am truly disgusted. If anyone has had this problem or having this problem and can tell me how to get rid of this. Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for listening

  • Juju

    We had our first attack of red mite a few weeks ago. They were crawling all over me, clothes everything. There were thousands of them. I have since treated all my houses with Diotom earth. Now chuck it all over the houses everytime I clean them out. Have not seen any on the houses at all for a few weeks. I dust the girls too, but obviously not often enough after reading some of the stories on here. I feel that they fall on my head everytime that I go anywhere near the houses. Have to keep reaching into the different houses because we have chicks in them and I need to get the mommies off eggs first of all before they hatch and then to be able to lift the babies. I make sure that I have dusted all the babies every week too. I also have ducks, but have read that they do not live on ducks because of the feathers. I am convinced that I have them in my hair. My head has been itching for weeks. I am really paranoid. It starts to itch mainly at night when the mites would come out to feed. I have had my hair checked several times and been told there is nothing on my scalp, except a few white bits like grains of sugar. I KNOW they are there. I have been rubbing diotom on my hair and scalp for the past three weeks, and then not washing my hair for four days to try to break the cycle of laying and hatching. I am horrified to read of those people who have now got these mites internally or have them running down your face. I am constantly looking in the mirror to see if I can see anything move everytime my head itches. I also have 7 dogs. They are treated with frontline, and they do not seem to be bothered by scratching, but I would hate to get them in the house. What can I put on my hair to kill them???

  • Sharon

    Robin,

    I don’t think anyone really knows what these are. I never had poultry either. Have you tried Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) in your home? Please take a look at my first post in this thread; I explain what worked for me.

    Juju,

    It sounds like you may have had both kinds of mites: the red mite that is visible and found on birds (and, apparently, some people); and the unseen “mite” that many people are suffering from. I’ve read that quite a few people who get the unseen mite originally had a run-in with bed bugs, so there seems to possibly be some kind of connection – infestation with one parasite maybe opens the door to opportunistic others.

    I think you should be a little more cautious in your use of diatomaceous earth. As I understand it, it is dangerous to inhale it. It has small, crystaline particles that imbed in your lungs – something like asbestos. I never used it, and I’m virtually mite-free. Also, I don’t believe Frontline does anything for mites, but Revolution does.

    You say:

    “I have had my hair checked several times and been told there is nothing on my scalp, except a few white bits like grains of sugar. I KNOW they are there.”

    You may want to explore websites about Morgellon’s disease. Those are indicating factors.

    Wish I could do more to help. I offer this small prayer: May God grant us the wisdom and spiritual strength to guide and sustain us while we resolutely and courageously attack this problem. [Paraphrased from the Urantia Book]

  • John

    One thing that American indians did to keep biting insects away was to smear themselves with bear oil , which is impractical today.
    How it works is that the biting insects want blood to survive , but the fat in the oil stops them from getting to the blood and they stay away.

    One variant of this in Mediterranean countries is the use of olive oil , which when taken internally , leaves a slight coating of olive oil on the skin. People from that part of the world have very oily hair , which comes from the olive oil. It is also a very effective cure for skin parasites like lice.
    Rather than use pure olive oil , I would eat maybe 10 small olives a day , after a shower ,so that it is not washed off.
    Olives also contain melatonin which aids sleep , so eat them just before bed time.
    Over a period of time , and it could take some time depending on severity , the bites will decrease and eventually peter out to nothing.

  • Amanda

    Thank Goodness for this thread! If I only knew then what I knew now……
    I am the owner of one – yes, one! – hen, who was completely free range apart from dropping an egg a day in a simple nesting box and no trouble whatsoever until recently when we decided to let her hatch some eggs. Ooh cute, we thought, reliable hen and cute chicks clucking around etc etc.
    I let her sit without interruptions all through her broody cycle in the old nesting box (my first mistake, if only i knew then…) but when she had no live chicks, (so terribly sad) did a quick clean out to prepare for the day old chicks we had ordered to sneak under her.
    I was mystified at the swarms of bugs all over my hands, arms, the hay, EVERYWHERE, but just brushed them off, dumped it in the compost and moved on. Being a good pet owner (if an ignorant one!) i thought that kind of infestation looked like it needed some treatment so I did a quick google.
    My hen had:
    – mystery bugs, of some kind, not a big deal
    – vampire mites!!
    – NOT red mites, as red mites NEVER move during the day
    – definitely lice
    – definitely red mites, not lice…but don’t worry they don’t bite people
    – definitely red mites, worry!
    ……Followed by a list of dangerous off label remedies that required a chemistry degree and balls of steel.
    Etc etc etc….
    So now I am hand raising the young chicks as they can’t go near the hen ( Nightmare!!!) paranoid about infesting them, dusting everything with Pestene, about to burn the old nester, and covered in itchy bites (in desperation washed every piece of my bedding I could today and emptied a can of household bug spray onto the bits I couldn’t; crossed fingers….!)
    Horrified they might be living in my hair! Will be buying some essential oils as well.
    My husband said its like we are we are being punished biblically….what comes after pestilence?!

  • Amanda

    …..and an update – no, it didn’t work. We woke up with more bites this morning and I am devastated by what is ahead of us….
    There is so little information out there, most people still think they wont live on people, only birds, snd are generally harmless. My vet insists I’m imagining things and won’t help with treatments, he says they’re only for large scale poultry farmers.
    Luckily my vet’s receptionist overheard and has chickens herself, found me some spray on Frontline (can I use it on me? Just kidding) and said she can get me some Ripcord pesticide but I cant use it inside, will need proper goggles and mask as it is lethal and its $150 a bottle.
    We can’t really afford to burn and replace our nesting box (and a bunch of my clothes and maybe our bedding too?!) but what i feel we have such a huge infestation it might be the wisest option?! Now I will have to pump my brand new $$$$$ bed full of more chemicals, knowing that if it doesn’t work they will spread and we shall have to get in exterminators for the whole house…..I love my chicken (well I did a few days ago!) but now I just want her gone, I’m in tears about the whole nightmare that we have obviously just begun.

    • Tailor

      Hi Amanda
      My house had the same problem
      I had to call pest control my body was infested the house was a nightmare I spent a lot of money. Sorry only solution

    • Anne Reis

      I am having the same nightmare. I had 3 hens and found one dead for no apparent reason. Cleaned out the house and other 2 birds with ivermectin. I must have taken them in house as get bitten every night and the pesky things get in my eyes, nose, ears and nether regions. Wash clothes at 60 degrees every day and bedding at 90 and add borax. Cover myself with various products from Lyclear to listerine but still nothing works.
      Smoked bombed room last night but seems to just made them angrier and bitten more than normal. Is there any end to this ?

  • Jo

    Yesterday – Day 1;
    Hi – yes i am an ignorant chook owner, whose partner has been complaining of a rash and things biting. Thinking he either had scabies or fleas, i began asking him where he has been with an eyebrow raised!
    Blow me down i’m out in the chicken coop which is large and wooden picking up an egg and realize it has all these little mites on it, some red – some not. Bring it inside to show my partner – the little buggers had crawled all up my arm. Denial sets in we have a major problem. Go into work, picking these little mongrels off me all day – still not realizing what a major problem this is. Get home to go to task on these pests, cleaning out the hen house – powdering with Pestene. Through this process i wound up with hundreds (i’m not joking) all over me. Shower, scrub myself raw – as i’m cooling off look in the mirror & bingo they are still on me. Go to chemist, recommended to take scabies lotion – hasn’t worked (yet)
    Today Day 2; go to work depressed. Feeling itchy still check my work pants – these little buggars are in my clothes!! Run to the chemist, buy tea tree oil shampoo will attack again when i get home. Have office steam cleaned out of fear they are in the carpet at work. Strip off when im home and realize for about the last month i have been getting bitten at work from wearing my uniform all the time thinking it was mosquitoes. It dawned on me I would go up to the hen house in the morning in my work gear and shoes, these guys have been present for a while – (NO More). Investigated the corners of the hen house that didn’t get a real look the night before and it is covered in mites, they where even crawling all over the metal chain on the door to the coop. Have sprayed pesticide Baycon all through the nesting boxes, outside / inside, and Frontlined the girls. Will get more powder / essential oils & stuff for me tomorrow, have called in Pest control to do the house. The nightmare is these little horrors are everywhere!! Hen house, hens (hopefully not now), me, my clothes, my partner. I’m worried about my dog & cats mind you they seem to be bothered but i don’t want to cuddle them as i’m finding them on me all the time.
    Like Amanda above we recently just got a swanky new bed, from researching this for the last two days my only chance is to bang them with everything I’ve got and clean – clean – clean till they are gone, what’s freaking me out is the lack of an easy fix, i wish it was bloody scabies!! At least they would die quick, this next month is going to be a major test & wouldn’t wish this on anyone, xx And fingers crossed it is only for that long MAX, have read some horror stories online with people not being able to get rid of these suckers!!

  • Heidi

    We seem to have an infestation of red chicken mites in our yard – of our own home. We are personally being attacked my the mites. We dont have chickens but live in an area with lots of wild ones and they are regularly around the house. I am having trouble determining what part of the yard they have infested. Any suggestions? Would a white piec of paper with tape laid out at night help catch some?
    I have found that adding pure tea tree essential oil to my shampoo and body wash and then rubbing down with tea tre mixed in coconut oil helps to get them off my body. dont ingeste the tea tree and keep it out of your eyes.

  • Julliette

    Yes, I had bird mites before and had a professional spray and got rid of them. I also had to clean a lot. Now they are back and it is awful. Unfortunately, bird mites seem to love me and bite me all the time. I know Lysol kills them. I use Epson salt and 20 Mule in my Laundry plus the hot water and the hot dryer. I have used the sprays with the pyrians or whatever its called in them to no avail. The problem is my neighbor also gave me bedbugs to so the landlady will only treat one bug at a time. They traveled through the outlets. I did most of my research online. It is such a pain when they are in your home. Cleaning constantly is very important, the walls, the floors, taking your curtains down and putting up sheets so, you can wash those makes it much easier. Keeping your clothes and things in clear bags that are sealed till you get the infestation cleared. One thing I use on my wood floors for the bed bugs and for the bird mites is 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of diatom earth, 1 cup of 20 mule, 1 cup of Epson salt and I use that to spread on floors. They say leave it down for 3-4 days and then get it up. I also read the the NEW moth balls that do not leave a smell kill the mites and can be used in with your bags with your clothes to kill mites…I could not find them. I know Alcohol 91 percent will kill bedbugs on contact so I figured it will red mites too. When I shower the bird mites do not just wash off. I even resort to spraying Lysol on me. I have used Listerine in the past too.

  • Jane

    I have had both chickens and a rash for the same amount of time (6 years!). Started on my ankles and has slowly moved up my legs. Onto my arms and now on my torso – Not on my head. After 4 years of doctors they have now suggested I leave the chickens to my husband to clean and look after for 4 weeks. All very well but my dad has helped for the same amount of time and so far neither he or hubby has ever come out in the the rash. It is very itchy and like little spots. Have never seen a red mite in the coop and the coop is also plastic. Cleaned out regularly and I am now (husband) using a red mite powder. Has anybody else had anything like this. As you can imagine I am getting pretty desperate. Have so far been away from the hens for two weeks without much improvement (though the hospital do say it wall take a few weeks to notice a difference)

  • stacey watkins

    My chicken coop is infested with thousands of red mite. We have lost 4 chickens due to this, purchased to powder and spray and there’s no getting rid of them, can someone please help what’s best to get rid of them

    • Lynne

      I know just what you are going through, I found mites about a month ago, I was cleaning with poultry shield every day for about a week and still they were there every morning. In desperation I scrubbed it with Jayes fluid, let it dry then poultry shielded it again. The next day they were still there, smaller numbers but still there.
      So I bit the bullet and and bought a egloo cube, which we assembled at the weekend, a pleasure to clean and a weight off my mind knowing that is the end of the problem.
      If they should come back which is unlikely all you have to do is wash it down with a hose.
      Expensive way of getting rid off the problem I know, but I love having chickens and want to keep them for many years to come, I could not stand the thought of having to keep using poison on a long term basis.
      Just a thought if you do go down the egloo route there is a waiting list, I had to wait three weeks for delivery, I was counting the days in the end.
      Good luck

  • liz williams

    I have been bitten by red mites from our chickens , have dusted them and sprayed the pen and cage . i have only seen one fall off me just after i had fed the chickens it was not red but was lice like very small so may have just hatched ,

    The bites itch like mad

  • jen

    My 3 day old chicks have got red mite off of their mother I know I can put powder on her but can I put powered on the babies.

    • Bob

      Diatomaceous Earth is non-toxic and perfectly safe to use on chicks.

  • helen

    Hi have got or should I say hopefully had a problem with red mite, sprayed and dusted the other day as well as chickens, spoke to someone who did this with hers they said they used to power wash coop so tried it going into all the cracks seams vents and got rid then put detergent in cracks etc. and sprayed again the bedding and floor has sawdust and red mite powder. Had them on me got bites around shoulders and upper body been showering, hoovering, stripping off at w/m got nit gel and rubbed into hair and skin then washed. Still itching but bits are healing and scratching reading the other posts lol, will need to wait till Monday to replenish sprays/powders. Hopefully this will work, will let you know fingers crossed (never had them before).

    • Tim Daniels

      Good luck Helen, I hope you have got rid of them. If not, join the club, it’s usually a case of trying to manage their numbers week by week when cleaning during the summer months because red mites are so hard to get rid of.

  • sean

    this is my 3rd bout with these buggers… just cleaning and spraying everyday…. still pretty itchy but think im making progress…. my favorites to use on my body while waiting for the other items to finish them off is alcohol and vicks vapor rub…. i douse my self with alcohol if the itches are bad and it supposedly suffocates those little suckers…..if i dont have any left the vicks also seems to keep them off or keep me from getting itchy … i still find some on my body but ususaly easy to grab and they are already pretty slimed unable to move….still pain in the …… goodluck to al

  • Om Sairam

    On Earth Clinic I saw a post where the girl said her grandmother would every year apply lard under the wings of hens. It must have worked as she was always doing it once a year at least. My condolences to everyone. OS

  • Om Sairam

    Actually,I got mites by sleeping on someone else’s’ pillow. They jumped into my face and slowly over the years my beautiful hair wasn’t beautiful anymore. I don’t use pillows any more.

    I have learned a lot from Earth Clinic over the years. One thing is important: don’t use poison that will be detrimental to your and the chicks health. Diatomacious earth is great but not the type that is used for swimming pools. It will kill hens, dogs, cats, people. so watch what you buy. And protect your lung.

    One hen keeping lady posted on EC that she used enzyme cleaner from Natural GINESIS from the US and it worked. when she had used a lot of things before unsuccessfully.In fact that was posted by another successful person years ago but I could never get it here. So I have ordered it but the postage was more than the product. The lady from NATURAL GINESIS told me that people from all over the world enquire there as clothing brand new is infected and people are desperate. it is not only hen keepers; it is on and in many things, also chemtrails..”They” put it now into foods.

    Earth Clinic has good results with clearing dogs and cats, as well as for people. I have used BORAX and lavender scented Dr Bronner’s liquid kastile soap with some success.so far. There is a protocol by Ted, a chemist who helps us a lot but he also has trouble with gov’t FDA.

    What really is helpful however is COLLOIDAL SILVER and you have to make it yourself. It is then quite cheap. Avoid the expensive, overpriced generators.

    As I have done rescue all my adult life, I found out that colloidal silver kills bed bugs instantly. I soaked a tee shirt in CS and that was the end. So now I am awaiting a new colloidal silver generator (under $100) but US to treat my dear dogs who seem to have red mites. and two of my cats have all these tiny black dots falling from their fur. Those are different mites.

    Please be kind to your affected hens as they are so innocent and loving. They deserve your kind help. After all, you take their eggs.

    All the best and I try to post if I know more. But do look up EC “Ted” protocols for morgellons as well. Today he posted a protocol for mogrellons which seems to work. Maybe it would work on mites as well. Often one can’t tell which is which.

    Best wishes, also for your hens, Om Sairam

  • Ra-Ra Griffiths

    I have had these fuc##rsfor months!!! We are currently In a motel room after escaping our house yesterday, it was an unusually hot day and they must have gone into breeding overdrive. Attacking us from every corner of the house and yard. I bought some micellar water and we stood in the kitchen of the motel room and poured it all over us. The worms and bugs started coming out of our skin, thousands and thousands of them!!! Like a horror movie!! The doctors want to lock us away in an asylum thinking we are druggos with delusionary pArasites. The linen from our bed that I had soaking In The bath is full of the adult mites and all the other stages too. They were attacking in the day time!!! However they are most active in our bodies through the night. They burrow!! They aren’t scabies. They are grey at times and bright red also. They have come along with us to the hotel and are in the car. They don’t seem to be bothered by tea tree oil and the vermectim didn’t make a difference (have tried it several times now) I think personally that this IS the true morgelans culprit !!! Help help help us please

    • Om Sairam

      Do visit Earth Clinic and you will find “Ted’s Morgellons Remedy”. There is also a link on morgellons that is non profit and states what will and won’t help. For red mites I am using enzyme cleaner. They came through new clothing in cotton.
      Good luck.
      Namaste, Om

  • https://poultrykeeper.com/ Tim Daniels

    Good luck Tracey, I hope you manage to get on top of them.

    • Tracey Saxcoburg

      Thanks Tim, seems a bit better now, having spent a fortune in the local store, along with some children’s Vosene ‘nit repellant’ shampoo! Poultry shield’ed everywhere, and will do a follow up mid week to catch the hatchlings. Equipment still has signs of them, but at least if I handle them I can spot them on me (1 or 2 compared with eughhhh too many) . Nightmare!