Chicken lice, what you didn’t know about this pest.

All lice or chicken lice are known as part of the Malophages. Worldwide there are more than 40 species that attack chickens. Numerous species are cosmopolitan, in other words, they can develop in all parts of the world. Some distinctive categories of lice can be found all over the world and several of them can affect chickens at the same time.

Life cycle of chicken lice

Adults are small (3.5 mm long) wingless creepy crawlies. They are mostly discovered in feathers and on the surface of the body. They have solid biting parts and are held in place by litter or exudates. Some types come to ingest blood from wounds they create with their jaws.

Lice spend their entire lives with chickens. They are hemimetabolous insects, i.e. they have a fragmented transformation. Adult females lay eggs (nits) on the lower tip of feathers or directly on the skin, often a kind of whitish masses unmistakable by the naked eye.

The young rise 4 to 7 days after being placed on the bird and dynamically develop into larvae and adults. The cycle of existence continues somewhere in the range of 3 to 5 weeks. The life of the lice continues for some time, however, outside the host they do not survive more than seven days. (See Article About: Circus Cyaneus).

Most critical types of chicken lice

Cuclotogaster Heterographa, the head mite, measures about 2.5 mm and is mostly found on the head and neck of chickens. It likes to settle near the skin or at the base of feathers.

It does not suck blood but feeds on feather particles and skin. It is usually more successive in young flying creatures and turkeys. Young birds possessing large invasions may give up before reaching development.

Eomenacanthus Stramineus ( Menacanthus Stramineus), the chicken body mite, is the most common mite in poultry around the world. It is one of the largest (2.5 to 3.5 mm) and has a dark-colored body. It feeds on pieces of skin and feathers, however it can suck blood from the wounds it produces with its jaws.

It is usually found close to the host’s skin, occasionally on the host’s feathers, and is inclined toward parts of the body possessing few feathers, for example, around the cloaca, although if an overwhelming invasion occurs it is additionally found on the head or under the wings and on the bird’s chest. It lays eggs in large clusters, in sections of feathers or directly on the skin.

Goniocotes gallinae is one of the smallest avian lice, not exceeding 1.5 mm in length. It is found all over the body on the cushion or at the base of the feathers, however in smaller numbers on the head and wings. It feeds on skin and feather litter.

Lipeurus caponis, the wing mite, reaches 2.0 to 2.5 mm in length and is grayish throughout its body.

Prevalent on the underside of the feathers on the wings, tail and head. However, it holds on to parts of the feathers in such a greedy manner that it is called or known as a plucking mite. (See Article About: The Caiques).

Menopon gallinae, the bark mite is somewhat small (1.5 to 2.0 mm long). It feeds on dead skin and feather parts, but also sucks blood from the lesions it produces. It usually lodges on the chest, shoulders and torso of flying creatures. Eggs are whitish and regularly appear as whitish masses at the base of feathers.

Columbicola columbae, the pigeon mite, typically reaches 2.0 to 2.8 mm in length.However, it is found all over the body, particularly on the inside of the wing feathers, the waste of which it consumes. Generally place the eggs in the down under the wings.

Damage and monetary expense of chicken lice

Perceptions of lice cause enormous monetary damage, particularly in laying hens, this is because the caged winged animals are restless and do not eat regularly.

Egg creation can drop to 45%. They can also cause problems in rearing large numbers of birds. Given their moderately long life cycle, lice usually provide extensive populations amid the 6 to 7 weeks of an ordinary eating cycle.

Nevertheless, lice are typically dangerous in conventional poultry farming. Generally, today’s breeding farms do not have lice problems because they make adequate provisions, but they are still seen from time to time in some facilities.(See Article About: The Grus Grus).

Action and control of chicken lice

Best efforts should be made to maintain the presence of lice in a poultry house and to maintain a strategic distance from re-infestations after effective control. Houses of feathered creatures that are commensals (e.g., sparrows) in or around poultry houses should be devastated.

To maintain a strategic distance from dispersal between poultry houses, clean the egg plate or containers, crates, enclosures, containers and other materials being transported starting with one poultry house and then the next.

Regarding control techniques with chemicals and industrial products, positive results were obtained using thuringiensa, the exotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis, sprayed specifically on the hens with the pests.

The lice remain on the hens or affected animal. In this way, control substances should not be connected to the cages or living places, but specifically to the infected chickens, e.g. by showering, dipping or dusting. (See Article About: The Blue Andalusian Hen).

Powders allow the chickens to be treated indirectly, for example, by treating the litter with insecticide, cleaning it and leaving the chickens full of dust on their own. However, males of this species do not spread the product like females and are a source of re-infestation.

Layer-type hens should be treated promptly and individually. Some organophosphates, pyrethroids and pyrethrins have been used effectively to combat some types of lice. However, a portion of these elements, particularly organophosphates, can be surprisingly dangerous to the feathered creatures, so great care should be taken and due attention should be paid to the directions.

There are no products that protect birds from lice, that is to say that fleas cannot be repelled, they must be exterminated, for the basic reason that they remain all their life in the bird and do not look for another one. That is why there are no traps to catch them.

There are no immunizations to secure the birds by making them resistant to these lice, and there are no strategies for organic control of these lice by their normal enemies.

Opposition of chicken lice to parasiticides

So far, there are no reports of hen lice opposition to lice parasiticides that are officially established by any company that manufactures them or by any competent authority. (See Article About: Crex Crex).

In this way, it can very well be reasoned that a malfunction of the products for the control of these parasites will be mainly due to a wrong application (for example, of dosage calculation), or to the use of an unseemly element (incapable against these lice or of terrible quality). This is why the failure of the products used is not due to a product performance problem. Wrong use is the most successive reason for the disappointment of anti-parasitic items.

Facts about red mite

The red mite, Demanyssus gallinae, is a hematophagous parasite spread throughout the world that infects a wide variety of winged animals. The adult creepy-crawlies measure between 0.6 and 1 mm and are white when they have not consumed food or red when they are full of blood. They usually have an average life span of 90 days and can complete their life cycle in 5 days under ideal conditions for their advancement.

The eggs of the red bug hatch about three days after the female has held them, the young move through the body after 1 to 2 days and become mature adults after 5 days. This rapid cycle causes extensive numbers throughout poultry farms, which represents a real biosanitary problem. (See Article About: The Lesser Black-backed Gull).

It is a common occurrence for the red parasite to hide during the day in homes, breaks and cracks, as they feed on the flying creatures during the night, and have the ability to go unnoticed by the farmer.

Infections caused by the red mite

Once distinguished, measures should be taken to get rid of red bugs from chickens, as through their bite they can transmit ailments to feathered creatures, for example:

  • Encephalitis.
  • Fowl cholera.
  • Salmonellosis.
  • Spirochetosis.

While drawing blood from the feathered creature, it also causes a mild or even extreme pallor in cases of invasion and large proportions, which can cause death of the creature.

It also creates tingling, discomfort and worry to the hen, which causes misfortunes in the generation of eggs. So the proximity of the mites in the birds is directly reflected in the health of the rest of the eggs that the same one lays, which diminishes the natural quality of them, so the misfortunes are considerably more noticeable. (See Article About: The Anas Acuta).

How is the red mite transmitted?

As we have specified, it is an exceptionally broad parasite, so it can achieve its development in poultry ranches from the fusion of impregnated feathered creatures. It can also be transmitted by sparrows or other wild winged animals.

How to prevent and eliminate red mite?

To counteract and control the proximity of the red mite in chickens, it is essential to carry out a normal sanitation and disinfestation of the poultry farm. Before applying any product on the birds, it is necessary to clean and disinfect the area to be treated. To control and keep away the red parasite, we suggest using a great product such as “Letal Plus PWD”.

This product is an acaricide that comes in powder presentation, an intense mixture prepared to eliminate the red parasite in a viable way, with a repellent impact and a remaining suitability of up to 12 weeks. “Letal Plus PWD” is a powder which helps the dispersion of mites, this can be applied manually or automated, the instructions established to use this product are:

Apply 6 gr per m2 (identical to a teaspoon of coffee) of Letal Plus PWD every 10-15 days.

When a severe red mite infection is observed in our hens, the product should be applied as follows:

Apply somewhere in the range of 12 and 18 gr per m2 of veterinary acaricide as a stun treatment every 5-7 days for several months. In this way we should apply the preventive treatment of 6 gr per m2.

In case this product is not available or if you want to try with any other product available in the market, it is always necessary to consult an expert on the subject who will advise you on the benefits or affections that the birds could obtain with these products. (See Article About: Turdus Viscivorus).

How to combat mites in chickens?

The hen mite (dermaniso or red bug) is one of the main brain pains of breeders and novices in poultry farming. Assaults by the dreaded chicken lice happen mainly when the hot season arrives and must be attended to immediately to avoid outbreaks or any other affliction in contaminated animals.

What is the most common chicken mite?

The red mite is a parasite that, unlike other vermin, sucks blood and, despite the pressure it causes in hens and other poultry, can transmit diseases. Its life cycle is as follows: adult females lay eggs, from which hatchlings are conceived within a few days.

These hatchlings do not have to consume food yet and within days they move and become nymphs a couple of days after the fact. The nymphs are now blood consumers and after five days they are adult insects.

This implies that in great conditions (warm and sticky atmosphere) in seven days their life cycle can be completed; therefore, we can discover extensive populations in a short time frame, which spread rapidly despite their short life cycle.

What does the chicken mite look like?

Their color is reddish or whitish, depending on whether they are filled with blood or not. The blood is usually absorbed during the night. After devouring, they abandon the creature they have sucked the blood from (host) and take cover in cracks and crevices in the daytime (houses are usually auspicious places to hide).

The way in which daytime lice hide in cracks and crevices and the fact that this parasite can last up to four or five months without eating anything, makes it extremely difficult to eradicate them on poultry farms.

The results of having this dreaded parasite detained in our poultry houses include pressure and discomfort for our winged animals, circumstances that generally drive the hen’s health to decline, at which point, it is the right time to suffer from an attack of microscopic organisms and subsequent diseases.

Substantial piles of hen mites also produce weakness (pale beaks and wattles), including the death of the hen from the overwhelming amount of blood that is drawn from it. The most continuous diseases it transmits are avian spirochetosis and salmonella gallinarum.

How does the mite reach our farms?

The red bugs, mites, coruco or Piojillo of the hens go to our poultry houses through wild winged animals, individuals that move between several farms, through boxes, containers, containers… or on the other hand in some intelligent way in case they transmit another creature that we have presented in our hen house. (See Article About: The Eagle Sight).

How could we fight the chicken mite?

Farms offer many hiding places for hen lice: grids, cracks, meshes, partitions and separations between the floor, walls, feeders, drinkers. Therefore, to combat the louse, the most important thing to do is to maintain a strategic distance from what might be expected from this type of hiding place.

Keeping in mind that most of the time, and particularly for the day when they are out of the hen or individual in question, the treatment ought to be connected in conceivable concealed spots.

The best time is the point at which the hen house is empty between two cycles and should be cleared beforehand by thorough cleaning of the entire hen house and its compartments.

Reinfestations of chicken lice are extremely frequent as they happen quickly and, in addition, the lice can be deprived of feed for a few days. Therefore, intermittent sterilization of our farms or poultry houses should be a commitment we usually have at the top of the priority list. (See Article About: Philomachus Pugnax).

To fight the mite in a totally normal way, there are well known places like “Finca Casarejo” which prescribes the use of the repellent Nackentropfen: one drop of Nackentropfen is enough to secure your creatures against the activity of external parasites (lice, red bugs, blood suckers, etc.).

It should be applied for a period of five months. Simply apply a single drop on the creature’s back before evacuating the feathers.

In addition, Finca Casarejo suggests the use of SOLUPIOJ, a 100% common element for external use against insects, lice, ticks and bedbugs and that can be used when the hens are in to sterilize the coops or cages.

This type of products against parasites and chicken lice, it is recommended to use it for three successive weeks to cut the cycle of existence of the chicken mite. In addition, it is advisable to apply diatomaceous earth all the time in the poultry farm, as it is also an absolutely common and exceptionally viable element that will guarantee your winged animals against the dreaded pests and afflictions.

The red vermin of the hens, also called chicken lice, can transmit diseases to the winged animals besides causing iron deficiency and disturbances in their organism, with a decrease in the creation of eggs, causing financial misfortunes to the farmer and perhaps can lead them to bankruptcy in the breeding of these animals, it is advisable to make a good investment in the care of the birds.

How to eliminate the mite and lice from chickens with the use of diatomaceous earth?

Dispensing chicken mite and chicken lice is sometimes a difficult task for the owner of a farm, poultry ranch or basically one who has them as a pet in a garden region connected to the home. The chicken mite causes an impressive disturbance in these creatures that influence more than meets the eye from the beginning of their infection.

Taking steps to combat this nuisance pest in chickens should be a necessity for any chicken owner. Killing chicken lice is conceivable with various types of synthetic mixtures, but these are contaminants, so one of the best natural options is to use diatomaceous earth.

What is diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth is acquired from fossilized diatoms, which is a kind of green growth or algae.It is a fine powdered article with a totally common white color and works skillfully against internal and external parasites of chickens, for example, the chicken mite. (See Article About: Limosa Lapponica).

Diatomaceous earth for chickens is the best insect repellent in light of the fact that in spite of the fact that it shows a little slower than industrial sprays, it devastates lice in a couple of days and kills them as it dries. This is based on the fact that the diatomaceous earth residue is exceptionally retentive and acts at a minimal level; users realize how it dries the parasites through the skin so that they disappear in a couple of days.

How to use diatomaceous earth ?

Considering the ultimate goal of killing the chicken mite and louse, the diatomaceous earth must be legitimately controlled and can be done in many different ways. The first is through a duster, in which the powdered item is connected as it comes in its packaging. The second route is to apply it mixed in water.

For this, sprayers can be utilized and should cover both where the hens are and the creatures themselves, as it can be handled without danger to their wellbeing and prosperity as it is a characteristic item.

Effectiveness of diatomaceous earth against mite and chicken louse

The adequacy of diatomaceous earth against parasites in hens, for example, lice is significantly higher than that of the more detailed concoction items, as they lose some of their viability after a while on the grounds that the parasites create a protection against the artificial item. However, this is not the case with Diatomaceous Earth as it is a characteristic item that retains the lice and kills them due to lack of hydration.

Despite its external use to cull the chicken mite, diatomaceous earth is used as an internal dewormer through chicken feed or for poultry control in stores.(See Article About: The Uropigial Gland).

As should be obvious, it is exceptionally intriguing to buy diatomaceous earth for chickens on account of its astounding result as an external antiparasitic that fights insects, for example, chicken mite and chicken louse, on the grounds that it is a characteristic element with no synthetic substances included.

In case you have an extensive chicken ranch, you can use this type of soil in the care of the chickens, although currently this soil can be found only in locations in Spain. It is generally sold online and comes in convenient 3 kg packages or can be ordered in bags of up to 30 kg, depending on the amount you need for your entire farm.

In the stores that usually sell this type of soil against chicken lice, you can also find other natural products that serve to protect our pets without having to incur products that are toxic and become harmful to the health of our animals and those around them.

Home Remedies

There are a variety of home remedies invented today, most of them are created by people by acquiring empirical knowledge, i.e., they test a remedy with everyday products on an infected animal and analyze the results. For so many years trial and error on countless numbers of animals has led to the development of home remedies that do work against infection in these individuals.

Although the fact that it is an empirical knowledge does not know exactly the amounts to use or any dose to apply for each infected animal, so it is always advisable to go to experts in the field which will recommend products that have been tested and know exactly how to apply them.

Gasoil for chicken lice

Every day that passes some people are inventing various ways to cure their animals without incurring products which sometimes tend to be very expensive, so they resort to the materials at hand regardless of their properties and apply it to the animals hoping for a favorable result.

It has been seen the use of diesel oil to treat this type of pest that is the louse, generally a remedy made with this product in conjunction with some oil or sulfur is known, it is used for the legs of the hens and is expected to scare the bugs that attack it.

It is always advisable to use products that have been studied by specialists who know the exact dosage to be used and the period for which the product should be applied, since the effects of the product have been studied in depth and its benefits are certain.