Prevent Mites On Chickens Easily

Worried that your hens may be infested with mites on chickens? You and they are both in need of assistance right now.

The poultry mite can quickly become a major issue for your chickens once warmer weather arrives.

What to look for, where they come from, how they affect your chickens, how to tell if you have them, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent them are all covered in this article.

Make sure to keep your flock healthy in the first place by giving your chickens a good chicken feed.

What do mites on chickens look like?

Red chicken mites, or the red poultry mite, are better known by their common names than by their scientific name, Dermanyssus gallinae.

They are external parasites that feed on the chicken’s blood. Before they eat, their coloring is more like a light grey. However, after they have fed and gotten their fill of blood, they change color.

At night, when your flock is roosting, they scavenge, making the feet, legs, breast, and vent of your chickens easy targets. They abandon the “host” and seek shelter during the day, emerging later in the evening to resume their feeding.

While they do best on a diet of chicken blood, they can go without food for up to seven months, so it’s important to make sure all bedding is burned rather than reused if you have them.

mites on chickens
There is always a chance that there are mites on chickens.

How do you know there are mites on chickens?

The first step is to observe your chickens for any signs of illness. The following are examples of such things:

-Loss of feathers
-Cracked heels and scabbed feet
-Pale comb and wattles
-A lower number of eggs than usual
-Chickens that are scared to come home to roost
-Legs with blood smears

However, clumps of mites, especially at the base of the feathers under the wings and around the vent, are the most telling sign when you examine your chickens individually.

The mites look like tiny grey insects before they gorge on your chickens’ blood, but afterward they’ll be a vibrant red color.

How to get rid of mites on chickens?

To begin, you must take certain measures to prepare for treatment, regardless of whether you will be using chemicals or not. Follow these steps:

Take your chickens out of the coop. Don’t even bother trying to heal it while they’re there.

Remove absolutely everything from the coop so it can be thoroughly cleaned. Everything from nesting boxes and bedding to feed and roosting supplies, as well as any necessary containers or tools.

Due to their prowess at hiding, mites require a thorough cleaning in order to be eradicated.

After you’ve finished treating the coop as a whole, burn the old bedding and replace it with new. Without burning it, you run the risk of never completely eliminating the mites, as they will have left behind eggs and larvae.

Bedding that has been kept in the coop, such as bales of straw, should not be redeployed. Just get rid of everything and start over with brand new.

Natural ways to get rid of chicken mites:

Mites that prey on other species

To do this, you’ll need to introduce a mite that feeds on the red mite into your coop.

Although I have not tried this method myself, my friend and expert poultry keeper Tim Daniels has and has written a fantastic article about it that you can find at this link.

Wood ash

Simple wood-fire ash, there you go. However, only pure wood ash, not ash from a fire that has burned treated wood or any other substance, should be used.

In the event of an infestation, some people swear by liberally dusting their chickens with this. Putting it in a bowl or bucket and rubbing it into the feathers, especially the area under the wings and around the vent, is the simplest method.

In case you were wondering, yes, this should be used only if it is completely dry. Wood ash that has been wet is extremely caustic and will cause severe skin irritation to your chickens.


Herbs won’t work fast enough to stop an existing infestation from spreading.

If you have a rat problem, for example, you might have to use an insecticide first, and then switch to using herbs for prevention.

The pyrethrum in tagetes patula, also known as the French marigold, is extremely poisonous to insects.

Natural repellents include pennyroyal and peppermint. Apply them in a dried form by scattering them in the dust bath and coop of your chickens.

Chemical ways to get rid of chicken mites:

If I have a rat problem or these annoying insects, I prefer to use non-chemical methods first.

However, due to their resilience, mites are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Therefore, sometimes chemical solutions are required. You can use

The use of a chemical powder to kill the insects may be necessary if the infestation is severe. Once that’s done, you can switch to the more natural, low-impact preventative measures we discussed earlier.

These substances are, without a doubt, poisons. Always remember to observe these safety measures:

-Wear gloves and a face mask for safety. Please don’t take a deep breath of that dust.
-Keep out of the reach of kids and animals.
-Don’t try this at the beach! Stop the spread of these powders as quickly as possible.

About the Author
The Poultry Feed Team

The Poultry Feed Team

I am Ehsan from The Poultry Feed Team. We all started out as poultry novices ourselves, so we know just how confusing it can be to try and figure everything out on your own. That's why we're here! We want to help you become the best caretaker of these lovely feathered animals.