Don't forget there are powders to apply directly to the birds themselves. A good dusting of your chickens every so often is a good idea even if you do not think you have a problem. Dust the ends of the perches/nest boxes as much as possible as the mites will always try to crawl around powders if they can. Be proactive; remember prevention is far better than cure. Scrub your hen house with boiling water first before carrying out any treatment. It is a good idea to use Jeyes Fluid or a similar brand.
Every time you clean your chicken house, use a form of preventative treatment. Continue with treatment every couple of days until you feel confident you have eradicated the problem.
Symptoms of Red Mite
Not to be confused with red spider mite.
Red mites are probably one of the biggest problems facing chicken keepers. Under roofing felt is a favourite place, so avoid chicken houses with felt roofs. They love crevices and flat wood surfaces and can typically be found under and at the end of perches coming out at night, crawling onto your birds to feed. In severe cases they can lead to death of your chickens due to Anaemia.
To control the red mite you need to understand the life cycle of this pest. They start off as very small greyish - white mites that swell up into red coloured mites after a feed and at their biggest are only 0.7 mm, so small numbers of them can be hard to spot unless you know what to look for. You might find grey ash like deposit around the perch ends, and if you lift the perch you may see clumps of mites. Red Mites in Chicken Houses are active during the warmer months, usually May to October then dormant over winter. They multiply at an incredible rate, but their life cycle is just 7 days.
You may see no sign of mites on your chickens skin, but this does not mean you do not have a problem. It is also sometimes possible to detect your chickens have a red mite problem as they refuse to roost at night in the hen house. Look out too for pale combs, as it's a sign of the chicken becoming anaemic.
Another sign is red bloodstains on your eggs (Squashed red mites.)They can also be found in debris, so it's important to keep houses clean.