Urgent!!! Awful mite infestation killed three hens while we were on vacation! WHAT DO I DO?


Love one another ❤️
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
SE Missouri, USA
Are you positive they died of mite overload and not overheating or such?
I wondered this as well. How hot did it get while you were gone? How much ventilation does your coop have? How big is the coop, and how many birds to the coop? Did someone provide fresh water daily? I'm really sorry for your losses, but you must first know what killed them before you can figure out how to treat or correct the problem. If you're sure it's mites, keep the infested birds away from healthy ones, or you'll just spread the problem. I wish you luck.


Sep 5, 2021
Northwest Washington, USA (near Seattle)
I’m sure it was mites that killed them it was not hot while we were away, there’s plenty of space for them and we had security cams on their water the whole time, and the mite infestation was really bad. Both of our flocks have mites and today my dad spent over to hours after a full day of work cleaning, power washing, and power washing again both coops. I am not going to lie to my parents or sneak anything into the de bag or anything like that. They know that de is bad for lungs and have always been careful not to breath it. We are going to make the chickens a kiddie pool dust bath, power wash the coops every week, my dad is going to put a lot of work into this for the rest of the summer and I simply cannot violate him and my mom by lying like that. I’m sorry and I know it’s a horrible situation. If any of you would like to make a post that can explain why I need a better solution to my parents that would be great. All the other chickens seem to be in good health as well. I’m sure the infestation got bad because of the broodies. Also we’ve completely gotten rid of infestations with de in the past. I just want to do what is best for my flock without violating the trust of my family.


Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop


Apr 17, 2020
They're your (your parents) chickens, it's ultimately between you and them how you chose to treat the infestation. If it's a bad as you say, bad enough that your chickens were weakened to the point of death after a few days with no access to sand, then you have an extreme infestation indeed. Do you know if these are mites or chicken lice? Both will require very diligent clean up if you're hoping to get things under control.

Its admirable to want to stay as all natural as you can, its hard to argue the point that man kind hasnt been entirely too liberal with pesticides but there are some situations where it might be wiser and safer to use well studied compounds in order to save livestock from an early death by thousands of instances of blood letting. If you're aware of how bad DE is for human lungs, then it should translate over easily into how bad it is for chickens lungs as they scratch, kick and dust bathe, introducing it into the air with each action.
It's not going to be easy to rid a coop without the assistance of pesticides but it is possible! Mites tend to hide in the cracks and crevices on roosts, walls, nest boxes and bedding, so you may want to do several full bedding swaps, I would personally burn the stuff coming out of the coop, keeping it out of runs or compost heaps so there's no reintroduction from that end. If it's lice, you'll have to do checks for egg clusters under the chins, wings and tail and either smother them in coconut oil or Vaseline or simply cut the chunks of feathers off, disposing of them carefully. You and your family will have to watch very carefully and expect to repeat the process more than once.

I only suggested Bronco Sprays because it's considered safe and it's not something thag you're going to go crazy willy nilly spraying it everywhere. It a gentle application to the underside of wings and tails, and on the roosts themselves.

Regardless of how you decide to ğo about cleaning, best of luck!

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