Make sure that ALL materials from the floor and nesting boxes are cleaned out into a garbage bag for general waste (NOT for the compost heap). This will prevent them from multiplying and spreading.
Clean out as much as you can: sweep and scrub surfaces where needed, paying special attention to the roosting rails. Mites are usually night active, so they place they find lovely warm bodies to invade are perched on those rails.
You will need to hit them hard with a strong chemical. There is no alternative.
There are two products I recommend you could use:
1. Inca Malaban Wash
2. Maldison 50
Malaban Wash is the easiest to find at most stock and fodder stores, nationwide.
Both are concentrates which need to be added to water in a sprayer.
When applying, it needs to be thorough, so it should be to the point of dripping.
Concentrate on joins, roosting rails, corners, the floor perimeter, nesting boxes, etc.
Mites can also be present in the feeders. Wash them out thoroughly and let them dry outside.
Please cover your exposed skin and wear protective breathing wear and eye wear as a precaution.
Best to clean in the morning so that the best part of the day can dry out the coop before returning the girls in later in the day.
What about the hens during cleaning?
The hens will need to be fenced off elsewhere for the time you are cleaning. Provide them with food and water in alternative containers for the time being while everything from the coop gets a good clean. If you need to provide a nesting box, covered kitty litter boxes with wood shavings as nesting material are fantastic.
Choose materials that mites and lice cannot hide within:
- Wood shavings (not sawdust)
- Chopped straw
Hollow straw is the one thing to omit from the coop. Reducing the need for flooring materials will also work as a great way of deterring future outbreaks. If the hens are free ranging, flooring materials are unnecessary (saves you money too).
Treating Mites On The Hens
Pestene powder should be used on the dry hens to treat for mites and lice.
Pestene or other sulphur based brands are available at all stock and fodder stores.
If you think that the outbreak on the hens is severe and Pestene powder has not helped, then you may dunk bathe the hens in a solution of Maldison 50. The mites will float to the top of the water. Do not get the head wet. Only dunk up to their neck. Hair drier to dry them.
Pestene can also be used in the nesting box under the materials as a preventative.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) may also be used as a PREVENTATIVE ONLY.
Mites can also hide in the soil up to 30cm deep, so having a solid floor in the coop is ideal, even if they are seconds paves added after the shed was constructed. Ideally a solid floor laid and shed constructed on top is better to create a lip to also reduce mice, rats and snakes from coming up in, too.
Some areas are more prone to mites than others. A removal of top soil may be necessary and replaced with fresh soil to control outbreak issues. Fire can also reduce mites in the soil.
Make sure you have a good shower straight after and hot wash your cleaning clothes to prevent mites from coming into your soft furnishings.