6 things you may not know about red mites
Dermanyssus gallinae is the most common ectoparasite in poultry.
Adult mites are tiny, on average 751 microns long and 461 microns wide when engorged – to give you an idea,a, 1000 microns is 1mm – and they y find it easy to hide, mate, deposit osit their eggs and spread in the tinyy cracks and crevices in a coop.
The life cycle of the mite takes about seven days and contains five stages: egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, and adult. The protonymph, deutonymph, and adult feed on blood of poultry and other birds, but also of other animals, including humans.
Red mites usually move onto the hen for a blood meal when it’s dark, staying on a bird for an hour or two before moving back to their hiding spot. Red mites can survive for up to nine months without feeding, and eggs can remain viable for up to two years.
Mites cause irritation, blood loss, and run down the immune system of a hen, which means they can be deadly over time due to anaemia and/or the effect on the bird’s overall health; they can also carry diseases that can kill birds.