Red mites by the sea­sons

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Poultry -

Red mite pop­u­la­tions tend to be higher in win­ter and lower in sum­mer. How­ever in Den­mark and Italy, pop­u­la­tions tend to be higher in late sum­mer and re­searchers found that was linked to tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity. Re­searchers in Swe­den found that mites do not thrive at low rel­a­tive hu­mid­ity, or at ex­treme tem­per­a­tures (more than 45°C and -20°C were found to be lethal).

In the same study, fe­male red mites laid eggs at tem­per­a­tures be­tween 5°C and 45°C with the high­est num­bers laid at 20°C and 70% rel­a­tive hu­mid­ity, but de­vel­op­ment to lar­vae and protonymphs was only ob­served at tem­per­a­tures rang­ing from 20-25°C.

An­other nasty is the de­p­lum­ing mite ( Cne­mi­do­coptes gal­li­nae) which makes a bird very itchy and causes it to rip out its feath­ers. It’s par­tic­u­larly prevalent in spring and sum­mer, and may dis­ap­pear in au­tumn.

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