Lice and Mites Treatments
Lice and mites are a serious pest to humans, and even cause some pretty horrible skin irritations and carry disease.
There are around 250 different types of lice here in Australia and about 3000 worldwide, that’s a lot a biting little pests.
I was treating a customer’s house in the suburb of Manly in Brisbane. They had a pretty bad lice infestation in their chicken coop and also had mites in their house.
In this case, we were more dealing with either house dust mites. Or lice that may have been carried in from birds, that may have gained entry to the roof void. Or from a possum that has found shelter under the house, the treatment process is the same for both. The chickens could easily have picked up the lice from either birds or possums in the area.
So a well concentrated and thorough treatment was required to get rid of them, we started outside by treating the lice first. After the outside was treated the internal of the house was also treated.
The treatment involved a blanket spray of the entire outside of the property, including the chicken coop; obviously, the chickens were not harmed in any way during the treatment.
After the spraying was completed and had time to dry out. We applied some hydrated lime, throughout the areas where the chickens were roaming.
The lime is a great product to use if you have chickens. Lime helps to control not only lice and mites, but also fleas, and it’s cheap so it doesn’t have to break the bank.
To apply the lime you simply sprinkle it over the soil and then rake it in with a garden rake. Try and concentrate on applying it in the areas where chickens have their dust baths. By doing this they unknowingly cover themselves with small amounts of the lime, helping them to stay free from lice.
The lime won’t harm the chickens in any way, I have chickens myself and we use it in the coop about every 4-6 months. Just don’t put down too much in one area without thoroughly raking it into the ground.
Chickens And Garden Care
After the treatment, I always give some advice on things that I see that may be conducive to reinfestation of the lice again.
In this particular case, the chicken laying boxes needed to be cleaned on a more regular basis. By doing this it will lessen the risk of a lice infestation, and also help to keep the chickens happy.
The old chicken poo that is removed from the coop can be used on the garden as a great fertilizer. Or it can be sold out the front of the house, maybe a job for the kids to give them some pocket money.
Try to keep the garden free from garden rubbish, as this just attracts other pests like rats and mice. Because the chickens in most cases get the food scraps from the house, this inadvertently brings in rodents looking for an easy meal. So don’t make it even easier for them by providing them with a home as well in the form of garden rubbish that’s been piling up for months.
Rodents can carry lice and mites just like birds can, so if you’re going to have chickens make sure they are well looked after and clean them out on a regular basis. Keep the garden in good order then you should enjoy great free range eggs for years.
Mites are very small indeed, to see them properly we need to look at them with a 30X lens. And I can tell you one thing they make you itch like mad.
The one that causes the most serious threat the humans is the scabies mite. I’m sure you have heard of scabies, it’s a serious skin disease caused by (Sarcoptes scabiei ) and it will usually end up needing medical treatment to get rid of them.
There are a few different types of mites that cause problems for us humans, below is a list of them.
- The Food Mites (Family Acaridae)
- The Starling Mite (Ornithonyssus bursa)
- The Poultry Red Mite (Dermanyssus gallinae)
- The Bryobia Mite (Bryobia rubrioculus)
- The Straw Mite (Pyemotes herfsi )
- The Scabies Mite (Sarcoptes scabiei )
- The Grass Itch Mite (Odontacarus australiensis)
- House Dust Mites (Dermatophagoides farinae)
The first thing I do for treating mites is to blow permethrin dust up into the roof void. This is an area that can become infested with mites from birds nesting up there, so it’s an important area to treat.
All of the internal skirtings and under any furniture plus around window sills will also have to be thoroughly treated; we do this with a liquid spray.
After about 14 days of the initial treatment, a thorough clean-up of the property will be required. This means vacuuming every room and paying attention to skirting boards, under beds and other furniture.
Where mites are concerned hygiene is the most important aspect of the whole process. A pest control company can treat the property. But it comes down to the customer to understand what needs to be done after the treatment that’s important.
If the areas that have been treated aren’t fully cleaned after about 14 days, there may be a chance that a reinfestation could occur at some point down the track.
Regular maintenance and cleaning are crucial to help prevent a serious infestation of lice and mites from occurring. Keep in mind that if you want livestock such as chickens, they take some looking after. Regular clean outs of their pens is a very important part in controlling lice activity. The same will go for mites inside of a home, regular vacuuming is necessary to help bring them under control.
As mentioned earlier products like lime are a great way of controlling lice. But remember not to overdo it as lime can cause irritation to the skin if too much is used. Always rake the lime out evenly and don’t let children apply it or play with it.
So if you ever have to have a treatment for lice or mites take on board the advice of the pest control technician that is carrying out the treatment.
If you think you may have a problem of this nature and you live in the Brisbane, Ipswich or the Gold Coast please don’t hesitate to contact us as we are here to help.