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How long can red mites survive without chickens around?

Red mites can survive without chickens for about 2 weeks. But the eggs survive much longer and are often the reason for a large and recurring infestation. Its a big job to get rid of an infestation for those who didn’t detect the red mites in time. Because the more red mites, the longer it takes to get rid of them. We explain in this blog how long red mites survive and how to treat them most efficiently.

Adult red mites

Once a red mite crawls out of its egg it lives for about 6 to 8 weeks under normal conditions. You can read more about the life cycle and behavior of red mites here.Without food (chickens or other poultry) a red mite survives for up to 2 weeks. An adult red mite lays up to 8 eggs per day under ideal conditions. And these eggs are the “strongest link” when it comes to survival.

Red mite eggs

Red mite eggs can survive for at least two years (!!!) without chickens or birds around. Hence it is often said that it is usually not possible to get rid of an infestation completely. The eggs are hidden in cracks and seams that are difficult to reach. In addition, eggs can only be removed with a high-pressure hose or a burner. There is currently no pesticide on the market that prevents eggs from hatching. Therefore, it is very important to check the coop during the red mite season (March to late October) for hatched red mite eggs. How to do that is explained in the paragraph below.

Check, check, check…

A simple and ideal method to control red mites is the red mite test. This test consists of a tube containing a wooden stick. You hang the test with tie-rips under the perch of chickens and it lasts for years. Once the red mites have hatched, they will start building their nest in the nearby place where the chicken spends the night. By hanging the blood lice test under the perch you create this place for red mites. You can easily pull out the stick in the test every day or every week to check for red mites. This way you can start treating faster and prevent an explosive outbreak during a warm period.

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