Should I disinfect my coop during a blood lice outbreak?
A blood lice infestation is extremely annoying and it takes a long time to get it under control. Getting rid of blood lice 100% is unfortunately impossible, because the eggs can survive at least 2 years and hatch as soon as the conditions are ideal again. It is therefore important to always keep a close eye on the presence of blood lice and act quickly. Maintenance of the coop is very important, but is disinfection necessary? We are happy to explain!
Blood lice can’t swim
Cleaning the coop in case of a blood lice infestation is definitely recommended. Blood lice hide in every nook and cranny they can find. Especially during a large outbreak you will find them in the strangest places in the coop. It is therefore important to unscrew as many parts of the coop as possible when cleaning the coop. Think about laying nests, perches, etc., and also remove buckets and other loose items.
Blood lice cannot swim, so we recommend spraying the coop thoroughly with a high-pressure sprayer. You will get rid of many of the blood lice because of the large amount of water. It is NOT necessary to use disinfectant stuff, which will have little or no effect on the blood lice. The eggs of blood lice will not be destroyed by disinfecting/chemical products.
Environmental spray and weed burner as an additional application
To get blood lice under control, internal treatment of the chickens is especially important. The blood of the chickens will then become indigestible, preventing the adult blood lice from reproducing further and the population will become smaller and smaller.
Treatment of young blood lice and blood lice eggs require a different approach. A silica-based environmental spray helps deal with the young blood lice because this spray acts as a kind of sandpaper to which the young blood lice rub themselves. The blood lice eggs are almost impossible to remove; they are impervious to disinfection, chemicals and/or natural products. The only way you can (partially) remove them is via a weed burner. Go through all the cracks with this and in this way remove some of the nests of blood lice.
Water, environmental spray and internal supplements
Disinfectants are useless to use in the chicken coop against a blood lice infestation. These agents have no additional function, they do no harm but they do not kill the blood lice and eggs. In case of an extreme blood lice infestation, plenty of water is the first step in the approach, along with an internal supplement for the chickens and the environmental spray for the coop. In addition, you can then take further measures such as blood lice trays and a sand bath with minerals.