Chicken mites can be difficult pests to combat, their life cycle is difficult to thwart and they thrive in chicken coops. Diatomaceous earth, however, can be used as a natural chicken lice and mite treatment. DE works effectively to exterminate the lice and mites but remains a safe pesticide to have come in close contact with chickens; it targets both full-grown and gestating mites and lice. It's the absorbent properties of DE that allow it to dehydrate insects, and provide protection from future infestations.
Follow the steps below to see how DE can help eliminate chicken mite infestations:
Clean the coop by raking the old hay and disposing of it. As this hay is infested with mites we recommend either bagging it for your city or county's Special Trash service (if available) or burning in a safe location (if permitted by local law).
If you have a wood or concrete floor, wash it with water. If you have a dirt floor, use an outdoor broom to remove some of the excess dust.
Whether you have dirt, wood, or concrete floor, you will need to apply a layer of DE. Once the floor is clean and has begun drying apply a layer of DE; you can use one of our applicators for large spaces like the Wilcox Scoop Applicator. The layer should be a light dusting, use your broom to help spread it out evenly.
Remove and disinfect the roosts. You can disinfect and clean them by using warm water and vinegar and a scouring tool. Apply another thin layer of DE around the roosting area.
Treat your new hay, straw, or pine shavings with DE as you re-bed the coop. Sprinkle about a ½ cup of DE for every 2 sq ft (if using the Wilcox Scoop Applicator, a single scoop should cover about 50 sq ft). Then, using a rake or pitchfork, turn the bedding over to distribute the DE throughout.
Add a thin layer of DE to the top of the dust bathing area. The chickens will bathe themselves in the DE, continuing to treat the mite or lice.
Repeat with every coop cleaning.