Red mites are difficult to eradicate as they shelter
in cracks and crevices in poultry houses. These mites are also a potential
source of salmonella transmission, say biosecurity experts at agriculture
â€œWhile it is well known that mites can transmit diseases such as fowl
cholera, fowl typhoid and the chicken pox virus; the fact that they feed by
sucking blood means they can also theoretically transmit salmonella through
contaminated blood,â€ explained Kiotechagil's Mike Rogers.
Both the red mite and the northern fowl mites have long been regarded as
being one of the most common and critical problems for poultry farmers. They
move quickly over a bird's skin and feathers and their blood sucking activity
can crucially cause a drop in egg production as well as anaemia and in the case
of severe infestation, death, says Kiotechagil.
While red mites feed on the birds in darkness often for about 1-2 hours
each night before retreating to the extremities of the poultry house, the
northern fowl mite breeds continually on the bird. It is therefore a particular
problem for caged birds.
â€œBecause red mites can live away from birds for up to six months they are
frequently extremely difficult to get rid of,â€ says Rogers. In addition, the
largely mild winters of the last few years has enabled the mites to survive and