POULTRY MITE CONTROL
Poultry mites, scientifically known as Dermanyssus gallinae, are common pests that infest poultry, such as chickens and other domestic birds. These tiny arachnids measure around 1mm in length and have oval-shaped bodies. Poultry mites appear reddish-brown when engorged with blood after feeding on their hosts. However, they can also appear pale or translucent when unfed. These nocturnal pests are highly mobile and can quickly infest a poultry flock.
Poultry mites are considered pests due to their parasitic nature. They feed on the blood of birds, causing irritation, stress, and anemia in infested poultry. The mites typically hide in crevices and cracks during the day, making it challenging to detect their presence. Infestations are characterized by feather loss, restlessness, reduced egg production, pale combs, and overall poor health of the birds. Severe infestations can lead to decreased weight gain and even death in poultry.
One beneficial insect that preys on poultry mites is the Hypoaspis miles, also known as the "Stratiolaelaps scimitus." These predatory mites feed on various small arthropods, including poultry mites. They are effective in controlling mite populations in poultry houses by actively searching for mites in the environment, including in bedding and cracks. Hypoaspis miles can be introduced preventatively or as a curative measure to reduce poultry mite infestations.
Integrated pest management (IPM) approaches, such as introducing natural predators or parasites, using traps & lures, applying natural protectants & treatments, and practicing good plant hygiene, can help manage pest insect populations effectively. Regular monitoring and early detection are crucial in preventing severe infestations and minimizing the damage caused by these persistent pests.