Red mites

The mite

The acarina or mites belong to a subclass of the arachnids. They are small animals, ranging from less than 1 cm to 3 cm in length. They have the characteristic of having the cephalothorax (the part that includes the head and the thorax) fused with the abdomen and of not having evident segmentations. These animals include many species that are parasitic for both animals and plants, causing infestations that are called acariasis. Among the various species there are many morphological diversities, in fact they can be provided with a mouth apparatus that is suitable for digging, sucking or stinging. The legs can be suitable for running, swimming or have hooks or suckers to cling to the substrate, some species are even without legs.

The red mite

The red mites (Dermanissus gallinae) are among the main ectoparasites (parasites that live outside the body which houses them, but with which they live in symbiosis) that may be encountered in poultry flocks. It has a size that varies between 0.7 and 1.1 mm so it easily nests in crevices, interstices of cages, perches, nests during the day, to attack chickens during the night sucking the blood. These mites can withstand periods of fasting that last up to 25 weeks in the presence of low temperatures. The life cycle of a red mite it is very fast, in fact the female lays up to 40 eggs from which the larvae emerge which pass through two different stages in a very short time, between 5 and 9 days depending on the temperature, before reaching the adult stage.

Problems created by the red mite

The red mitesthey are pests and create many problems due to their hematophagous activity which irritates and weakens the animals. The animals are anemic, thin and very restless especially during the night. As a first consequence there is a decrease in the production of eggs which also undergo a depreciation due to the red dots that appear. As an extreme consequence there can be transmission of various diseases such as salmonellosis, pastorellosis, Newcastle disease, avian diphtheria and colibacillosis. The difficulty in fighting this arachnid is due to the fact that they do not live on the body of the infested animal, so for this reason they can also create problems for humans. In fact, it is possible to find them on plants, flowers, in the earth and in organic waste.

Red mites: How to counteract the attack of red mites

In the case of an infestation of a chicken coop, careful disinfection of the environment should be provided, followed by repainting the walls with quicklime and the elimination of the furnishings of the chicken coop including perches, cleaning tools, removable feeders. The elimination should be done by burning every object, so that the mites cannot infest other areas in any case. A fairly effective method of natural bio-disinfestation would be to leave objects exposed to the sun, since mites prefer cool places. To disinfect animals, Fipronil, a pesticide used to fight ticks on dogs and cats, could be used. This product is capable of directly killing the

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