CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe for £25 today CLICK HERE

Do red mites survive over the winter months?

PUBLISHED: 19:30 17 May 2014

I am wondering if red mites can survive in empty coops over the winter months? I had a mite problem last summer, then the fox killed all my hens. I think I want to start again this spring with another small flock

Victoria Roberts says:

Red mite is a very successful parasite and can survive for a year without a meal! Second-hand hen huts are therefore likely to be carrying red mite and, if you had a problem last summer, some of the mites will still be alive in the hut. Before you get your next flock, take the entire hut apart, remove any felt from the roof board and spray it all with Indorex or Acclaim (long-lasting cat flea killer sprays from your vet). Do not renew the roof felt but replace it with clear corrugated Perspex over the board to maintain waterproofing, and the light (which the mites hate) prevents them from hiding in the previous ‘palace’ of theirs under the felt. Wild birds can bring in red mite, so you need to remain alert to the possibility of a re-infestation – checking at dusk with a torch will let you see the little blighters climbing down to the perch ready for their nightly blood-sucking.


More from Expert Advice

Thursday, August 29, 2019

In the second of three extracts from her new book, The Climate Change Garden, co-written with Sally Morgan, Country Smallholding's gardening correspondent Kim Stoddart explains how important trees are for Britain's more extreme weather-laden future

Read more
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Home seed saving is oh so satisfying, says Kim Stoddart, who explains the collection process, as well as why ladybirds are her friends

Read more
Friday, August 23, 2019

Time is running out for outdoor sowings to crop in autumn/winter, but Charles Dowding has some advice on September plantings, as well as a word of warning on apparent weedkiller poisonings

Read more
Friday, July 19, 2019

In an extract from her new book The Climate Change Garden, co-written with Sally Morgan, Country Smallholding's gardening correspondent Kim Stoddart explains how smallholders can start future-proofing their fruit-growing efforts

Read more
Thursday, July 18, 2019

How can you widen your resilient reach beyond the veg garden? Kim Stoddart explains how native planting 'off piste' will help to entice those vital pollinators back onto your patch

Read more
Thursday, May 30, 2019

We pick six fruit and vegetables that reap multiple-harvests every year and can be grown at home

Read more

Most Read

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Country Smallholding