does diatomaceous earth kill bird mites

With summer fast approaching it means red mites will soon be here! This month we look at how Diatomaceous Earth can help you to keep your hens red mite free.

Red mites are nocturnal, which means they’re most active at night, so you may not have seen them in your hen house. These sneaky little pests feed off your hen’s blood which is highly irritating for your poor girls as it causes agitation and prevents them from resting. If left untreated, red mites can induce a drop in egg production, cause stress and eventually anaemia through excessive blood loss, and in very extreme cases, your hens may die.

An easy way to tell if you have a red mite problem in your coop is to place a small square of light coloured toweling material in the corner of your nest boxes or over the end of a perch. The mites will hide in the folds, thinking that they cannot be seen, and the towelling will turn a reddish colour.

So, what do you do if you have red mites? Diatomaceous Earth, or DE for short, can be used to treat animals and birds showing signs of external parasites like lice, fleas, mites etc, and even internal parasites like worms. It’s one of the most popular treatments available.

Natural and DIY Solutions

On our Treatments Protocol page, we provide a list of additional natural and/or do-it-yourself products that we have found useful in addition to local exterminators. Follow this link to the Treatments Protocols page.

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For the treatment of a bird mite infestation, we advise hiring a qualified specialist. If you wait, the issue will worsen and require more expensive treatment. We have a list of pest control businesses that are trained specifically to handle bird mite infestations.

  • They provide a free estimate and come to your house at no cost.
  • Get free expert advice even if you choose not to use them.
  • The majority of pest control businesses have never encountered bird mites before. You need to use a bird mite specialist.

To locate a qualified local exterminator in your area, click this link.

Remember that even when the right chemicals are used to treat bird mites, improper treatment can cause the mites to develop resistance to the chemicals. Use a pest control company only if it has a lot of experience dealing with bird mites.

Also, a lot of our readers have continued to use (or have completely abandoned) natural remedies and pesticide-free alternatives, like those found on our Treatments Protocols page (click the link to access that page).

On our Treatments Protocol page, we provide a list of additional natural, non-pesticide, and/or do-it-yourself products that we have found useful, in addition to local exterminators. Follow this link to the Treatments Protocols page.

What is Diatomaceous Earth and how does it work?

Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring dust-like substance composed of the fossilized remains of extinct shell-like creatures. It is inert and safe for both humans and animals.

The microscopic tiny sharp shards in the Diatomaceous Earth dust scratch the mites’ waxy shells, killing them when they crawl through it at night to feed.

Additionally, natural diatomaceous earth reduces ammonia, mold, and fungi in litter by drying it out and preventing mites and other crawling insects from colonizing it.

What are the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous Earth should be on your list of must-haves for hen keeping for a number of reasons. Here are a few:

  • Chemical-Free: There are no chemicals in Diatomaceous Earth; it is entirely natural. This means it does not harm the environment. It’s also odour free, stain free and pesticide free.
  • It poses no threat to your hens if they consume it.
  • Hens enjoy dust baths, just as humans do, and you can prevent mites by adding diatomaceous earth to your hens’ dust bathing spaces.


How long does diatomaceous earth take to kill bird mites?

Their skins are pierced by sharp edges of the diatom’s siliceous shells, causing life’s juices to flow out.” It has since been reported that some insects die within 4 hours of contact and others may take a full day.

Can diatomaceous earth kill mites?

Diatomaceous Earth, or DE for short, can be used on animals and birds to treat against external parasites (lice, fleas, mites), and even internal parasites (worms). It’s one of the most popular items that we at the BHWT advise to combat red mite.

Will diatomaceous earth hurt birds?

Can diatomaceous earth affect birds, fish, or other wildlife? Diatomaceous earth is practically non-toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates. It is commonly encountered by birds and other wildlife, and it’s not known to be harmful.