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Hints & Tips

Hints & Tips for Treating Red Mite

Read and follow preparation, usage and aftercare instructions thoroughly and follow closely. These will be delivered with your order. This advice is given with the best of intentions in an attempt to provide you with the best possible outcome for you and especially your birds.

Do not conduct any DIY which may alarm the mites and make them run away – it is almost impossible to achieve success if mites are scurrying away – some will surely survive and re-infest the hut.

Storage of Mite Magic

Keep your pot of Mite Magic closed and out of direct sunlight until you are ready to begin applying. Mite Magic contains ingredients which appear to repel Red Mites, and we want the mites to remain clueless to the planned treatment, remain docile and not run away.

After treatment is complete, keep your Mite Magic pot and brush close-by in case you spot any mites that have escaped. Paint these mites as soon as possible to ensure they cannot survive and lay their eggs and re-infest the hut. Spot check inside and outside the hut a few days after treatment to ensure there are no Mite survivors. Red Mites occupy the tiniest areas, so be thorough.

Keep any left-over Mite Magic in a cool, dry place until your treatment next year. Mite Magic will store as advised for three years. Be sensible and keep out of sight and reach of children with lid on.

Plan your treatment day

Ensure you have read the instructions and website and assemble your “kit” to get the job done (see kit below).

Let the birds out and put their food and water well away from the hut, along with a spare nestbox for their use. Offer unlimited higher protein food and unlimited fresh clean water. Add Wizard Minerals or a vitamin supplement to their water to encourage a swift return to better health and vitality.

What time of day to use Mite Magic

Plan your Mite Magic treatment day on a cool dry morning – the hens will be outside feeding at this time, and the Red Mite will have returned to their hiding places to rest and lay their eggs. Mite Magic is best used at this time as it traps and treats them in their hiding places, reducing the risk of any escaping and surviving. At night Red Mite are active, and it is nigh-on impossible to treat successfully if Red Mite are running around, there is a much higher chance of some escaping and surviving.

Equipment & preparation

Ensure you have your kit ready:

  • small dustpan and brush
  • paper bags
  • plastic bags
  • duct tape or good strong sticky tape
  • fire built and ready to light
  • standard gloss type paintbrush, (1.5 or 2 inch)
  • eye or skin protection as required
  • Mite Magic

Do not use any liquid to prepare the hut before using Mite Magic – the hut must be dry to help Mite Magic coat surfaces properly and soak in.

Work quickly and methodically in small sections, but don't panic or you may miss some areas.

Where to start

Once the minimal preparation is complete and waste put onto the lit fire, you can then begin your hut treatment.

Treat favourite Red Mite areas first – perches first, followed with nest-boxes, and joints/cracks and crevices in the hut. Coat all areas, top, bottom, left/right sides and especially underneath. Red Mite prefer to be as close to the birds as possible for an easy meal. Remember to coat these areas generously, 2mm, with Mite Magicand brush Mite Magic deep into dark, dry recesses and “underneath” all areas.

Paint all escape routes first – for example on a perch – paint the ends of the perch and all perch supports, so any Red Mite looking for escape routes are blocked by Mite Magic, trapping them within and sealing their fate with the ongoing application. Then paint the middle areas of the perch. On a hut wall, paint around all the edges, joints of timbers and cracks and crevices first, then paint the middle sections.

Red Mites under roofing felt?

A dark, warm dry hut is an ideal living environment for Red Mites, and the space under roofing materials is ideal. You can treat as above – remove and burn the felt after painting a perimeter around the roof with Mite Magic. Once the roof felt has been burned, paint Mite Magic on the entire roof to eradicate live mites and their eggs. Parasite free roofing felt can now be refixed, or consider using a clear plastic/perspex material to re-cover the roof to discourage mites from moving back in. Mites hate daylight so clear plastic, allowing light in, will discourage them.
You can alternatively paint the underside of the felt if you wish to refix it to the roof, but also paint the entire roof itself before refixing the felt.

If removing the felt is too big or expensive a job, there is an alternative way but does involve patience and a few late nights. To do this, you must wait for the mites to emerge to obtain a blood meal from your birds.

As the birds go to bed at dusk, paint a generous (but narrow) line of Mite Magic all the way around the hut, a few inches lower than the roof and leave no gaps. This line of Mite Magic will create a barrier and stop the Red Mite en-route to your birds. Red Mites emerge around 1-2 hours after your birds are roosting, keeping still and trying to sleep. Mites will look for a gap in Mite Magic as they try to reach the birds to obtain a meal. Mite Magic acts as a barrier and blocks their path, so you simply paint more Mite Magic onto them. Ensure you repeat this procedure 7 days later to capture any hatched mite eggs under the felt. Spot check to ensure there are no survivors at various late-evening intervals until no live Red Mite are seen.

Disposal of waste

Burn all waste materials from the hut wherever possible, before, during and routinely thereafter at every clean out. If you don’t have an incinerator bin/old oil drum etc, make a fire surround with bricks. Ensure the fire area is big enough for your bag of waste to fit into. If you have only a small area to burn, use smaller bags for waste and build a smaller fire. Be sensible and have a hosepipe or watering can nearby, just in case. Never leave a lit fire unattended.

Keep all removable objects (such as dropping boards, nest boxes etc) inside the hut until painted/treated with Mite Magic. Red Mites HATE daylight and it makes them scurry away, making them harder to catch and treat. Red Mite are much more docile if kept in darkness.

If you need to remove perches etc from their brackets in order to paint the recesses, paint a barrier of Mite Magic around the area first. Once disturbed the Red Mites may try to escape. Remove the perch as gently as possible and try not to disturb the mites until you can paint them with Mite Magic.

Temporary nestbox

Consider providing the birds with an alternative nestbox (pre-treated with Mite Magic) so your hens can lay eggs outside the hut during treatment. Mite Magic won’t harm the birds but they are curious creatures and may make a nuisance of themselves! A cardboard box makes a suitable alternative if no spare nestbox is available. Burn spare nest box after treatment if possible, or paint with Mite Magic to ensure Red Mite don't move in.

Mites may also use a bird to hitch-hike a ride out of the hut and escape your ongoing Mite Magic treatment, so ensure any trips out of the hut by humans or birds are kept to an absolute minimum.

Application of Mite Magic

Red Mites will survive and congregate in any areas untreated with Mite Magic so ensure all areas are treated. If you don’t have enough Mite Magic, ensure the remaining areas are treated as soon as possible. Once Mite Magic has absorbed into the hut, mites will able to get to your birds to begin feeding, so ensuring all mites are destroyed at once is a crucial key to its success.

Apply Mite Magic generously – remember you should only need to do a Mite Magic Red Mite treatment once a year if you follow our instructions closely, so aim to get the job done properly and thoroughly. Apply at a rate of not less than 2mm in high risk areas of perch, nest box, all joints in hut structure and all cracks and crevices. Never wash Mite Magic off any surface, it should be left to soak in to continue to work its magic long after application.

Feeding

Ask your bird feed supplier for a “higher protein” feed pellet such as a breeder pellet, grower pellet or high efficiency layer pellet. The higher protein content will help your birds recover more quickly.

When is the best time of year to use Mite Magic?

Mite Magic can be used at any time of the year and should be used as soon as you discover a Red Mite infestation – Red Mites will show your birds no mercy whatsoever, they reproduce very rapidly, will make their lives a misery and feed on their blood until they are dead so please don’t delay your Mite Magic treatment. Early morning on a cool dry day is advised when the birds are out of the way and to minimise your discomfort. You may become hot and agitated if mites crawl all over you, its a horrendous feeling as you may already know.

UK winter time used to offer birds some respite from Red Mite due to the cold temperatures, but as winters are becoming much milder Red Mite are surviving in greater numbers due to the warmer winter temperatures.

Egg Taint

Mite Magic has not formally been tested for egg taint effects. Poultry Wizard, volunteers or any egg customer has ever raised an issue, concern or query relating to egg taint, nor of any unusual taste to eggs. Once bedding material has been replaced in nest boxes, eggs coming into contact with Mite Magic is minimal and may be washed or wiped away along with any dirt on the egg. On this basis, egg withdrawal is not considered necessary - Mite Magic contains no nasty chemicals.

Broody hens/hatching eggs naturally

If you wish to hatch your own eggs, ensure the broody box is thoroughly treated with Mite Magic inside and out. Ensure your bedding is parasite free, and it is good practice to generously dust the hen and the bedding with “food grade” diatomaceous earth, a “belt and braces” approach if you like. A bird sitting on eggs represents a 24 hour a day banquet for Red Mites and she may be in peril if mites are constantly feeding on her blood. The hatchlings will also be at risk of death if Red Mites are present. Mite Magic has been used around chicks and young birds with no adverse effects, based on a volunteers experience of quail hatchlings. Please see testimonials (Lynn B) for more information.