Poultry Red Mite (PRM) (Dermanyssus gallinae) is the most significant ectoparasite pest of laying hens worldwide and represents a severe threat to poultry production. In addition, PRM infestations pose serious animal health and welfare concerns and are an increasing public health risk.
These nocturnal ectoparasites suck blood from host birds at night and then hide in the cracks, crevices and litter of poultry houses when they are not feeding during the day.Mites find the hens by means of temperature, vibrations, lower carbon dioxide and other biochemical signals.
Small numbers of mites may be tolerated by laying hens but, when a critical threshold is exceeded, mite infestation results in reduced performance due to anaemia, decreased egg production and quality, and increased mortality. Mites are also known to carry viral and bacterial pathogens. Even at low levels, mites may cause pecking among birds resulting in injury and, as the mites attack at night, the hens’ sleep is disturbed, and they become restless and noisy.
Speak to your vet about a novel licensed product containing fluralaner, that can be used to kill poultry red mites by treating the hens via drinking water and improve their welfare as a result.