(De Geer, 1778)
|Classification and external resources|
|ICD-10||B88.0 (ILDS B88.060)|
The mites are blood feeders and attack resting birds at night. They are generally white or greyish in colour, becoming darker or redder when engorged with blood. After feeding, they hide in cracks and crevices away from daylight, where they mate and lay eggs. The mite progresses through 5 life stages: egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph and adult. Under favourable conditions this life cycle can be completed within seven days, so populations can grow rapidly - causing anaemia in badly affected flocks of poultry. Young birds are most susceptible. The mites can also affect the health of the birds indirectly, as they may serve as vectors for diseases such as Salmonellosis, avian spirochaetosis and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.
Clinical signs and diagnosis
A presumptive diagnosis can be made in flocks of laying hens, usually based on a history of decreasing egg production, anaemia and mortalities in young or ill birds. Blood spots on eggs indicate infestation within the cloaca of an affected hen. Definitive diagnosis is only achieved following identification of eggs, feces or the mites themselves.
Treatment and prevention
Predatory mites and ectoparasiticides can be used to treat affected poultry. Predatory mites are sold and distributed internationally and throughout the United States as an effective solution. Amblyseius andersoni is an effective predatory mite for target pests including red mites. For ectoparasiticides, these chemical controls, if used, should be used in rotation to avoid the buildup of resistance. Red mites can survive for up to 10 months in an empty hen house. Creosote treatment of wood will kill mites. Prevention of infestation in a human habitation consists of eliminating vectors (pigeons in eaves, infested backyard poultry, etc.). Elimination of an infestation in a human habitation is best achieved through a combination of eliminating potential vectors (nesting pigeons, backyard poultry, etc.); reducing potential hiding places (rugs, clutter); judicious use of pesticides; consistent use of dehumidifiers to maintain a low humidity environment; maintaining a low temperature in the environment; frequent thorough cleaning; minimizing the amount of time spent in the home; and maintaining excellent hygiene and exercise habits. Treatment of infestation may require topical and oral medication such as ivermectin and may require several months to eradicate.
Disease in other animals and humans
Dermanyssus gallinae will also bite mammals, including cats, dogs, rodents, rabbits, horses, and humans, where the infestation is known as gamasoidosis. As D. gallinae is a nocturnal feeder, people bitten by this mite commonly feel itchy when they wake up in the morning, although the severity of the signs vary, with any one of pain, itch and rash occurring either individually or together. Infestation by D. gallinae is rare in cats and dogs; usually the extremities and the back are bitten, causing itching.
Immature form Nymph I of Dermanyssus gallinae by A.C. Oudemans
- Chirico J, Eriksson H, Fossum O, Jansson D (June 2003). "The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, a potential vector of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae causing erysipelas in hens". Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 17 (2): 232–4. PMID 12823843. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2915.2003.00428.x.
- George, DR; Finn, RD; Graham, KM; Mul, MF; Maurer, V; Moro, CV; Sparagano, OA (25 March 2015). "Should the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae be of wider concern for veterinary and medical science?". Parasites & vectors. 8: 178. PMC . PMID 25884317. doi:10.1186/s13071-015-0768-7.
- James, WD; Berger, T; Elston, D (2015). "Parasitic infestations, stings and bites: Gamasoidosis". Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology (12 ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 446. ISBN 9780323319690.
- Kos, L; Galbraith, S (2011). "Infections and infestations". In Schachner, LA; Hansen, RC. Pediatric dermatology (4th ed.). St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby/Elsevier. pp. 1576–1578. ISBN 9780723436652.
- Paterson, Sue (2009). "Dermanyssus gallinae". Manual of skin diseases of the dog and cat (2nd ed.). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 118–119. ISBN 9781444309324.
- Dermanyssus gallinae, at WikiVet
- Red Mite Page on keeping-chickens.me.uk, Photographs of typical red mite infestations including macro photograph in backyard poultry coops
- Red Mite Section on poultrykeeper.com, Articles and information on Red Mites, including predator mites that can be used to control infestations
- Red Mite infestation in houses Infestation is not limited to chicken coops.
- Red Mite Information on Accidental Smallholder and close up photos for smallholders and backyard chicken keepers.
- The Year of the Mite Infested by poultry mites from baby chicks, Jane Ishka explores what is known about how these mites infest humans and, most importantly, how to get rid of them.