Domestic Waterfowl Club.

Mites, bugs etc.

Mites, bugs etc

Bugs and all things crawly


Fleas are small and dark in colour and can jump high into the air. They feed on blood and can live without food for a long time. The eggs and young of fleas are found in the birds' nests and cracks in walls and floors of buildings. One type of flea  infects ducks and is found around the eyes mainly in babies . They can bite people.


All classes of poultry are susceptible to mites, some of which are blood-suckers, while others burrow into the skin or live on or in the feathers. Others occur in the air passages and in the lungs, liver and other internal organs. There are four different kinds of mites which are important to poultry keepers—northern fowl mite, red poultry mite, depluming mite and scaly leg mite. If ducks are not kept in close association with poultry, then only northern mite affects them. This mite looks very like red mite which spends a lot of its time in the woodwork of the poultry house. Both of these mites are blood suckers, and the northern mites lives on the bird all the time.. Poultry mites cause retarded growth, reduced egg production, lowered vitality, damaged plumage and even death. Much of the injury, consisting of constant irritation and loss of blood, is not apparent without careful examination. A number of different mites infect birds and cause irritation and loss of feathers. Mites are related to spiders and have eight legs and are normally found when at shows and warm with the poor judge finding them and often transmiiting them by accident. . .  hence many quarantine those returning from shows


 Ducks can occasionally  suffer from infections with lice which suck blood and chew the skin . The parasites can attack all areas of the body and are found on the skin and feathers. Lice are six-legged insects. The ones which affect the waterfowl are quite long-bodied, and are greyish. Lice infections cause irritation and prevent birds from resting, sleeping and eating properly. The birds lose weight and egg production drops.  In ducks infection with lice can damage feathers so that the birds die from cold. Mainly found around the vent and neck area

Ticks infections of chickens and ducks

Both chickens and ducks can be attacked by the small, blue or brownish fowl tick. They live in cracks in walls or trees and can live for several years without feeding on the blood of a bird. The tick feeds at night and can cause egg laying to stop. It causes tick paralysis in ducks and spreads other infections. Check online re tick removal as nasty

Control of External Parasites

There are many insecticides available to help control external poultry parasites. The most effective broad spectrum insecticide is permethrin. Permethrin has a significant residual activity, thus making it ideal for treating facilities and equipment. At reduced concentrations it can be applied to the bird. Follow all manufacturers recommendations when using all insecticides. Johnson’s pigeon spray contains biodegradable pyrethrum and works well.

related links