Poultry Red Mite Life Cycle
The direct mite life cycle can be as short as seven days, which allows for rapid growth over a short period of time. Mites will feed on chickens during the night and then hide in the cracks and crevices of chicken coops during the day. This nocturnal nature, combined with the subtle initial signs presented by the chickens, means it is possible for infestations to go unrecognized for long periods of time.
Aside from the egg, poultry red mites have four life cycle stages: larva, protonymph, deutonymph and adult. Larvae hatch with six legs and do not feed. After the first molt, both nymphal stages and adults have eight legs. Protonymphs, deutonymphs and adult females routinely feed on host blood, but males only occasionally feed.1,2
The Impact of PRM on Chicken Health and Welfare
Mite bites are painful and induce skin irritation, which leads to high stress levels in infested birds. Some of the signs associated with a PRM infestation include feather pecking, restlessness and increased self-grooming and head scratching.
In addition to increased stress, PRM can also act as a vector of disease. Many bacterial and viral pathogens that affect both humans and animals have been isolated from red mites or had mite-vectored transmission. Some of these include Salmonella gallinarium and enteritidis, Pasteurella multocida, Escherichia coli and many others.
In the past, PRM has been hard to control in backyard flocks. There have been limited treatment options for PRM and even fewer options for smaller flock sizes. Exzolt comes in an easy-to-administer 50-mL package, perfect for your flock.
Exzolt is a unique parasiticide for chickens that provides potent efficacy against poultry red mites. Administered through drinking water, Exzolt provides fast, convenient and potent acaricidal efficacy, with proven safety for chickens and the users of the product. Exzolt contains fluralaner and has been used in the commercial egg laying population since its registration in the EU in 2017.