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Dermanyssus gallinae, also known as red mite, is an ectoparasite of poultry and birds in general. The mites are blood feeders and attack resting birds at night. After feeding, they hide in cracks and crevices away from daylight, where they mate and lay eggs. Under favourable conditions the life cycle of the mite can be completed within seven days, so populations can grow rapidly, causing anaemia in badly affected flocks of poultry.
Since red mites can survive for up to 10 months in an empty hen house, it is important to clean housing thoroughly. House designs should eliminate hiding places for the mites as much as possible. Chemical controls, if used, should be used in rotation to avoid the build up of resistance.
Creosote treatment of wood will kill mites and keep them away from treated area for some time, although care should be taken to avoid contamination of eggs.
Dermansyssus gallinae can also feed on some species of mammals, including humans, but needs an avian host to reproduce.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dermanyssus_gallinae". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|