Red Fowl mite is a common issue in both domestic and commercial chicken pens.
PenPals is a species of predatory mite (Stratiolaelaps spp) . These predators are proven to be successful in the management of Red Fowl Mite.
PenPals mites that classically inhabit a humous layer whether it be on top of soil, compost or bird nesting material. Although they are tiny, between .5mm and 1mm long, they can be seen with the naked eye.
The average life expectancy of a predatory mite is approximately 6 weeks. They a veracious eaters and the females will lay 100s of eggs in its short lifetime. The Predatory mites live their entire lives from egg to adult in these humous nesting areas.
The predatory mites become more active when temperatures increase, making them more efficient in the warmer weather than when its cooler. When the temperature drops below 10 degrees they will become inactive.
PenPals survives well in most poultry coop conditions and are not harmed by regular watering, although flooded or waterlogged areas are not well tolerated.
PenPals comes in an environment that is a mixture of coco pete and vermiculite, its supplied in a 2 litre, handy, re-usable plastic bucket.
PenPals has been used successfully for many years both in backyard chicken coops and large commercial farms. PenPals are a fast moving humous layer inhabiting predatory mite that feeds on Red Fowl Mite.
PenPals predatory mites adults are approx. 2.5mm long and can be seen with the naked eye. They are brown in colour with a distinctive white v shape on their rear end. Juvenile mites are very similar in shape only a clear to white appearance and smaller.
PenPals Mites classically live in the humous/organic soil layer. As such they really like to hang out and eat in warm humid organic matter making chicken nesting areas ideal provided the humidity is maintained.
PenPals predatory mites are voracious feeders on many different species of mites and insects that inhabit this humous layer. They can also maintain small populations by alternative feeding on fungus and algae.
At 27 Degrees Celsius PenPals predatory mites will live for about a month, from egg to adult takes about 5 days provided food is readily available.
Chicken Coops, surrounding chicken structures, chicken feed sources and chicken runs/yards.
PenPals is supplied in 1 or 2 litre handy re-usable plastic buckets. The predatory mites are bred in a mixture of coco peat and vermiculite.
In domestic chicken coops generally a two litre bucket will treat up to 10 chickens. Use more if you have a heavy infestation. The more you release the quicker it will work. In commercial chicken houses a 2 litre bucket should cover 100-200 square meters.
PenPals should be used as soon as possible after receiving as it has a very short shelf life. If needed it can be stored for 2-3 days out of the sun in a cool location, ideally between 12-16 degrees. A laundry floor generally fits the bill. You CANNOT store this product for an extended length of time as the predatory mites will perish. Do not refrigerate.
To release simply sprinkle the mixture in the coops and known infested areas. Anything you can do to keep the humidity up will aid establishment.
Within 2-3 weeks a noticeable difference to your birds should be noticed. Finding PenPals mites within the nest can be difficult, monitor pest mites by using bird behaviours to gauge effectiveness. Re application of PenPals is recommended to “hot Spots” should some pest remain.
Before introducing PenPals make sure you have not used any harmful insecticide or miticides in your bird coop. For more information, or if you have any specific concerns please contact us.
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BanItch is the use of soil dwelling predatory mites that are used to treat the eggs and larval stages of biting midges or sandflies. It is a property management tool that helps in significantly reducing the number of these nuisance biting pests in your gardens and lawns. If biting midges or sandflies are a problem for you head over to our dedicated BanItch section.