EXTERNAL PARASITES AND FLY
CONTROL FOR POULTRY
Associate Extension Entomologist
Lice and mites are the most important exter-
nal parasites of poultry in Florida. Infested birds
may lose weight and egg production may drop 10
to 20 percent. Birds and houses should be inspect-
ed frequently so infestations can be controlled
before they become severe.
Though not a parasite of poultry, the house
fly is a major concern to poultrymen, especially
in caged operations.
SRead the label on each pesticide container before each use.
Heed all cautions and warnings.
SStore pesticides in their original labeled containers. Keep them
out of reach of children and irresponsible people.
SApply pesticides only as directed.
Dispose of empty containers promptly and safely.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK
IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Cooperative Extension Service, IFAS, University of Florida
and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
Joe N. Busby, Dean
Among the mites that attack poultry are the
chicken mite (or roost mite), the northern fowl
nite, the scaly-leg mite, the depluming mite, and
he tropical fowl mite (or feather mite). Infesta-
ions of certain mites are often first noticed on
he eggs. The chicken mite (Figure 3) is an in-
ermittent feeder that lives in cracks about the
oosts, floors, walls, or ceiling of the houses in
he daytime and crawl upon the birds to feed at
light or when they are on the nest. The northern
Several kinds of lice attack poultry, the body
louse is the most common (Figure 1). Others that
may be found include the shaft louse, the fluff
louse, the wing louse (Figure 2) and the head
louse. All kinds of lice on poultry have chewing
mouthparts. They feed on the feathers and scales
of the skin and spend their entire life on the bird.
Injury is due to irritation or itching caused by
the crawling lice and their gnawing at the feath-
ers and skin. Birds become restless and do not
feed or digest their food properly.
Figure 2. Wing louse, approx. 25X
fowl mite (Figure 4) usually stays on the bird all
the time but on occasion is found on eggs and in
litter. They congregate near the vent, tail and
neck where they suck blood. The tropical fowl
mite (or feather mite), which is very similar to
the northern fowl mite, congregates about the
vent where it may cause bloody scabs to form. In
Florida it has been observed most commonly in
caged houes. The depluming mite burrows into
the skin at the base of the feathers and causes
severe irritation. In trying to relieve the irrita-
tion, birds may pull out feathers. Scaly-leg mites
burrow under the scales of the birds' feet and low-
removing droppings do not clean to the soil sur-
face but leave a few inches of old droppings. This
and cleaning alternate rows may aid in maintain-
ing adequate levels of beneficial insects and mites.
Under Florida's humid conditions it is virtually
impossible to keep poultry manure dry enough
to prevent fly breeding completely; however, steps
can be taken that will aid considerably.
Water Founts-The spillage of water is impor-
tant in conventional brooding and laying houses
where fly breeding spots can develop, but is a
much more serious problem where the birds are
kept in cages and the manure is allowed to ac-
cumulate beneath them. The poultryman should
make every effort to install watering equipment
properly and see that it is cleaned at regular in-
tervals to prevent overflows. In some cases, catch
troughs are installed below the water system to
prevent overflow water from falling on the
Use of Dry Sawdust or Sand-Some cage oper-
ators make a practice of placing dry sawdust or
sand under the cages immediately after droppings
have been cleaned out. The purpose of this is to
aid in drying of the first few inches of new drop-
pings which ordinarily do not dry rapidly. Raking
or stirring of the droppings at this stage will also
\ .Circilar 302C
AND FLY CONTROL
Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Science
University of Florida, Gainesville
aid in drying. If the first droppings can be kept
dry, they will usually build up in a cone shape
which presents a much larger area for air to move
across and help in the drying process.
Use of Drying Agents-It has been a practice
for many years for poultrymen to use lime or
superphosphate to reduce fly breeding. In tests
at Auburn University, it was found that basic
slag, ground limestone and superphosphate were
helpful in producing dryness; however, they did
not prevent breeding and adult flies emerged from
droppings during the first few weeks after clean-
ing. In other tests of several months' duration,
these compounds were of little value under laying
cages where leaky drip valves added moisture.
Chemical Control of House Flies
House fly control with chemicals can be divided
into several groups. These are larvicides, baits,
surface (residual) sprays and space sprays.
Larvicides-House fly maggots in poultry drop-
pings can be reduced with the use of dimethoate,
diazinon, calcium arsenate (Kilmag) or dichlorvos
(DDVP, Vapona) when sprayed on the droppings
in a thorough manner.
Soldier fly maggots, while beneficial, also pre-
sent a management problem. Since they are asso-
ciated with moisture, make every effort to main-
tain dry droppings. Eliminate wet spots immedi-
Figure 1. Body louse, approx. 30X
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RESTRICTIONS AND REMARKS
5% carbaryl (Sevin)
50% carbaryl (Sevin)
80% carbaryl (Sevin)
1 lb. per 100 birds.
1 lb. per 40 sq. ft.
212 lbs. in box per 50 birds.
6 ozs. in 5 gals. per 500 birds.
DO NOT treat birds within
7 days of slaughter. DO NOT
apply spray to nest litter or
eggs. DO NOT use more often
than every 4 weeks. DO NOT
allow spray to get on or in feed.
4 ozs. in 5 gals. per 500 birds.
1 lb. per 70 sq. ft. of surface
or 20 sq. ft. of litter.
1 lb. per 100 birds.
3-6 ozs. in 5 gals. for 500 birds.
6 ozs. in 5 gals. for 5000 sq. ft.
Dust birds thoroughly especial-
ly under wings and around
vent. DO NOT use Co-Ral dust
or spray on birds within 10 days
of vaccination or other type
stress. DO NOT use other or-
ganic phosphates at the same
time you are using Co-Ral. DO
NOT use more than once a
37% naled E.C. 8 oz. in 10 gals. Apply 1 gallon per 500 sq. ft. to
(Dibrom) infested house. DO NOT apply
directly to birds. Avoid conta-
mination of eggs, water or
4% malathion dust 1 lb. per 100 birds. DO NOT allow sprays and
or 1 lb per 40 sq. ft. dusts to get into feed, feeding
1 lb. per box for 30 birds. troughs and water fountains.
25% malathion W.P. 121/2 ozs. in 5 gals. for 500 birds.
or 25 ozs. in 5 gals. for 5000 sq. ft.
57% malathion E.C. 5 ozs. in 5 gals. for 500 birds.
10 ozs. in 5 gals. for 5000 sq. ft.
872 1 ul a- lb. aUdip pi -
2 ozs. in 1 gal.-paint roosts 1
pint per 150 ft.
50% Rabon W.P. Dust 2.5 ozs. per 100 sq. ft. or Repeat as necessary but not
or place in dust box for 50 birds. more often than once every 14
50% Rabon W.P. 13 ozs. in 5 gals. for 500 birds. days.
24% Rabon E.C. 13 ozs. ir 5 gals. for 500 birds.
Dust birds thoroughly.
Scaly-leg Crude oil or Apply toifeet and lower legs by DO NOT get oil on feathers.
Mite Crank case oil dipping.
Apply tc feet and lower legs
15% sulphur in lard after scales have been loosened
by soaking in warm soapy
Depluming Sulfur 2 ozs. sulfur (325 mesh) and Dip on warm days only. Repeat
Mite 1 oz. soap per gal. dip. in 3-4 weeks if necessary.
Fowl Tick 50% carbaryl (Sevin) 1 lb. per 3 gals. for 3000 sq. ft. DO NOT APPLY TO NEST
W.P. LITTER, EGGS OR BIRDS.
or Apply to walk, ceilings, and
80% carbaryl (Sevin) 1 lb. per 5 gals. for 5000 sq. ft. floors thoroughly. Force into
Sprayable all cracks. DO NOT get spray
or on feed and water.
37% naled E.C. 8 ozs. in 10 gals.
(Dibrom) Apply naled 1 gallon per 500
or sq. ft.
57% malathion E.C. 30 ozs. per 5 gals. for 5000 sq. ft.
50% Rabon W.P. 4 lbs. in 25 gals. Apply Rabon 1 gallon per 125
or sq. ft.
24% Rabon E.C. 1 gal. in 25 gals.
er legs, and this results in itching and irritation.
The scales are pushed up and scabs or crusts
form around them giving the legs a scaly or
roughened appearance. Mites reduce egg produc-
tion, cause the birds to lose flesh and in heavy
infestations may kill newly hatched chicks. Re-
duced vitality makes the birds susceptible to
Figure 3.--Chicken mite, approx. 75X
Figure 5. Fowl Tick, 8X
The ticks are especially active at night and
sometimes move in great numbers from their hid-
ing places to the roosting birds. After feeding, the
ticks leave the birds and return to their hiding
places. The fowl tick can live for extended periods
of time without a blood meal. Consequently, leav-
ing a house vacant for a period of time is no
assurance the ticks will be destroyed. A well
cleaned house and a thorough spray application
with a recommended material is better assurance.
The poultry farm cannot be kept entirely free
of house flies. In caged poultry operations where
conditions for house fly development are ideal,
Figure 4.-Northern fowl mite, approx. 80X
The fowl tick, (Figure 5) also called bluebug,
injures poultry by sucking blood, causing loss in
weight, lowered egg production and blemishes
which reduce market value. This pest gets on and
off birds and hides in cracks and crevices when
it is extremely difficult to prevent breeding. How-
ever, by good management practices and the
proper use of the more effective insecticides, the
flies can be restrained to a lower level than is
now found in many poultry operations.
Several kinds of flies have been found to breed
in poultry manure, but the house fly is the most
troublesome. Under favorable conditions of tem-
perature, moisture and breeding media, its life
cycle may be completed in less than a week. The
climate and weather in Florida contribute to the
development of many generations of flies an-
nually, particularly in the southern half of the
IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER
IN FLY CONTROL
* Dispose of or store collected manure wisely.
* Control moisture.
* Use insecticides sparingly.
Good sanitation is the first step in controlling
house flies. This means getting rid of the breed-
ing places. An effective way to do this is to
remove and dispose of manure every 4 or 5 days
in summer and less frequently in cooler weather.
Spreading the manure on land where it can be
disked or plowed under is the ideal method. When
ately when possible. Currently available larvicides
are marginal for soldier fly control. Supona as
shown in the chart or diazinon 4E, 1/2 pt. in 20
gals. of water, applied at the rate of 1 gal. per
100 sq. ft. of droppings have given the best
Baits-Ready prepared granular type dry baits
containing trichlorfon (Dipterex) and dichlorvos
(DDVP, Vapona) are commercially available.
Other materials such as ronnel (Korlan) and
naled (Dibrom) can be used in preparing baits.
Most poultry operators find it more convenient
and satisfactory to purchase the commercially
formulated granular baits; however, baits can be
mixed at home with sugar and a suitable insec-
ticide. Dry baits should be applied to fairly dry,
hard surfaces including floors, aisles, window
sills, feed rooms and similar places so the bait
will not dissolve and become ineffective.
Residual and Space Sprays-The length of ef-
fectiveness of insecticide applied as a surface or
residual spray is relatively short. Space sprays
do not leave satisfactory residues but will kill
flies with which they come in contact.
Though some resistance has been shown to or-
ganic phosphate insecticides such as dimethoate
and ronnel (Korlan), these materials are still
useful in house fly control.
Insecticides are poisonous to man, animals and
birds. Do not contaminate feed or water. Wash
off any insecticide spilled on the skin. Launder
clothes that may become contaminated. Store
insecticides in the original container out of reach
of children, pets and livestock.
Always read the insecticide label carefully and
completely before opening the container and ob-
serve all precautions. Dispose of empty containers
promptly and safely. The use of insecticides not
recommended or in concentrations greater than
those listed in this circular may result in injury
to poultry or insecticide residues in excess of legal
The chlorinated hydrocarbons (DDT, chlordane,
dieldrin, aldrin and others) have a zero tolerance
in poultry meat and eggs' and are not recom-
mended on poultry or in poultry houses. Poultry
producers are cautioned against the use of any-
thing but recommended materials for insect
In some instances recommended poultry insec-
ticides have been found to contain some of the
chlorinated hydrocarbon materials (DDT, chlor-
dane, dieldrin, aldrin and others).
Research, residue analyses and industry co-
operation have solved this problem; however,
Florida requires that labels on poultry insecti-
cides clearly state "For use on Poultry". Use of
any insecticide not clearly labeled "For use on
Poultry" can lead to illegal residues in eggs re-
sulting in seizure, economic loss and a tarnished
image of the industry in general.
Remember, to avoid excessive residues, use the
insecticides recommended at the time recom-
mended and in the amounts recommended. The
following are FDA insecticide tolerances for
carbaryl Extended (eggs)
(Sevin) 5 ppm meat and fat
7 day preslaughter interval
ppm meat, fat, meat
- 0.02 ppm eggs
0.02 ppm meat, fat and meat
-0.1 ppm eggs
4.0 ppm meat, fat and meat
-0.05 ppm eggs
0.05 ppm meat, fat and meat
Rabon 0.1 ppm eggs, meat and meat
0.75 ppm fat
-0.03 ppm eggs
0.01 ppm meat, fat, meat
Supona 0.005 ppm eggs and fat
Appreciation is expressed to workers of the
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, Florida
Cooperative Extension Service and the Insects
Affecting Man and Animals Research Branch,
ARS, USDA for helpful information and sugges-
tions used in this circular. Appreciation is also
given to Dr. J. S. Simco, Department of Entomol-
ogy, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and to
Mr. Lewis S. Maxwell, Tampa, for use of their
The use of trade names in this publication is
solely for the purpose of providing specific infor-
mation. It is not a guarantee or warranty of the
products named and does not signify that they
are approved to the exclusion of others of suit-
RESTRICTIONS AND REMARKS
(Cygon or De-fend)
ronnel (Korlan) 24E
Rabon 24% E.C.
2 qts. in 12.5 gals. of water.
2 qts. in 12.5 gals. of water.
2 qts. in 12.5 gals. of water.
DO NOT apply with birds in
house. DO NOT apply to birds.
Avoid getting spray on feed or
water. Apply sprays to the point
of run-off. To make a bait spray
add 1 cup of sugar or syrup per
gallon of spray.
Vapona) 25% E.C.
1 pt. in 31/ gals. of oil or water.
/2 pt. in 10 gals. of water.
Apply as a fog or mist 1 pt. per
8000 cu. ft. Spray directly on
resting flies or fog in air where
flies are numerous. NO RESI-
DUAL EFFECT and flies can
reenter treated area.
Apply as label directs.
36% E. C.
Dry-4 ozs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Wet-1 lb. per 1 gal. plus 1 lb.
sugar or 2 cups corn syrup.
Dry-4 ozs. per 1000 sq. ft
Wet-1 lb. per 1/2 gal. per 500
Dry-1 teaspoon per 1 lb. sugar
on 1000 sq. ft.
'ATd 9 A+nhlr\ nn\,Cq\ yt 91/
DO NOT apply to b
away from drinking
feed trough. Apply b
faces where flies c,
Keep away from fee(
scatter where poult
mals can eat dry bai
coloring to homema<
mixtures and clearly
ply wet baits as a c
ronnel (Korlan) 24E
corn syr p as a coarse spray
per 1000 sq. ft.
Wet-1 qt. in 3 gals. plus 1/2 lb.
sugar per 1000 sq. ft.
Wear rubber gloveE
ing or applying ba
*These materials can be purchased ready-to-use or prepared on the farm.
or De-fend) 2E
Rabon 24% E.C.
Ravap E.C. (21%
Rabon + 5% Vapona)
Supona 21% E.C.
1 qt. in 5 gals. per 500 sq. ft. of
26 ozs. in'5 gals per 500 sq. ft. of
1 qt. in 6 gals. per 600 sq. ft. of
1 lb. in 2 gals. per 500 sq. ft. of
31/ ozs. ij 5 gals. per 125 sq. ft.
Apply as coarse spra o drop-
pings or manure piles se only
on droppings where poultry
cannot come in conta with the
material. DO NOT spr y direct-
ly on poultry or feed a d water.
Spot treatment of tro ble spots
after treatment should be ade-
quate for control. Excessive use
will destroy beneficial insects
E.C. = emulsifiable concentrate
W.P. = wettable powder