Poultry lice are parasites that live on the skin and feathers of the bird, feeding on blood, dry skin scales and feather parts. Infestations arise in malnourished poultry; poultry living in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions; or in poultry exposed to wild birds. There are three pesticides used to control poultry lice infestations.
Signs of Lice Infestation
Poultry infested with lice are restless, have loss of appetite, damaged feathers and decreased egg production. Lice can be seen in the vent area and white or greyish egg clusters found at the base of the feathers.
Pesticides approved for controlling poultry lice infestations are Malathion, Carbaryl (Sevin) and Permethrin. Spray pesticides are more effective in treating a lice infestation.
Malathion spray can be made using 0.68kg., 25 per cent Malathion wettable powder or 1503gr of 57 per cent Malathion EC dissolved into 10 gallons of water. Apply to walls, ceilings and roosts of coops. Avoid nests, feed, water or feed troughs
Carbaryl (Sevin) spray can be made using .34kg., 50 per cent Carbaryl (Sevin) wettable powder dissolved into 10 gallons of water. The use of this pesticide requires a permit from the agricultural commissioner. Use to treat poultry housing, never directly on chickens.
A spray can be made using 1843gr of 10 per cent Permethrin EC, 3260gr of 5.7 per cent Permethrin EC or 709gr of 25 per cent Permethrin EC dissolved into 10 gallons of water. Use directly on chickens and apply to vent area.
When using a pesticide, read the label and follow all precautions. No pesticide can kill lice eggs, so repeat applications are required.
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