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Sticktight Flea Infestation
|Bedbug||Red poultry mite||Sticktight Flea|
|Size||4-12 mm (0.15-0.47 in)||1-1.5 mm (0.04-0.06 in)||1.5-4 mm (0.06-0.16 in)|
|Color||Reddish brown||Gray to black||Dark brown|
|Body type||Oval and flat||Oval||Flat|
|Speed||Quick-moving||Slow moving||Slow moving|
|Visible to the naked eye||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Where they are found||Hide in crevices, cracks, behind floorboards, in walls, and behind wall outlets during the day, feed on chickens at night||Hide in crevices and cracks during the day, feed on chickens at night||Bare skin on the head - comb, wattles, near eyes|
|Transmission||Contaminated equipment||Wild birds, rodents, wildlife, dogs, cats, humans, contaminated equipment||Turkeys, wildlife, wild birds, dogs, cats, horses, pigs, people, soil, litter|
|Where eggs are laid||Tiny, microscopic whitish, sticky eggs that adhere to surfaces in secluded areas||Lays their eggs in their hiding spots||Lay their eggs around the eyes anad wattles of chickens, causing nodules. Once the flea larvae hatch, they drop off the chicken to live in the soil for 2 weeks.|
|Average Life cycle||4 weeks||2 weeks||1-2 months|
|How you can tell||Look around the premises for the presence of bugs||Look for them at night on the birds||Visible during the daytime, found in clusters on unfeathered areas, such as the bird's eyes, comb, and wattles.|
|Temperature||Temperate regions||Warm weather||Warm and humid weather|
|Clinical signs||Excessive feather loss, vent irritation, lesions on breasts and legs, anemia, reduced egg production||Restlessness at night, dermatitis, anemia, may cause chickens to alter where they roost at night.||dark brown spots face, anemia, restlessness, swollen eyelids, crusted lesions, ulcerations, blindness|
|Cleansing||Gently bathe infested chickens with a mixture of 1.5L of water and 1 ml of mild dishwashing liquid, rinse with fresh water. |
Avoid contact with the chicken's eyes.
|Malathion spray||Apply to walls and floors of coop||C Stadler et al., 1996|
|Pyrethrin spray||Applied to nestbox and bedding litter||C Stadler et al., 1996|
|Petroleum jelly||Apply copious amounts of petroleum jelly to the bird's comb and wattles, aiming to coat over the adult fleas. |
The petroleum jelly suffocates the fleas.
Repeat application weekly until fleas are gone.
|Physical removal||Individual fleas can be removed from birds with tweezers by grasping and pilling firmly, followed by applying an antibiotic ointment to the area where the flea was found to minimize risk of secondary infections.||P Koehler et al., 2015|
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