Are There Natural Remedies for Mites in Chicken Coops?

Are There Natural Remedies for Mites in Chicken Coops?

Mites in chicken coops are a common and troublesome issue for poultry keepers. As a backyard chicken owner, if you have spent anytime in online forums, I'm sure you have seen the skincrawling videos and pictures.  It's the stuff of nightmares...clusters of pinprick sized mites crawling all over beautiful eggs, in nesting boxes, and practically dripping off pet chickens.

It's enough to make some chicken owners throw in the towel, and to make many potential chicken owners say, "Nevermind! I'm out!"

These tiny pests not only cause discomfort and health problems for chickens, but the stress of their presence can affect the egg productivity of your whole flock.


With the growing interest in natural farming practices, many backyard chicken owners are seeking effective, chemical-free methods to tackle the dreaded mite problem. Luckily, there are various natural remedies that can help control mites in your chicken coops. From diatomaceous earth to herbal treatments, there are many effective strategies to keep your coop mite-free naturally.


Before diving into natural remedies, it's important to know what you're dealing with. Mites are tiny arachnids (ewww!) that can infest chicken coops and directly affect the health of your poultry.

The most common types of mites in chicken environments include the red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) and the Northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum). These pests are not only a nuisance but can cause serious health issues in chickens, such as anemia, decreased egg production, and even death in severe infestations.

Mites typically feed on the blood of chickens during the night, hiding in cracks and crevices of the coop during the day. This behavior makes them particularly challenging to control. Signs of mite infestation include visible clusters of mites in the coop, especially in joints and under roosts, excessive scratching and pecking by the chickens, feather loss, and pale combs due to anemia.

These pests can reproduce rapidly, with a life cycle from egg to adult taking as little as seven days under optimal conditions. Quick, natural, and effective action is essential to prevent a small problem from becoming a full-blown disaster.


If you ask this to most backyard chicken owners, they'll give you a knowing look and say "oh, you'll know."

Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

Physical Signs of Mites on Chickens

  • Pale Combs and Wattles: As mites feed on the blood of chickens, infested birds may show signs of anemia, evident by pale combs and wattles​​.

  • Feather Loss and Skin Irritation: Chickens infested with mites may exhibit feather loss, not due to molting, but as a result of irritation and the birds pecking at their skin. Skin may also appear red and inflamed​​.

  • Decreased Egg Production: Mite infestations can stress chickens, leading to a noticeable decrease in egg production​​.

  • Visible Mites or Mite Eggs: Especially evident at night, you may see tiny mites moving on the chickens or within the coop. Mite eggs may also be visible upon closer inspection of the feathers or skin​​.

Behavioral Symptoms of Mites on Backyard Chickens

  • Restlessness and Irritability: Infested chickens may appear more restless or irritable due to discomfort caused by mite bites​​.

  • Excessive Preening or Scratching: Chickens trying to relieve the itchiness caused by mites may preen or scratch themselves more than usual​​.

Environmental Clues 

  • Presence of Mites in the Coop: Mites typically hide in cracks, crevices, and dark spots within the coop during the day. Inspecting the coop at night or looking for mites in these hiding spots can provide clues to an infestation​​.

  • Red or Black Specks in Nesting Boxes: These could be mites themselves or their feces, indicating an active infestation​​.



In battling mites in chicken coops, using natural remedies can be both effective and safe. And it ensures the health of your chickens without the use of harsh chemicals. Here are some favorite natural mite remedies and prevention tools for backyard chicken owners.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance made from fossilized algae (diatoms) known for its pest control prowess. When used in chicken coops, DE works by puncturing the exoskeletons of mites, leading to dehydration and death (gnarly, right?) Incorporate DE into dust bathing areas where chickens naturally bathe and preen themselves. It can also be applied direclty under the feathers of chickens.

This not only helps in controlling mite populations but also provides chickens with a way to maintain their feather health naturally. It's important to use food-grade DE and apply it carefully to avoid respiratory issues in chickens​​​​. Our special blend of diatomaceous earth includes peppermint. 

Peppermint contains natural compounds like menthol and menthone that have insect-repellent properties. When used in or around a chicken coop, peppermint can help deter pests like mites. The strong scent of peppermint disrupts the pheromone trails that pests use to navigate, confusing and repelling them.

Neem Oil

Neem oil, derived from the neem tree, serves as a natural insecticide that can be sprayed on perches, in nest boxes, and around the coop to deter mites. Its effectiveness lies in its ability to disrupt the life cycle of pests, repel them due to its strong scent, and even kill mites upon contact. Allow the sprayed areas to dry thoroughly before letting chickens return to prevent any potential irritation​​.


Garlic is a great treat for chickens because of its health benefits and because it is a natural pest deterrent. Incorporating garlic into the chickens' feed can help repel mites, as the compounds excreted through the chickens' skin make them less appealing to pests.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be added to your flock's drinking water to create an inhospitable environment for mites. ACV boosts the immune system of chickens, making them healthier and more resistant to infestations​​​​. For a added health boost, try Buff Clucks Aquaboost! It includes a special blend of ACV, Cinnamon Oil, and Oregano Oil. Grab a bottle HERE.

Herbal Treatments

Herbs such as lavender and rosemary have natural pest-repelling properties. Placing these herbs in nesting boxes, dust baths, and around the coop can help keep mites at bay. Not only do they help in deterring mites, but they also promote a calming and healthy environment for chickens.

Buff Clucks Herbal Supplement includes a custom blend of herbs chosen to deter pests and boost chickens' health. Try using it mixed in with your flock's feed and sprinkled in their nesting boxes. Order Buff Clucks Herbal Supplement Here.

handful holding buff clucks herb supplement for backyard chickens

Cleanliness and Maintenance

Regular cleaning of the coop is crucial in preventing mite infestations. This includes removing old bedding, thoroughly cleaning all surfaces, and applying natural deterrents like DE or neem oil. Ensuring the coop is well-ventilated, dry, and clean will make it less inviting for mites.

Dust Bathing

If your chickens free-range, you'll notice they will undertake their own pest control self-care ritual: a dust bath! If your chickens do no free-range, you should consider providing a dust bath area with a mix of sand, ash, and DE to help chickens maintain their own hygiene and reduce the risk of mites​​​​.

Predatory Mites

Introducing predatory mites into the coop can offer a biological control method against chicken mites. These beneficial mites feed on the harmful mites without posing any risk to the chickens. This natural approach can help maintain a balanced ecosystem in your coop, where pests are controlled by their natural predators​​.

By integrating these natural remedies into your chicken coop management practices, you can create a healthier environment for your chickens and reduce the reliance on chemical treatments for mite control. Remember, a combination of these methods will often be more effective, providing a multi-faceted approach to mite prevention and treatment.

Poultry Mites Managed...the Natural Way

Managing mite infestations in chicken coops requires vigilance, timely intervention, and effective, natural remedies. From diatomaceous earth to neem oil and herbal treatments, there are several natural strategies you can employ to protect your flock from these pesky invaders. Regular coop maintenance and cleanliness plays a critical role in preventing mite infestations. Learn how this prevents other parasites in the coop, too!

If you're looking for an all-natural, comprehensive solution to bolster your chickens' health and resilience against mites, the Buff Clucks Diatomaceous Earth and Peppermint Blend could be exactly what you need!

Our range of products is designed with your poultry's well-being in mind, offering natural, safe, and effective options to enhance their environment and support their health. Whether you're dealing with a current infestation or looking to prevent future issues choose natural!

Did you know you can repel rodents naturally too? Click here to learn more.

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