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Successful long-term control of poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) infestations in floor-kept laying hens via integrated pest management—a case report

This case report describes the successful control of poultry red mite [PRM] (Dermanyssus gallinae) infestations in an experimental laying hen house via a combined use of cleaning and disinfection measure, the preventive application of a synthetic silica-based acaricide and frequent mite monitoring. The high number of PRM in the laying hen house was reduced by 99.8% by treatment with fluralaner (Exzolt®, MSD Animal Health Unterschleißheim, Germany; 0.5 mg/kg body weight via drinking water twice, 7 days apart). After the laying hens were removed, the hen house was dry-cleaned, wet-cleaned and disinfected. After drying, synthetic amorphous silica (Fossil Shield® instant white, Bein GmbH, Eiterfeld, Germany) was applied as a preventive measure before the hen house was restocked with pullets for two housing periods of 58 and 52 weeks. Over these periods (i.e. more than 2 years), no PRM was detected during mite monitoring at two-week intervals via tube traps and visual monitoring. This result therefore suggests that the combined use of appropriate chemical and physical prevention measures within an integrated pest management regime can be successfully used for the long-term control of PRM. This could reduce the use of acaricidal drugs, thereby helping maintain their efficacy.

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