Did you find stick fleas on your chickens? Can it kill the chickens, and are there ways to get rid of them? In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know.
You can get rid of stick fleas on chickens by smearing a non-burning greasy substance like Vaseline on the infected part. This will prevent the stick fleas from breathing, and they’ll be forced to detach. You can also treat your chicken with a maldison solution.
Can Stick fleas kill chickens?
A large cluster of stick fleas can kill a chicken. When so many stick fleas attack a chicken, they suck its blood, resulting in weakness, swelling, weight loss, anemia, and eventually death.
Stick fleas are parasites that may infest your chicken. Once they find their way to your chicken, they burrow under the skin like ticks and begin to suck the chicken’s blood. At a point, this will weigh the animal down, and it’ll be unable to eat, hunt, or move around.
The animal will then move to a stage of severe weakness. This could be a slow process if there’s one or two stick fleas feeding on your chicken. A healthy adult chicken may survive attacks by a few stick fleas if you notice on time and take necessary action to eliminate the parasites.
However, in some cases, there might be a large cluster of stick fleas, perhaps in their hundreds, attacking your chicken. In that case, they could cause severe damage. They’ll suck a significant quantity of the chicken’s blood, denying it enough hemoglobin to transport oxygen around the body. Like in humans, the animal will become weak when blood level drops.
Its immunity will also be compromised, and as a result, the chicken becomes susceptible to various diseases, and it may end up dead. Young chickens are at a higher risk of dying from stick fleas infestation since their system isn’t strong enough, and their immunity can’t withstand such an attack.
What kills stick fleas?
Chemicals like Pyrethrin kill stick fleas, and it has a low toxic rate on chicken. Thus, it is safe. Petroleum jelly like Vaseline also kills fleas. Once you rub the affected area with the jelly, the Parasite will die and fall.
You can kill stick fleas by using physical or chemical methods. Like many other ectoparasites, the physical method of killing stick fleas involves handpicking them off the chicken’s body and crushing them with your hand or any other object.
You can also kill them with chemicals. One of the most common chemicals you can use in this regard is Pyrethrin. It has low toxicity and can be safely applied to a chicken’s body. Permethrin is another safe chemical that kills stick fleas. You should prepare a 0.5% concentrate of this solution and apply it directly to the fleas.
If you do, you don’t have to wait for hours to see the fleas dead; its action is instant; thus, the fleas will begin to die immediately. You can use Vaseline as well. Smear it on the affected areas, and it’ll prevent the stick fleas from breathing. They’ll begin to fall and die.
5 Methods to get rid of stick fleas on chickens
You can get rid of stick fleas on chickens by smearing non-burning greasy substances like Vaseline on the affected areas. You can also apply chemicals like Pyrethrin and Permethrin.
Before you opt for any treatment method, you must first confirm that your chicken is infected with stick fleas. You also need to know how many of them are infected already. You can do this by following the tips below:
- Move around the environment where you keep your chicken to see if you’ll find stick fleas around.
- Pick up your hen and check if the stick already attaches to it. Vulnerable places you may want to check include the head, under the eyes, and comb wattles. If you find stick fleas in any of these parts, you shouldn’t hesitate to take urgent action to get rid of them.
- If you have more than one hen in the same area, check them as well. If the hen isn’t much, you can check all; if it’s much, you make a random selection. It is easier to catch the hen in the evening when they’re roosting. If any of the selected hens have stick fleas on them, you may have to treat all the hens.
- On the other hand, if you have a few hens and found that not all have stick fleas on them, select out the affected ones, put them in an enclosed environment such as a cage, and subject them to treatment.
Once you carry out the above examination and you confirm that your stick fleas are affected, you can adopt any of the following five treatment methods:
1. Use Vaseline
Smear Vaseline on the infested areas but ensure the Vaseline doesn’t get into the hen’s eyes. Although your hen might feel uncomfortable while you smear the Vaseline, they need it to get rid of the blood suckling Parasite. The Vaseline will stop them from breathing, and they’ll eventually die.
2. Use Maldison solution
You can get rid of stick fleas on chickens by spraying the affected part with 0.5% solution of Maldison. The solution is registered to be used on poultry. However, before using the solution of Maldison, you should mix according to the instructions. You can administer it using a pump-action spray bottle.
3. Physical removal
If you rear a few chickens, then you can opt for this method. It is cheaper and easier but only suitable if the infestation is at its early stage. Physical removal involves picking the fleas using tweezers. Grip the flea firmly and pull it off the skin. To prevent the affected area from being infected, you should apply a topical antibiotic ointment.
4. Apply permethrin
Apply permethrin powder on the affected part or prepare a 0.5% permethrin solution and apply it directly to the fleas. You can do this by prefilling a small syringe with the prepared 0.5% concentrate and apply it to all the fleas. This is a fast and effective method as it’ll kill the fleas instantly.
5. Carbaryl synthetic
You can apply Carbaryl synthetic powder containing 5% carbaryl directly on the fleas. You can also prepare a solution of 80% carbaryl and water and spray all the housing components.
There’s another effective method you can use besides these chemicals. You can prepare a detergent and water solution in a dish and fluorescent over it. The fluorescent will attract the fleas, and they’ll fall in the detergent solution. Once in the solution, they’ll drown and die. This method is highly effective if you have thousands of fleas in an environment.