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Predator Mites

Red Mite

The common red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, is an ecto-parasite (lives on the surface of the host)  that is an significant pest to the breeding and laying birds.

Red mite hide close to the poultry in the cracks and crevices of the buildings during the day, at night they come out to feed by sucking the blood of the birds. Red mite appear bright red immediately after feeding, changing to almost black in colour when full of blood.  The mite can be seen with the naked eye and reach a size of approximately 0.7mm.



Signs of infection:



Commonly mites are controlled using chemical, known as Acaricides. Other control measures are the use of Silicates that require retreatment on a regular basis, which becomes very arduous. Heat treatment of empty housing has been tested but this is relatively costly and can result in considerable damage to equipment such as nipple drinker lines.   To summarise the tighter control of chemical substances with new regulations is resulting in the withdrawal of many products. The remaining products are less effective and pose resistance problems under prolonged use. Sustainable solutions are required to effectively control Red mite in future poultry populations.


In horticulture predator mites are used to control plant parasites, so the aim was to find predator mite effective against the common red mite. Research identified an ideal candidate namely the AVX Predator mite that has been extensively tested both under laboratory and field conditions.

AVX Predator Mite, are the natural enemy of the common red mite, they are adept hunters moving fast over surfaces to kill and devour their prey. Each predator mite is capable of consuming up to 5 red mite per day.

The complete life-cycle of Predator mite takes approximately 7 to 11 days, depending on the room temperature (Optimum temperature is between 25°C and29°C). The female lays over 50 eggs in the litter which hatch-outinto nymphs within1 to 2 days.  This is half the time it takes red mite to develop. The nymphs develop into adults between 5 to 6 days and appear reddish-orange in colour. Young predator mite are as ravenous and aggressive towards red mite as adults, but throughout the life cycle the predator mite are totally harmless to both poultry and humans



AVX Predator mite are dosed by quantity.

The total number of mites needed is calculated based on house volume and level of infestation.

For the initial start treatment, a full dose of 125 mite per hen is recommended. Numerous field trials show a reduction in the red mite population, 14 days after the initial treatment. During this time, AVX Predator mite adapt to the environment, preying on the red mite,  at the same time they reproduce and the females start to lay eggs for the next generation of predator mite. After a number of weeks, the red mite population drastically reduces to balance that of the predator mite. To further reduce the red mite population , a second application of predator mite may be advisable.  AVX Predator Mite comes in containers of 1000 Doses, 100 Doses and 20 Doses.



Predator mites are living organisms and require special care during production. For this reason, they are produced for each farm independently. They go through a quality control process before they are packed into containers and delivered to the farm.

To order a sufficient amount of Towakaria (what does this mean?) at the right time, please contact your local distributor.


Distribution in the house:

Once dispatched from the production facility, the AVX Predator mite should be released immediately upon arrival at the farm. Transport containers contain enough food for a maximum of 7 days.  The predator mite should be distributed evenly throughout the house, targeting the areas that are known to harbour red mite AVX Predator mite move extremely well over most surfaces, so it is unnecessary to be too meticulous in the application of all surfaces.

AVX Predator mite, will not develop into a pest once it has all but eradicated the red mite, as their population fluctuates with their prey. When the food source, the red mite is eradicated , the predator will die out too.