Backyard chickens are increasingly being raised as pets, for egg production, and for youth development and science projects. While raising chickens can be an interesting and economically beneficial activity, chickens and other fowl may also have pest problems. Chickens are natural hosts to a variety of arthropod pests (called ectoparasites), including mites, lice, and fleas which feed on chickens and use chicken coops as habitats. These pests may cause discomfort to birds and decrease their egg production. This article aims to help people who keep chickens understand and learn treatment options for the common ectoparasites that can affect their animals.
The most common pests found on backyard chickens include.../h2>
Human lice (singular “louse”) are parasitic insects found on people. Adult lice are small (about 1/8 inch (3 mm) long or less) wingless insects that move by crawling. There are three species of lice that exclusively feed on humans: the head louse, the body louse, and the crab or pubic louse.
The head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) and the body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus) are members of the same species, but the crab (pubic) louse (Pthirus pubis) is from a different insect family. All are pests of public health importance. Treatment is usually prescribed by medical professionals and should be focused on the infested person and their belongings. Use the following descriptions to...
Raccoons may look adorable at times, but when this nocturnal animal appears in your yard at night, its “cuteness” factor quickly disappears.
Raccoons normally live in natural areas, but they can easily adapt and survive in urban settings where they may damage garden plants, knock over garbage cans or compost piles, and eat backyard fruits, nuts and vegetables. Female raccoons may nest in backyards, attics, or beneath decks or homes.
Raccoons are known to carry parasites and diseases so family pets could be at risk if they come into contact with these animals. If you live in an area where raccoons are common, make sure to get your pets vaccinated for rabies and distemper.
If raccoons become a...
Biological control is the beneficial action of predators, parasites, pathogens, and competitors in controlling pests and their damage. Biological control provided by these living organisms (collectively called "natural enemies") is especially important for reducing the numbers of pest insects and mites, but natural enemies can also contribute to the control of weed, pathogen, nematode or vertebrate pests.
In the recently revised Pest Note Biological Control and Natural Enemies of Invertebrates, authored by Steve Dreistadt of the UC Statewide IPM Program, you can learn more about how natural enemies are an important component of any...