What is the importance of thorough cleaning and disinfection in empty period ?

RegisterLog in

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #4142

    How can a thourough cleaning and disinfection can improve red mite occurence in poultry farms ?

    Hanne Nijs

    Although red mite cannot be entirely eliminated from a contaminated farm, the infestation can be reduced by a thorough cleaning and disinfection between consecutive flocks. Red mites hide in cracks and crevices of the housing system during the day. With hens present, it is of course rather difficult to treat all areas of the system. Therefore it is imperative to clean the house thoroughly during the empty period when it is easier to target structures that are difficult to reach otherwise. Both dry cleaning (e.g. removing dust and debris) and wet cleaning with hot water and soap is important. Using soap is an effective way to reduce mite numbers and thus should always be carried out. Extending the duration empty period is not an effective measure since red mites are able to survive in the hen house for 9 months without feeding.
    Steps to undertake to reduce mite infestation in the empty period (preferably in this order) include:
    – Remove manure
    – Remove all clustered manure residues (scraping)
    – Dry clean house (e.g., broom and remove all detritus and dirt)
    – Clean with compressor (also in pvc tubes and cable ties)
    – Clean air mixing box
    – Dry clean hen house second time
    – Clean ventilation duct (preferably with steam cleaner)
    – Clean aeration tubes (possibly by sewer cleaning company)
    – Clean manure belts
    – Clean central manure belts
    – Clean egg belts with high water pressure
    – Remove all dirt from the house
    – Clean whole house with steam cleaner
    – Let everything dry
    – Clean manure container/pit
    – Disinfect after drying
    (based on Mul et al., 2020)


    Thanks Hanne. What do you think of the idea to spread insecticide after cleaning the building ? Is it better to spread silicea (apart from a sustainable point pf view) ?

    Hanne Nijs

    The efficacy of spraying insecticides is often low because only a small part of the population is reached this way, especially after thorough cleaning only the red mites will remain that have managed to hide in a spot you were not able to reach with soap. This means you will not manage to reach them with an insecticide spray either. Apart from the issues surrounding efficacy, also not many insecticides are licensed because of food safety concerns and their negative impact on the environment. Resistance can also emerge against non-selective pesticides. Applying silica after cleaning and disinfection is preferred. Silica will remain on the housing system for a longer time if applied correctly. Given the longer lasting of the product, red mite infestation can be suppressed for a longer time into the production cycle. Since silica has a mechanical mode of action, also no resistance will emerge.

    Hanne Nijs

    As a part of the MiteControl project, we have gathered some information on the sustainable control of poultry red mite including preventive measures and biosecurity. For those of you who are interested, take a look on https://www.nweurope.eu/projects/project-search/mitecontrol-ensuring-food-safety-animal-health-and-welfare-standards/#tab-9

    Further questions or points to discuss? Just drop me an e-mail on


    good question


    Disinfection services

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by alwer.
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.