Poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) is a serious and widespread welfare problem for the UK egg industry. Infestation of poultry houses causes a loss of egg production, the birds can become anaemic and in severe cases death results. The irritation caused by the mites can also result in aggressive pecking and cannibalism.
ADAS estimates that the red mite problem costs the UK egg industry around £3.7 million per year.
To help reduce this problem, ADAS is currently developing the MiteMonitor, a disposable artificial harbourage that monitors the presence of red mite so that timely treatment can be carried out.
ADAS claim the product offers:
Improved control - the MiteMonitor picks up very low level infestation and improves targeting of control methods.
Reduced pesticide cost - the MiteMonitor reduces chemical use, improves efficiency of pesticide use and reduces resistance to pesticides
New management records - action levels can be detailed to staff and the efficacy of treatment identified at an early stage.
The MiteMonitor will be available in April 2003 and will be marketed as a ready to use product, or in combination with an on-site training course. For more information, contact Barbara Bell (Tel/fax: 01209 822038) or Andrew Walker (tel 01623 844331) e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.