Mites!!!

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Martintown33
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

I had a jumper yesterday. 4 chicks in this compartment (12 x 6 inch modified compartments) will fledge in about a week. So I did a nest change out on all nests. Lots of mites. I’ve been doing nest changes and using food safe diatomaceous earth. The base of the pole is greased. Still got the damn mites. Where do these things come from and how do they get in the nests?
Any advice?
Conrad Baker
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

They come from the Martins themselves and other carriers (birds, etc) Sparrows, Starlings, etc. Sevin dust sprinkled under the nest will take care of them (after another nest change). Act now before they infest the entire house/colony, and you have too many jumpers to attend to. Go to the feed store on W 5th and Sleepy Redwood (if I remember correctly), and see if she has a "puffer". The Sevin goes in it, and you stick the end of the tube under the nest and "puff" a couple times to dust the compartment. Works really well, and doesn't disturb the birds.
Last edited by Conrad Baker on Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

The adults bring them. Id suggest sevin dust. Its very effective, the mites often bloom with warm weather. They do not crawl up the poles.
If you see the martins scratching above and beyond normal preening its mites.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Martintown33
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

Ok thanks. Will try the seven dust..
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

You will love sevin dust. So will the martins.

Conrad you nailed it, I use the turkey baister looking puffer, helps it get under the nest.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Martintown33
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

Thanks for the advice. Been fighting those damn mites for years. Seven dust is IN!!! ...under the nests with changeouts. Diatomaceous earth hasnt been effective.
Rob
Martintown33
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

P.S. Tom and Conrad, where do you find the puffer? I couldn’t find one, so sprinkled the sevin under the nest with a teaspoon, and smeared it all around underneath. Seems like a puffer would be an ideal way get even coverage.
Thanks,
Rob
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

I think it was bed bath and beyond, strangely enough. Walmart may have them. The puffer holds alot, easy to fill it with sevin...deperess the rubber bulb to get the air out, stick the business end in the sevin and suck the sevin right in. I was dragged to bed bath and beyond under duress...I swear.

What you did is perfect. Happy chicks and martins!
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3158
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

In the past I have just a small measuring spoon and put a small amount in, not even a full teaspoon. I lift the front edge of the nest up and dump it under there. I do this a few days before the first eggs are due to hatch. This one treatment kills any early mites and lasts long enough to keep the nests mite free until the little one fledge.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
Martintown33
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

Hey Tom, how often do you reapply the sevin dust? Ha! Gotta get stuff for your martins wherever you can find it! Even bed bath and beyond!. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated!
Good luck with your colony,
Rob
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

Ill put some in when the martins arrive. I like to think it gets the mites at their sourse Rob. Ill re-apply when they have eggs, again with chicks, or if I see mites. Thats what i like about the puffer, it can dust mites on the outside of the gourds or house.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Conrad Baker
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Martintown33 wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 6:55 pm
P.S. Tom and Conrad, where do you find the puffer? I couldn’t find one, so sprinkled the sevin under the nest with a teaspoon, and smeared it all around underneath. Seems like a puffer would be an ideal way get even coverage.
Thanks,
Rob
I can't remember where I got mine. I googled it just now, and 'Qspray.com' has one for $14.00 It is called "Insect Duster-puffer style" The one in the picture looks exactly like the one I have. They are available on-line, but I thought the feed store on W 5th in LaPlace, or even Tractor Supply on Airline might have them.
Martintown33
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

Ok great. I will check tractor supply for the puffer. The feed store off west 5th was closed for some reason. Got the sevin at ACE and sprinkled it under the nests.
Thanks all!
Rob
Martintown33
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

P.S. what’s the best way to put the sevin under the nests in the gourds? House compartments are easy to get to under the nests...During nest changes?
Rob
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

Houses are easy to put under the nest-agree. Gourds you can put some along the gourd wall, until your duster arrives.
Thats what I like about the longer tube, I can insert it and puff sevin in there. Doesnt take much, if chicks are active I compromise and get it near the front, there's more activity going on near entrances.

Keep an eye on gourd arms, and perching rods. iv seen lots of mites on the cane I use. Its not always martins that bring mites, any bird that lands there can bring them in. I dust that too.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
i_carumba
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

My housing was over run with mites a couple years ago.
I was a rookie landlord and did not know what to do.
Thanks to the advice from this forum the problem was quickly resolved with some sevin dust.
I used a turkey baster as recommended and applied some into each nest.
I did not do a nest change.
They were gone in a day.
Now I apply sevin before the birds arrive and one more time during the season.
That sevin stuff works like magic.
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Conrad Baker
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

I went on Amazon, and put Dust Puffer insects in the search, and it brought up quite a few. All priced pretty cheap. One thing I read when I bought mine, is to put a few small steel balls in the hopper and shake it up occasionally to keep the powder from clumping. I cut open a OO buckshot shotgun shell, and put 4 of those in the hopper. You can use 3 or 4 ball bearings and it accomplishes the same thing. As i_carumba stated, a turkey baster works well also.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3158
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

When applying to my gourds I just take the access lid off and pull the closest part of the nest up wherever I can grab. And let it slide down the side of the gourd under the nesting material. The mites will crawl through it no matter where it is at but if it is under the nesting material the martins are not in direct contact with it. I don't think it would hurt anything but better safe than sorry.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
Martintown33
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

Thanks for all replies and help. Very useful! I’ve been fighting these damn mites for so many years. It’s great to have a solution! I’ve been using diatomaceous earth, but it isn’t that effective, so it’s going to be great to not have to worry about jumpers caused by mites.
Thanks to all and best of luck!
Rob
Conrad Baker
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

I was looking, but could not find the article that said the diatomaceus earth was extremely dangerous if the babies and adult birds inhaled it. It created severe lung problems, even more so than the Sevin Dust. I always had excellent results when I used the Sevin. I put it in the houses and nest when I put them up at the beginning of the season, treat again when I see them nest building, and once more when the babies have fledged. I also put it on the landing area (porch) of the S&K houses so that even if sparrows or starlings stop and peek inside, they won't leave any mites that will live to infest the housing. It doesn't last long, and it's effectiveness is greatly diminished if it gets wet, but I feel it might help control the mites.
Last edited by Conrad Baker on Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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