It is well known that red mite can severely impact bird productivity and health, but it is also causing issues amongst workers with increased skin irritations.

According to free-range egg producer, Andrew Collins, Shropshire, workers who come into contact with infested birds, or sheds, can often end up with dermatitis and other skin conditions as the red mites crawls onto workers leading to irritation. As a result, there is then also a greater risk of spreading the mite from shed-to-shed and to other sites who come into contact with the farm cause health issues for all workers.

“It is often forgotten that red mite can cause irritation to people. Publicity usually focuses on the consequences of the parasite to birds, which is why many producers will try to reduce the burden. However, it is important to remember that treating birds will also benefit your workforce as it can prevent red mite from spreading to people,” says Andrew.

“To prevent red mite spreading to other sheds it is particularly important to treat for the parasite, as you could end up bringing red mite into an environment that was red mite free, causing a costly infestation.”

When it comes to red mite treatments, Andrew selects his products carefully to make sure they deliver excellent results, improve bird productivity, and do not affect his workers.

“I am very risk aware, so I will avoid using treatments which may be harmful to those applying them. Similarly, I will use easy to apply products to make sure the workforce spends as little time as possible treating for red mite,” adds Andrew.

He added that using Exzolt, which is administered through the drinking water is not only easy to provide but also minimises the need for staff to spray chemicals which can be unpleasant.