Chicken body louse (Menoponidae)
Horgas tyúktetű (Menocanthus stramineus)
Madártetű atkák (Dermanyssidae)
Red poultry mite (Dermanyssus gallinae)
Madáróvantag (Argas Columbarum)
Feather louse (Philopteridae)
Pigeon louse (Columbicola Claviformis)
Itch mites (Sarcoptidae)
Burrow mites (Cnemidocoptes laevis,Cnemidocoptes gallinae)
Horgas tyúktetű (Menocanthus stramineus)
The feather lice (Columbicola columbae) are insects that feed on feathers and skin pieces. There are 11 different feather lice types of pigeons. Some of them also suck blood. Almost every pigeon has feather lice. Strong contagion will lead to lesser production and bothers the animals. The feather lice live on the host animal all the time, lay their eggs on it that will turn into larvae and adult lice. They have a permanent source of food which does not depend on outer conditions. The eggs of the feather lice stick onto the lower part of the feather shaft. Larvae emerge in seven days and three weeks later the adult lice develop. Feather lice are about 2mm long and 0.3mm wide.
Their reproduction capability is incredible: one female lays about 120,000 eggs. Since the feather lice stay inside the warmth of the feathers all year, the pigeons must be bathed with the parasiticide materials to keep the contagion level as low as possible. The protection against the feather lice will give the pigeons a smooth, shiny and water resistant plumage which is an important aspect on exhibitions when the rainwater resistance is assessed.
The pigeon louse (Columbicola claviformis) lives on the host bird all the time and never leaves it. They form small groups on the barbs of the side and tail feathers. The colour of the lice is light yellowish brown. They have comparatively big heads and conspicuous mouthparts. The middle and last section of their thoraxes are grown together. Their legs are short and each leg is the same length and ends in claws. Their abdomens are flat and have adapted to different feather types: for example the species living on the neck feather of the birds have pearl shaped abdomens while on the side feather their abdomen is long shaped. Two types of mites occur on pigeons: the Argas columbarum and the Argas persicos. The adult mites can be 8 mm long, 5 mm wide and 1 mm thick. Unlike the 6 legged insects they have four pairs of legs. Thanks to the modern parasiticides they are very rare. Clean bird pens and treatment of the pens with parasiticides are the best preventions we can take. The Argas calumbarum is a mite with a big body. The male and the female look similar, their bodies are reticulated and they do not have a chitin. They live in concealed places. They attack the host at night and they suck blood. Their larvae stick on the skin for a long time therefore they can be found on the body of the birds by day too. They are very resilient and can live without feeding for 1 year. After feeding on blood the female lays eggs in a concealed place. In about three weeks the larvae emerge and drill into the skin of the birds and stay there for 5-6 days. After feeding they fall to the ground, 8 days later they shed and turn into protonymphs. Two weeks later they shed again and turn into deutonymphs. Finally, after feeding on blood and shedding again, they become adults. Red poultry mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) is an egg-shaped species, a little broader towards the back in a range of colours from yellowish grey to blood red. Usually there is a pointed part at the end of the head and most of the back is covered with a less conspicuous chitin. At the end of each leg there is a claw with sticking membranes between them. They hide in the cracks of the sty by day and at night they attack the birds and feed on their blood.
Itch mites (Sarcoptidae) – Cnemidocoptes laevis, Cnemidocoptes gallinae – burrow mites They are small mites with short legs. They do not have breathing organs and tracheas – they take oxygen through cutaneous respiration. The female lays 20-100 eggs from which six-legged larvae emerge. They turn into eight-legged nymphs and then turn into adult itch mites. Development from the egg to the adult is 4-6 weeks if they are in the body warmth of the host animal. They are in the burrow mite group based on the type of their mouthpart. They make short burrows in the epithelial cells. The harm that they cause is restlessness as a result of mechanical stimuli (skin thickening and calcification etc.) The loss of feathers leads to increased heat emission and the loss of epidermis leads to loss of energy. The number of species of Menocanthus stramineus is 600, the size is 1-6 mm. The nymphs and imagos are parasites, and they feed on skin, feather and blood. They are small parasites with a flat, light brown body. Their big, triangular-shaped head reaches behind the eyes on the sides. They have chewing mouth organs. They stick each egg on the feathers of the host animal with a material which is not soluble in water.
Both the powder and the spray can be applied to the parasites around pet birds. The powder is particularly suitable for the treatment of bird pens, holes, nests and litter. The spray is suitable for the direct treatment of the birds and places that are difficult to access (corners, cracks, gaps, window sills, vertical surfaces etc.) They can be used to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects around pens. They must be applied without dilution directly on the bird opposing the direction of the feathers. For prevention bathing 1-2 cups must be used for 5 litres of water. A bigger amount can be used depending on the level of contagion. The treatment must be repeated in 2-3 weeks to avoid the return of the pests.
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