using pyrethrum for lice : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Has anyone used pyrethrum on chooks to get rid of lice??? I have read that it is a good alternative but cannot get any info about can one spray the chooks with a diluted form (for those types of pesky bugs) or does it nedd to be powder?? Now I am in Australia so it is still a bit warm, in case the moisture is a problem.

-- Fiona (, March 11, 2002


Fiona, I wouldn't spray pyrethrum on my animals period. Try providing your chickies a dust roll spot with wood ashes in it. Much safer for your health and they will do most of the work for you. :o)

-- kim in CO (, March 11, 2002.

I think is is one of the best plant derived powders to use for getting rid of bugs: on animals, horses, people and plants. One of the cheapest sources is a powder sold for use on dogs (bulk quanity).

Having said that it is natural, does not imply that it is without risk (s), so use wisely.

-- BC (, March 11, 2002.

I think spraying would treat the coop and boxes the easiest way and use DE on the birds is the best way to use it with birds, but you could just add it in the dry bath and the boxes and every where, but if you can't get fresh dust, [old stuff doesn't work] and you'll have to spray them, you will have to hold each bird, spray under the wings run the feathers backward as you spray the rest of the bird, then keep them moving around outdoors so they don't have time to pick at the wet feathers {until they dry of course}

Pyrethrum breaks down in sunlight and heat, so it has a very low toxicity to warmblooded animals it will kill fish, frogs, etc it is no where as bad as the tick and flea drops and roach sprays used every day in homes,

Kim what is it you know, about why it shouldn't be used with birds? I haven't read or heard anything about it hurting birds.

-- Thumper/inOKC (, March 11, 2002.

Thanks everyone, I've not ever used sprays or powders on them but one girl seems to be having quite a hard time. They free range through the bush and garden and I often find their dust baths here and there. I'll try the ashes. When I cleaned the pen the other day I sprinkled lots of lime around then put in clean straw. Is there something in wood ash? Kim I am interested why you wouldn't use pyrethrum? Its the first time after living in the country I have used it, but if there is a better way????? I agree just because it is naturally grown, doesn't mean its not damaging. Also one more thing, when they are outside they spend a bit of time under a raggly big wormwood bush, are they sorting out any lice they have themselves? can I put some in the straw in nesting boxes etc???

-- Fiona (, March 11, 2002.

have you determined the kind of lice the chooks have? feather lice are clear in color and just along for the ride; they eat dead feather sheaths and dead skin flakes and do not bite the birds. Bloodsucking lice will be rusty in color and congregate at the vent area. Once I used a pyrethrum dip(sold for dogs and puppies) the birds hated it but one dip and they were gone,that was for a really bad infestation. More recently I used DE liberaly applied to the skin; one application also seems to have done the trick. Re-enfestation does not seem to come from the coop/furniture but from bird to bird contact..wild birds most likely.(always check the vent of your roosters..they will spread lice through the hens in the vent to vent contact of mating.)

-- Bee White (, March 11, 2002.

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