The girls are fortunately still looking in fine heath, although one has been laying on the ground rather than in the nest which is probably because the mites lie there in waiting. Little creeps.
I've started with a big cleanout of the yard and chookhouse. It's not very thorough however because the floors are just the earth. One reason the bugs have taken hold may be that it's been so wet and muddy, it has been hard for the girls to find a place to dust-bath.
Treatment so far has been:
- Spraying nest boxes and all timber inside chookhouse, with special attention to the perches, with a mixture of water with cedarwood, peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils. Smells great!
- Put wood ash from our fire in the yard for them to dust-bath in (they haven't touched it so far - it's meant to suffocate the mites - but at least I know what to do with our wood ash now).
- Dusting of nest boxes with Pestene, which doesn't sound too completely evil.
- Dusting a patch of chookhouse floor where the girls were dust-bathing with Pestene.
- When the girls go to sleep tonight we will creep in and give them a dusting too.
I have ordered some Diatomaceous Earth which could well be 'the new coconut oil' if its many claims are to be believed. I aim to dust that around judiciously - and not inhale - too.
thanks to Tricia at Little Eco Footprints, I view it with new appreciation because it's quite a tasty delicate little green and meant to be very nutritious too. I've been munching little pieces here and there and even tried this recipe for chickweed pesto.
The garden feels like it's beginning to 'wake up' from winter.
Charlie helped me with some pruning (climbing a tree and chopping at it? fun!). He's keen to cook more and made some Anzac biscuits with almost no assistance.
- Jane x