A NEW red mite treatment has been launched by Cargill Animal Nutrition.

D-Mite is a plant-based additive that can be included as a powder in layers’ feed rations or added as a liquid to drinker systems. The powder form is approved for organic farms.

Cargill said trials of the new product on half a million laying hens across 14 French poultry farms had found the additive suppressed mite populations.

“After treatment, we recorded a reduction in red mite infestations across all units with the most significant improvements seen in moderately and highly infested units,” said Daniel Palcu, Cargill UK poultry specialist.  

“We also noticed an improvement in egg quality and an improvement in the working environment.”

That work also found no impact on feed or drink intake, or impact on eggs’ taste or smell.

Red mite has become an increasing concern for British poultry producers, with infestations escalating in recent years alongside the cost of control.

Mr Palcu added: “It promotes the health and productivity of laying flocks, especially in the summer months when they are more likely to come under the pressure of red mite infestations.”