Egg producers across the UK need to be extra vigilant against poultry red mite this summer, as infestations are increasing, according to Jonathan Wade of pest control company PelGar International.

“As well as attacking hens at night, making them stressed and anaemic, red mites also transmit viral diseases, such as Newcastle disease and Avian pox virus.”

Implementing biosecurity measures, such as only introducing point of lay pullets guaranteed free of mite and proofing buildings against wild birds will help, he explained.

“Cleaning buildings thoroughly between flocks paying close attention to nesting boxes, egg conveyors and perches where mites rest during the day will also assist.”