Um… what language am I speaking?… you might ask. I have recently learned that Dermanyssus Gallinae is a red poultry mite, and Tetranychus Urticae is a red spider mite. The difference means everything to my chickens. So, which one is in my coop? I have been on the lookout for red mites, ever since I thought I spotted one this weekend cleaning out the coop, and for the past couple of days, when I’ve moved the straw away from the wood in the nesting box, I’ve seen a couple of these same bugs scurrying to the corners. Naturally, given what I’ve read about red mites and their terrible effects on chickens, I’ve been freaking out and trying to research what to do. Everything was closed yesterday for Memorial Day, so the only remedy I had on hand was to spread vaseline on the hens’ legs. I’m not sure they were wild about this process. But I held them tightly in my lap and slathered them with the vaseline, and they sure look pretty and glossy now, if nothing else. Then, today, I visited our local Urban Farm Store, and asked what they would recommend to fight red mites. After explaining the situation, the clerk thinks that I’m only dealing with spider mites, which are harmless to chickens… not so much to his eggplants, which he’s dealing with right now. But I picked up some diatomaceous earth, just in case. He said sprinkling this around the coop would probably ward off other bugs as well, including the ants. So far, the hens haven’t shown any signs of the mites bothering them: no bites, missing feathers, loss in egg production, hesitancy to go into their coop at night. So, hopefully he is right. For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference in these mites from these Wikipedia pictures… perhaps because just looking at them makes me cringe away and start itching all over!