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Fiere

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Join date : 2010-07-27
Age : 30
Location : Cape Breton

PostSubject: Mites   Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:42 am

So at the barn yesterday evening, I went to put my new bag of feed into my feed bin (I have had this new bag for about a week) and the bag had this weird dusty wetness to it when I picked it up. I looked at my hands and I could smell something fruity, upon further examination, the dust was alive. So I start examining every thing in the tack room, my rubbermaid feed bin was pretty much covered, and they had started to get down into the feed. My bridles hanging above the new bag were sprinkled with them, my grooming supplies, brushes and meds on a shelf above the feed bin were sprinkled with them, even my saddles on the opposite side of the room 8 feet away had a dusting of them. Oh did I ever flip my lid. Mites, absolutely everywhere. I'm still itchy.

Having never had mites before, I have no idea what to do about them. No one else in the barn has mites so I assume they came from that one bag of feed. I packed up all my tack, pads and blankets in garbage bags and took them home to wash. I took all my brushes, totes, and scoops and threw them in a bucket of water and bleach to soak, and I took a squirt bottle of water and bleach and sprayed down EVERYTHING in my tack room from the ceiling to the floor, scrubbed it, and sprayed it again to soak. I threw all my feed (almost 70 lbs of grain and 30 lbs of beet pulp, oh I shed tears) into a wheelbarrow and dumped it in the manure pile away from where any horse could get at it and scrubbed out my bin with bleach. Is this enough? If I bring new grain in and it gets re-infested because I didn't clean my room well enough I may just keel over. Throwing out that much grain was heart-wrenching, never want to do that again. I have a dirt floor in my tack room that has a tarp over it and then wooden palettes to make a level 'floor', should I tear that all up and bleach the dirt? How do I disinfect a palette? I sprayed it with bleach but there are all sorts of nooks for mites to hide.

I think I may need more bleach. I also wish I had a deepfreezer so I could put my saddles and pads in a garbage bag and throw them in it for a couple days, I don't know how to get mites out of the batting and my pads won't fit in the washer. Maybe the in-laws won't mind if I borrow use of their freezer . Does vacuuming them work?

The mites managed to survive TWO runs through the washing machine, so I let the washer fill up and added a bit of bleach, the 3rd cycle is almost finished so we will see how that goes. Someone on another board suggested steam cleaning the saddles, pads, and walls. If I can find a steam cleaner I will try it, but I don't want to ruin my leather with heat.

Can anyone lend a tip? I am paranoid as sin about this now (and will be for the rest of my days), the heebie-jeebies are a drastic understatement.
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Bay-Lee

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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:44 am

you could try diatomaceous earth,... you could spread it around the barn, and in the feed bins because the horses can eat it, its good for internal and external buggies..:)
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:13 pm

Some one else mentioned that, I have never heard of it before. I will have to call the co-op and see if they carry it.

I need something to kill them on my tack, after two washes, an overnight soak, and then a 3rd wash, I still found some still alive on my bandages and saddle covers. I put everything I could into the dryer and set it on cremate, but lots of horse stuff isn't dryer friendly, so my freezer is full of garbage bags of lunge lines, girths and splint boots. I still have a western and english saddle in garbage bags in my living room, and all my bridles won' fit in the freezer, and my two western pads won't fit in my washer or my freezer. SO they are also duct taped in garbage bags. I need a deep freeze, sadly finding an empty one of them that can hold a western pleasure saddle isn't an easy task lol.

I don't think I will ever stop itching. Ever.

< I sort of look like this thing. Only the wild crazed eyes are from being up till 4am washing every non-leather product that would fit.
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Pink Lady



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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:39 pm

I would tried try diatomaceous earth.I have used it in the chicken house with good results. Some of the newer steam cleaners would also work in all the cracks.I also have used diatomaceous earth on the horses legs for mites. Texas A&E? did a study using diatomaceous earth as a wormer in horses and goats. Will try to find that info and post it. We can buy it at the CO-OP just outside of Windsor.
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Barefoot_Horsegirl

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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:54 am

Just watch the DE dust, its dangerous for the lungs. If your feeding it, wet it down. I've fed it to the horses, dogs, chickens and myself with great results.

Would a solution of vinegar/water or TTO/water kill the mites? I know TTO is great for cleaning tack.
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:43 am

I am going to the co-op today to refill my BOSS and BP stores, so hopefully they have some earth stuff.

I steam cleaned my saddles and pads, and managed to fit all my bridles in the freezer. The stuff that came out of the tooling on my western was nasty. It looked clean but I guess all the conditioner and grime that was wedged into it, I was amazed. So I now have the cleanest saddle on the island, just need to oil it and make it look spiffy again.

I still have a few crawling around my tack room despite the half jug of bleach so I'm going to steam clean that tonight and hope I can get that earth stuff so I can sprinkle some around the feed bins.

Like my saddle, my tack room is now spotless!

Fingers crossed this never happens again!!!
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Tammy



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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:39 pm

sounds like an absolute nightmare. I've never heard of mites before, other than ear mites that cats and dogs get. The cleaning has got to be a major pain in the butt. I'm sure if anyone looked in your freezer right about now they'd be "mitey" confused! lol!
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:29 pm

LOL nice one, Tammy. It was pretty awful. Bunches of black plastic bags filled with oddly shaped objects... I am sure if anyone caught a glimpse in there they may have suspected something!

I must say though, after bleaching everything, steam cleaning everything, soaking everything, and generally going out of my mind because i was STILL finding them alive, the freezer killed them dead after a few days, and that dea-whatever earth worked wonders. Dusted my tack room in it, drew a line a foot off the ground around the room, put it in the nooks and cranies and under the lip of my feed bins, and after two days, I never saw another mite, and am still mite free! I swear by that earth stuff, now. I got the non-food grade as the food grade stuff was a fortune and I was strapped after needed to replace all my feed, but it worked wonderfully! So I am sold. There not a bug in my tack room at all now, they can't cross the threshold of powder!
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Tammy



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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:51 am

CONGRATS on your success! You must be so relieved!
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:44 am

Good Lord........I have never heard of mites all over feed etc.........well that was quite an adventure........so the Dia??? earth worked.....thats good to know......and freezing the little pine needles work too.......great.......and you think it all came in on a bag of feed??????? did you get it at Sydney Co op??????? glad you have everything spick span and squeaky clean......... :cowboyhound.gi

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threehorses



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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:21 am

I'm curious as to where you purchased the food grade diatomaceous earth...I've seen it at the CoOp, but assume it would not be food grade. '
Glad you are bug free....what a hassle!
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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:59 pm

3horses- they have food grade at the Co-op. I got the non food grade as I just couldn't warrant spending the 25$ on the jug when I had no idea how it would work and was replacing 100+$ worth of feed. So I opted for the 7$ non food grade stuff. I obviously didn't put it near the feed. It is a good value at 25$ though, if you gave them a tbsp per feeding it would last forever, as its a 2 litre jug or something like that, I just couldn't warrant the purchase at that time, though I am thinking about it. Do you know the people that make that sea weed stuff for the horses/dogs that the co-op sells, it comes in little clear plastic jugs with a paper sticker, it looks very home made... anyways, it looks to me like the same company are the people with the food grade earth.

Mites are more common in moist warm climates. They aren't overly common here, but they aren't rare. They will make your feed smell sickly sweet, almost like a too ripe apple, and when you look at the bag you will see small greyish moving dots on it. But they spread like wild fire and will wipe out your feed store as quick as you notice them at all. I bought a bag of feed, and sat it unopened, next to my bin, say nothing wrong with the feed, but spent more time at the Ex than the barn that week, the horses are out 24/7 so I tossed them food, checked for 2 eyes and 4 legs and left pretty much. I walked into the tack room to get them their supper one night and you could smell them. I started sniffing around and went to move my bag of feed and it was coated with this soft dusty/slimy feeling stuff, smelled my hand and sure enough, that was it. Upon closer inspection I realized it was mites. They were just hitting the feed in the bin, but they had crawled up my reins and infested my tack, my brushes and meds/linaments are on a shelf above the feed, so they were covered, I'm getting itchy just thinking of it. But 5-7 days from not being able to notice them to having the place crawling. They eat grain so the had to of come in on that bag, and that bag was hit hardest and the little trails moved out from it. If I had of been paying more attention I would've noticed sooner, but I was a bad horse owner during the Ex. They went feral for that week lol. I called my supplier and they had no others reported but were happy about the call as they could lose all the feed. They offered to replace the bag and I have had no problems with their feed before or since, nor has anyone else I know who feeds their stuff. So maybe the bag was brought in and sold to me before they really took hold? Who knows. But I am 99% sure that is where they came from, it was the only thing that entered my tack room other than me in weeks.

The freezer trick I learned from a friend who is badly allergic to dust mites. All growing up she had to put her stuffed animals/bedding in the deep freeze in rotating batches. Apparently it is the best way to kill them. A lot of places where mites are very common when you buy flour or something you put it in the freezer for a few days before eating it. The dryer also works very well, but some things can't be exposed to the high heat. But, worked better than washing them, 3 washloads, one I let sit in the water overnight, with bleach and triple soap, I still found them crawling around. And the jug of bleach I sprayed down my tack room with, 30 minutes later I'd find them coming out of the woodwork again. My tack room look like you blew up a bottle of baby powder in it but there are no mites, no spiders, no earwigs, no creepy crawlies at all. I like it.
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:49 pm

sounds clean enough to eat in now........... :cowboyhound.gi

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Fiere

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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:16 pm

It was good enough to sleep in the weekend after!
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threehorses



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PostSubject: Re: Mites   Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:08 pm

Thanks for the info! I've read that the food grade is safe to use on pets for fleas as well :)
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