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Hey guys I need some help.

For several years we cut oats for hay. Really good quality and it was never wasted. A couple of years ago, due to weather, our oats went a little too far before we could cut them. We had more mice than usual in the barn and a rat or two, but the biggest problem was hay itch mites. In warm weather they bite you around your torso, neck and arms. Itch like crazy for a day or two. So small they are invisible. Cool and cold weather knocks them back. I sprayed a general insecticide mixed with water and it seemed to help for a week or two but that is all.

We cleaned all that hay out of the barn in late winter. I sprayed the same insecticide all around the barn. Cut wheat instead of oats this spring for hay. Really clean good quality hay. No problems until late September. Hay itch mites are back. Cooler weather has them knocked back now, but I may have to unload a barn full of hay this winter and buy some hay next year. There is little information that I can find to cure my problem. I have read they infest hay that has a straw in it's makeup. So maybe the solution is cut grass hay and not a grain for hay.

If anybody has any ideas, I am all ears.

Doug Aaron
Manchester, TN

JerryHicks says 2017-11-20 05:11:09 (CST)

I would dust the barn (and maybe the hay) with a food grade diatomaceous earth.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Dris Abraham says 2017-11-22 11:07:16 (CST)

Two suggestions:
1. If you are storing hay on ground/barn floor put down ag lime before you stack your hay.
2. Try and cut your small grain hay as soon as it is in milk stage(weather permitting)
Your problem might not be hay but barn problem. If you are storing in loft make sure there is about 6 inches from wall so that air can travel around hay. Grain hay should not be staked to tightly in an enclosed area.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Scott S says 2017-11-22 14:27:56 (CST)

From what reading I have done what nasty critters. I have never been around them. It sounds like to me you may need get your barn fumigated much like you would grain bins. Some professional help may be needed. Diatomaceous earth should also be helpful, just remember not to breath the dust it is hard on the lungs of humans and animals. Good luck.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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