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Overview of Air Sac Mite in Poultry

By James R. Philips, PhD, Associate Professor of Science, Math/Science Division, Babson College

Cytodites nudus is a small cosmopolitan mite occasionally noticed as white spots on the bronchi, lungs, air sacs, and abdominal organs of chickens, turkeys, pheasants, pigeons, canaries, and mallards. (Also see Air Sac Mites.) These mites are readily transmissible between birds through coughing. They are rarely found in commercial industries. The 14- to 21-day life cycle involves a larval and two nymphal stages. Infestation densities vary, and clinical signs range from none to weakness, weight loss, pneumonia, peritonitis, pulmonary edema, and death. Recommended treatments include ivermectin, a nearby dichlorvos pest strip (placed out of reach of the birds), topical moxidectin, or a pyrethrin/piperonyl butoxide spray.