Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Dermanyssus gallinae



Dermanyssus gallinae


  • Last modified
  • 11 June 2021
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Vector of Animal Disease
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Dermanyssus gallinae
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Chelicerata
  •         Class: Arachnida

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report


Top of page
TitleDermanyssus gallinae
CopyrightJohan Hoglund/SWEPAR
Dermanyssus gallinaeJohan Hoglund/SWEPAR
TitleDermanyssus gallinae
CopyrightJohan Hoglund/SWEPAR
Dermanyssus gallinaeJohan Hoglund/SWEPAR
TitleSEM of Dermanyssus gallinae
CopyrightJohan Hoglund/SWEPAR
SEM of Dermanyssus gallinaeJohan Hoglund/SWEPAR
Dermanyssus gallinae. Length, 750-1000 µm.
TitleAdult Dermanyssus gallinae
CaptionDermanyssus gallinae. Length, 750-1000 µm.
Copyright©John W. McGarry
Dermanyssus gallinae. Length, 750-1000 µm.
Adult Dermanyssus gallinaeDermanyssus gallinae. Length, 750-1000 µm.©John W. McGarry
Dermanyssus gallinae. Mites are often blood-fed and may appear black in colour.
TitleAdult blood-fed Dermanyssus gallinae
CaptionDermanyssus gallinae. Mites are often blood-fed and may appear black in colour.
Copyright©John W. McGarry
Dermanyssus gallinae. Mites are often blood-fed and may appear black in colour.
Adult blood-fed Dermanyssus gallinaeDermanyssus gallinae. Mites are often blood-fed and may appear black in colour.©John W. McGarry


Top of page

The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer, 1778), is a temporary ectoparasitic mesostigmatid mite of birds. Among blood-sucking ectoparasites afflicting poultry it is regarded as one of the most serious pests. It is distributed worldwide and can be found in different kinds of housing systems, including aviaries, cage batteries and backyard flocks.

D. gallinae impacts both the health and welfare of poultry as its presence is related to anaemia and stress and it acts as a vector for several pathogenic viruses and bacteria (Kilpinen et al., 2005; Lima-Barbero et al., 2019).


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Dermanyssus gallinae

International Common Names

  • English: bird, mite; chicken mite; chicken, mite; dermanyssus gallinae, poultry mite, infestation; dermanyssus gallinae, red poultry mite, in birds; poultry red mite; poultry, red mite; red mite; red poultry mite
  • Spanish: acaro de los aves; gallineros
  • French: dermanysse des volailles; dermanysse du poulet

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Milbe, Huehner-; Milbe, Rote Gefluegel-; Milbe, Vogel-
  • Netherlands: Vogelmijt

EPPO code

  • DERYGA (Dermanyssus gallinae)

Parasitoses name

  • red-mite infestation

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Chelicerata
  •                 Class: Arachnida
  •                     Subclass: Acari
  •                         Order: Parasitiformes
  •                             Suborder: Mesostigmata
  •                                 Family: Dermanyssidae
  •                                     Genus: Dermanyssus
  •                                         Species: Dermanyssus gallinae

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page

D. gallinae is known from at least 30 species of birds and 10 species of mammals. The most commonly recorded are chicken, turkey, duck, pigeon, house sparrow, starling and canary.

Chicks and young birds are more sensitive to mite attacks, but there is no evidence for variation in susceptibility between birds of different breeds. In addition, there is no indication of the development of acquired protective immunity against D. gallinae infection. The mite problem can be found in all kinds of housing systems ranging from those utilized commercially to those used for backyard or hobby flocks. However, the mites spend most of their lives in the environment hidden in cracks and crevices during the day, and it seems that population growth is favoured if the aviaries offer hiding places where they can mate. Thus in commercial flocks the problem is less common in battery cages than in aviaries (Höglund et al., 1995). Temperatures above 45°C and below -20°C have been found to be lethal (Nordenfors et al., 1999).


Top of page

D. gallinae is practically cosmopolitan, with a wide host range. The primary host is chickens, but a range of other domestic and wild birds can also be infected (Moss, 1978). D. gallinae may also attack mammals, including humans (Hoffman, 1987). However, the host specificity of this parasite is unclear; some of the host records may be due to accidental findings and/or the occurrence of cryptic species. D. gallinae is an avian parasite. Other species, such as cattle, horses and dogs, have temporary and transient infestations only, usually when near to bird accommodation when high populations of hungry mites are present, and the avian host is not readily available. Most human infestation records relate to handling birds or when mites migrate from birds' nests after the fledglings have left. Although D. gallinae has been found worldwide, it seems to be the dominant species in Europe, whereas it is replaced by the related northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum, in most parts of the USA. The prevalence in Europe is high and is expected to increase as a result of hen husbandry legislation changes, increased acaricide resistance, climate warming, and the lack of a sustainable approach to control infestations (Flochlay et al., 2017).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes






Serbia and MontenegroPresent
United KingdomPresent
-Northern IrelandPresent

North America

United StatesPresent
-North CarolinaPresent


-New South WalesPresent
New ZealandPresent

South America

-Sao PauloPresent


Top of page

Abbas, R. Z., Colwell, D. D., Iqbal, Z., Khan, A., 2014. Acaricidal drug resistance in poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) and approaches to its management. World's Poultry Science Journal, 70(1), 113-124. doi: 10.1017/S0043933914000105

Bartley, K., Turnbull, F., Wright, H. W., Huntley, J. F., Palarea-Albaladejo, J., Nath, M., Nisbet, A. J., 2017. Field evaluation of poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) native and recombinant prototype vaccines. Veterinary Parasitology, 244, 25-34. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2017.06.020

Brauneis, M. D., Zoller, H., Williams, H., Zschiesche, E., Heckeroth, A. R., 2017. The acaricidal speed of kill of orally administered fluralaner against poultry red mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) on laying hens and its impact on mite reproduction. Parasites and Vectors, 10(594), (2 December 2017). doi: 10.1186/s13071-017-2534-5

Burgess, S. T. G., Bartley, K., Nunn, F., Wright, H. W., Hughes, M., Gemmell, M., Haldenby, S., Paterson, S., Rombauts, S., Tomley, F. M., Blake, D. P., Pritchard, J., Schicht, S., Strube, C., Øines, Ø., Leeuwen, T. van, Peer, Y. van de, Nisbet, A. J., 2018. Draft genome assembly of the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae. Microbiology Resource Announcements, 7(18), e01221-18. doi: 10.1128/mra.01221-18

Cafiero, M. A., Barlaam, A., Camarda, A., Radeski, M., Mul, M., Sparagano, O., Giangaspero, A., 2019. Dermanysuss gallinae attacks humans. Mind the gap!. Avian Pathology, 48(Suppl. 1), S22-S34.

Collins DS, Cawthorne RJG, 1976. Mites in poultry houses. Agriculture in Northern Ireland, 51:24-26

Durden LA, Linthicum KJ, Monath TP, 1993. Laboratory transmission of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus to chickens by chicken mites (Acari: Dermanyssidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, 30(1):281-285; 13 ref

Flochlay, A. S., Thomas, E., Sparagano, O., 2017. Poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) infestation: a broad impact parasitological disease that still remains a significant challenge for the egg-laying industry in Europe. Parasites and Vectors, 10(357), (1 August 2017). doi: 10.1186/s13071-017-2292-4

Gay, M., Lempereur, L., Francis, F., Megido, R. C., 2020. Control of Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer 1778) and other mites with volatile organic compounds, a review. Parasitology, 147(7), 731-739. doi: 10.1017/S0031182020000530

Georgi JR, Georgi ME, 1990. Mites. In: Parasitology for Veterinarians, Philadelphia, USA: W B Saunders Company, 57-76

Gokbulut, C., Ozuİclİ, M., Aslan, B., Aydİn, L., Cİrak, V. Y., 2019. The residue levels of spinosad and abamectin in eggs and tissues of laying hens following spray application. Avian Pathology, 48(Suppl. 1), S44-S51.

Hoffman G, 1987. Vogelmilben als Lästlinge Krankenheitsserzeuger und Vektoren bei Mensch und Nutztier. Deutsche Tierärztliche Woschenschrift, 95:7-10

Höglund J, Nordenfors H, Uggla A, 1995. Prevalence of the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, in different types of production systems for egg layers in Sweden. Poultry Science, 74(11):1793-1798; 26 ref

Jungmann R, Ribbeck R, Eisblatter S, Schematus H, 1970. Damaging effect and control of Dermanyssus gallinae and parasitic feather mites on laying hens. Monatch Veterinärmedizin, 25:28-32

Kilpinen, O., Roepstorff, A., Permin, A., Nørgaard-Nielsen, G., Lawson, L. G., Simonsen, H. B., 2005. Influence of Dermanyssus gallinae and Ascaridia galli infections on behaviour and health of laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus). British Poultry Science, 46(1), 26-34. doi: 10.1080/00071660400023839

Knežević, S., Pajić, M., Petrović, A., Vidaković, S., Babić, J., Živkov-Baloš, M., Pušić, I., Savić, S., Stojanov, I., 2017. Dermanyssus gallinae - overview: life cycle, morphology, prevalence and control measures in poultry farms. Arhiv Veterinarske Medicine, 10(2), 53-62.

Lancaster JLJ, Meisch MV, 1986. Mites. In: Arthropods in Livestock and Poultry Production, Chichester, UK: Ellis Harwood Ltd, 289-320

Lima-Barbero, J. F., Contreras, M., Mateos-Hernández, L., Mata-Lorenzo, F. M., Triguero-Occaña, R., Sparagano, O., Finn, R. D., Strube, C., Price, D. R. G., Nunn, F., Bartley, K., Höfle, U., Boadella, M., Nisbet, A. J., Fuente, J. de la, Villar, M., 2019. A vaccinology approach to the identification and characterization of Dermanyssus gallinae candidate protective antigens for the control of poultry red mite infestations. Vaccines, 7(4), doi: 10.3390/vaccines7040190

Maurer V, Baumgärtner J, 1992. Temperature influence on life table statistics of the chicken mite Dermanyssus gallinae (Acari: Dermanyssidae). Experimental & Applied Acarology, 15(1):27-40; 19 ref

Moss W, 1968. An illustrated key to the species of the acarine genus Dermanyssus (Mesostigmata: Laelapoidea: Dermanyssidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, 5:67-84

Moss WW, 1978. The mite genus Dermanyssus: a survey, with description of Dermanyssus trochilinis, n. sp. and a revised key to the species (Acari: Mesostigmata: Dermanyssisdae). Journal of Medical Entomology 14:627-640

Nordenfors H, Höglund J, Uggla A, 1996. Control of the red poultry mite Dermanyssus gallinae. Svensk Veterinärtidning, 48(4):161-167; 15 ref

Nordenfors H, Höglund J, Uggla A, 1999. Effects of temperature and humidity on oviposition, moulting and longevity of Dermanyssus gallinae (Acari: Dermanyssidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, 36:68-72

Pritchard, J., Kuster, T., Sparagano, O., Tomley, F., 2015. Understanding the biology and control of the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae: a review. Avian Pathology, 44(3), 143-153. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2015.1030589

Quilicot, A. M. M., Gottstein, Ž., Prukner-Radovčić, E., Tomić, D. H., 2020. Plant-derived products for the control of poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae De Geer, 1778) - a review. World's Poultry Science Journal, 76(3), 549-561. doi: 10.1080/00439339.2020.1764461

Salisch H, 1989. Recent developments in the chemotherapy of parasitic infections of poultry. World's Poultry Science Journal, 45(2):115-124; 75 ref

Sparagano, O. A. E., George, D. R., Harrington, D. W. J., Giangaspero, A., 2014. Significance and control of the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae. Annual Review of Entomology, 59, 447-466. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-011613-162101

Thomas, E., Zoller, H., Liebisch, G., Alves, L. F. A., Vettorato, L., Chiummo, R. M., Sigognault-Flochlay, A., 2018. In vitro activity of fluralaner and commonly used acaricides against Dermanyssus gallinae isolates from Europe and Brazil. Parasites and Vectors, 11(361), (25 June 2018). doi: 10.1186/s13071-018-2956-8

Zeman P, 1987. Encounter the poultry red mite resistance to acaricides in Czechoslovak poultry farming. Folia Parasitologica, 34(4):369-373; 7 ref

Zeman P, 1987. Systematic efficacy of ivermectin against Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer, 1778) in fowls. Veterinary Parasitology, 23(1-2):141-146; [1 fig.]; 15 ref

Distribution References

CABI Data Mining, 2001. CAB Abstracts Data Mining.,

CABI Data Mining, Undated. CAB Abstracts Data Mining.,

Links to Websites

Top of page
Occasional biting pests of Missouri extension leaflet

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map
Select a dataset
Map Legends
  • CABI Summary Records
Map Filters
Third party data sources: