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Treating Air Sac Mites and Bird Mites / Lice

Air-sac mites live in the respiratory tract of birds.

Two species that are most susceptible to these mites are Gouldian Finches and Canaries. Studies have found that the adult female mite produces eggs that hatch within the female and are then born alive as nymphs.
Experiments indicate that the life cycle (egg to adult) can take place in 6 days.
This nymph stage does not always mature immediately.
Often it remains in dormancy within the respiratory tract for extended periods of time.
Stressful periods (breeding, moulting and high temperatures) triggers maturity of the air-sac mite.

Dormancy Mites

All mite products on the market to kill the air-sac mite cause no harm to the nymph stage.
These immature forms become active when the bird is ill, stressed or during hot weather.
The problem can appear suddenly and spread throughout the flock quickly.
Regularly scheduled treatments should be maintained to keep the adult number of mites under control.
Large numbers of adult air-sac mites killed off at the same time may cause a blockage in the respiratory tract, which can cause suffocation.


Air-sac mites are transmitted through direct contact of adults feeding regurgitated food to their young and also through courtship feeding between adults.
Research suggest that transmission of this mite occurs by adult non-pregnant females that migrate out of the nares (nostrils) onto the head plumage, and eventually into a new host. Therefore, a complete cleaning of the nest, cage, aviary and environment must be done on the 2nd day of S76 treatment with a good avian pyrethrum (Avian Insect Liquidator) based insecticide.


Initial treatment with S76 is for 3 consecutive days for the first week (e.g Sat, Sun & Mon)P and repeated for 2 days each week for a further 3 weeks (e.g Sat & Sun).

Usual cure time is 3-4 weeks with mild infestations, repeated treatments may be needed this is not because S76 has not worked but to ensure the complete life cycle of the mite is killed.

Individual Bird Treatment

Individual birds with symptoms of air-sac mites should be removed to the hospital cage for treatment.
Treat with emergency support – Thrive, NV Powder or Quik- Gel – one day before the application of the undiluted S76.
Apply directly to the skin on the bird’s neck for 5 consecutive days.
Continue using the emergency support in the drinking water (mix fresh daily) for the 5 days of treatment.

Secondary Respiratory Infections

The symptoms should subside in 2 days with the S76 treatment in the water and with the 5 day topical treatment.
If the symptoms lessen, but do not completely go away, your bird also has a secondary respiratory infection that will need additional treatment.
Soft food Miracle Meal, enriched with vitamins & minerals and Herb Salad should be provided to help accelerate recovery.
If all respiratory symptoms disappear after the first two days of treatment, additional medication treatment is not necessary

Bacterial, Fungal or Protozoa?

Respiratory infections, causing symptoms of loss of voice, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, raspy wet noises or clicking
(the same symptoms that an air sac mite infestation would produce,) can be caused by bacteria, fungal or a protozoa infection.
There is not a one drug to cure all for these types of illnesses.
You must determine the exact cause of infection before determining a treatment program.
For information on how to evaluate your environment and find the potential cause of such an infection,
Respiratory Infection or Air-sac mites?

Additional Benefits of S76

S76 can be used to treat all mites living inside a bird’s body or mites that bite your birds and suck blood.
Example: Red Mites. Depluming Mites, blood parasites and Air-Sac Mites.
Any mite that lives inside of a bird or will bite a bird and suck blood will be killed by S76.
It is safe for finches of all species and ages, being particularly useful for juveniles, breeding pairs and during the molt.

Scaly Face and Leg mites

S76 is effective in treating Scaly Face.
The mites develop a honey comb appearance when they burrow around the face and a tassel-like appearance when they burrow on the feet and legs.

Scaly Face Treatment

Apply undiluted S76 directly to the affected skin using a Q-tip each day for one week
(same day that S76 is added to the drinking water) until all signs of mite have disappeared
(recovery varies from 2-8 weeks depending upon the severity of infestation.
Usual cure time is 3-4 weeks with mild infestations. Keep away from eyes & nostrils.
Also on the same schedule apply S76 to the drinking water.
Because scaly face & leg can be nutritional and weak gene based, reassess the nutrition of the bird.


S76 will kill Hair and Round worms, and has been effective in treating Acuaria spp.
Spirurold worms in some species other than Gouldians.
S76 is recommended for the control of Gizzard worms in Gouldians. S76 will not kill tape worms.
Worm Away can be used in rotation with S76 if your bird has been diagnosed with tape worm.
Recommended treatment schedule for birds housed outdoors or eating a diet containing live food is to treat in water one day each month.

Health Stimulant

S76 is the original air-sac mite treatment in water, and the only treatment to contain Slippery Elm.
Slippery Elm bark is an ingredient also found in various lung medicines used for humans.
When combined with water, slippery elm coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, and protects your bird’s digestive tract from the irritation that the Ivermectin can cause.

It always has such a positive effect on birds….

Slippery Elm possesses astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
Slippery Elm is the component that offers the anti-bacterial property to the S76 on the back of the bird’s throat to kill any unwanted bacteria.
Slippery Elm absorbs impurities and toxins, thereby, helping them pass harmlessly out of the body. It nourishes the whole body and assists the activity of the adrenal glands.
Slippery Elm has a positive effect on relieving sinus inflammation, which is especially relevant for the bird suffering with air-sac mites.

There will be a noticeable increase in both noise and activity level days after S76 is administered,
even if air sac mites were not present in your birds.

Bathe in S76

Birds bathing in S76 will kill any external feather parasites.
However, a good Avian Insect Spray must also be used throughout their environment on the 2nd. day of S76 treatment.
This should be followed up several days later with a KD Water Cleanser bath.
This second bath will remove all the dead mites and help promote lustrous clean feathering.

Treatment with S76

Remove all other water sources including greens, fruits and vegetables on the days of treatment with S76.

Remove all drinkers the night before each S76 treatment.
Using this technique will prevent the birds from drinking in the morning before you have a chance to place the S76 in their drinking water.
Mix S76 Fresh each morning. Only mix the amount you will need for the day.
S76 is potent for only 7 to 8 hours once mixed in water.

S76 is a concentrate and when mixed with water goes a long way!

S76 Mixing Rates: Mix Fresh Daily

Finches, Canaries and Pigeons

2 level teaspoons = for one gallon of water
1 teaspoon = 5ml for 2 litres of water (approx. 2 quarts)
½ teaspoon = 2.5ml for 1 litre of water (approx. 1 quart)
¼ teaspoon = 1.25ml for 500ml of water (approx. 2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon = .63ml for 250ml of water (approx. 1 cup)
6 drops for 125ml of water (approx. 4 ounces)
3 drops for .63ml of water (approx. 2 ounces)
When mixed for Finches, Canaries and Pigeons
Concentrate 30ml makes 3 Gallons
Concentrate 100ml makes 10 Gallons
Concentrate 250ml makes 25 Gallons

Budgerigars and Parrots

4 level teaspoons = for one gallon of water
2 teaspoons = 10ml for 2 litres of water (approx. 2 quarts)
1 teaspoon = 5ml for 1 litre of water (approx. 1 quart)
½ teaspoon – 2.5 ml for 500 ml of water (approx.2 cups)
¼ teaspoon = 1.25ml for 250ml of water (approx.1cup)
1/8 teaspoon = .63ml for 125ml of water (approx. 4 ounces)
6 drops for 63ml of water (approx. 2 ounces)

When mixed for Budgerigars and Parrots

Concentrate 30ml makes 1.5 Gallons
Concentrate 100ml makes 5 Gallons
Concentrate 250ml makes 12.5 Gallons


Prevention / Preventative Plan:

As a routine preventative it should be given for 2 consecutive days each month to Juveniles (Summer & Autumn) and Adult birds during the moult ( Winter & Spring)

S76 & Quik Gel is given 1 day each month to breeding birds as prevention.

S76 is available in: 30ml, 100ml & 250 ml
Active Ingredients: Ivermectin 0.8g/1 & Slippery Elm

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