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Scaly Face and Scaly face mites

Scaly Face
by Dr. Colin Davis BVSc

Scaly face infections - no longer a problem. Scaly face infections have been around as long as we have been breeding budgies. There are more cures around than there are infections - none of which have been terribly successful. Vetaclub members (editors note - and US aviculturists) now have exclusive access to the best new treatment available - Scatt.

Canary and pigeon breeders also benefit from this exciting new product. Cnemidocoptes pili is the name of the little mite which burrows in the skin of the bird to cause the condition we call Scaly Face. This little mite is very hardy, he can live off the bird for long periods and his burrowing and egg laying ability is impressive. Eradicating the disease Killing the mite is relatively easy, eradicating the disease from an aviary is very difficult.


What most people forget is that the mite lays eggs under the skin of the bird. These eggs are not drowned by paraffin oil or Dettol, nor are they killed by insecticides. It is the hatching of the eggs under the skin and their growth to adults that makes eradication difficult - until now! Scatt incorporates a new class of chemicals combined in a friendly carrier that can be applied to the skin of the bird. Other things have been applied to skin that have either had moderate effect or have caused severe irritation to the bird. I did hear of a group of canaries that suffered many deaths from a cattle ” pour- on “ preparation. These poor birds went into a frenzy after application of the drug - it appears that cow hide is a little thicker than canary skin!

The long activity time of Scatt means that hatching eggs are killed before they develop to adults. It also means that if adults get back onto the bird within 3 weeks of treatment they are also killed as they begin to burrow - problem solved! All the birds in the aviary should be treated together so that the mite has nowhere to harbour. Remember to treat all new introductions. Not only does Scatt rid the birds of Scaly face, it also works for Air sac mite in canaries and Gouldians, and all the mites of pigeons.