Dermanyssus gallinae has a worldwide distribution and is considered to be the most serious and economically significant ectoparasite affecting egg-laying poultry in Europe. Recombinant Bm86 and subolesin proteins derived from Boophilus microplus ticks and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes were used to immunise poultry in an attempt to control D. gallinaein vitro. Immunisation with subolesin and Bm86 stimulated different profiles of IgY response, whilst Bm86 but not subolesin was recognized by IgY on western blots. Orthologues for Bm86 were not found in D. gallinae by PCR, but a 150 bp fragment aligned with mammalian akirin 1 and a 300 bp fragment aligned with Amblyomma hebraeum were amplified by subolesin PCR. D. gallinae mortality after feeding was 35.1% higher (P = 0.009) in the Subolesin group and 23% higher (not significant) in the Bm86 compared to the Control group. Thus it can be concluded that immunisation with recombinant subolesin can stimulate a protective response in laying hens against D. gallinae.