Summer is prime time for flies. They love the warm, humid weather, and they love our chicken’s poop! But the last thing we want is the irritation or disease that flies can cause our flock. We could spray the coop area with chemicals, but that’s not healthy for us or our flock. If flies are a problem in your coop, the following methods can used as part of an integrated pest control program.
- The most effective way to control flies is to clean your coop regularly and keep it dry. You can break the life cycle of flies by changing bedding weekly. Check for water leaks, not only in the coop roof and walls, but in waterers. Allow for good air circulation so that manure can dry quickly.
- Sticky traps (roll, sheet or tape), light traps and baited traps can be extremely effective in controlling adult files.
- Vanilla scented air fresheners. Are you in the Backyard Chickens facebook group? It’s a community of over 66,000 backyard chickens enthusiasts. Members have been posting about the effectiveness specifically of Little Trees™ Vanilla air fresheners in coop fly control, and now you can try this method yourself! If you’d like to join the facebook Backyard Chickens community, request to join here.
- Herbs and essential oils. Peppermint and lavender essential oils and dried herbs have been shown in studies to repel flies. Insects are also reported to be repelled by rosemary, basil, dill, thyme, bay leaves, and tansy. Visit the Henny & Roo Shop to order our coop herbs containing many of these varieties, or make a coop spray using 2 cups of vinegar, 2 cups of water, 2T of real vanilla extract, and 40 drops of the essential oils of any of the herbs above. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle, shake, and spray coop generously.
- Fly predators. Live fly predators can be ordered from various online sources, and are little flies themselves! However, they never become pests and feed on the larvae of the coop flies that we hate.
- Diatomaceous Earth. Many people swear by the health properties of DE in the coop. DE is not a chemical, but a fine powder made from fossilized algea, or diatoms. The sharp edges of the granules form an inhospitable environment for insect larvae, and can be sprinkled on the floor of the coop or in dust bathing areas. Because of those microscopic sharp edges, though, DE can irritate the throat and lungs if inhaled, so be sure to wear a mask when applying it. We included Lumino Wellness Diatomaceous Earth in our April boxes. See our past boxes here.