Written by: Ashton
“Shoo fly shoo!” We all know this statement far too well. Keeping the flies out of your coop can seem like a battle you just can’t win. Trust me – I’ve been there far more times than I can count. When you’ve got an abundance of flies in and around your coop, it makes tending to your flock a lot less enjoyable. I’m here to share all the tips and tricks that I know to help you get back to enjoying your flock this season!
The best way to reduce or even completely eliminate the number of flies in and around the coop is to get rid of all the things they love. Sounds more difficult than it actually is. Good housekeeping is the biggest factor here.
Clean your coop regularly – Give your coop a good cleaning at least once a month. I like to spray Apple Cider Vinegar in my coop when I clean it out each time. The ACV acts as a natural antimicrobial, but doesn’t have any affect on your flock like a harsh chemical might. It also leaves the coop smelling fresh to the flock, yet uninviting to the bugs.
Scoop the poo – Chicken manure is a big invitation to flies. You can reduce the amount of droppings in your coop buy using a dropping tray. This is a tray that sits under your roost to catch anything the chickens expel overnight. Try cleaning these trays everyday if possible. Also, change the bedding in the coop regularly to ensure you do not have a buildup of droppings on the coop floor.
A dry coop is a happy coop – Try to avoid any damp or wet spots in the coop. This will help make the coop less attractive to the flies. You can use diatomaceous earth (DE) in and around your coop. DE does not work as a chemical aspect, but a natural one. It tends to dry out insects and make areas much harder for larvae to survive. If you plan on using DE in your coop, make sure you use it with caution. Only use food grade DE, wear a mask while spreading it, and allow the dust to settle before allowing your chickens back in the coop.
Use Fly Traps – The use of fly traps and fly tape really are an inexpensive and effective ways to help with flies. Keep these in the coop to help aide in the containment of flies.
Flowers and Herbs– Just as useful as they are beautiful, certain types of flowers and herbs can be planted around your coop as an extra line of defense. Marigolds, alliums, basil, citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, thyme, bay leaves, tansy, etc. are all plants that bugs hate. You can plant these near coop doors and windows. Not only will they help keep bugs out, they also will help the overall aesthetic of your coop. I know they sure made the outside of my coop far more attractive! If you can find any of these plants in the form of Essential Oils, I would highly recommend grabbing some! Mixing them with water and white vinegar makes a great coop spray, smells FANTASTIC and makes the coop less appealing to bugs!
All in all, I hope you have taken some bits of this information and you give it a try! I know personally, I’ve had great success keeping my coop at an all-time bug low! A happy and healthy flock, along with a bug free coop creates a perfect storm for great egg production and a happy, happy, HAPPY chicken tender! Have a great day my lovelies and until next time!