Waking up to find an infestation of flies in your chicken coop is not only enough to turn your stomach, it’s incredibly frustrating.
We’ve been there, we’ve tried everything, and we’ve found what really works, and what doesn’t!
Why do flies love chicken coops?
Pests love chicken coops. The number one reason? An abundance of food!
Flies in particular love chicken coops because of the abundance of manure, their favorite food.
Those of you who already raise them know (and those of you that don’t should read this), chickens poop almost constantly. It’s practically impossible to keep the coop sparkling clean on a day to day basis. Flies are always ready to take full advantage of that fact.
Another reason flies are drawn to coops is because they’re the ideal place to breed. Flies prefer to lay their eggs in moist areas, which are abundantly found in chicken bedding, especially surrounding the water fount, or in the outdoor run after a rain.
Keep a clean coop, keep a fly-free coop
If you have a serious fly infestation, you’ll certainly need some good fly control products in your arsenal to fight them off, but if you’re just looking for prevention, you can do that for free!
The one free thing you can do to control chicken coop flies is to keep the coop completely clean and dry at all times. Depending on how many chickens you have, this may mean cleaning out the coop every day, or every few days.
Due to the fact that flies are attracted by stinky manure and wet conditions, just this one act of keeping the coop immaculately clean is the best way to avoid a terrible infestation.
Make coop cleaning easy on yourself and set a routine of scooping poop once per day, so it never accumulates in the coop.
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5 Things That Really Work For Getting Rid Of Flies In The Chicken Coop
There are hundreds of fly control products on the market, but only some of them work well in the chicken coop.
1. Super Fly Roll
While little yellow fly ribbons aren’t a great choice for the chicken coop, this giant fly roll is a great option to hang outside the coop.
This trap really works and will be full of flies before you know it. We love it because unlike little fly ribbons, you can secure both the top and bottom so they don’t fly in the wind.
Be sure not to put this big trap in the chicken coop or run, or your chickens will get stuck on it. It does work great when hung just outside the coop.
2. Starbar Captivator Fly Trap
This fly trap works amazingly well. When we were suffering from a fly infestation in the chicken coop, our Captivator filled up to the brim with flies in just two days! This trap is easy, safe, and re-useable.
The only real downside to this trap is that it really stinks. As it fills with flies it just gets stinkier, and emptying the dead flies is downright disgusting. Many chicken keepers throw the trap away when it’s full and replace it with a new one.
Note: You should never feed the dead flies from this trap to your chickens. Flies are well known to be disease-ridden and aren’t a healthy treat for chickens. Also, remember, if you’re eating the chickens eggs, whatever they eat, you’re eating too!
3. The Executioner
This tennis racket style fly swatter is electrified and will kill flies on contact. If you’re looking have some fun knocking flies right out of the air, this fly product is the one for you!
Not only can you use “The Executioner” in your coop, you can use it in the house to get rid of pesky bugs!
4. The Bug-a-Salt
This fly control product has actually managed to make killing flies fun.
The Bug-a-Salt shoots small amounts of salt at a high speed to kill bugs on contact. It’s certainly more time consuming than the fly roll or liquid traps, but it’s also a whole lotta fun!
You can also take this fly gun camping, keep it around for picnics, and have it handy in the house so you’ll always be free of nasty flies.
5. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth, or DE for short, is the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms.
DE is frequently used to keep a healthy environment in the chicken coop. The best thing about DE for the chicken coop is that it works as a dehydrator.
Sprinkling DE on chicken coop bedding helps to keep it dry and also dehydrates and kills fly larva on contact.
We like to sprinkle DE in the coop and nesting boxes every time we clean out the coop and have found it to really cut down on the number of flies.
3 Fly Control Products To Avoid
The following products work perfectly fine in the fight against flies, but they’re not well suited to the chicken coop.
When choosing fly control products for the coop, you need to take into consideration that the creatures that live there are curious, can fly, and don’t think about consequences.
1. Fly Ribbon
Fly ribbons are the classic fly control product on the market. They do work, but we’ve found them to wreak havoc on our flock. No matter where these get strung, they end up getting stuck to chickens.
The chickens will either fly into them and get stuck, or the ribbons will fall from the ceiling and get caught on hens. It’s seriously unpleasant to pull sticky fly ribbon from tender feathers. Definitely skip this one in the coop!
2. Fly Reel Trap
The fly reel is a product that works amazingly well for catching flies, but isn’t well suited to the coop.
The fly reel gets strung from wall to wall, and has extremely sticky tape that flies are attracted to. Chickens don’t see the tape while flying and will get caught in it, causing injury and feather loss.
3. Fly Predators
In theory fly predators are a wonderful solution to fly troubles. However, they’re not the best choice for the chicken coop. Fly predators are in essence, bugs that feast on flies. These bugs are mighty tasty treats for your chickens, and they’re very likely to get gobbled up by your flock before they ever have a fighting chance against flies.
If you do want to try fly predators, be sure to sprinkle them outside of the coop so they don’t get decimated before they have a chance to help!
Whether you’re preventing fly infestations in the chicken coop or treating them, this list of fly control measures is what’s worked for me and my chickens and I’m sure it will work for you.