About to get rid of my hens if I cant solve this FLY problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Jenny1, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Songster

    Sep 22, 2008
    Okay, I know we get flies sometimes in Arizona, and they stay for a while and then clear up. But I REALLY REALLY hate flies. To make matters worse, we had just gotten a bunch of flies right before I got my cute little hens a couple weeks ago. But the darn flies wont go away. I have a couple things working against me: chickens, its warm and we are just ending our monsoon season, and then to make matters worse, I bought some composted steer manure for my garden yesterday.

    I bought one of those stinky bags that traps flies at homedepot. It works... but not enough. I bought two big yellow sticky things the guy at ACE recommended. (15 bucks) they work, but are getting full and there are still flies. Yesterday I threw diatomaceaous earth everywhere (I thought I was out, but then I found it, otherwise I would have tried it sooner) I put in all over the coop, in their food, on the ground and right now my daughter is outside whitewashing anything she wants with it! Still flies. Tons and tons of flies.

    They are not only near the coop. They are anywhere that there is landscaping rock. And everywhere else too.

    Please help! I cant help but blame the chickens for creating a breeding ground.

    Oh- the coop is really small, and has sand on the floor. I scoop out what I can everyday, but they dig around and some of the poop just gets smashed into the sand. The run has landscaping rocks in it.

    What works for you? I would use pesticides but I dont want to poison my hens, and we eat the eggss.....


  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Wow. I have never had this issue.

    I don't think the chickens are the reason. Maybe it is the manure from the steers you were talking about. The only flies I have ever seen were at this breeder's place and he did not keep his pens tidy like I do. There were a lot of flies.

    If anything, my chickens help with my bug problems. They eat anything that they can catch. Mosquitos, June-bugs, moths, etc. Black-flies are only abundant here in spring when it is really wet.

    Have you tried those fly tapes? I have heard of people using those.

    Maybe get some stall boy and sprinkle it in their shavings - it helps remove moisture.
  3. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    You can try Fly-Eliminators, a tiny parasite that burrows down and infects developing fly larvae. They're also produced by a local AZ company. I have no experience with them but Churchill Downs in Kentucky (where they hold the Kentucky Derby) uses them to keep their flies under control, so they must be worth the expense. FWIW, I too live in AZ and my fly problems are largely seasonal and directly related to my composting activities. Good luck!
  4. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Songster

    Sep 22, 2008
    I do think it is seasonal. I dont compost (yes, I know... I should) so that shouldnt influence it. I just hoped I could have chickens without a horrible bug problem.
  5. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I have never been to AZ, so I don't know what sort of beneficial insects you might have in your yard (such as bees), but do be careful about tossing DE everywhere. It is not a volatile pesticide, true, but it kills indiscriminately, and will kill a bee just as fast as it kills a fly. I know not a lot of folks like bees for whatever reason, but bees are super important to many ecosystems, so if you see them around consider cutting back on the DE outside of the chicken coop!

    If you feel that the chickens are attracting the flies (this is usually not the case unless you have a lot of chickens and don't keep them clean, such as factory farming) with their droppings, it is possible to keep chickens with a minimum to no flies. Consider feeding them a quality feed.. they will produce less waste and it won't be as wet. You can also mix some DE into their feed. DE is a desiccant and I have found it to be helpful in drying out poo faster. Don't overdo it though, as it can be hard on the hens. Also consider a 'poop board' where they roost, that collects their droppings from overnight, that you can clean off once a day.

    Honestly though, the extreme weather conditions that we're seeing in the USA this year have made for some record breaking fly hatches in many localities, and they might just be seasonal flies.

    Best of luck to you! I know how terrible it can be to deal with too many flies. In the spring, here, we get biting blackflies and it's just horrid.
  6. LadyinRed

    LadyinRed Songster

    Sep 22, 2009
    If only to help with the chicken coop problem, try those little vanilla tree's. The ones you hang in your car? Hang them around and in the coop area. It may not help with the flies that are there for other reasons but might for the chicken coop.
  7. lacrego

    lacrego In the Brooder

    Aug 17, 2012
    Has anyone tried a gallon ziplock filled with water and a penny? I use one by my front door (where the girls like to hang out and poop) and my flies have cut back 90% percent, seriously-crazy right? I haven't used one in my coop yet (no need). It worked wonders for that one spot! I wonder if it'll work in the coop as well?

  8. spikennipper

    spikennipper Songster

    Jul 25, 2009
    Kent, UK.
    Tell us more! how does this work? do they just avoid the area or drown in the bag? is it just a bag filled with water and a penny inside?!
  9. lacrego

    lacrego In the Brooder

    Aug 17, 2012
    Honestly I have no idea how it works! I saw it on pintrest one day. Yeah just a bag with water and a penny, the weirdest thing but works.
  10. calamtykel

    calamtykel In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2009
    I was coming on here to post the same thing. I am raising the meat chickens near our sunporch in the back - they are in a small run and much much closer to the house than the other henhouse. (So they are true "backyard chickens!" :) I will say that the fly problem is horrendous! Our sunporch is swarming with them - we have 14 chicks in a brooder on the sunporch and that is making matters worse.

    But even worse, our garbage pickup is every week, and we accidentally missed last week (since they come at 6 am and we can't put it out the night before due to bears). So there was tons of breeding time in those bags. GROSS! So the garage was full of them too.

    The fly paper strips are only catching a few. I went out and bought two starbar traps since they got great reviews on Tractor Supply - they don't have ONE FLY in them! I don't know what to think - I followed the directions -one is on my sunporch where there are swarms of flies and the other I put out by the Cornish fence - hung it from the fence. I got two different traps - nothing. How can other people get 20,000 flies in these?? I must just have smart flies!

    I am forever whacking them in the house -at this point, I'm afraid they probably won't go away until we process the meat birds next month or until we get some very cold weather.

    Are there any traps that actually work? Shockingly, I hung a fly paper in the garage and didn't catch one. I have no idea how since there were so many in there....

    I sure do feel for you Jenny- they are as disgusting here as in Az!!

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