Buffalo Gnats...

4Rotts

Hatching
10 Years
Sep 12, 2009
8
0
7
Has anyone been having problems with the Buffalo Gnats ?
This is the 4th year that they are here.

Buffalo Gnats are like a TINY little fly of sorts. Smallest fly you NEVER want to experience.
Not only do they make humans miserable, but ALL animals that are outdoors.
They kill chickens, even cattle.

They are a member of the black fly family. They usually start in May, but we've had them 3 weeks already, due to a warm early Spring.
These creatures BITE... Many people are allergic to their bites.
My Husband & neighbor are 2 of many. You'll know if your allergic. You'll get HUGE big bumps where ever the gnats bite you.

The Buffalo Gnats saliva is toxic to start, many chicken breeds are allergic to them, and if that isn't bad enough, these gnats block the nostrils of the chickens, asphyxiating them. They are blood suckers to all animals & humans.
The chicken can die from one or all 3 causes.

I do know that americana's, aracaunas, black austrlorps & exotic chickens can't survive the gnats.
Plymouth barred Rocks DO GREAT, doesn't kill them, just bother them BIG TIME.

These gnats love a damp Spring, they thrive on it.
The life spam is 3-4 weeks per gnat, but they hatch at different times.
They can last a month or up until Mid-Summer.

The only options is locking up the chickens in the back of the barn or chicken house. Somewhere where it is DARK, The gnats hate darkness. Also if your able to get the chickens in a screened in area and with a fan blowing , so the chickens can get in front of it to keep the gnats off of them.

Poison's don't work on the gnats plus we all know it's bad for the environment.

This may sound crazy but vanilla seems to bother the gnats. Especially the Mexican vanilla that so many people buy the large containers of it while on vaca.
We don't travel like that... but friends & relatives take cruises and that's what I have them bring back for us.

I wanted to finish putting in plants that I bought this Spring & couldn't because of the Buffalo gnats.
I put the Mexican vanilla in a spray bottle & sprayed my arms, legs & especially my face. the gnats left me alone.
We spray the dogs faces & chicken faces too, if we can.

So if anyone has found a better solution to rid these HORRIBLE creatures...please advise.
So far we haven't lost any chickens this year. Last year we lost 5 because of the gnats. Our neighbors lost 13 chickens.

Our Rottweilers hate them. I have to bring them in the house when the gnats get so bad.
Here it's a beauitiful day... after a long Winter, and the dogs have to stay in. Try explaining to the dogs why they can't go outside to play


Please advise...........we live in Missouri. They are bad in Illinois & Iowa, too.
Any other states...I don't know.

Thanks...
 

Knock Kneed Hen

California Dream'in Chickens
9 Years
Feb 15, 2010
4,154
77
278
So. Cal.
Is that what those are called? I hate those
They come out, like you said, this time of year and start attacking the horses inner ears. I have to wipe my horses daily because of those pests! I am curious myself what can be done. I just assumed we had them because we have horses. UGH! They bother chickens too?!! I wonder if DE would help keep their numbers low. I'll be waiting to hear what the others say.
 

4Rotts

Hatching
10 Years
Sep 12, 2009
8
0
7
I didn't know these horrible Buffalo gnats bothered horses, too. My friend has several horses & she hasn't said anything. She lives about 60 miles from me, maybe that's just enough distance, that she isn't bothered by them.

The local extension office said DE** doesn't do much at all.

Some people say eucalyptus based products help some, but not for long.

Our neighbor looks like they are on safari when they go outside. They wear a net type hat that covers the face & they wear long sleeves. Not very practical in the heat.

The gnats hate dry & hot weather, they LOVE wet & hot or cool weather.
 

PaulaJoAnne

Songster
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
2,321
11
181
Smudge pots will keep small areas clear. The Mosquito Deletos and similar brand of mosquito magnet, propane fueled traps may work. Thermacel is a product that works great to protect your personal space.
 

dnenella

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 10, 2010
54
0
29
So is there a certain ratio to use for vanilla, i'm gonna do 1 part water to 1 part vanilla and put up some vanilla scented air fresheners in the coop. I have not had a problem yet this year, but i lost 1 so far , I don't want to lose any more of my chickens. I also lost my rabbit last year because of them:hit
 
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mrsjim

Hatching
9 Years
May 8, 2010
8
0
7
I am new here. I have had chickens years ago and am starting again. No fancy breeds, just laying hens. But the flies are horrendous. I also have a garden with tons of gnats. I also have a pond that in the summer I expect mosquitoes to return. I am hoping to have a more enjoyable backyard if the product I ordered fulfills its claims.

I have ordered a product called Bacillus thuringiensis v. israelensis (Bti) that specifically controls the larva of gnats, flies and mosquitoes without affecting fish, birds, animals, plants, or beneficial insects. It was recommended by the University of Arizona Extension office. The person I spoke to said anything with Bt in it will do, but upon research, I found there are three different kinds, one for caterpillars (Bt kurstaki strain), one for beetles (Bt san diego strain, tenebrionis strain), and one for flies, gnats, and mosquitoes ( Bt israelensis strain, or Bti). You need to apply it regularly over the season to the damp soil and stagnant water where they lay their eggs. I am giving it a try and will post my results. I am awaiting my shipment so I have not tried it yet. (Sounds too good to be true, but the University recommended it, so I am giving it a try.) Will keep you updated.

You can Google this product and it hails many positive reviews across the spectrum of Internet Googling. Keep your fingers crossed, this may be something to manage our environment and also slow the spread of disease.
 

4Rotts

Hatching
10 Years
Sep 12, 2009
8
0
7
Thank you all for your input.

dnenella... As for as the vanilla...we use about 2/3 vanilla & 1/3 water. A friend of mine puts baby oil in hers, I don't. Vanilla & water works good on humans, dogs & chickens. I have it in a spray bottle. Dogs get sprayed in the face every AM. Two of the Rotts don't mind it, the 3rd Rott doesn't really like to be sprayed, but I give her no choice. I have to bribe her with a cookie, then she gets sprayed.
I really believe the stronger the vanilla the better it works.
I worked out in the flower gardens & those gnats never once bothered me.

mrsjim... thank you for your info. I'll be doing research on it. Please let us know if this product works.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We had hard rains several times the last few weeks. Seems like after the really hard rains, the gnats aren't around.
We fixed up our chicken coop/shed they can go in & out if they please, but we also leave the inner door to the sleeping house open into the shed, so if the gnats get bad, they can get into the dark.
So far...all is well. Those chickens are very smart. They step out their door & if the gnats are out they go in & stay in.

This will creep all of you out...it did me.
I was outside one evening, around 7 PM. Gnats weren't bad, but they were out. All of a sudden I felt something in my hair by my ear. GROSS !!!
Do you know that the gnat made it's way in my ear. He wouldn't come out. Talk about a creepy LOUD feeling/sound. My Husband took our ear scope we have for our dogs & look down into my ear. Hubby says," Yep there he is, looking at me".
That gnat was down deep in my ear canal.
I could hear & feel the gnats wings fluttering & it was a really creepy feeling.
Hubby thought for a few minutes...
We knew gnats hate dark places... so Hubby took an LED flashlight & held it up against my ear.
Sure enough the gnat made it's way out, but somehow...went back in...don't know how. We tried the flashlight several more times, no luck.
Hubby had ear drops & he used them in my ear.
I never heard the fly again or saw him. Hubby looked in my ear with scope & he wasn't in my ear.
The whole ordeal lasted about an hour
From now on...when I go outside I put cotton in my ears, cause I don't want to go thru that again.
Very creepy.
 

Knock Kneed Hen

California Dream'in Chickens
9 Years
Feb 15, 2010
4,154
77
278
So. Cal.
Quote:With the horses you don't see them. They go inside the horse's ears and generally the horse's hair hides it. BUT, if you feel inside the ear and it's crusty that's dried blood. I rarely ever see them on the horses, but they do leave evidence of being there.
 

naked_heels

In the Brooder
11 Years
Nov 20, 2008
95
0
29
Des Moines, IA
those tiny bugs is killing me. the size of my left ear is bigger than the right, 4 big bumps on the back of my neck, 1 bump on my right temple, 2 on my neck and countless bumps on my head. they are worser than mosquitos, my DF is laughing at me when I showed her my ears LOL.
 

Randy

Songster
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
1,021
11
171
AR
Quote:LOL I can't really blame her. I started laughing halfway through your post and I can't even see your ears.


Last year and the year before they were really bad. They killed one turkey. This year we had a minor outbreak of them and it wasn't too hard to control. Two years ago I was trying everything. I would hang out a fly strip by one of the pens and within a few minutes it would be covered, solid black. Finally I started spraying my birds heads with OFF just to give them some relief.
 

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