Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chad76, May 23, 2008.

  1. chad76

    chad76 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2008
    I have a small 3 foot by 4 foot coop. The fly problem started small... 5 or 6 flies in the coop at a time. Now they are EVERYWHERE! In the coop, in the run, all over the place. There are little gnats (I guess they're gnats, they're not exactly like the ones you sometimes see indoors) crawling on the outside of the coop.

    Today, I noticed one of the poop piles was crumbled up (for lack of better word) and actually moving a little. On closer inspection, there were little worm like things moving around in the poop.

    I change the pine shavings once a week. I sprinkle DE under and on top of the pine shavings and in the run. I haven't noticed much of a change and the flies are worse today than they've ever been.

    I live in a very humid climate (Louisiana)... so I know that makes it worse. Is there anything I can do besides DE? Or am I doing the DE wrong? Is it best to completely dump the shavings every week or just scoop out the droppings? At one time, it wasn't worth the effort of scooping since they pooped all over the place, but now they poop in the same spot every night.

    Any ideas? It's just really nasty to see all the flies and larvae (assuming that's what I saw) all over and in the poop!!!
  2. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Well, as far as the larvae I would make sure they are in fact from the flies and not parasites from your chickens. Have you wormed your chickens??? I know it isn't very likely for a chicken to poop out live worms, but in the humid and hot temperatures some eggs in the poop may have hatched out. Also, I would try putting out A LOT of fly traps. I don't know of anything that's quick and catches a lot of flies, but fly tape will tone it down at least a little. I live in Missouri, and we aren't very warm right now yet I have flies in my coop. All the feces are dried out and nothing's all wet or whatever, but the darn flies are still out there. You might try some tea tree oil and water sprayed on the bedding, I've also heard of oregano oil as a natural, safe, pesticide. I've never used oregano oil, but I have used tea tree oil, and that stuff works for ticks and fleas so I would assume it would help repel flies. It's natural, too. Maybe someone else here has used it for flies and can help a little more, I'm going to be experimenting with it once I get more. It can be used to repel mites, as well, if you spray a little water/oil mix on your chickens under their wings and such. (Never used it on chickens, but I have on me, my hubby, and kid) Good luck!
  3. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    Last week I had that problem and hung four good old fashioned $2.00 a box, fly strips and it really helped....I think they are kind of yucky though when you take them down and dispose of them...but hey, it's cheap.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Flies are already horrendous here. I have two of those smelly fly traps full of fly soup plus a third filling up and numerous fly strips that are also filling up and I still hear buzzing all over when I walk toward the coop. That's with DE sprinkled all over the pen and under the roosts. And I pooper-scoop under the roosts every morning. There's not enough DE on the planet to kill all these flies! We're in for a yucky, fly-ridden summer, I guess. [​IMG]
  5. chad76

    chad76 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2008
    The larvae were about 1/2" long (maybe a little shorter) and a pale color. They were about as big around as a piece of UNCOOKED spaghetti... I couldn't think of anything else off the top of my head and I'm hungry right now [​IMG] (even with all the poo talk). Does that sound like fly larvae or from parasites?

    I did mix Wazine in their water about 3 weeks ago (not long after I got them) just to make sure. But I might not have done it exactly right. I'm also really surprised I haven't gotten an egg yet and the oldest one is supposedly (based on what I was told when I bought her) almost 6 months old now.

    I'll definitely get some fly traps and see if that helps. And I'll start scooping poop every other day (or daily if I have to).

    Thank y'all for the replies!
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    hello...i am also dreading the summer fly problem...so i asked at my local farm supply store...they gave me a pamphlet for these things called "fly predators"...they send you them in the mail..every few weeks or so..and you release these little tiny bugs, and there main goal in life is to lay their eggs in fly larve..which kills the larve...which kills the population ...these farmers swore by them....i'm gonna try them..# is 1-800-737-2760...heres the web, site...www.fly-predators.com.......good luck!
  7. MsMagnolia

    MsMagnolia In the Brooder

    May 18, 2008
    Tylertown, MS
    Source: USDA

    Flies and Salmonella: A Bad Combo in Poultry Houses

    By Sharon Durham
    March 19, 2008

    Flies may be more than a mere nuisance. They may also spread food poisoning bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis to chickens and their eggs.

    Agricultural Research Service (ARS) microbiologist Peter S. Holt and entomologist Christopher J. Geden found that the common housefly, Musca domestica, readily picks up bacteria from its surroundings. When the chickens eat the flies, the bacteria get inside the birds. Holt works in the Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit at the ARS Richard B. Russell Research Center in Athens, Ga., while Geden is at the ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Fla. [Emphasis added.]

    ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

    In three experiments, Holt placed chickens in individual, adjacent laying cages. Geden delivered fly pupae just 48 hours short of hatching as flies; this timing ensures the flies aren't exposed to any microbe prior to emergence. The fly pupae were placed in an open box in the bird room. Three days later, hens were orally infected with Salmonella.

    The researchers detected the bacteria in and on 45 to 50 percent of the flies within the first 48 hours of the flies' hatching.

    Next, uninfected hens were exposed to the newly infected flies. Just being around the flies didn't cause healthy birds to become infected, but eating infected flies did. This showed that simple physical contact may not be the primary method of transfer of Salmonella bacteria to different surfaces in a poultry house. But, according to the researchers, a hen's eating of contaminated flies does seem to be the primary mechanism of transmission of Salmonella from flies to birds.

    According to Holt, this shows that flies in poultry houses are not only a nuisance, but also a threat to the safety of poultry products.

    Read more about the research in the March 2008 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

  8. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    half an inch long??? That sounds kinda big for just a maggot from a normal fly. Unless you've got different flies than we have! The longest maggot I've ever seen is about 1/4 inch long. Are their bodies slick, almost like a tendon? I've seen some like that in dog poop, and I don't think those were regular maggots. There was something about them that didn't look right.
  9. spatcher

    spatcher Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Virginia - Southside
    In the coop, sprinkle DE liberally over the bedding and let it set for a day or two. Then turn it under with a rake or what have you and sprinkle it again. If the problem persists, make a white-wash with a cup of DE and a half gallon of water and spray the walls of the coop. Stir frequently to prevent settling. Should take care of it. Worked for me!
  10. chad76

    chad76 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2008
    I'm cleaning the coop out tomorrow, so I'll go extra heavy on the DE this time.

    Not quite 1/2"... maybe 1/4", but the one I saw today was a little longer than a 1/4". Honestly, I didn't sit there and dig through the poop very long, but they were pretty easy to spot. And yes, they're really thin.

    Thank y'all for all of the info. So, am I correct in thinking that I won't get salmonella if I don't eat raw egg (like in cookie dough)? And make sure I wash my hands thoroughly after I handle anything that the chickens touch.

    I'm heading off to read more about fly predators now. [​IMG]

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