1. Araucana Amy

    Araucana Amy In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2008
    Bedford, IN
    Need advice!!!
    We have lost several chickens to gnats/ they are attacking with a vengence.
    They are in the nose and all over the them. They are laying in piles trying to protect each other.
    We have sprayed with vinegar, will try Listerine today and we broke down and bought insectide and sprayed the house and a light spritz on the chickens.
    We are just a loss as to what will safely help.

    Araucana Amy
  2. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    You aren't supposed to spraythe chickens with the vinegar. That will attract the gnats to them. In your previous thread, it was suggested to you to put the vinegar in a bowl, so that the gnats would be attracted to that and drown in it. You might need to wash the vinegar off the chickens, so the gnats will stop attacking them. I'm not an expert on this, but it seems reasonable to me as gnats are attracted to vinegar.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I agree! That will draw them in rather than repel them. Not sure what to do about gnats since I rarely have a bad problem with those. Is it really damp where you are?
  4. hdchic

    hdchic Songster

    Apr 12, 2008
    I found cintrinella spray on the walls and roosts helped keep gnats at bay.
  5. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    The buffalo gnats are blood suckers, so vinager isn't very effective on them. I lost 2 red star and 4 banties earlier this year to the same thing. Here is what I did that seemed to help. #1 is put a fan where they can get in the draft if they want to. If you have a lot of chickens, you will need more than one because they will pile in front of the fan. #2 Bounce fabric softener sheets and tie them all over the pen and coop especially at chicken level and close to the fan, a lot of them. #3 Mix Vanilla about 1 part to 3 parts water in a spray bottle and spray this directly on the chicken. #4 Inside in a dark coop is best because the gnats won't go inside so much, so you can set your fan up in there. Make sure they have food and water inside the coop so they don't have to go outsice. #5 Citonella as mentioned also seems to help. Insecticides do almost nothing.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Be careful spraying highly aromatic things in your coop. Could have an adverse affect on your birds
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Wash off the vinegar... personally I would not burn citronella candles anywhere near the birds...
    here is an article >Plant-Based Mosquito Repellents (not bird specific)

    I recently posted on these gnats a couple articles with advice ...if it is real bad then the advice was to keep them penned up and not let them outside... there was no "magic bullet" for the problem
    You might try planting some true citronella grass round the coop/run area:
    "Citronella, Grow Your Own Mosquito Repellant
    The true citronella plant is a perennial grass similar to Lemon Grass, to which it is closely related. It is not the little scented geranium you find in some stores labeled as a “mosquito” plant. Those may smell like citronella but are about as close to citronella as the lime scented geranium is to a lime tree. Citronella is a clumping grass that grows 5-6 foot tall, the coarse, grass-like leaves are gray-green and aromatic, and are borne on cane-like stems. Other names for citronella are Nardus or Nard grass.

    Growing Citronella

    Citronella is generally purchased as a small plant. Make sure you are getting true citronella, [Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus], and not one of the other plants that are sold in catalogs that use terms like citronella scented. If you live in zone 10 and above you can probably grow citronella in the garden. It can be used as you would use other ornamental grasses in mixed borders, or placed in the herb bed. It does not spread by runners . Propagation is done by splitting large clumps into several smaller ones. It is quite tall when mature, and rather coarse looking, so place it in the back of the garden. In the north, citronella can be grown in a large tub and moved inside to a cool, but frost proof place for the winter. Citronella is undemanding in its care. It should be grown in full sun and watered when it gets dry. It does not like to be too wet, so use care when watering potted plants. A little fertilizer high in nitrogen twice a year in the south, and when you move it back outside in the north, will keep citronella growing vigorously. "

    Five Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
    "CITRONELLA GRASS (see above)

    Catnip is an herb that is most commonly used to stuff in toys or feed to cats for their enjoyment. However, the oil from this plant has actually been found to be more than ten times better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Planting this plant near your patio or deck will help repel mosquitoes.

    This garden herb also has an oil that repels mosquitoes. While they are attractive plants that both repel mosquitoes and can add interest to your cooking, they are truly tropical plants that are not hardy in cold climates. You can, however, grow rosemary in a pot and take it inside in the winter.

    Marigolds have a particular smell that many insects and humans find objectionable. They are a good plant for repelling mosquitoes as well as insects that can attack vegetable plants and aphids. Marigolds are annuals with bright flowers that range from lemon yellow to dark oranges and reds....."
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
  8. crackedegg24

    crackedegg24 Hatching

    Jun 30, 2008
    Hello chicken lovers, I've got a bit of a mite problem...my chicks are hurting.Question? Does anybody know where to purchase a product called Black leaf 40 or nicotine sulphate. Its slightly toxic,, but biodegradable. The old-timers used to paint it on the roosts, so the nocturnal mites wouldn't be able to reach the chickens. Then use other dusts or sprays to break the egg to adult life cycle of the mites feeding on the chickens. Thanks, any help or comments would be appreciated.
  9. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH

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