Mosquitoes swarming flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amorgan, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. amorgan

    amorgan Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2016
    North Liberty, IN
    We've had a bunch of rain here recently and the mosquitoes are horrible! We can't hardly go outside without being swarmed and now I'm noticing the nasty little things swarming my girls too! We live in the country surrounded by woods, so eliminating all standing water and long grass/weeds is out of the question. Will probably get a bug zapper today, but is there something I can do to help my girls out with the cloud surrounding them?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If they are roosting in a coop, then try and make it operate like a human armpit. Instead of hair, put in some cuttings of mosquito repellent plants like citronella or mint. If none available, then soak some cotton balls in the oil and hang them in the coop. Air flow needs to be restricted enough for vapor to concentrate around birds.
     
  3. amorgan

    amorgan Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2016
    North Liberty, IN
    I might try that for night time relief, but right now they're being attacked while free ranging with the sun out. :(
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Can you place a fan in area they loaf in? This time of year loafing will be done in the shade.
     
  5. amorgan

    amorgan Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2016
    North Liberty, IN
    They do like to nap under the bushes by the screened in porch. I should be able to put a fan up for them there! Hope it helps out!
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    We have loads of mosquitos here as well, and the same basic scenario. My hubby saw a trap made by dynatrap at Costco (poor rated model). Different models have different prices and ratings as well. I haven't yet made the investment but I may before too long. I am still researching but a lot of them said it caught every insect EXCEPT mosquitos.

    A fan does work pretty good for us when it isn't too cool. And I often get bitten when I am unsuspecting because of being in the sun.... Don't they know how to play by the rules?

    I hope you get more suggestions. I am following along.

    I have found, most of the plants they say repel mosquitos don't work well if they aren't fresh cut or smashed or something. For example I have seen them land directly on mint and cat nip like it was no big deal. [​IMG]

    I have also made a trap using a 2 liter, top inverted with sugar water and active yeast (to make co2) but I think our weather was to cool for the yeast to work fast enough for the intended effect.

    Another homemade trap is dry ice inside a plastic bag (the 2 liter might work better). As it melts, same thing co2.

    I HATE MOSQUITOS WITH A PASSION! [​IMG]

    Good luck.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri


    Repellent plant oils need to be concentrated to be effective. Intact plants, especially those only marginally effective, will not have desired repellent capacity. Citronella is the one I would go to first. Also look into other essential oils. We used a lemongrass oil a while back on honey bees where it drove all the bees out of the hive within minutes. It appeared to clog their sniffer function.
     
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Ahh, thank you. That sounds like key information. A lot of the "use this for that" stuff on the internet is people repeating what they have heard without ever trying to see if it worked or not. [​IMG]

    I have used a lemon grass eucalyptus repellent when camping before. And though it needed to be re-applied every couple hours, the skeeters still swarmed and would come within an inch of landing but not go in for the bite.

    Might be able to make the oils soak into the bottom of the roost..... or even the top. I wonder how long it might last, but also... at what point would you say the smell would be uncomfortable for the chickens?
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I do not know answer to that. I am pretty sure olfaction is used by chickens at some degree but they will have to be the judge as to whether the smell is too strong. My birds have option to move to a more comfortable location but have not moved do to mosquito control measures.
     
  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    So far my actual problem is with my dogs more than my flock. But I try to learn all I can and a lot of times it carries over to the other animals as well.

    I actually have used horse fly spray on my goats for mosquitos it seems to work a bit, but it has permethrin as the active ingredient and I am a little anti chemical since we drink our ground water and ALL of my animals forage.

    I feel a little more prepared now to move forward using more effective, less harmful means of mosquito repellent and abatement.

    Another question I have is.... can the mosquitos bite through the feather fluff? Our skeeters here are the size of humming birds! (slight exaggeration) They often bite through layers of clothing. Do the scales on chicken legs offer any protection? Or where is their most vulnerable spot?

    And to the OP, @amorgan , can you see your flock reacting like they actually have bites?
     

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