1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Nasty EVIL gnats!!!!!! Killed my girls!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ArkaFarmaMama, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. ArkaFarmaMama

    ArkaFarmaMama In the Brooder

    Jun 24, 2011
    I've had chickens forever! Even in my 3rd floor downtown apt when I was in college.

    We lost our beloved black stars last year to a huge swarm of gnats. They were in a
    small portable coop with a long cage run for fresh grazing. We came home from a
    short trip to town and there were my girls lying on the ground.
    At first I couldn't understand what got em! All three were there and seemingly
    not damaged so a rodent was out of the question! I would have felt better if so!
    For days I examined the situation and couldn't figure how it happened!
    Then I was gabbing with some local farmers and they all had lost their
    hens to a huge gnat outbreak! This year it happened again!

    I've sent reminder emails every year to my chicken holdin neighbors
    to protect their girls. Mine were the envy of the area because they laid
    faithfully every day of the year!

    So my question is what can I do to prevent this in the future!?!
    We now have a much larger coop and a large yard for the new hens
    I'm getting ready to purchase.

    Thanks and God bless!

  2. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Would mosquito netting keep the gnats off? Or that bug cloth they put over hoop rows? Or a big fan blowing through the run?
  3. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    A large fan should keep them at bay. Also, vanilla is supposed to be a deterrant.
  4. breezy

    breezy Songster

    Jan 7, 2009
    Sand Coulee MT
    Mix a 6 drops of lemon grass essential oil with 2 tablspoons of water ,shake hard and mist their feathers. Avoid their faces and eyes. You can use 3 drops lemongrass and 3 drops citronella instead if you want as well. Lemon grass and citronella will keep flying insects away. You will have to remist everyday.
    1 person likes this.
  5. ArkaFarmaMama

    ArkaFarmaMama In the Brooder

    Jun 24, 2011
    I haven't heard of the spray idea. I would like to run the fan but
    the barn needs to be rewired. We're rehabing a early 1900's farm
    and so far everything but the barn has been gutted... coops on the
    Maybe I'll run a 400 ft. power cord if I get desperate!
  6. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

    Oct 7, 2010
    Central, Illinois
    I'm assumeing they are Buffalo Gnats. I'm also assumeing you live where it's very wet?

    The only way I was able to keep Buffalo Gnats away is from having a fan blowing the coop or get bug zapper. (Be prepareed to clean it out a lot! Those gnats come in the mbillions if not more!)
  7. ArkaFarmaMama

    ArkaFarmaMama In the Brooder

    Jun 24, 2011
    I'm supposing they are buffalo gnats. We've never had them here in NW AR,
    then after Hurricane Ike came through we have been infested. I actually live
    on top of a "mountain" at 2,600 Ft. No water period. These things just won't
    go away. Bug zapper would make me feel much better![​IMG]

  8. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    What exactly are the Buffalo knats? Are they like small knats, houseflies or the larger horesfly? Thanks for posting this and I want to be on the lookout for these. I am seeing alot of flies recently but they are the normal size fly.
  9. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

    Oct 7, 2010
    Central, Illinois
    Quote:The are nasty little critters! They come in swarms in the sky looks like the clouds are black.
    The love wet, humid, and hot climates.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by