Plagues of crickets and roaches! Help!


11 Years
Dec 9, 2008
Desert Hills, AZ
We have a large chain link chicken yard with the coop inside. It is clean and does not smell. The chickens free range all day, so they are only in there at night.

Nearby, we have a raised, covered garden.

We don't go out there after dark... to the coop or the garden...

Sometimes, if we do have to go out after dark, when we walk toward the coop, you can hear what sounds like rain as the thousands of crickets all hop away at the same time. Ahhhhhhhh!!!
It sends shivers up my spine!

Other times, it's the roaches!!! Ewwwww!!!

So, we have put pounds and pounds of DE out there. They just come out and play in it. It doesn't seem to work.

What am I doing wrong and what else can I use???

Oh, please help! It is soooo gross.
Get more chickens! With our 27 chicken free ranging flock we have seen a reduction in all bugs, large and small, and toads, small snakes, bees, and really anything the chickens can fit down their throats. They eat it all. I've even heard they eat mice though I have never witnessed it myself. We used to have a very loud chorus of crickets every night, now it's just a smattering of chirps.

Guinea fowl are great for bug control too, if you can stand the noise.
See, you would think that the chickens would eat them. And during the day, they eat anything that moves!

But - crickets and roaches come out at night! The chickens are roosting and sleeping!

Even when we have turned lights on and put chickens down to eat them, they are disoriented and don't eat too many. Also, the crickets and roaches disappear pretty quickly.

I don't think the chickens will be able to make a dent in this population.
You could get a duck or two.
Mine as long as they have some little light they love to chase the roaches all over at night. We have passion flower, honeysuckle, and jasmine vines growning all along our fences so we have TONS of crickets, roaches, spiders, scorpians you name it we have it. Our chickens are in a coop/run all of the time so they don't free range much. They keep all of the bugs down by the shed and fruit trees since that it were there coop is. Our ducks have free run of the back yard all of the time. They have a large dog kennel they sleep in but they aren't confined at all. The only thing they don't eat are the tiny ants, but the large ones are fare game.

Cleaning away any plants, stuff stacked up, or anything around that area will help with those bugs too.
Don't have roaches but used to have an abundance of crickets,used to being the key phrase. I took to slowly walking about and shuffling my feet with the girls all around my feet snarfing up crickets and hoppers alike. It's a rare thing to find any crickets or hoppers now. However, it is hard to walk with chickens under and all around your feet when you go outside. Tried to go squirrel hunting the other day and gave it up cause the chickens followed me to the woods and would not go away.Lol

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