Saturday, June 2, 2012

Got Flies ? Make This Easy DIY Fly Catcher out of a Soda Bottle


Flies are more than a nuisance in your chicken run.  They carry disease and spread bacteria which can lead to E. Coli, Salmonella, Listeria, New Castle Disease, Dysentery and other germs that are harmful to both your family and your flock. Eating the resulting maggots in wet feed can also lead to botulism in your flock. This past winter was so mild that the flies have returned in droves this spring.  They are drawn to moisture and puddles, wet bedding, damp feed and chicken poop.

I tried a few different ways to repel the flies, but this DIY Fly Catcher is easy to make, effective and an inexpensive way to rid your chicken run of flies.


Keeping your coop scrupulously clean with fresh, dry nesting material helps, as does removing feed that becomes wet and raking the run to remove the droppings.  Dumping out waterers each night and refilling them each morning with clean fresh water is also critical.  But sometimes it's not enough....

Here are some other ways to combat the fly population in your run:

Sprinkle food-grade Diatomaceous Earth around the feeders and in the coop and nesting boxes. I also add some to my layer feed. Flies are not supposed to be attracted to the feces of animals who eat DE.


Hang sticky fly strips up high enough that the chicken's won't get stuck to them - or hang them just outside the run.  These have been around for ages and there's a reason why - they are inexpensive and they do work.  Or make your own. Find out how HERE.


We've also tried the Big Stinky which is basically a large glass jar you fill with water and a dead fish...and yes, it stinks !  It works, but it really reeks.  So I just bought this Captivator, which is the same type thing. There's an attractant that you put inside and then you hang it in your run.  


The Captivator seems to be catching gnats more than flies, so I decided to make my own fly catcher.

DIY FLY CATCHER


I have seen a few ideas on Pinterest for making your own fly catcher using a soda bottle and decided to try my hand at DIY Fly Control. 

Here's what you need:
One or two liter plastic soda bottle
Sharp knife
Stapler
Hole Punch
Fishing line
Something that will rot and stink: Raw fish, eggs or meat scraps 
Something sweet: Sugar water, honey, molasses, maple syrup
Something to repel honeybees: Vinegar

Here's what I did:

Using a sharp knife, cut the top off a clean soda bottle right before it starts to curve inward.


Turn the top upside down inside the bottle and line up the cut edges then staple around the edge to secure in place.


Using a hole punch, punch three holes equidistant from each other along the top rim.


Then string some fishing line through each hole and tie securely, leaving three long tails.


And tie the three lines together in a knot about a foot or so above the bottle.


I found a few freezer-burned shrimp in the back of the freezer, so I chopped them up and slid them into the bottle.


And then followed them a bit of maple syrup. 



One thing you don't want to do is catch any beneficial honey or bumble fees in your fly catcher. I have been told that adding some vinegar to the catcher will deter bees but still attract flies, wasps, yellow jackets and hornets.  So vinegar goes in.  I didn't really measure anything, just poured in a healthy amount.


Then hang the fly catcher in your run, preferably over the feeding area.  The premise is that the flies will fly in, attracted to the stinky decaying fish and also the sugars in the maple syrup, then get stuck in the syrup and not be able to fly out again.


Of course your chickens will give it that 'what the heck is she hanging in our run NOW !??!?' look!  


Inexpensive, easy and hopefully effective! Stay tuned and I'll let you know how it works!

UPDATE:  Two days later...a few flies in it, not alot, but oddly, there are fewer flies around the feeder the last day or so....hmmmm.  Inconclusive so far, I'll leave it up and keep you updated.

Oh, and a fan suggested adding a bit more liquid, so I did pour some water in to double the amount of liquid inside.

LATEST UPDATE:  The added liquid plus the decomposing shrimp is sure starting to attract flies.



As you can see, just flies have been caught. No bees. So that's good.
I will have to make a few more of these.


For more ideas on natural fly control, read HERE.
To learn how to make a fly catcher using a wine bottle, read HERE.


36 comments:

  1. I was trying to find you on Pinterest. Another place where I could stalk you. lol

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    Replies
    1. Yes ! We love stalkers ! The link is up above, but here it is. http://pinterest.com/fresheggsdaily/

      Yvette has become addicted to pinterest so there are new pins all the time !

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  2. love this idea, cheap and cheerful, i will be trying this out !

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  3. I will try it..Use only one shrimp and cheap syrup...Maple syrup is about $16 a bottle! Thank you for the idea.

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  4. Sounds like a great idea. Looking forward to hearing if it works!

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  5. You can use clear baby apple juice to catch those annoying bees that fly in your face the same way! We've caught pounds of them. Not honey bees, but maybe they're yellow jackets. We would never harm a honey bee. They don't bother us at all.

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  6. I am doing similar minus the whole dead fish thing and its working very well. White Vinegar in a glass Jar with holes in the lid, a piece of citrus fruit, sealed the lid and let it go for a few days. I just redid my jars tonight and I've already got a TON of flies. Some say to put sugar in the jars I don't and I still get plenty.

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    Replies
    1. I forgot ...I've seen people do it the same way with the 2 liter bottle with the vinegar and fruit.

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    2. So you really DO catch more flies with vinegar. Hahaha.

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    3. lol I am trying this today. we will see. rofl

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  7. We have horses and this year are trying the "fly predators" that you put out around manure piles. They eat the larva of the flies. We have seen a big difference so far in fly population. Perhaps they would work around chicken coops as well.
    http://www.spalding-labs.com/

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  8. How badly does it stink? More or less than dog poop?

    We use fly bait/poison in a metal bucket clipped to the top of the fence with a couple of pieces of dog poop as an attractant. This loses it's smell by the end of the day for me, but not for the flies, who still seem to think it's awesome. The dog poop and the bait get changed out ever few days or so.

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  9. a beer and a sugar and few drops of dawn dish soap inside does the same thing and not wasting fish or shrimp....besides half a can of beer for bugs....half for you!!!!

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  10. I have used a similar version to this in a South African township, but replaced the syrup and fish with 1-1 1/2 inches tap water and a chicken liver. Leave it hanging out in the sun for 2 days and when it ripens, the flies come swarming. In 1 week I caught 300+ flies. The flies can't get out because of their flight pattern and limited space and end up drowning in the water. Just keep it a good distance from your house.

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  11. Thank you. I am loving all these suggestions for what to put inside. Seems anything that is going to rot is going to attract them. I am going to make a few more and experiment with other liquids and solids inside. Thanks all for reading and commenting !

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    1. We have tried this with a little but of red wine left over from supper and it worked AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing the trap idea.

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  12. You can use molasses, which is much cheaper than maple syrup and put in some fresh dog poop, because flies love to hang around poop.

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  13. I use to make these, I used wet cat food.
    Worked pretty good.

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  14. This is soooo smart! Thanks for sharing.

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  15. think I might wrap some contact paper around mine. really need it around the picnic table during the summer not so much for chicken run

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  16. Replies
    1. It works great. Better than the Captivator. Once the shrimp started to decompose especially, the flies are attracted in droves. And I have only found flies and gnats in it - no bees or anything else in the way of 'good' bugs.

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  17. I need something for yellow jackets.They are swarming our coop and the addition of table scraps makes it ten times worse!! Sny suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. I think I' ve read mango peels and chardonnay wine works for wasps and yellow jackets. They go for sweet stuff.

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  18. Loved reading all this. I have no chickens or farm animals but I still love reading about it.

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  19. I've been bombarded by flies this year as well as last year! Thank you so much for all the suggestions! My litle dog will be happy to help out I'm sure!

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  20. But what about the smell, we had the captivator and it caught a lot of flies but the smell was horrible.
    Love your blog.
    Trying to find the post about how to add Mum hen and babies to existing flock.
    Hugs, Di

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    Replies
    1. I have a Captivator hanging up also and I think that smells a bit more. This one I made maybe because the top is so narrow ? Doesn't seem to smell quite as much - although the smellier the more appealing to the flies!

      I have a post on integrating new pullets. I would keep the hen and chicks separate until they are at least a month old. Then you can add them in again - but I would use the same method of letting everyone get used to each other. And watch to be sure the chicks aren't picked on by the others. http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2012/04/adding-to-established-flock-pullet.html

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  21. pears are great for attracting wasp and sweat bees. i do not about honey bees.

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  22. This is a great idea. I am looking forward to making a few of these. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. The comments about using dog poop got me thinking... the way the flies swarm all over the turkey poop, maybe that would work. And I agree, maple syrup is too expensive for this. We used to use fly traps yrs ago when we raised pheasants and those traps STINK! I'm thinking stinky instead of sweet might work here.

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  24. Does this theme has to do with your education or perhaps is it more about your leisure and ways to spend your spare time?

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  25. Any bit of raw meat, such as just a small bit of hamburger, will work. Add some water. Catches tons of flies in summertime. They fly in and can't maneuver their way back out.

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  26. Going to start making some of these this week!!

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  27. Great idea! I've been using the fly sticky traps, but I seem to get my hair in it more often than flies...blech!
    Thanks so much for sharing on The Creative HomeAcre!
    Hope to see you again tomorrow at:
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/05thecreativehomeacrehom17.html

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