DIY Fly Strips + More Ways to Control Flies in your Coop and Run NATURALLY


Chicken poop attracts flies, chicken feed attracts flies, standing water attracts flies, meat scraps and cut up fruits and veggies (i.e. chicken treats) attract flies. In short, if you have chickens, you'll have flies. Spraying pesticide near your coop and run area isn't an option obviously, so I would like to offer some natural ways to control your fly population.

I've tried many different commercial products as well as homemade recipes, and I prefer the homemade versions. Not only are they inexpensive and easy, I know exactly what is in them. I would like to share what works best for me.

I have learned that 'layers' of fly control offer the best protection against flies.  Obviously not leaving any puddles or standing water is important, as is removing uneaten feed, especially feed that has gotten wet, and sprinkling food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) around the feeders and coop area.  Removing soiled litter from the coop regularly will also reduce your fly population.  Adding garlic powder and probiotic powder to your chickens' feed can also make their excrement less attractive to flies.

In addition to taking the above basic steps against flies, there are two types of fly control products - those that repel flies and those that attract and trap flies.  Let's start with the repellents.

Fly Repellents 

The herbs rosemary, lavender, basil and mint all purportedly repel flies.  Flies don't like aromatic scents and tend to keep their distance.

Herbal Bouquets - I make bouquets of fresh rosemary and lavender sprigs, tie them with twine and hang them wherever I see flies congregating - in the coop or in the run. I refresh the bouquets as they start to lose their scent. These work especially well over the nesting boxes where flies like to bother setting hens.



Vanilla-Mint Cups - In a small glass mason jar, pour a liberal amount of vanilla extract over several cotton balls. Add some fresh basil and mint leaves. Cut a piece of cheesecloth to fit over the top of the jar and then replace the screw part of the lid, leaving the round cover off so the scent can escape.

-This idea was shared over at Diply-
Place the cups anywhere you don't want flies.  These work especially well near your feeders (also try setting a few on your picnic table or patio during barbeques to keep flies at bay).  Clean out and replace the contents when the scent starts to dissipate.


Fly Attractants and Traps

I have read that the color blue attracts flies even more than the color yellow.  Flies are also attracted to sweet sugary foods and rotting foods.

Soda Bottle Fly Catcher - I made this fly catcher last year and it worked very well. This year, I will be making another one, but will paint the bottom blue and also try 'baiting' it with raw egg instead of fish (as recommended by a Facebook fan).  You want to locate a fly catcher away from your feeders and coop, to draw flies away from not towards the areas the chickens frequent. For a step-by-step tutorial on making one, click HERE.


Fly Strips - To make your own fly strips, cut eight 1"x 8" strips from paper grocery bags. Punch a hole in one end and attach a string of some sort - I used bakers twine.  Heat 1/2 Cup beer, 1/2 Cup sugar and 1/2 Cup honey over medium heat in a shallow saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Dip the strips into the solution, covering them completely and then hang them to dry.  Use a cookie sheet under them to catch drips.  Let dry and then re-dip each strip and then once again let dry completely. Hang the strips in your run area, to lure flies away from the feeding area, several feet off the ground so the chickens don't get stuck on them. Mine started catching flies almost immediately. Cheap, easy and effective ? I'm sold on these.









Hopefully you have gotten some ideas on battling flies naturally in your coop, run and even home.  All of these ideas will work just as well in hour home or backyard.  For more tips on natural pest control, read HERE.

To learn how to make a fly catcher using a wine bottle, read HERE.
To learn how to make a fly catcher using a soda bottle, read HERE.

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BECAUSE LIFE IS JUST BETTER WITH CHICKENS!


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40 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful tips! I will for sure be using them to keep the flies at bay with my girls!

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    1. Everything helps for sure...and I love that there are natural ways to repel them.

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  2. Fantastic list! I can't wait to try these!

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  3. Great post! Pinning and sharing! :)

    I especially liked the fly strips idea. I wonder if it would work with strips of cardboard? I've got tons of it and am always looking for ways to use it.

    ~Kristi

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    1. Sure it would. Cardboard would probably even work better because it's stiffer. Just be sure you use a large saucepan that they can lay flat in - or brush the mixture on.

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  4. Hi, Lisa! Thank you for the tips. I grow all of these herbs and will be putting your recipes to work! That vanilla mint sounds like a lovely air freshener inside the home! I am especially curious about the fly strips. Those would work really well in our rabbit house. Thanks again! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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    1. I am going to make a vanilla cup for the kitchen as well...it really does smell quite nice!

      Our ducks actually ate the strip I put up in their pen last night! So its a good thing it was just paper bag, honey and sugar - I guess they enjoyed the beer smell :0(

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  5. Great stuff. I'm loving all these natural remedies. I tried my girls on oregano yesterday, they like it way better than the sage.
    I have a question if you don't mind, completely unrelated to this post. My hens won't sleep on their perch. They sleep in the nesting box (I have been putting herbs in there). Should I close up the nesting box at night so they have no choice? or just let them sleep where they are happy?

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    1. It's really better if they perch. Not only will your nesting boxes stay cleaner and free of poop, they can get mites or other parasites if they sleep in the nesting material since that creates a warm, moist, dark environment - its also cooler on the perches. I would cover them. You can even just put an empty gallon milk jug in each one and then take it out in the morning.

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  6. I'm definitely going to try these! Thank you :D

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  7. I pinned and Google +'d this. It was great to have these ideas collected in one place. Thanks.

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  8. I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight.
    http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/. AND starting Wednesday June 4th I will be hosting a Wordless Wednesday link party. Hope you will join us!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs, Cathy

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  9. We're starting to see flies here and there now too, that means permanent warm weather is right around the corner, woot! :)

    I saw you linked up at Thursday's Favorite Things and came to say hello. :)

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  10. Those are really great tips...I love rosemary..we have a big plant and it thrives on neglect...also use rosemary essential oil for lots of things..mixed with olive oil makes an excellent hair conditioner and some findings read that it promotes hair growth.

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    1. I"ve read that about rosemary as well. And I do love that many herbs DO thrive on neglect...I'm good at that!

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  11. I made some of the cotton ball/mason jar/mint/vanilla fly repellers this afternoon and used some old screen from a window that my darling cat pushed loose.

    They work like a charm! I literally watched as flies left the run! I've always loved vanilla but now I love it more! Thanks for sharing that idea!

    Donna

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing! AND the best part is that it's perfectly safe around your animals. Next bbq - I'm putting them on the picnic table.

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  12. This is great!! Thanks so much for sharing at the Friday Follow Along last week! I am sending the link to my sister because she will love this. come link up at the Lovely Linky if you can! www.leahinspired.com

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  13. Amazing! Especially the herbs, I had no idea they would keep flies away. Saw you at This Silly Girl's blog hop.

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  14. Looking forward to trying the vanilla jars!

    Have you found that the homemade strips attract bees as well as flies? I'm looking to control flies near my garden but don't want to affect the bees. Thanks!

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    1. I didn't catch any bees - and I had one on our front porch near our flower gardens. I think bees, even if they were attracted, are large and strong enough to pull free anyway no harm done.

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  15. This is nothing less than awesome. I use DIY skeeter repellent and DIY tick repellent but have not seen anything for flies. Awesome....thanks for a great post!

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    1. I would LOVE to get the recipe for the DIY tick repellent - especially if it is safe to use on cats and dogs. we are being overrun!!!

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  16. Thank you! Have pinned this for future reference.

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  17. My chickens love cilantro. What benefits, if any, does it have for them?

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