Natural Fly Bunting for the Chicken Coop, Barn or Picnic Area

Flies are a nuisance, but worse than that, they carry disease. Commercial chemical fly sprays aren't safe to use around your chicken coop, barn or animals, and those sticky fly strips - while effective - aren't the most attractive things, so I decided to make a cute natural fly catcher bunting for our chicken coop.

I was inspired by an idea that I saw in the latest issue of Hobby Farm magazine by former editor Stephanie Stanton. She uses heavy stock paper  to make a cute bunting which she treats with a mix of honey, sugar and water. I decided to use my own recipe from when I made my own fly strips  and also use fabric instead of paper.

A trip to the local thrift store yielded me several gingham shirts for just a few dollars that I cut up for this project. Other than the fabric, all you need is some twine (get my cute twine caddy here), and basic sewing skills.

Since these are basically disposable (although I suppose you could rinse them out once they're full of flies, let them dry and re-dip them) the sewing doesn't have to be perfect. I whipped this bunting up in just minutes. It would also make a great project for a child who is just getting started sewing - and can even be sewn by hand.

What you Need:

Six 6" rectangles cut out of fabric
Five feet of twine

1//2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons beer

To Make your Bunting:

Hem two sides of each triangle. Fold the remaining side over 1/2" and sew along the inner edge, creating a space wide enough to thread your twine through. Thread each triangle onto your length of twine and tie each end into a loop (for hanging later).

Heat the honey, sugar and beer over medium-low heat in a shallow saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool slightly. Cover a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Dip the triangles into the solution, covering each one completely, front and back, and then set on the parchment to dry.

Hang your bunting in your coop or run area to lure flies away from the feeding area, at least several feet off the ground so the chickens don't get stuck in it. Or hang over the door of your coop or horse stalls, or on your back patio, porch or fence for your next barbeque or picnic.

If you don't have a fly problem, just skip the dip and hang the bunting as coop or patio decor! And remember - be a Good Samaritan and if you see any ladybugs, bees or other 'good' bugs stuck in your bunting, carefully unstick them and send them on their way!

-Hem two edges of each triangle-
-Make wide hem along top edge.-
-Heat and stir ingredients-
-Dip each triangle after stringing your bunting-
-Let bunting dry before hanging-
-Oh look! Success and I haven't even hung my bunting yet!-
 -my bunting immediately started to attract flies-

 -in no time I had quite the array of flying winged insects stuck on the bunting-

-and Ophelia lost no time flying up and trying to figure out how to eat that fly!-

-I'm pretty sure the girls will figure out how to nibble each and every fly that gets caught!-

-Natural Fly Bunting for the coop-

Coop courtesy Urban Coop Company. Check out all their different coop styles and sizes HERE.

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  1. Annemarieke VerèlJuly 8, 2015 at 6:36 AM

    My chicken catch flies if they can.
    So is it not usefull to hang it a little bit lower so they can eat the flies?

  2. E Irene CovingtonJuly 8, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    I would agree with you.

  3. Do the Flys get stuck to the bunting? Or is this just to distract them to an area away from food?

  4. Ooh, mine would be covered in ants in no time.

  5. Oh they're getting stuck and the chickens are already trying to figure out how to grab them off!

  6. Doreen JorgensenJuly 8, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    Does the beer have negative effect on chickens?

  7. Not that I've noticed. They did eat all the flies that got stuck, but the amount of beer any one chicken consumed in the process Im sure was negligible.

  8. Oh then the chickens could eat all the ants!

  9. Annemarieke VerèlJuly 9, 2015 at 1:54 AM


  10. Wonderful! Much more attractive that fly traps. I'll give this a try.

  11. Nice and looks good. New chicken lover.

  12. Carol Anne RaffaJuly 20, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    Okay so I made this today and although the fabric is not completely dry, I hung it since I figured it would probably dry better hanging on the line than smushed together on the baking sheet. So it's still very sticky but not dripping. Flies are loving it but not one bug has actually stuck to it. Do you think this is because it's still sorta wet? I mean, it looks adorable but I was hoping it would be functional too.