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Natural Ways to Control Flies without Chemicals

DIY Natural Fly Strips and other ways to help control flies in and around your home and chicken coop without using dangerous chemicals.

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 or other livestock, 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.  They're not going to harm our family, flock or other pets. I would like to share a few ideas and tell you what works best for me.

Natural Ways to Control Flies without Chemicals

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 poop smell less and therefore be less attractive to flies.

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

Herbal 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 to Repel Flies

What you Need |

Sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, lavender, mint and thyme.


What you Do |

I make bouquets of fresh rosemary, lavender and other aromatic herbs, 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.

You can also make a pretty herbal wreath to hang in your coop or even on the deck or patio. 

Vanilla-Mint Cups to Repel Flies

What you Need |

Glass mason jar
Cotton balls
Vanilla extract

What you Do |

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.

Place the cups anywhere you don't want flies.  These work especially well near your chicken 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.

Natural Fly Attractants and Traps

Instead of, or in addition to, repelling flies, it's also a good idea to attract and trap flies. I  have read that the color blue attracts flies, and to a lesser extent, the color yellow.  Flies are also attracted to sweet sugary foods and rotting foods.

Soda Bottle Fly Catcher

What you Need | 
Empty plastic soda or other bottle
Fishing line

What you Do |

For a step-by-step tutorial on making one, click HERE.

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. 

Don't have a soda bottle? You can also make a wine bottle fly catcher, click HERE.

Natural Fly Strips

What you Need |

Paper grocery bags
Hole punch
Twine or string
Small saucepan
Cookie sheet

What you Do |

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 completely 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.

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