Making your own natural fly repellent is easy. Consider using mint or calendula essential oil, which are said to repel insects. After formulating your repellent, spray in your chicken coop daily or as needed.
Strips are a non-invasive method that works well to get rid of flies in your chicken coop. We use them in our house, and as soon as we put on up, within minutes, flies have found their way onto them. The problem with strips is if you have a lot of chickens, they probably won’t be able to keep up with the amount of flies. If you only have 4 or 5 chickens, however, and your coop is otherwise clean, then you can give them a try. Just remember that fly strips can’t really take the place of a clean chicken coop. So, they’re best used as part of an overall pest control plan, rather than relied on as a sole strategy.
Use herbs like mint and marigold
Certain herbs are known to be pest repellents, and might help get rid of flies in your chicken coop. Mint and calendula (marigold) are two herbs known to fight off the mighty fly. You can hang dried or fresh herbs in your coop as part of an overall pest control plan. They also have an added benefit: they’re very good for your hens, so if your flock decides to snack on them, so much the better.
You can also incorporate live marigold and mint plants around your chicken coop. It’s a nice way to upgrade your chicken coop area as well as reduce the fly population.
Fly predators are gaining popularity, and we’ve used them around our horses in the past. These are live insects that feed on larvae to interrupt the breeding cycle of flies. You do need to use them monthly, but you can find 5,000 predators for about $20.
While they’re effective, if you live near other farms that don’t use them (such as large dairy farms or farms that don’t exercise any fly control), they’re less effective. They’re more expensive than other options to get rid of flies in your chicken coop, but not outrageously expensive.
Make sure your chicken coop has good ventilation and add air flow
Consistent air flow is one way to reduce the fly population in your chicken coop, and although it’s simple, it’s quite effective. If there are open windows on either side of your coop, then a strong cross breeze will keep flies away.
Another option, if your chicken coop has electricity, is to use a fan. Make sure you use a gentle circulating fan rather than a large industrial one to ensure your chickens don’t accidentally get injured. While any fan can obviously hurt them if they try hard enough, a fan with a safety grate with ¼” openings or smaller will work fine.
Diatomaceous earth works by cutting through the exoskeletons on insects, and so it can help reduce the flies in your coop. When your hens are out of the chicken coop for a while, sprinkle the DE around lightly.
Remember that it can be caustic if inhaled, so wear a safety mask. It won’t work immediately—DE takes a while to get into the flies’ bodies, but it works against larvae as well.
Your chickens themselves are a good way to control flies. On our farm, we have 8 horses, and few flies comparatively because the chickens hunt the larvae and keep the population under control. In fact, we have several chickens whose entire existence is about keeping the flies down.
A word about traps
Traps work relatively well killing adult flies. But there’s a couple caveats that I should mention. The first is that you’re only killing adults—not getting rid of the larvae. So you’re reacting to all the bugs in the coop, and not hitting them where it matters.
The other thing about traps is after a while, they smell ungodly disgusting. To this day, I cannot walk by one without wanting to vomit. Particularly if you’re pregnant, avoid using traps, and opt for a different solution. You’ll thank me.
So, if traps work for you, then go for it, but there’s other options I prefer to try first.
Hopefully, one of these options will help with your fly population.