How To Keep Flies Out Of A Chicken Coop

Flies are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerous to chickens! Learn how to keep flies out of your chicken coop with these simple tips.

collage image of chicken coops; text overlay "How to Get Rid of Flies in Your Chicken Coop"

It’s summer and not only does the season bring hot weather, it also brings out the bugs!

As the weather heats up, you may start to notice that there are more flies buzzing around your chicken coop. Yuck!!

Are Flies Dangerous For Chickens?

Flies are annoying, but are they actually dangerous?

Yes, house flies can indeed be dangerous to chickens and may cause several health issues such as:

  • Disease – House flies can carry diseases such as salmonella, E. coli, and streptococcus, which can make chickens sick.
  • Flystrike – Flies and their larvae Fly larvae can also cause a condition called flystrike, which is a painful and often fatal condition. Fly strike, also known as myiasis, occurs when fly larvae (maggots) lay their eggs on a wound or other open area of skin. The maggots then feed on the animal’s flesh, causing pain, infection, and sometimes death.

When you have farm animals, flies come with the territory, and it’s pretty much impossible to get rid of ALL of them. However, as you can see, it is important to not let flies overrun your chicken coop and yard.

Do Chickens Attract Flies?

Chickens themselves do not attract flies. It is everything that comes with chickens that attracts the flies: manure, food, mud, etc.

To keep flies away from the coop you have to make sure that the environment is ideal for your chickens, NOT for flies.

6 Ways To Get Rid of Flies in a Chicken Coop

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent flies from getting out of control or to get rid of them after they’ve arrived.

Note: We’ve included shop-able ad links to products we love and use; read our disclosure policy here.

1. Keep Your Chicken Coop Clean And Dry

Flies are attracted to dirt, moisture, and decaying matter, that’s why it’s so important to keep your coop clean and dry. This means removing manure and bedding regularly, and cleaning up any spills or messes. It’s not so much as a cosmetic issue as it is a health issue!

Flies love wet environments, so it’s important to keep the coop and run as dry as possible. After a rain, check your coop bedding and remove any that may have gotten wet.

2. Don’t Overfeed

It might be convenient to buy a large chicken feeder and fill it all the way up so you have to make fewer trips to the coop. However, if chicken feed is left out for a long time it can get moist from humidity…and then it starts to attract bugs.

Feeding your chickens daily and allowing them to finish up their feed before bringing more prevents food from going bad and inviting pests. Leaving lots of food out can also attract bigger pests such as roaches and rats! And we don’t want those either!

3. Don’t Overcrowd

A crowded coop means there’s going to be a lot of waste and mess, which will in turn attract flies and other vermin. Also, when chickens are crowded together in confined spaces, they can be more vulnerable to disease, and sick chickens can attract flies too.

4. Use A Fly Spray

After I clean out the coop, I always mist with a pyrethrin based spray that is designed for use in livestock barns. Pyrethrin is a naturally occurring insecticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers. It is a contact insecticide, meaning that it kills insects when it comes into contact with their bodies. Pyrethrin works by disrupting the insect’s nervous system, causing paralysis and death. It is effective against a variety of chicken pests, such as mites and flies.

Related: How to Keep Mites Out of a Chicken Coop

Pyrethrin is considered to be a safe and effective insecticide for use around homes and barns because is relatively non-toxic to humans and other animals, and it breaks down quickly in the environment. It is important to note that pyrethrin can be harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms, as well as cats.

5. Use Fly Traps

This is the best solution that I’ve found for dealing with house flies in and around the chicken coop. But not all fly traps are created the same! I’ve tried a few styles and I’ll share which worked, and which didn’t.

This fly trap was, but it did NOT work for me. I even adjusted the bowl at the bottom to give flies less room to escape. I also tried a few different bait recipes with no luck. As you can see, all I caught were tree roaches:

green mesh fly trap
This style of fly trap seemed to catch everything BUT flies. Do not recommend.

The fly trap shown below DID work. It already has bait inside and all you do is add water. Then you hang it next to the coop. When I did this, it almost immediately started attracting flies. When I checked back an hour later there were already flies inside!

bright yellow fly trap with label: "Fly Magnet"

Look at all those flies!! (It’s been a week so they’ve already started breaking down…but there were probably hundreds in there!)

holding up the bottom of a fly trap showing all the bugs it caught

You can get the above fly trap called the FLY MAGNET on Amazon with this link. Depending on how large your coop is and how many flies there are, you may want to use more than one fly trap at a time.

6. Grow Fly-Repelling Plants Around The Coop

There are a number of plants that are said to repel flies, such as lavender, mint, and marigolds. Planting these plants around your coop can help to keep flies away. This might not cut it if you already have a fly infestation, but could be a helpful preventative.

Does Irish Spring Soap Repel Bugs?

This is a common tip that I’ve seen shared in homesteading groups! Supposedly all you need to do is put a bar of Irish Spring soap in a mesh bag and hang it next to your chicken coop, or anywhere else you want to keep flies out.

Does it work? As far as I can tell, this one is just a myth. A rep for the company that makes Irish Spring soap says that the product has not been tested for this purpose and there is no scientific reason it should work.

Another tip I’ve seen is to hang up vanilla scented car air fresheners near the coop, as flies don’t like the smell of vanilla. I did try this and I did not have a lot of flies that year. So maybe there is a little truth to it!

One More Thing:

Even if you don’t have a lot of flies right now, it’s still a good idea to take the above measures to prevent them from multiplying. It’s much easier to prevent than to deal with an infestation when it gets out of control. And your chickens will be safer in the meantime!

More Tips For Raising Chickens:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *