We are having a fly invasion

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Does anybody have any ideas or experience in spraying flies with something that makes their wings not work? I want to spray the flies that are in and around the chicken pen, so don't want to use something poisonous. Is there some kind of spray stuff which will stick to the fly after you spray it on (and cause the wings to stick together) so they can't fly? (Then the chickens can eat the flies! A fitting end to the miserable little pests.) Any ideas are much appreciated.

Richmond, TX

My college roommate used to immobilize cockroaches with hairspray; it stuck their legs together. I don't know that I would recommend it, however! Molasses would probably work too - what a mess!

Charlotte, VT

I have seen fly traps where something stinky is put inside a container and the flies are drawn to the smell and then they can't get out of the container. I know I've seen these on line. Try googling fly traps and maybe you'll find them. If you did spray the flies with some spray stuff with a questionable ingredient you'd have to worry about the flies dropping and being eaten by your chickens. I have used fly sticky strips and products like them, but it sounds like you need something bigger and better. Nothing attracts flies like animals and their food and poop! Good luck.

Richmond, TX

From experience I can tell you that fly paper and chickens are not a good combination. The stinky traps Helen describes do work, but then the chickens don't get to eat the flies!

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Well I have been using fly traps for several years (baited with pieces of sardines they sell in the frozen section of the grocery store) (stinky!). They have worked very well until this year when a different kind of fly showed up in large numbers. These new flies have an orange sheen to the top of their body. They are not attracted to the fish smell but hang out around the chickens and the vegetables that I feed them. There are so many of them it is beyond annoying. I have tried spraying them with various things but nothing kills them. It seems like there should be something that could be sprayed on them which would be so sticky and "heavy" that they couldn't fly away (would be left walking on the ground) and then the chickens would eat them. Somebody needs to invent a fly grounding spray - could make a bunch of money probably.

: )

Richmond, TX

Try the Molasses, maybe you will make a patentable discovery!

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Okay, I'll try that. Hopefully it won't attract more flies than we already have (?) . At least it won't hurt the chickens.

Waddy, KY

There are fly strips that are stick that you can hang from the ceiling. They work pretty well in our basement. Shouldn't hurt the chickens. You do have to learn to duck if they're too low. You'll catch your hair in them!

Janet

Richmond, TX

They may not hurt the chickens but nothing is quite as bad as trying to unstick a fly strip from a chicken - don't do it!

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Maybe I could hang one way up high in a tree and see what happens. (We have some shade trees in and around the chicken yard.) Thank you !

Rankin, IL(Zone 5a)

I have heard a little apple cider vinegar in a 2 liter pop bottle, cut off the top half of the bottle, turn it upside down and stuff it into the bottom half of the bottle.. the vinegar goes in the bottom.. flys check in.. and they don't check out.

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Well I have tried various things to lure flies into traps and this particular kind just don't seem interested in anything. (But I have not tried apple cider vinegar yet - will do that next.) (So far none of the sprays or lures seem to affect this one kind of fly.)
But I have good news to report. This last week we noticed that there are about 1/3 as many flies hanging around the chicken pen and our house as there had been. Could it be dragonflies eating them? Here recently a bunch of the big dragonflies with the blue and black wings have been zooming all around our yard. (They are so pretty and can switch directions in a blink - amazing to watch!) I have not seen them eating flies (I don't know what they are eating) but it was interesting that the fly population is WAY down from what it was around the same time we noticed them patrolling our airspace.

Rankin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ladypearl.. here in Illinois the dragon flies have gone nuts.. I have never seen so many.. the sky gets black with them during dusk hours. And yes, my fly population is way down this week.

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Thank Goodness for dragonflies then!! Maybe they'll clean up Texas and Illinois both.

We/ have had more praying mantis this year than I've ever seen since we moved here. Hopefully they are eating a few flies as well.

(Zone 5a)

Ladypearl, you have an interesting idea. I know mixing up powdered milk will work on aphids as it dries sticky. This might work for flies if you can get enough spray on them. It's been so long, I don't remember how much to mix, but I'll bet you can Google it.

Since more people are getting back into cattle and pigs, our fly population has made a comeback. I too had more dragonflies than I've ever seen before, but we got more rain than usual too. I think they hatched out of the same water filled ditches in the country as the mosquitos. It was like having fairies flying all over, in all colors.

Richmond, TX

Dragonflies like fairies! I like the image.

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Yeah, ya gotta love dragonflies.... Unfortunately they don't show up in force around here until late June/early July.
Thanks for the idea Billy!
Next spring we will probably have another fly invasion so I will try the powdered milk spray on them. That would be so helpful if it would ground them long enough for the chickens to gobble them up!

(Zone 5a)

This was my favorite, but I could not get a clear picture. She was beautiful!

Thumbnail by billyporter
(Zone 5a)

Another

Thumbnail by billyporter
(Zone 5a)

And last. I had a few other different one's, but won't post all of them. It was an incredible year!

Thumbnail by billyporter
Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Wow! They are beautiful and colorful! I didn't see any like your blue one here, but then, ours were busy zooming around so it was hard to get a good look at them. National Geographic had a picture of a red dragonfly (from Madagascar) that is gorgeous.

(Zone 5a)

I just went thru a dragonfly identifying site and there are some real beauties! This is the first time I've had so many with gorgeous colors!

I hope the powdered milk works on flies. I have used it on aphids and they dry, stuck to the stem.

Richmond, TX

Using the milk, could you end up trading flies for ants?

Charlotte, VT

Can you order dragonfly eggs or just plain dragonflies?

Richmond, TX

I don't know about the eggs, but dragonflies only live for one day so you wouldn't want to order them.

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

I don't know if the ants would be drawn to the milk but that is certainly a consideration. The fire ants built their home (mound) in the expansion cracks in my patio one day and since I was washing the cooler out, I happened to have liquid dish washing soap at hand. Well I gave their mound a few big squirts, and put a little water on it. They were gone the next day (moved somewhere else.) I wish it had actually killed them, but fire ants are tough boogers. At least they aren't on my patio anymore.

Porkpal, isn't it the mayflies that only live one day? I think dragonflies live longer.... I'll try to remember to look that up.
Anyway, I know a good bit of their life cycle is in a pond, stream, or other body of water where they are also predators.

Richmond, TX

You're right. I did read something that said some adult dragon flies can live two months.

(Zone 5a)

PorkPal, I never thought about flies. I myself don't care for instant milk, but an ant might. Good question.

Ladypearl, I am so thankful we are in a zone too cold at the moment, for fire ants. I fear the day when they start marching north and survivng freezes. I'm glad you got them off the patio. I saw a show on them and just how they cover acres and acres of pasture land. There is no way to ever kill all of them.

Richmond, TX

Just you wait, the clever little creatures are adapting to more hostile conditions all the time. They are sure to be headed your way. One good thing about them: they are the ultimate predator. Ticks and other undesirables are a favorite prey.

(Zone 5a)

Well, I sure don't like ticks, but I stay out of their areas if I can. Nope, I don't want fire ants and that's final!

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Yeah, NOBODY wants fire ants, but they show up anyway when they feel like it. The new baits with spinosad work fairly well at first. It seems like after a while they don't take it as well.
It always amazes me how far technology has come (computers, droids, lasers, unmanned flying vehicles, etc.) but we can't seem to really do anything permanent about fire ants, kudzu and johnson grass.

Richmond, TX

- or mosquitoes.

(Zone 5a)

Absolutely. They used to fog with DDT when I was a kid. And, we rode our bikes in the fog. Gulp!

I guess it made me stronger. I don't have too many health problems.

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Glad you're healthy, Billy. I've heard (from an exterminator) that DDT was the best thing they used to have for varmits like fire ants.

(Zone 5a)

It's a shame it had an effect on important species too. You would think they could come out with a dome to put over the nest and just force fog into it for a few days. But again, the open pastures can be every square inch of them so it's almost hopeless.

Well that's pretty gloom and doom.

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

True. But maybe one day we'll have anteaters instead of dogs in our back yards and pastures. : )

(Zone 5a)

ROTFL! I immediatly thought of the Ant and Anteater cartoon that ran with the Pink Panther! Hey Ant!

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Yaa, whaduya want? : ) Those were cute/funny cartoons. Makes me kind nostalgic.....

(Zone 5a)

Ladypearl, they were showing both of them not too long ago. The one I just watched, was a drunk sneaking the Pink Panther into his house, but they couldn't let the wife see him. He ended up rolled in a rug inchworming his way out because of course she almost caught them many times.

Just the PP music makes me nostalgic :o)

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

LOL! Yep, Pink Panther was a hoot too! Always the cool cat. I don't watch TV nowadays, can't stand the commercial advertisements. Also, I am just too busy. I have been trying all summer to get around to putting a lime wash on the fruit trees (to protect them from bugs and keep them from budding/blooming too early in the spring). And then there is fence to be painted.... Just too busy keeping up with normal housewife chores, making sure all our critters are cared for, and taking care of the garden and some of the yard work. Not much time left for painting.... But today is beautiful outside and I may skip laundry and head out there with a paint brush....
Wonder if they have the Ant and Aardvark and the PP cartoons on dvd for sale.......

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