I get so many questions about fly control and keeping them out of the rabbitry. I am all about preventative rather than treatment. It is a whole lot easier to keep something from happening rather than trying to get rid of it.
Total transparency here when I say I don’t know how to get rid of flystrike because I have never had to deal with it. Nor do I want to. Here is what I do to keep flies at a minimum in the rabbitry.
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Look Around Your Property
The first thing you need to do is look around your whole property and make sure you are not leaving flies a home. Any kind of manure even if it doesn’t seem like it is that nasty flys will take anything they can get.
Here is a list of things to check:
- Minure Piles
- Under cages with huge piles.
- The underside of a small amount of poo stuck to a cage.
- Chicken coops.
- Shaded nastiest where they could lay their eggs.
- Trash cans or dumpsters.
They seem to love heat over cooler areas so this is another reason to be careful about putting your rabbitry in a nice shared area to not only help keep your rabbits cool but to keep flies away.
Check the bottom of your rabbit cages regularly. Rabbit fur can cause the poo to stick to the bottom of the cages and if it gets compacted enough that it will make a nice little condo for flys.
If you take a flat-bladed shovel to the bottom of the cage and run the part you would put into the ground along the bottom it will flick off the poo before it actually makes a compressed patty.
Just be careful of bunny toes sticking through the bottom of the floor. You don’t want to break a toe on accident.
Something like this is perfect and easily stored.
D.E. In The Rabbitry
Diatomaceous earth is a natural wormer and parasite control for literally all the things. You can put it on your animals without worry it will harm them. I love having it on hand if I see something I don’t like that could be the result of a bug I sprinkle it on the animal.
I also sprinkle it on the ground under the cages that are directly below the rabbit cages as well as the walk ways. This keeps bugs from laying their larvae in the rabbit poo under the cages.
Even though I don’t let my rabbits on the ground there are wild animals that show up and I don’t know what they are bringing with them.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff and it is THE BEST. It is safe to spray on horses so if your rabbits get a little on them it’s ok. I wouldn’t spray them with it because horses don’t groom themselves so it’s not really intended for an animal that is a self groomer and could ingest large amounts of it.
I take this spray and spray it on all of the frames of my lean-to style hutches and it works like a barrier. So if you have actual hutches then I would spray the front wall and door down as well as a rim around the bottom anywhere that is not sold that a fly could get through to the inside of the cage.
This spray will last about 3 or so days before I notice flys and have to spray again. Just keep in mind that if it rains then it is not going to stay on so you will have to reapply.
Last But Not Least! Ducks!
I know this is not an option for everyone so if you don’t have the space pr live in an area where you can have them then you could probably skip this section.
Chickens will do the job too but not quite as well. They tend to dig in the dirt for bugs in the ground but not so much the bugs in the air. Which is what you want.
Ducks are natural foragers and love to find the bugs. If you watch them they will stick their beak in the grass handshake it. Causing the bugs to fly up so they can grab them for a mid-day snack.
If there is an area in the yard that feels particularly bug-filled I will close the ducks in that area for a good portion of the day. After a day or two, there is a noticeable difference.
Don’t forget your supplies to keep the flies away.
- Mini D-Handle Square Head Shovel – Amazon
- Bronco Fly Spry – Tractor supply
- Diatomaceous Earth – Tractor Supply
Those little pets will bite your lets and exposed limbs too if they are in the mood so it is as much for you as at it is for the rabbits to keep these successes at bay. Flys are a total pain if you get infested wit them so take preventative measures and your rabbitry will be fine.