Fly Control

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hillrise

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I have 13 breeding rabbits (plus some babies), and was wondering if anyone has any good recommendations for fly control. I've raised rabbits for over a decade, but until recently, I had the space to not worry too much about the flies. Now I have a smaller yard and closer neighbors, and I'd like to avoid upsetting them about the rabbits if I can. They can't see the rabbits as they're in a shelter, but it's open ventilated, so flies ARE getting in, and their numbers are already increasing despite taking care of the waste every 3-4 days (goes in the garden right away, and most is mulching before I dump anymore, so I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of attraction rather than multiplication).

Anyway, just looking for some suggestions. I thought about using Anotec from Bass Equipment (I get all my supplies from them, since even with shipping, as long as I'm buying several things, is cheaper even than my feed store), which keeps the odor down, but I don't know if reducing the smell will be enough to keep the flies away. All the horse fly control products I can find are supposed to be applied to the animal...I'd rather have something I can either put in their trays or use as an aerosol. A pyrethrin-based product maybe? Or just grow the pyrethrin daisies (I have seeds for them, just haven't planted them, and don't know if it works with the flowers themselves)?

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

hillrise

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I've tried fly traps before, but the bait stunk worse that the rabbit waste, so I'd really rather not use it again. Fly strips work to an extent, but not nearly enough to effectively drop the population...and there's no where high enough I wouldn't be walking into it or having to walk around it. (ew) :)

I'm going to try getting a bug zapper and see how that works (maybe keep the mosquitoes down a bit, too, as they seem to be particularly populous this year, as well).
 

Nela

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Bug zapper?

Yeah, same about the fly strips. :(Just doesn't do enough. I have a lemony plant in there I am trying out now in the hopes of repelling mosquitos some but doesn't seem to annoy the flies.

Bleh. :grumpy:
 

hillrise

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Bug zapper: you know those things you plug in that have the blue light to draw bugs in and zaps 'em dead on contact? They also make them with a mosquito bait (smells kinda musty, but not nearly as bad as fly bait).

Good idea about the lemony plant...lemon balm/ lemongrass?
 
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Our rabbits are outside and we haven't had any problems with flies. Grub worms took residence in the poop/dirtbelow the hutch and do a good job of converting thepoop into something that doesn't smell at all. Our problem lately has been small knatsaroundthecages with pans. Even with the pans cleaned out, as soon as the wood pellets get wet, they show up. Maybe its because we've had so little rain in the last several months. :?It's very aggravating though.
 

hillrise

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I've actually read that the little gnat-like flies are the beneficial ones that help turn the waste into compost. Those aren't the ones to worry about--they may even be the ones laying the grub eggs you've been seeing.

If they're getting to be too much, though, you might want to consider moving the waste somewhere that won't bother you--the gnats and grubs will follow. If you're getting the grubs in trays (not just piles under the hutch), you probably ought to be dumping your trays more often. When the waste is kept that close under the bunnies for that long, it can be bad for their respiratory health.
 
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These knats are more of a nuisance because they end up floating in the rabbits' water bowls. I never had this problem until we went so long without rain, so I'm wondering if they're attracted to the moisture in the wood pellets when they get wet. It finally rained afew days ago and now they're pretty much gone. :?
 

pamnock

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hillrise wrote:
A pyrethrin-based product maybe? Or just grow the pyrethrin daisies (I have seeds for them, just haven't planted them, and don't know if it works with the flowers themselves)?

Thanks for any suggestions.
I've had good luck spraying pans with pyrethrin based spray for the rabbits that weren't in the main barn (where I have an auto-sprayer). You can also spray the pans with a cleaning product such as pinesol to help keep them smelling fresh and attract less flies.
 

Nela

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I was trying a lemony geranium plant.:)

Ah yes, the bug zapper. I was holding one in my hands the other day but got concerned about leaving anything plugged in. I have this mental image of the shed catching fire for some reason. It terrifies me so I haven't brought myself to plug anything in.

Pam, really pinesol? I thought it would have smelled too strong for the buns. That's great to know. I'm not sure what pyrethin is so I will have to look into that.

Thanks for the tips!
 
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