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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pests in the Rabbitry- Flies

Yes yes, I know some folks consider rabbits the pests, but what do you do about those pests that invade your barn- the mice, spiders and flies/bugs? This is probably going to be an installment post, to keep the length down!

Flies/Bugs

I hate flies. Hate them with the fiery burning of 1,000 suns. Despise them. You might even say, I'm not a big fan. There are several ways to try to deal with flies- you're never going to be 100% free of them (if you are and have stayed that way, PLEASE email me with details!)

First of all, flies do not indicate you're a bad owner! We clean our trays a lot and of course, we still have flies. Try not to let the mess get ahead of you, and if you spill any waste on the floor, get it cleaned up. This will help attract less flies, especially if your poo dumping area is NOT right at the door to your rabbitry :). The more you clean, the less flies you'll have, but I seriously doubt many of us have the time to clean 30+ cages daily.

We use Fly Strips. You can get 4 for $1.00 at any feed store/Tractor Supply- maybe even Walmart, I've never looked. Basically, these are sticky strips that come in small tubes. You unroll them, tack them up and enjoy as each day you go in there, more and more creatures are caught on the sticky. We usually hang 2-3 in various spots around the barn, so no matter where the flies go, we've got em! The up-side to this is it's not poisonous, and once you get it hung you can ignore it until it's time to hang a new one. The downside? It's gross if you accidentally touch the sticky ribbon, but I've had to help does with stuck kits- I can handle it!

Occasionally, when super frustrated, Tim & I will arm ourselves with fly swatters and go to town. The downside is, we get tired long beffore we get all the flies, and the rabbits aren't terribly appreciative of the thwacks and thuds. However, it's so satisfying when you're irritated.

A southern tip for dealing with flies is to attach a clear baggy of water near the door to any entrances that are used. Do I know why it works? Of course not. Something about the flies seeing themselves reflected and *mumble mumble mumble*. I have seen cases where it worked though. Also a case where no poison is involved and it's cheap. Of course, as with most old wives tales, it'll work for some and not work at all for others.

You can also put up those traps that look like plastic containers with holes in the top. They contain scented liquid that draws the flies, who get stuck in the container and die. These run you about $6 at TSC. The downside, is no where at TSC did I see liquid refill pouches. That deterred me from buying them, though let me know if these are available for purchase.

You can also order prey insects to release in your barn- they eat baby flies (the pupa stage of development). Of course, if you have a bunch of adults, you may need to use this in conjunction with the strips or containers (or swatter!). We've never tried prey insects for the simple fact- how do I know they'll spend any time at all in my barn? I don't want to pay to have them sent here, release them, and wave good bye as they all head to my neighbor's house lol. That is just my luck too.

Hopefully these are a few ways to get you started with de-flying the barn. We'll work on mice next.

-Kristen
Keep's Rabbitry

1 comment:

DevonGlen Rabbitry said...

Use an automatic fly spray thing (Like conk) It's what I use and we never have flies at all and it's worth the investment when you look at how many fly strips you have to use versus one can of spray (which can last up to 3 months)