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Pest Control for the Barnyard
Owning chickens and goats brings a lot of joy and one very frustrating problem – pests. Dealing with them can be easy if you want to throw pesticides at the problem. Still, chemicals can cause several other problems on your homestead, including the side-effect of accidentally killing beneficial bugs as they eradicate the bad ones. Plus, using chemicals can cause problems with your livestock. Organic and non-chemical methods of pest control in the barn and barnyard are the best ways to deal with pests on the homestead.
When to Use Pest Control
Organic pest control methods in the barnyard need to be able to attack bugs no matter what stage of development, eggs – larvae – pupae – adult they may be in. You need products that are good to use all year round. One of the best products for organic pest control all around the homestead is Diatomaceous Earth. This powder-like substance is most useful when purchased as ‘food grade’ DE. You can sprinkle it over your animals, you can sprinkle it in their food, and you can sprinkle it all over their bedding and the barnyard. Diatomaceous Earth works by sticking to the oils on bugs’ bodies. It absorbs the oils, dehydrating the bugs faster and faster as the sharp angles abrade the bugs’ body causing it to release oils faster and faster.
Homemade Pest Control Solutions
A simple spray of soap and water regularly applied to areas where bugs gather will help kill flies. If you make an oil and soap emulsion and add that to a water bottle, you’ll see even greater success with your organic pest control spray. A cup of oil mixed with a tablespoon of soap makes the emulsion. Take a couple of teaspoons of the emulsion and mix with a quart of water to make the pesticide. It covers the bugs with the oil, and they suffocate to death.
A spray of citrus oil or juice mixed with water is a great spider repellent. You can spray this in any area where spiders like to hide or where they could come in. Spray down doors and windows especially. Arachnids can sneak in through even the smallest cracks. You will likely want to wipe the area down after letting the mixture sit, if using juice, so that your surfaces don’t become sticky.
Make an organic pest control trap for moths or stink bugs using a bright LED light bulb and a basin of water with just a hint of bleach or soap. The best way to do this is to use a desk lamp with a basin on the desk. These bugs are attracted to the bright light at night. They bump into it or fall off it after landing, and fall into the water. The bleach and soap work together to quickly kill them.
Gardening for Pest Control
Gardening is a great form of organic pest control. Mosquitos hate aromatic plants and are one of the biggest pests chased away when you plant them. One of the most popular is the Citronella plant; however, Lemon Verbena and Lemongrass are also excellent deterrents. Rosemary chases away fleas. Using a mixture of essential oils in a spray of water will help repel these pests. Plus you’ll be able to easily apply the repelling oils wherever they are needed. You can prevent them from becoming too prolific by eliminating standing pools of water.
There are various other methods available that can help control the issues, such as screening or a fan in the stall of horses to keep out flies. Encourage pest-eating birds and bats with bat houses, kestrel boxes, and hairballs of horse or llama hair for swallows. Flypaper and fly tape near windows and doors is hugely effective, as are pesticide-free water-bag traps that use an attractant to drown these pests. You can even purchase fly parasites – a type of stingless wasp that goes out at night to lay eggs in the fly pupae. This kills the flies, and the wasps don’t bother humans or livestock.