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Mosquito Control & Your Property – 10 Natural & Effective Ways From Stuff Found Around The House

Mosquito on skin biting

With mosquito season almost upon is in some parts of the country, it's time to start looking at ways to keep them from invading your home and turning everyone in your family into a pin cushion. Over the course of the last 25 to 30 years, research has found that these noisome little creatures can transmit a wide range of diseases to human, including malaria, dengue fever, elephantitis, chikungunya, and many other “vector borne” diseases. No matter how you look at it, mosquitoes and their bites have become a major nuisance to the rest of us.

While you could turn to a professional pest control service, there are two very good reasons why this may not be your best choice. First, hiring a pest control service tends to be a relatively expensive process. This is especially true when you consider the will probably have to come back at least once a month during the season.

The second and perhaps best reason, at least in my opinion, is that the vast majority of pest control services in the country use a wealth of toxic chemicals and products around your home as well as inside. The majority of these products have been found to cause a number of serious illnesses in humans and most family pets. Do you really want your kids and the family dog exposed to these types of chemicals?

With this in mind and knowing that I certainly didn't want my kids to have to deal with toxic chemicals all over the house and yard. At the same time, I didn't want them exposed to all the diseases carried by mosquitos. So, what I decided to do was take a good look at the many natural mosquito control methods and product to see if they really worked or if they were nothing more than a little good old fashioned “snake oil in a bottle.”  

It All Starts in Your Yard

Swarm of mosquitos in yard

Before we look at natural mosquito control methods, let's take a look at your yard. Is it a breeding ground for your own mosquito farm? Do you have standing water like a pond or junk laying around that tends to collect water? Take a walk around after a good rainstorm and look for anywhere that has standing water in it. This is the perfect breeding ground for millions of mosquitoes that can plague you all summer long.

While you can't eliminate your fish pond, you can certainly clean up anything else like those old snow tires or that 55-gallon drum you planned to turn into a barbecue but never seemed to have enough time make. In fact, mosquitoes do not need much room so even a water filled soda can be big enough. The more you can eliminate, the less mosquitoes you have to deal with.

As for keeping mosquitoes out of your home, your doors and windows are your first line of defense. If you have windows without screens, this is just like inviting the bugs to come in for dinner. The same applies to gaps between outside doors and frames. Install screens in all of your windows and repair, replace or seal the doors. If the little buggers can't get in, they can't invite themselves to use you and your family as dinner.   

 

On to the Good Stuff


Once you have done everything you can to keep the mosquitoes out of your home, the next step is to keep them away from your home and to get rid of those that do make it inside. Bear in mind that no matter what you do, you will never completely eliminate mosquitoes, but the more steps you take, the less at risk you will leave your family and the more you can enjoy being outside all summer long.

Start by Spraying the Yard

If you are going to take control of the mosquitoes in your yard, one of the best ways to get started is by making them feel unwelcome in it. But, the last thing you want to do, is buy one of those highly toxic yard sprays. Sure, they kill and deter mosquitoes, but they are also highly poisonous to your entire family and your family pets.

A far better choice would be to mix up a batch of perfectly harmless natural mosquito repellent to spray your yard with. Bear in mind, mosquitoes do not like the smell of several plants such as tomatoes, garlic, onions, citronella, geraniums, catnip, catmint, mint, clove, lavender, spearmint, and lemon grass. Planting a number of these flowers, fruits, and vegetables around your home will make a big difference.

But then we were talking about a yard spray, weren't we? Here are two different natural sprays you can mix up in the kitchen and use to control mosquitoes for several hours at a time. Perfect for evening barbecues and parties.

 

The Granny Mix

This one has been handed down from generation to generation.

  • 1 Gallon water
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 Hot peppers (use habaneros or jalapenos)
  • 2 Bulbs of garlic

Place peeled and quartered garlic bulbs in a blender and fill 1/2 to 2/3 with water. Blend for one minute, strain out the garlic and put it aside. Pour the blended mixture into a gallon jug and fill with water.  Mix 1/4 cups of this blend with a gallon of water, shake well, place in a garden sprayer and apply to the areas of your yard where you need to control the mosquitoes. This blend is safe for kids, pets, and plants and will keep the mosquitoes under control for up to 6 hours.

The Onion Spray for Controlling Mosquitoes in Your Yard

This one is really simple, but very effective spray can keep the mosquitoes at bay for up to a month. Like the one above the recipe is one that has been handed down for more generations than most can remember. For this you need:

  • 1 Gallon of water
  • 1 Onion

Chop the onion into a small dice, place in a bucket or old container with a lid, add one gallon of water, stir, and cover. Leave sitting out in the sun for 3 to 5 days. Pour the ripened mixture into a sprayer and apply to those areas of your yard where you have a mosquito problem.

Both of these mixtures are perfectly safe and eco-friendly, making it a great natural solution for getting rid of the mosquitoes in your yard.

Planting the Right Stuff

Spraying your yard with a natural repellent is a good start, but did you know there are several plants you can add around your yard that will also help. Many people are under the mistaken impression that trees and shrubs provide a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, but this is not the case. Plants such as Citronella grass, marigolds, mint, lemon trees, and neem have all been proven to be very effective in controlling the presence of mosquitoes in your yard.
Image courtesy INSECT COP

Citronella Candles help mosquito control patio and yard areas

Citronella Candles

Citronella oil is an extract made from Citronella grass. You can buy Citronella candles in most hardware, outdoor gardening stores, and department stores. But, if you prefer, you can add citronella oil into your own homemade candles or add it directly to a vaporizer or essential oil diffuser. Once lit a large candle will keep the mosquitoes at bay within a large circle around the candle. Add more candles as needed to cover more area for larger parties. Images courtesy Sears

Mint

Most people find the scent of mint to be relaxing, yet according to the Journal of Bioresource Technology, both mint oil and mint extract are very effective mosquito repellents. The plants themselves can help keep them at bay outside of your home. You can add mint extract to your diffuser or use it the create a spray you can use to spritz around your home. You can even keep mint growing in various rooms in your home. Not only will this keep the pesky little buggers at bay, but it will make your whole house smell amazing.

Lavender and Lavender Oil

Lavender

Lavender adds a wonder aroma to your yard or home. It is easy to grow, can be planted in the ground or in pots. While humans might love the smell, it will drive even the strongest mosquitoes to look for better pastures. You can also use lavender essential oil in a diffuser inside your home and make spritzers that you can apply to your skin.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an amazing natural remedy. It has both antifungal and antibacterial properties. The aroma is refreshing and re-energizing, and at the same time kills mosquitoes. They won't come near an area where the plants are growing, or you can add a few drops of essential tea tree oil to your vaporizer or diffuser to kill of any mosquitoes in your home. You can also rub the oil directly on your skin to keep them from biting.

Camphor

Camphor is easy to find in most hardware and department stores. Camphor is an extract of a tree and is very easy to use. You simply choose a room in your home, make sure all the windows and doors in your home are closed, light the camphor, and leave. Let it burn for 15 to 20 minutes. When you go back inside, you should have a nice mosquito-free home. You may have to ventilate to get rid of the odor or you can just let it fade away on its own. The odor is harmless to everyone except the mosquitoes.
Image courtesy Balance Me Beautiful

Tulsi Plant or Shrub

The Tulsi Shrub

The Tulsi shrub comes from India and has been found to be highly effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay. All you need to do is plant a shrub under each window and let it grow. In India, the plant is known as “Holy Basil” and it is used in a wide range of Indian dishes. You can also apply it directly to your skin to soothe mosquito bites.

Homemade Mosquito Trap

While you can buy mosquito traps in the stores, most are full of toxic chemicals that you really don't want in or around your home. A much better way to put these very effective traps in place around the outside of your home is to make them yourself. The process is very simple and doesn't require any special skills or toxic chemicals. You need:

  • Empty plastic water or soda bottles
  • Box knife
  • 2 Cups Brown sugar
  • 1 Gallon Hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
  • Tape

To make the traps, simply cut the bottle in half, mix brown sugar in hot water and then pour into the bottom half of the bottle once it has cooled off. Add yeast to the mixture, then turn the top of the bottle over forming a funnel. Place the funnel in the bottom half and tape the two pieces together. Place in areas where mosquitoes seem to gather around your home. Remember to change the liquid weekly.

To the Last, I Will Fight Thee

No one likes mosquitoes with the exception of the fish in your pond. The chemical mosquito repellent and killer market is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is producing new products that often don't work and are more toxic than ever. If you really want to protect your family from the many diseases carried by mosquitoes and the side effects of the latest range of bug sprays on the market, then try using one or more of the natural mosquito treatments above. I hope the information I have gathered together for you helps. If there is anything you would like to see here, please contact me here.

Bird Scarer Information & Reviews

Bird Scarers & How to Keep Pest Birds Away from Your Property

A Residential Bird Control Guide for Home Owners

Bird control is a multi-million dollar industry. Why? Because pest birds can become a problem for property owners if they are not controlled.

  • Birds leave messes which can cause health problems, especially if left for periods of time
  • Birds are noisy which can be very annoying to people when they are trying to sleep, as most birds are up quite early (even on Sundays)
  • If birds have nested, they can get territorial which creates an issue for residence who may be attacked by birds.
  • Birds also eat plants, lawn seed and any food people try to grow in their gardens.

What’s more is that they will nest almost anywhere and are quite intelligent which means that basic bird control measures are rarely effective.

scare_away_birds

Would you be scared by this?

Not all bird control measures are created equal. A local hardware store near me once hired a professional to come in and attempt to catch some birds that are living in sections up near the roof. These birds are so smart they wait for the roller door to open in the morning and are always in before closing time at night!

Unfortunately, the professionals cages are always empty. So using a professional does not always work!

Domestic Bird Control For Home Owners

So what do you need to know before you embark on controlling birds on your property?

Why are they coming to your property?

Controlling birds is easier when your property is clean, well pruned and there is nothing there for the birds to eat. Sometimes they will congregate if they are eating something in your garden, or you have recently dug up some dirt (birds like this because it’s easier to go through the loose dirt to look for worms).

If you keep your property clean and patch up any holes and spaces where the birds can get in, this should solve 90% of your problems.

What types of birds are coming?

If you look on the reviews section, you can see what gets rid of what.

The type of bird is important because some control methods work best on some birds, and some bird control measures need to be used a certain way with some birds.

How much area do you need to protect?

You can use physical barriers for small areas (such as netting, spikes, broken glass or wiring), for larger areas you will want to think in more detail about what birds are coming and why they are coming to your property, then choose the bird control measure appropriately.

How long have they been there for?

If the birds are nesting it is really hard to get rid of them without using barriers as they have young ones which they will protect vehemently.

When to call in a professional

You can pay for bird control or you can do it yourself, if you have a light problem then have a go yourself, it is much cheaper and most techniques don’t require a large time investment.

If you have a big problem, you can still try yourself, there are ‘industrial strength’ bird scarers available for domestic use too.

If you are to get someone in make sure they have good reviews, because they will take your money whether they get rid of the bird or not so make sure you get a good one!

Homeowner Bird Scarer Reviews

These reviews are of mostly my experience with the different bird scarer products. However, there are some that I haven't tried and I have taken the information from other people who have used the products.

 

Bird Scarer Information Articles

In these articles, I answer questions about bird deterrents and keeping pest birds away from a property.

Pest Control

Common Garden Pests and Simple Ways You Can Control Them

june-bugs-on-rosebuds-2441590_960_720

NOTE: Looking to scare away birds? Here is all our information on bird scaring.

NOTE: Looking to deter snakes from your yard? Go here

EACH YEAR IN North America, more than 136 million pounds of pesticides find their way onto lawns and gardens as well as in homes. While many of us blame these levels on farmers, the reality is that homeowners use three times the amount of these products.

In fact, the vast majority of surface water contamination and wildlife poisonings are the result of homeowners using pesticides and herbicides on their lawns and gardens.

Remember, there are several beneficial insects in your garden. When you turn to a chemical pesticide to kill the “bad” bugs, chances are good you will be killing a number of the “good” bugs as well.

Now for some good news! Mother Nature provides us with an ample supply of non-toxic ways to help you manage the “bad bugs” while at the same time minimizing the risk to the “good” bugs.

Let's Look at Building Healthy Soil First

Preparing_soil

Just like your grandma used to say, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”, especially when it comes to keeping the pests out of your garden. Pests come in all sizes and shapes, from tiny insects all the way up to deer. But no matter how big or small they are, you need to keep them out of your garden and stop them from destroying your crops.  

Scientific research has shown time and again that the healthier your soil and plants are, the better your plants will be able to fend off attacks by these pests. Experts agree that soil that is healthy, fertile, and living is one of the best ways to save yourself from having major pest issues.

Compost

how to prepare soil - compost at back of yard

If you don't already have a compost bin, get one and start building your compost for spring. A good one to two-inch layer of compost will help create healthy soil by supplying plenty of natural nutrition to it.

Mulch

mulch

Adding a two to four-inch layer of mulch to the top of your soil will reduce water evaporation, keep soil temperatures more stable, add organic matter to the soil, and reduce soil compaction.

Use Cover Ups

When your growing season comes to an end, protect the integrity of your soil by planting a cover crop such as clover, peas, or rye-grass. They will help keep your soil in place, add to its overall health, and keep the weeds down.

Rotate Your Crops

Image courtesy of yogizendude.com

When you keep growing the same crops in the same part of your garden is one of the worst things you can do. This depletes the soil of the nutrients that crop needs, reducing yield. At the same time, it attracts more of the particular pest that likes this particular crop. The longer you leave the same crop in place the larger your pest population is likely to grow.

Bring on the Beneficial Bugs

It's important for you to remember that not all bugs are bad. Many of the bugs you see in your garden help keep your plants healthy by pollinating, cleaning up and decomposing waste, and yes, you guessed it, filling themselves up on a steady diet of pests.

beneficial-insects-pest-infographicImage courtesy of Organic Lesson

One of the best things you can do to keep the good bugs in and the bad bugs out is to keep your crops as diversified as possible. If possible where you live, try to promote the growth of plants that bloom all year round. These will help attract the good bugs and keep them living in your garden.

What About Plants for Pest Prevention?

You will find that a large number of plants that are native to your area can be used to help keep those pesky pests at bay. More importantly, most of these plants are native to your area and as such should have no problem growing with a minimum of care.

Of course, you can also help reduce the number of plants you can add to your garden and to the gardens around your house and gardens that will help to control a wide swath of pests. 

natural-pest-control-plantsImage courtesy of Organic Daily Post

The list of plants that are known to help with pest controls is very long, this is only a small sample of the dozens of different plants you can add to your garden, yard, or flower gardens to help keep a wide array of bugs out of your garden. But what about other predators such as rodents and deer.

Animal Control for Your Garden

mouse-1335602_960_720

Beyond the myriad of bugs that want to turn your garden into their private dinner table, there are many other pests to consider. Among these are mice, rats, moles, voles, gophers, squirrels, and many other furry critters who want to add a few more veggies to their diet.

Identify the Predator

In order to determine the best form of pest control for your garden when you have larger animals, you first need to determine what type of critter you are dealing with.  One way to do this is to install one or two trail cameras in your yard such as those used by hunters to keep an eye on deer movement. These cameras use motion sensors to operate the shutter and take pictures of who is invading your garden.

Clear the Area

One way to keep the number of smaller predators out of your garden is to clear out brush piles, cut down tall grass, and eliminate as many potential hiding places you can find. You can help by keeping your compost pile covered, keep your trash can lids secured, and remove any possible sources of food that might attract any one or more of these pests to come and feast.

Animal Repellents

There are several very effective natural repellents you can use to keep four-legged pests at bay. So, let's take a look at some of the larger predators and what you can do to keep them out of your gardens.

Coexist

You wouldn’t think it, but none of the best ways to deal with some of the animals that are pestering your garden is simply to learn to coexist with them. Some will respond well to having food they really like planted for them or placed where they can get it. The hope behind this method is that the animals will go after the food that is easy to get to rather than struggle to get the food in your garden that you have worked so hard to protect.

In reality, you should probably plan to use several of these methods in conjunction with each other to create a virtually impregnable fortress around your garden. Although you can buy a number of commercial chemical pest controls, you should avoid the use of these toxic chemicals to keep the pests out of your garden.

Think of it this way, if these chemicals can kill a wide range of pests quickly, why on earth would you want to use them in the garden where you are growing foods that are capable of soaking them up. Imagine what the constant ingestion of these chemicals is going to do to your health and that of your family.

The 10 Best Chicken Coop Bedding Options – Reviewed

The 10 Best Chicken Coop Bedding Options - Reviewed

Laying down some new best chicken coop bedding

Bedding and litter in the chicken coop, nesting boxes, run and other areas of the enclosure isn't for luxury. It's to help give the chickens a foundation for their legs and to provide for a safe landing for the eggs they're going to lay.

Deciding which type of litter to use can be a bit confusing. To make things a bit easier for you, we've gone over some of your options so that you'll have a better understanding of what each type of litter can provide.

As a chicken owner, you may be doing a bit of hemming and hawing over what animal bedding to use. You'll want to consider the price of the bedding as well as how well it works on odor and of course, how clean it's going to keep your chicken coop.

best chicken coop bedding - chicken laying eggs in nesting box

Many people seem to think that cheaper is better. With chicken bedding options there are good cheap options, but you typically get what you pay for.

As a chicken owner, chicken bedding doesn't stop at nesting. Some types of bedding may cause respiratory illness and possibly even death. This guide is designed to give you an excellent place to begin your search on which bedding is best suited for your chickens.

What Exactly Is Animal Bedding?

Animal bedding is the substrate that you'll be putting into your chicken coop to help absorb liquids and cushion their feet as they walk and the eggs as they're laid. It will help the chickens to safely walk in and around the cage.

Many chicken farmers have used hay and straw for animal bedding, however, there are many more cost effective options for bedding on the market today.

How Frequently Should I Change My Chicken Bedding?

Typically speaking, the animal bedding should be exchanged when the odor begins to build up around the chicken coop.

If you are plugging your nose and having a difficult time breathing while out in the chicken coop, it's time to change the bedding. It won't harm the chickens to change the bedding in fact, it may help to prevent other health issues.

While changing the bedding, it's also a good time to disinfect the coop with an all natural cleaner like apple cider vinegar to help prevent any bacterial buildup that could make your chickens ill.

What Does The Bedding Do?

A clean chicken coop ensures healthier chickens. If your chickens are walking in chicken poop and moldy bedding, The mold spores can lead to health issues and diseases and other upper respiratory illnesses.

Many chicken owners are extremely vigilant about keeping their coops clean and will “spot clean or poo pick” the bedding daily or each time they are in the coop. While this extreme isn't really necessary, it will certainly help to maintain the level of cleanliness that will help to ensure that the chickens remain healthy.

Cleaning the coop daily isn't quite necessary but it should definitely be cleaned every 2 weeks to maintain and ensure a level of cleanliness that will help to maintain a healthy coop.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Bedding And How Do They Differ?

There are a wide variety of different kinds of bedding and each type has its own pros and cons. Here is a list to help you understand the differences between the different kinds of bedding.

Bedding TypePriceEase to useHow often have to change
Straw and Hay$$$$★★★Once per week
Pine Shavings$$★★Once per quarter
Excelsior Fiber$$$$★★★★★Only when overly soiled
Sand$$$$★★★★★Once or twice per year
Grass Clippings$Every few days
Shredded Leaves$★★★Every few days
Recycled Paper/ Newspaper$★★Every few days
Shredded Cardboard$$★★★Every few days
Sawdust$Frequently
Hemp$$$$$★★★★★Once or twice per year

- Straw And Hay

Straw & Hay

Many chicken owners like straw for its earthy smell and texture. It's an ideal option made from wheat, barley, oats or rye or any other such grasses that are available.

Many, such as oat and wheat are more absorbent which will make it easier to clean out the coop. Unfortunately, straw is notorious for not holding up very well in the rain and it may be moldy which can lead to other issues. All though it's affordable, it's not really very economical due to how it holds up in inclement weather.

Hay is very similar to straw in composition, however, it's much more expensive. It's also not the most durable and may break down in inclement weather as well. It develops mold spores easily and this in turn may make for some very sick chickens.

Straw and hay are very well suited to animals who enjoy nibbling on hay however it's not the best choice for your chickens for their bedding.

- Pine Shavings

pine shavings bedding for chicken coop

Another popular option is to use pine shavings. These are readily available at feed supply stores as well as pet supply stores, large box stores and specialty stores.

They are very expensive, don't break down readily and dry quickly.

The scent of pine is amazing however, it will break down over the course of time.

best chicken coop bedding - excelsior nesting pads

Excelsior fibre pads are becoming a popular bedding material for chicken husbands.

- Excelsior Fiber

Also known as 'wood wool' a newer option is to use excelsior fiber pads as a bedding option for your chickens in their nesting boxes.

Some chicken husbands love them because they leave the eggs on top and absorb any fluids, feces etc down and away from the laying area.

Chickens like sitting on these pads and they are as easy as kitchen sponges to replace, just pull it out and put in another one. Although they have the possibility to become a little expensive

- Wood Shavings

Wood Shavings

There are a few different kinds of wood shavings. They should have already have had the dust removed so that your chickens won't have to deal with any respiratory issues.

Usually these will be absorbent and hygienic however, they may have other issues such as pesticides or larger sized chunks as well as sawdust so be sure that you're getting all natural and that it's had the dust extracted. Cedar and other woods may make up the shavings.

Always read labels and ask questions of the sales staff prior to purchase. Keep in mind that when using cedar, Cedar shavings have been known to cause respiratory problems in chickens so use at your own risk.

- Sand

Sand

Excellent and very clean, it's expensive to start out with however, it will only need to be replaced about two times per year. It dries out quickly and as long as it's being raked out frequently it shouldn't pose any issues.

Many chicken farmers use a cat litter scoop to keep their coop clean when they use sand. It won't break down and dries out quickly which makes it an ideal option. Keep in mind that the finer the sand the more likely it is to clump when moistened.

- Grass Clippings

Grass Clippings

If you have a large enough yard, you may opt to use your grass clippings. They work well, however there are a few reasons you may opt to not use them. They do tend to stay wet when it rains or they're moistened.

They also break down very quickly, since they are grass they will dry up and begin to smell quickly as well. If you're using grass clippings ensure that there are no pesticides used in the grass that has been mowed as well as any herbicides, chemicals or fungicides.

Chickens will peck at anything and ingest it so be sure there aren't any bits or pieces of anything that could injure your chickens.

- Shredded Leaves

Shredded Leaves

Dry Leaves - can be a good chicken bedding

If you have a lot of trees you could save the leaves in the fall. However, leaves must be finely shredded and require proper preparation.

Whole leaves will take a very long time to break down so they aren't really a good option. Shredded leaves will break down quickly so you'll have to replace them often and they tend to harbor the moisture.

Wet leaves tend to stick together and mat up as well which can make for a slippery walking surface. Leaves tend to work well when mixed in with other types of bedding.

- Recycled Paper

best chicken coop bedding - shredded paper

Best chicken coop bedding - Shredded Paper

Shredded newspaper and other recycled papers are an ideal way to give your chickens a nearly free bedding.

However, be cautious as the papers may contain poisonous inks, staples (if they are from shredded paper in offices) and papers that have chemicals or been chemically processed.

Be mindful of the type of paper being shredded and its former life before choosing this option.

- Newspaper

Another popular option for those who recycle, it may be an effective form of bedding however there are still inks to consider as well as the fact that mold may easily develop as it won't fully dry out.

While it may work short term, be aware that you'll have to replace it a few times per week and have a steady supply in order to have it available as often as you're going to need it.

- Hemp

Hemp

Perhaps one of the best options on the market today, hemp is made of the stalk of the cannabis plant. It's an ideal substrate option as it's odorless, fully absorbent and it is an all around organic product.

It can help to keep the coop clean for a longer period of time. It also tends to keep out the creepy crawlies that like to check out your chicken coop. As a natural pesticide it works well and although it tends to be higher priced, many chicken farmers say it's well worth the price.

- Sawdust

Perhaps the most discouraged by seasoned chicken farmers, sawdust is dangerous due to the powdery nature and the dust that it harbors. If you're hoping to avoid upper respiratory issues, this is not the route to go. It's not very absorbent and it tends to harbor maggots. Go for something else if you're concerned about the health.

best chicken coop bedding - sawdust

Obviously the decision is all up to the chicken farmers however it's important to choose one that will keep your chickens healthy without harboring any harmful bacteria, bugs or anything else that can cause problems.

Many choose to change the bedding frequently and that can never hurt. By keeping the bedding fresh and healthy the chickens are going to be healthier and provide more to the chicken farmer. Remember too that keeping the nesting boxes and the under trays fresh and clean is vital for their health as well.

What are the popular choices for Chicken Coop Bedding in the different areas of my coop?

- Nesting Boxes

Many chicken farmers prefer wood shavings for their nesting boxes. Some prefer hay or straw and change it frequently. Whichever you select, remember to keep it dry and ensure that the chickens aren't suffering from any respiratory issues.

For more scent or to keep it fresh mix in some mint, lavender or rosemary. This will also keep pests at bay. You'll also want to ensure that the scents aren't bothering the chickens respiratory health either.

- Coop

Many farmers prefer pine or cedar for the scent however, keep in mind the respiratory issues regarding the chickens. Obviously, you'll want something that is easy to keep clean and change out as needed and you'll want it to be affordable. Many farmers use the deep litter method in order to avoid wasting the bedding and save on money. Again, keep the health of the flock in mind at all times.

- Run

Outdoor runs are ideal and most chicken farmers prefer sand for outdoor runs. Sand is ideal and works well however, it won't break down so keep this in mind. You'll have to use a cat litter scoop in order to scoop out the debris and manure frequently. Chickens love dust bathing and sand is ideal for this use.

As long as you're willing to clean it frequently, sand will be a fine option for your outdoor run. Remember to avoid very fine sand as it can be aspirated by the chickens. A medium sand grain will be fine to ensure that they're not having respiratory issues.

Summary

As you can see, you get what you pay for with chicken coop bedding. And all the options will suit different chicken coops.

We hope that you choice to find the best chicken coop bedding for you has been made a little easier. Thanks for reading

If you have any comments, queries or questions please use the contact page.

How To Keep Snakes Away

How To Keep Snakes Away From Your Yard And Chicken Coop

how to keep snakes away - crawling in yard

Table of Contents

Snakes, the very word brings images of slithering reptiles to mind. It can be very nerve wracking to step out into the yard to do some work when you've seen a snake in your yard. If you have chickens, it can make you even more nervous, snakes love baby chicks and fresh eggs.

To make matters worse, the more vegetation you have in your yard, the more likely you are to have snakes. And whilst most of these reptiles aren't venomous, a visit from a snake can scare chickens, other pets and also anyone else around.

8 Ways to Keep Snakes Away From Your House

Method $ Ease Of Use Success Rate Availability
Keep Yard Tidy $ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ Yourself or Help
Chemical Repellents $ to $$$$ ★★★ ★★★ Online or home improvement store
Ultra Sonic $$$$ ★★★ ★★★★ Online or home improvement store
Vibration Repellers $$$$ ★★★ ★★★ Online or home improvement store
Sulfur Powder $$ ★★★ ★★★ Online or home improvement store
Snake Traps $$$ ★★★ ★★★★ Online or home improvement store
Seal Off Entries $$ ★★★ ★★★★ Yourself or Help
Snake Fences $ to $$$$$ ★★★ ★★★★★ Online or home improvement store or build it yourself
  • Remember, many of the above mentioned traps are not friendly for chickens. Be sure that if you're using a trap you keep it a safe distance from your chicken coop or make sure that it's safe for use around chickens.
  • All of the above mentioned in the table work well no matter if you're in the city or a rural or suburban area. However, if you're living in a city you may not be able to use the vibrations as readily.

5 Things You Can Do Today to Keep Snakes Away From Your Yard

– Look Your Property Over

how to keep snakes away - snake on roof

Snakes have preferences on where they live just like you do. They tend to prefer tall vegetation with plenty of cover and lots of room to maneuver.

They also like to know that there is plenty of food in and around your yard. Snakes like eating rodents, insects and the like and they will take full advantage of your yard if you have any of these issues.

Snakes also enjoy fresh eggs and baby chicks so be sure that the eggs and baby chicks are safe and secure from such predators.

Tips to Keep Your Yard Snake Free:​

  • Avoid Clutter in and around your yard. If you have old vehicles that are no longer running get them removed
  • Keep your yard mowed. Snakes like tall grass where there is plenty of cover and they can hide
  • ​Although snakes themselves are predators, they are afraid of predatory birds and other animals that are large
  • Eliminate the habitat for other animals in your yard such as mice and rats and you've just eliminated the source of food for snakes

Remember that to a snake, a chicken coop looks like a delightful smorgasbord of offerings. Make it a bit less enticing by cleaning up around the area and putting up some barriers to the snakes entry into the chicken coop.

Pros:

  • This method works very well and puts the homeowner in charge of the situation.
  • Easy to check and maintain
  • Inexpensive to do

Cons:

  • You must be vigilant and keep your yard maintained, remove clutter as it appears and be aware of your yards condition at all times.
  • If you're not able to do the work you'll have to hire someone to do it for you.

– Chemical Snake Repellents

Nature's MACE SNAKE Repellent

Nature's MACE SNAKE Repellent

There are also chemical snake repellents however, depending upon their composition, they may pose a health risk to pets and people as well as the environment.

Be sure that repellents chosen are for snakes and always follow the instructions on the label.

In addition to using repellent, you'll have to be sure to follow the above instructions on the basement and your yard area.

Keep in mind that many chemical snake repellents may be hazardous to your baby chickens. Use these well away from your chicken coop and plan to use another method to keep snakes away from the coop itself to protect your chickens health.

Also keep your door sweeps and your window screens fitting properly. Be sure to cover other potential entries such as dryer vents, drains and other such openings to your home.

Pros:

  • Most repellents trigger avoidance in snakes because snakes don't like the scent or feeling of the repellent. They will try to avoid it.

Cons:

  • Depending upon the repellent you use you may have to reapply it if it rains or if he scent fades easily.
  • Always remember that snakes are simply seeking an easy meal. Your chickens and those fresh eggs will always be appealing to a snake so you'll want to ensure that you're taking care to protect your chicken coop from unexpected company as well as your yard.

– Snake Traps

Snake Trap

Image Courtesy of Amazon

There are two types of snake traps. Those that are lethal, and those that are not lethal. Lethal traps will grip the snakes body and kill the snake as it enters the trap head first

However, keep in mind as the snake slithers from one side to another the snake may be caught further down the body.

Snake traps work very well, however, you'll want to set them up where they won't be a danger to your baby chicks or any of your chickens.

Glue traps also work well. They will hold the snake whether it's venomous or not until you are able to release it. You can spray cooking oil onto the trap when you're ready to release the snake and it will be able to work itself free of the trap.

An important note is that snakes will actually help to keep insects and rodents out of your yard if you're having an issue with one type of predator consider what else may be going on that could be causing your issue.

Pros:

  • These work well and are easy to set up.
  • They are relatively inexpensive.

Cons:

  • However you're going to have to “empty” the trap when it's full so keep this in mind when you're approaching the trap. If the snake is alive it may be a bit more challenging depending upon how the snake is caught in the trap.
  • Remember, you can spray cooking oil spray on the glue to help the snake release itself so that you don't have to actually touch the snake, all you have to do is relocate the snake.

– Snake Fences

How to keep snakes away - Snake Fence Made From Hardware Cloth

Hardware Cloth is a good inexpensive way to create a physical barrier to keep snakes out 

How Does A Snake Fence Work?

Snake fences are barriers that keep snakes from going underneath of buildings and inside of gardens. They are made of materials that aren't easily moved and that don't have any large openings that the snake could squeeze through.

Snake fences can work as an ideal barrier to keep snakes away from your chicken coop. They offer a barrier that will help to protect the coop from such predators.

A popular choice is wire mesh as well as solid wood. Keep in mind that it doesn't take much room for a snake to squeeze through an opening. Thus, remember if you're using a fence, bury it several inches into the ground. When the soil erodes due to weather be sure to keep an eye on the soil and the fence levels.

Different regions may require different fencing materials. Some snakes are great climbers and the fencing may simply be a great climbing wall to them. Slope fences at an outward angle to help prevent snakes from entering into your yard or chicken coop.

Snake fences also help to keep snakes out of swimming pools and pond areas.

Pros:

  • These work very well to keep snakes out of your yard

Cons:

  • You're going to have to remember to keep them in good condition. If there is a breach in your fence you risk a snake in your yard or your chicken coop.
  • Cost (there are a variety of fencing options and your cost will be dependent upon your choice in fencing materials.
  • If you have a large yard, garden, pond or pool you're going to have to build a fairly large fence.

– Basement Sealer

S2000 Basement Wall & Floor Sealer

S2000 Basement Wall & Floor Sealer

The basement must also be sealed off to keep snakes out. If you have damage around your foundation or basement you need to repair it immediately to avoid snakes.

Be sure to locate your chicken coop away from such things as old foundations, basements and other structures that could lend themselves well to snake habitats.

If you have holes and cracks that will allow snakes into your home you're not going to be able to keep them out no matter how many traps you have set.

Consider mortar to fill in cracks. It will dry hard and rodents and snakes won't be able to enter that way.

Consider expanding foam if you have long cracks or even foam sealants work well.

It's usually an accident if a snake winds up in a basement. They much prefer to be able to get in and out of their den and it can be challenging for them to reside in your basement.

Inspect your home several times each year to ensure that there are no openings that a snake could enter through.

Pros:

  • This works very well as long as it's maintained.

Cons:

  • You must revisit your foundation and ensure that new cracks or holes don't appear. If they do appear you must seal them off quickly. Typically you'll have to check about three or four times per year to ensure that there aren't any potential snake entries to your home.
  • Cost will be dependent upon materials used to seal off holes or cracks.

How to Keep Snakes Away Summary Checklist

  • Start by learning more about the snakes in your area
  • Keep your yard free from clutter
  • keep your chicken coop clean and regularaly inspect it for snakes
  • Choose lower growing plants over tall ones
  • remove water sources on the ground
  • Rid your yard of pests (rodents, insects etc. that snakes like to feed on)
  • Patch up holes in your yard, home and foundation
  • Use sulfur powder around your home and yard
  • Create vibrations that they don't like to repel them

FAQ about How to Keep Snakes Away from Your Yard

 – Do some of these work better on different species of snakes?

None of the above mentioned methods seem to work better on any specific species of snake.

 – Does where I live matter with snake repellents?

If you're living in the city you may wish to avoid such methods as ultra sonic vibration. However, all of the other methods can readily be used in and around your home even if you're in the city.

 – I have Read that Mothballs Work Well, Should I Use Them?

Although the Internet would have you believe that this is a great way to remove snakes, mothballs work best for keeping mice, bats, bats, groundhogs, raccoons, possums and the like from your yard.

While this eliminates some of the food sources for snakes, it does not eliminate all of them thus it's a waste of money and your time. Mothballs could also be poisonous to your chicken coop

Thanks for reading our guide on how to keep snakes away from your yard. Any comments, queries or questions then please use the contact form.