Chicken coops can get pretty dirty fairly quickly. That’s why it’s essential to keep them clean. No one likes living in a dirty environment, and this includes our pets. A cleaner environment will also attract fewer pests. If you have a chicken coop or are thinking of getting one, you might want to know if they attract roaches. Roaches are most people’s least favorite pest and they can be very tricky to get rid of. So, do chicken coops attract cockroaches? If so, how can you get rid of them without harming your flock?
Do Chicken Coops Attract Roaches
Yes, chicken poop and chicken feed will attract roaches. Chicken coops are prone to roach infestations, but they can easily be prevented with good housekeeping, such as cleaning the coop often.
We’ll take a closer look at why your chicken coop becomes infested with cockroaches and how to protect it.
What Attracts Roaches?
Chickens actually eat roaches, so the occasional roach is okay, but it’s essential to keep your coop clean enough that the roaches won’t want to nest inside of it.
Good housekeeping is the best way to prevent roaches from entering your coop. According to Anti-Pesto Bug Killers, roaches are attracted to dirty dishes, crumbs on the floor, garbage, leftover food in containers, animal feed, and excess moisture.
Cockroaches are one of the most common insects and have been around for more than 300 million years. There are about 50 different species of roaches in the United States, but the most common ones that might inhabit your chicken coop are German cockroaches and American cockroaches.
German roaches are a smaller species of roaches about only half an inch long with tan coloring and two brown stripes on their body. The American roach is one of the more prominent species and can get up to one and a half inches long. They are usually reddish-brown with a light brown center and can glide from high to low ground.
Though certain species of roaches prefer to eat certain things, most of them will eat just about anything. This includes your animal feed and your chicken’s droppings.
Keeping your coop fresh and clean will prevent roach infestations. Chicken coops require daily, weekly, and yearly maintenance. Leftover food and water should be dumped out and removed. If food is left out overnight, it will become stale and draw in moisture, making it the perfect meal for hungry roaches.
How Do I Keep Roaches Out Of My Chicken Coop?
Below are some steps you can take to prevent a roast infestation in your chickens’ coop.
Replacing The Bedding
Replace the bedding in the coop at least once a week. Depending on your flock’s size and how many droppings there are, it may need to be replaced more often. If your coop’s bedding is not replaced often enough, it will become moist and attract roaches. Cockroaches are drawn to excess moisture and love to settle down wherever they can find it.
Cleaning The Coop
About once or twice a year, your coop will need a thorough deep clean. This means scrubbing down the inside and making sure everything is fresh.
If you follow these general housekeeping tips, you shouldn’t attract any roaches to your coop, but sometimes roaches will find their way in no matter what we try. If this happens, don’t worry, there are ways to naturally get rid of roaches that won’t harm your chickens.
Natural Methods To Get Rid Of Roaches
Because chickens love to snack on insects, including roaches, it’s essential not to use chemicals to get rid of your roach problem that your chickens could ingest. Luckily, there are a few natural options to kill roaches without putting your flock in harm’s way.
One option you can try, although it isn’t the most effective, is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a fine white powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are a type of microalgae.
It can be sprinkled directly on the floor of your coop as long as it is food grade, and this means it will be safe for you and your chickens. Although it seems like a soft powder to us, it is very sharp to insects. Diatomaceous earth will cut the roaches and dry out their exoskeletons, eventually killing them.
Catnip is a natural way to keep cockroaches from infesting your chicken coop. A study conducted in New Orleans found that by placing catnip around the house, or any other area you want to protect can help keep cockroaches away.
The great thing is that catnip is not toxic to your chickens and has some benefits for them as well as us.
Garlic is an effective preventative to keep cockroaches away. Just sprinkle some garlic powder in the infested areas. The downside is, there’s a huge debate about whether garlic is dangerous to chickens.
If using garlic to protect the coop, ensure you block off the area to prevent your flock from coming into contact with it.
Cockroaches are attracted to this sweet treat. Place a half-bucket of full ice cream in the infected area in the coop. When the ice cream melts, it will cause these nasty insects to melt.
Ensure to keep the area blocked off from your chickens, as they will eat it. Chickens love ice cream, but it isn’t the best snack for them. Another downside is when the ice cream melts, it will make a substantial sugary mess in the coop that can attract wasps, rodents, and other insects.
Boric acid is another option and is very deadly to insects but relatively harmless to your chickens. Boric acid should only be placed where your chickens cannot reach as it could be potentially harmful if consumed.
This is another white powder that is toxic to their digestive and nervous systems when consumed by roaches causing them to die. Place boric acid in a crack you think roaches might be entering through, and clear out any dead roaches, so your chickens don’t eat them and the boric acid.
Baking soda and sugar is one of the most effective ways to get rid of roaches naturally. If you mix equal parts baking soda and sugar into some water, the roaches will be attracted to the smell of sugar and eat the solution.
The baking soda creates gas inside of the roaches, which eventually causes them to burst. Keep the solution out of reach of your chickens, although it won’t cause them any harm if accidentally consumed. This method is only effective if cockroaches come into contact with the solution.
Some essential oils, such as eucalyptus, peppermint, mint, are a great way to avoid using pesticides in the coop. Eucalyptus oil has a fresh fragrant that is known to confuse and alarm cockroaches.
The great thing is that it’s it is an essential oil that has many benefits for chickens. Here are some of the essential oils for chickens and the benefits they provide.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, aka Melaleuca is beneficial for chickens, but is also known to be effective against cockroaches. Mix a quarter cup of tee tree oil, two cups of water, and a quarter cup of vinegar in a spray bottle.
Spray the solution around the infested areas in the coop as well as the chicken run. Keep repeating the process until the cockroaches are dead.
There’s a myth floating around the Internet that says using cucumbers is a great way to repel roaches. Supposedly, cucumber peels will repel roaches because they don’t like the smell.
But if you know anything about cockroaches, they are attracted to messy areas. If you leave cucumber peels lying around the coop, they’ll likely be attracted to them. Not only that, but you will probably attract other rodents.
Chickens will eat the cucumbers, which can be a bad thing, especially if they become moldy.
With over 50 species in America, roaches are among the most common household pests, but they’ve also been known to infest chicken coops. Roaches are attracted to garbage, dirty dishes, left out food, animal feed, and excess moisture. Because of this, regular cleaning inside the chicken coop is necessary as to not attract pests.
We’ve shared several natural methods you can use to protect your feathered friends. You may have to use more than one method to get rid of the cockroaches, but you will find what works for you with time.
Although chickens themselves don’t attract roaches, their poop and food will. Good housekeeping is the best and easiest way to prevent roach infestations. Dumping out all food nightly and replacing your chickens’ bedding weekly should be enough not to attract roaches.
Chickens love to eat all insects, including roaches, so it’s important that you use natural ways to kill roaches so you don’t harm your chickens. Roaches have been around for over 300 million years, are very good at survival, and can be very hard to get rid of, so persistence is key.