Mosquitoes are one of the many annoying pests that we have around here in the summer, and they’re known to carry diseases. Wondering if they pose any risks to your backyard flock?
Do chickens eat mosquitoes? Chickens will eat mosquitoes, yes. They eat most flying insects, bugs, 8-legged creatures, and so on. There’s an interesting element to this question, however, chickens actually repel mosquitoes!
Do Mosquitoes Bite Chickens?
Mosquitoes can bite chickens, yes.
They have a long spear-like mouthpart sticking out that they use to pierce the skin and suck the blood out.
It’s only the females that bite. They need to drink blood to provide the nutrients for laying eggs.
The interesting thing is that mosquitoes don’t bite chickens often. I’ll explain more about this later in the article, but they are capable of biting any living organisms as a way to get blood.
It’s not a huge concern though. Obviously, there is a small risk that they are carrying diseases and will pass something on to your flock, but it’s a very small risk.
Can Chickens Get Sick From Mosquitoes?
On a worldwide scale, mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world.
They are responsible for thousands of deaths every year, although the risk in the western world and the U.S., in particular, is low.
Some of the diseases mosquitoes carry that are capable of passing on to other hosts include:
- West Nile
- Yellow Fever
- Avian Pox
Studies suggest that only malaria-carrying mosquitoes are repelled by chickens. So, if you see mozzy’s in and around your coop, don’t assume they are not going to be bitten or infected at all.
Can Mosquitoes Kill Baby Chickens?
Yes, mosquitoes are capable of killing baby chickens. In fact, some of the diseases they carry can kill chickens of any age.
There are literally thousands of species of mosquito. If you have some in your yard, it’s hard to identify which species they are and what the potential diseases they carry are.
For this reason, it’s always a good idea to do everything you can to rid your yard, coop, and any areas your chickens roam in as free from mosquitoes as possible.
It’s not like you want them buzzing around you either, is it!?
Do Chickens Repel Mosquitoes?
You may have heard that chickens repel mosquitoes. It’s not an old wives’ tale or folklore, they really do.
If you’ve been in an area with mosquitoes with other people, you may have noticed how they tend to bite some people more than others.
This is because mosquitoes choose their victims based on the scent of various chemicals from a person’s perspiration.
If they aren’t attracted to your scent, count yourself lucky. Personally, I’m one of those people. I rarely get bitten by mosquitoes, so I’m one of the fortunate ones.
For some reason, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, in particular, avoid chickens for the most part.
LiveScience quoted Rickard Ignell, a chemical ecologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences as saying, “Chicken odorants acted as natural repellents”.
Tests were carried out with chickens being kept in a cage near people sleeping in areas with a lot of mosquitoes, and it reduced the number of mozzies coming into the room overnight.
Pretty powerful stuff. Whether or not we will be able to use a chicken’s “odorants” as an effective mosquito repellent in the future is still to be seen.
Still, it’s nice to know that your flock has some natural defenses against these little malaria-carrying pests.
How Do I Get Rid of Mosquitoes in My Chicken Coop?
There are a few things you can do that will make a huge difference to whether or not you have mosquitoes in and around your chicken coop:
Remove Any Standing Water
Mosquitoes go through four different stages in their lives, and the first three stages are spent in water.
They lay their eggs in standing water. This can be something as simple as a puddle, mosquitoes will lay a batch of eggs that will hatch within 2-3 days.
Removing any pools of standing water is going to greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area and reduce how many eggs are laid.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
It never does any harm to sprinkle some in your chicken’s dust bath, their bedding, and any areas where you think there might be unwanted creepy crawlies.
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
You could try growing some plants around your coop that act as natural mosquito repellants.
There are a few herbs, such as lemon balm, lavender, marigolds, and basil that are good repellents. The bonus is that they’re also great for chickens and have some other uses.
If you start implementing one or more of these things you can quickly get a mosquito problem under control.
I always spot a few of these little pests buzzing around in the summer, and I’ve never had a problem with them biting or causing any harm to my chickens.
I put this down to the liberal use of diatomaceous earth and my herb garden. Plus, I swat any I get close enough to as well!
In Summary – Do Chickens Eat Mosquitoes?
Chickens will eat mosquitoes if they present an easy to get to snack, just as they will most insects.
There isn’t any harm in them eating them, but there are some potential risks from mosquitoes transmitting diseases to your flock.
For this reason, you should do everything you can to rid the environment your chickens live in from mosquitoes.
Mosquito bite symptoms and treatments – Healthline.com
Chickens may help repel malaria-carrying mosquitoes – LiveScience.com
Diseases spread by mosquitoes – WebMD