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Finding roaches in your chicken’s coop is incredibly annoying, I’ve been there and I get it.
But getting rid of roaches in a chicken coop isn’t as hard as you may think. I managed to clear a pretty serious infestation.
First of all, chickens eat roaches, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They will help you lessen the numbers.
Second, there are some home remedies and products that are very effective at killing roaches that are safe to use around chickens.
That’s the key here, safe to use around chickens.
Even if you know your chickens will not come into direct contact with roach poison. Remember, they eat roaches, so they can still be exposed to toxins through eating poisoned roaches.
Which is why I would never use any kind of poison that can be harmful to chickens in or around their coop.
If you’re looking for inexpensive, safe ways to get rid of cockroaches in and around your coop - check out these 4 methods:
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Getting Rid of Roaches in Chicken Coop - 4 Methods That Work
Diatomaceous earth has been the secret weapon to keeping my chickens happy, healthy, and free of mites, cockroaches, and much more for some times now.
I’m always surprised to hear from people who have never even heard of diatomaceous earth - much less are using it.
Hopefully, if nothing else, this article will help introduce some of you to diatomaceous earth because it’s a wonderful product.
What Exactly Is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a white powder that is made from the fossilized remains of diatoms (tiny aquatic organisms).
It feels like a soft fine powder to us. But to bugs, it’s sharp and abrasive and does them serious damage. A lot of insects and bugs need to stay moist, DE is very effective at absorbing the oils and fats their exoskeleton needs and killing them.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth for Roaches
Ok, first of all, you need to purchase Food Grade DE (like the one I linked to above). This means it’s completely safe for chickens - and us - which is vitally important if you’re going to be using it around your chooks.
I know of some chicken keepers that add a layer of DE under the sand dirt their birds use to roll in. You can also throw some under the shavings on the floor as a general insect deterrent.
This will kill some roaches if they’re scurrying across the floor. You might want to set up a more dedicated trap though. Like setting out some sugar - which roaches can’t resist - with a ring of DE around it.
Boric acid is one of the most common chemicals used to kill cockroaches. It’s very effective at killing roaches and it’s relatively harmless to humans and pets but is highly toxic to roaches.
I’ve heard of backyard chicken owners using it around their coops. But personally, I wouldn’t use boric acid as there are better methods as I’ll explain.
What Exactly Is Boric Acid?
It’s a combination of baron and water and is also a white powder similar to DE. Boric acid is actually a naturally-occurring compound found in plants and fruits.
Sounds to harmless…. yet it’s so deadly to insects.
When roaches walk through the powder it sticks all over their limbs and gets on their body. They then ingest the powder when they preen themselves - as well as absorbing it - and it causes death as it’s toxic to their digestive and nervous systems.
Here is the brand of boric acid I've used before. You can click through to Amazon if you want to find out more;
Is Boric Acid Harmful to Chickens?
Boric acid is potentially harmful to chickens, yes.
How seriously depends on the amount they come into contact with, the size of the chicken, and how they’ve come into contact with it.
But, the bottom line is that it’s potentially harmful so you should do everything necessary to ensure your chickens do not come into contact with boric acid.
Even if you’re using it in areas where roaches go, but your chickens do not - they might still eat a roach covered in boric acid.
Baking Soda and Sugar
Baking soda and sugar is one of the best-known and most effective home remedies for killing roaches.
Mix equal amounts of baking soda, sugar, and water. The little critters cannot resist the smell and taste of sugar and will be drawn to it.
How Does Baking Soda and Sugar Kill Roaches?
Without going into too much detail so I don’t gross you out, basically, the baking soda creates gas inside the roaches and causing them to burst.
Not nice, but you got to get rid of the roaches one way or another.
The downside is that it only affects roaches that come into contact with your mixtures. You’ll need to leave a few little bowls of this stuff in different areas.
Is the Baking Soda and Sugar Home Remedy Harmful to Chickens?
Baking soda doesn’t cause the same reaction in chickens. In fact, farmers use baking soda to balance out the acid formation in chickens and other animals as it’s alkaline.
However, you should still put this little mix somewhere your chickens will not be able to get at it because they probably will eat it all up.
Should You Use Over the Counter Roach Killing Gels
The most modern way to kill roaches is by using gels to poison them. Gels essentially do the same thing as the baking soda and sugar mix, but they contain poisons that can potentially do harm to chickens.
Some gels and other roach killing products are listed as safe to use around pets. Although, I still wouldn’t use them as I like to be 110% sure I’m not letting any manmade chemicals come into contact with my chooks.
Neither directly, or through them eating a roach that’s been exposed to this position.
If you're interested because you need to use some away from your chicken coop, here is the gel I recommend considering on Amazon;
If you know you have a roach problem in your coop, don’t panic.
There are plenty of ways to win the war vs roaches and end up with a roach-free coop in no time at all.
If you use one or more of the methods I’ve covered above, I’m sure you’ll be able to get the infestation under control.
If you found this article useful in defending your chooks against pests and insects you will enjoy - do rats attack chickens and how to get rid of them?