Having free-roaming chickens on your property brings a lot of benefits, from seeing less pests overall to getting your property naturally fertilized. However, having a flock of chickens on site also means you have to super careful about any toxic chemicals you would normally use in your lawn and garden. Pesticides are the perfect example. If you spray your plants down with the usual pesticides to keep bugs away, you could be harming your flock in the process. Luckily, there are some natural alternatives you can try to eliminate pests without causing harm to your feathered friends.
Got ants? Try freshly ground black pepper and cloves.
Ants can be a major nuisance around your home because they can and will make their way inside the house and take over. They can also be a hassle when you have chickens because they will actually invade their feathers and get into their food supplies. Ants actually don't like the taste or odor of spicy things, so black pepper and cloves are a good natural remedy if you have plants taking over outside. Simply grind some fresh black pepper or cloves and sprinkle this around your plants, sidewalks, or food-storage areas.
Got fleas? Use dish soap and water to see them disappear.
The tiny body of a flea cannot withstand the drying action of dish soap, which is a common staple you can find around the house. So just mixing dish soap and water and spraying this solution around your plants, lawn, or even on your chickens can help alleviate issues with fleas. Just be careful not to get the soap mixture around the chicken's face and eyes, and know that you will need to reapply the solution around plants after it rains. Fleas also don't like lavender, so planting some lavender around the garden can help keep these biting buggers away.
Got flies? Get creative and plant things they don't like, such as basil and dill.
Flies can be a real problem when you have chickens roaming your property, mostly because they are attracted to the chicken droppings that your flock will leave behind. Luckily, flies are a lot easier to deter than most people think. You don't have to buy pesticides; just invest in some plants that flies don't like. For example, dill, mint, basil, and lemongrass are all examples of fragrant plants that flies don't appreciate. Just plopping a few of these aromatic beauties around your trees, landscape, and garden can keep the amount of flies you see hanging around down.