A little while back I had posted about tiny little bugs invading the outside of the coop and run. Well since then, their population has been slowly increasing. I never found them on the chickens or in the coop and I would only find them early in the morning and at dusk. During the day, they seemed to disappear. When I did discover them, they seemed to be content on the shakes of the roof and the painted wooden portions of the run. I could not figure it out. I had done an extensive Google search and a search on backyard chickens that yielded no leads as to what these little buggers were. I saw and read about lots of bugs. One thing was sure, they were not mites and they were not chicken or dog fleas. Regardless, their population seemed to be doubling daily and they had to go!
So last night after the chickens went into the coop to roost, I sprang into action. Everything had dried out over the past couple of days from the recent rain and clear weather was predicted for the next few days. I had a date with the bugs; my weapon, organic food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) and lots of it! DE is a great organic way to control pests.
I filled the pest pistol up completely with the DE. I went over to the run and covered it entirely with the rolled up plastic that I use during heavy rain and snow. After a few minutes it was secure. I went to work. I covered the entire roof of the coop with DE being sure to blast up underneath the shingles. Then, I inserted the pest pistol into various squares of the hardware cloth in different locations and filled the run with DE. All the while, I covered my nose and mouth with a bandanna. DE can be harmful if large amount are inhaled causing a lung condition called silicosis. Soon enough, a large cloud filled the run. Meanwhile, the girls were locked up in the coop sound asleep unaware of the warfare that was taking place outside. I was satisfied and went inside for the night.
This morning, I came out to discover no little bugs on the roof! Lots of dead little bugs had slid down the outside of the plastic covering the run where the rain runs off. At least one hundred were dead. I'm not sure what they were but the sharp microscopic particles that make up the DE were able to cut into the bugs' skeletons and dehydrate them. So for now, Tilly's Mom-1 Bugs-0. I can claim victory. I sure hope it stays that way.