What To Do About Ants in the Chicken Coop

Ants in the Coopamy elizabeth | TBN Ranch

Where there’s food and water there’s ants, we don’t want to compromise our chickens health with pesticides, but let’s face it, they work.

Ants are simple to get rid of, the hard part is keeping our flock safe in the process.

Ant Baits
They work, but a chicken can peck a hole in them, and I’m not willing to test whether or not this a health hazard. The best answer when in doubt is to rely on common sense….  use what works, just be creative.

Ant Baits

Safely Using Ant Baits
Put an ant bait under under a heavy flower pot, or a ceramic saucer with a brick on top. I keep an ant bait under a flower pot with a drinker on top.  It isn’t necessary to put ant baits by food and water, they are just as effective whether in or around the coop.
It’s possible an ant could drop a teeny tiny piece of pesticide on it’s way back to the colony, but I don’t think there’s a big concern there. But for that reason, I only put out baits when I have an ant problem, when they’re gone I throw them away. I’ve being using ant baits periodically for ten years with no problems. I’ve tried all the natural ant remedies, and in my opinion, they’re all a big fail.

Examples of Ant Bait Placement
Below is my Silkie hen setting on five eggs, this morning her nest was swarming with ants. It wasn’t worth the risk of her abandoning her eggs because she was bothered by ants. The temperature will be 109 degrees today, she’s hot and probably already uncomfortable. This is a perfect example of when to get out the big guns and tackle ants effectively and as  safely as possible.  Here’s what I did…

Ant Baits and Silkie

My large chicken pen also has an ant problem since the rain a few days ago. I secured an ant trap under a flower pot and none of the chickens are the least bit curious about it.

Ant Bait in Coop

Happy Hens at TBN Ranch

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Ants in the Coop, Help!

Ants can be a real problem when they invade the chicken coop. If you don’t take action, they will be in the feed, water, not to mention aggravate your birds with inflamed feet and legs from ant bites.

A Few Suggestions:

Best answer? Get a pair of Guineas and your ant problem will be gone for good.

If that’s not an option…

Mix a few cap fulls of orange oil in a gallon of water and pour it on the mound. Then put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the ants away from the mound.

To keep ants away from the coop put a line of peppermint oil around the entire coop. I haven’t tried this myself, but I hear the ants won’t pass over the line.

When you have to go for the big guns, use Seven 5% under the bedding of the coop. It’s safe for chickens and it works. Just make sure you follow the directions for it’s proper use. Use a mask, gloves, long sleeves, and take a shower afterward. It is toxic. Kills bugs dead.

Note: Food grade diatomaceous earth doesn’t work! So don’t even bother with that.