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What follows are basic instructions for how to build a multi-purpose fly trap / chicken manure compost bin. It costs very little, and one of these traps should continue to function for a very long time.
There are two components: the screen trap and the bait box. A screen trap is excellent at catching flies, but it needs to be positioned over a source of bait.
We made a bait box that also serves as a compost bin for chicken manure. We are using chicken manure in our bait box, but you could use this trap with humanure or with any material that serves as fly bait.
The basic idea of the trap is that flies are attracted to the material inside the box and can enter the box but can’t leave. The flies enter the box through little holes near the ground. Once inside, they enjoy the chicken manure as much as they’d like. When the flies are done enjoying the chicken manure, they exit the box through the circular opening in the top, which looks like an exit, but it’s a screen trap.
This works because it’s dark inside the box and the only real source of light is the screen trap overhead. Once the flies enter the screen trap and eventually die and dry out.
Why Not A Wet Trap?
Wet fly traps are great, but wet fly traps smell bad. This trap doesn’t stink at all. Plus, it gives the chicken poop time to mellow before adding it to a different compost pile or wherever.
Component 1: Screen Trap
We ordered screen traps from Rid-Max, but you can make your own if you want to. They’re not expensive:
Component 2: Bait Box
Basically, it’s a wooden box. And it’s for manure, so there’s no cause for being fancy. It needs to have four walls, a top that can be removed, and small entrance holes/slits near the base.
Here’s what the finished trap looks like.
The top part is just a board that can be removed when you need to add manure to the box. Cut the hole to match the diameter of the Rid-Max (or your DIY custom) screen trap.
Underneath the box is open to the ground for ease of cleaning/ manure removal.
Flies enter through these conveniently-placed holes in the wood. (We used old weather-beaten plywood for this box, and nature has made these holes for us).
For best results, the entrance holes should be near the bottom. That way, the flies will be more likely to fly overhead into the trap on their way out.
Look at those happy, fly-free, free-range chickens.
Good luck! I think you’ll find this fly trap / bait box to be very helpful.