Asked on Dec 06, 2015

How to kill flies with out harming my indoor rabbits.

Nicky Dolman
by Nicky Dolman
I have 50 bunnies that live indoors. They all live in hutches. They are cleaned out religiously 2 times a week in the winter and everyday in the summer. Flies can be a pest and I've even found them living in the litter trays between clean outs. My bunnies are all kept clean and dry but I don't want to use anything to harm them. At the moment I use fly papers but the look so ugly and get stuck in my hair. Many thanks for reading my question. Nicky & bunnies.
This is freyer one of my adult buns, loves her cuddles n food.
One of this years baby's. A little Buck who thinks I should carry him around.
These are keepers after the others died. Mum jelly tots, stays close keeping an eye on them.
One of my 5 Pygmy hedgehogs. Snoozing on her back.
Hutches all clean. keeping an eye out for flys.
This is nugie. He's a special bunny who only has 3 feet. He was a rescue after a friend told me the breeder wanted him 'out the way'. 2hr drive was worth it. He's a stunning little mummy's boy
  29 answers
  • Dawn Barker Dawn Barker on Dec 07, 2015
    Tie mint to the hutches, my parents always did this with their outdoor rabbits, and they weren't pestered with flies
  • Gill Osborne Gill Osborne on Dec 07, 2015
    I've tried everything to control flies. Fly paper is the most convenient, but it seems very cruel to me. You can get fly paper in the shape of sunflowers. I have also tried a Red Top Fly Trap, which are used by many chicken owners. These are excellent, but the smell is dreadful and since your bunnies are indoors, this would be awful. Your best bet is to invest in a high quality electric fly zapper; this at least kills the flies in a faster, more humane way.
    • Nicky Dolman Nicky Dolman on Dec 07, 2015
      Thank you so much for your answer. I don't like the idea of sprays in the house. I have the blue light bug zappers but they don't seem as good as the fly papers. I've been told tea tree is good but not tried it yet.
  • Karen Reilly Karen Reilly on Dec 07, 2015
    Lizards can be kept inside with them.
    • Eva David Eva David on Feb 12, 2018

      Ha ha. 50 lizards for 50 rabbits. That would be too cool to watch, but they would be starving after a while. LOL

  • Vicki at Entri Ways Vicki at Entri Ways on Dec 07, 2015
    I really like the MINT idea. It's much prettier than my idea but I'll share it anyway… fill a small ziploc plastic bag with a little water and put a penny in it then hang a few around the perimeter. It's strange, but for some reason the flies don't cross the area where they hang.
    • Nicky Dolman Nicky Dolman on Dec 07, 2015
      Thank you vicki. I will try that one. I would rather not kill flys but a deterrent I'd loads better. Think I will try mint on the cages and the water idea.
  • JustMe JustMe on Dec 07, 2015
    Go online and find out how to make a fruit fly trap... A house fly trap is done the same way, just bigger. Use some honey, syrup or leftover wine as bait. Put a few drops of dish soap on top of the bait. It will spread out to make a film that kills the fly. Use the trap to get rid of them, then you can use mint and/or cloves to repel them from then on. I'd start out with several traps to get ahead of their gestation/life cycle, though. Hope this helps :)
  • Annie Medic Annie Medic on Dec 07, 2015
    Actually, indoor and out, Food Grade DE works amazing, along with stall dry. I use it on chickens, ducks, all sorts of inside and outside animals, it's safe, it's not a chemical or pesticide. Probably changing your cleaning routine will help too. Having really clean cages and such will help.
  • Annie Medic Annie Medic on Dec 07, 2015 and a very small amount goes a very long way. Controls fur mites, too.
    • Nicky Dolman Nicky Dolman on Dec 07, 2015
      Thank you so much Ann. I will be looking into that later when my cleaning feeding and watering have been done for the day. 😊
  • Shawn Brockhoff Maxwell Shawn Brockhoff Maxwell on Dec 07, 2015
    I would be somewhat careful with the diatomacious earth as the rabbits groom themselves as much as cats. Works well (dehydrates) for fleas, mites, things that are on the ground - not sure how this would work on flies except perhaps killing the eggs.
    • Kathy Kathy on Dec 07, 2015
      I'm sure that's why Ann suggested food grade de.
  • Buster Evans Buster Evans on Dec 07, 2015
    there are glue strips that you can hang from the ceiling and catch fiies.. it is a strong ribbon rolled inside a small cardboard tube.. you can pull it out then thumb tack it up to the ceiling in an out of the way place.. flies eventually end up on it
    • Nicky Dolman Nicky Dolman on Dec 07, 2015
      Thanks buster. I use fly papers but I find them horrible and get stuck to everything. 😊
  • Debbie Debbie on Dec 07, 2015
    Diatemacous dirt would have to be food grade for you to even think about using that. Dr. Beginner's Peppermint Soap is the best solution to your problem. Buy a spray bottle from the dollar store, add about 3-4 Tablespoons then fill bottle with water to the top. This also works for fleas and does not contain toxic chemicals. If you want to, you can add some cayenne pepper. It kills them instantly.
    • Tami Walsh Tami Walsh on Dec 07, 2015
      @Debbie Did you mean "Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap"? I use Dr. Bronner's exclusively for taking showers, so always have it on hand. Where do you spray this? On the bunny? In the air? On the fly (that could become quite difficult)?
  • Sandra Sandra on Dec 07, 2015
    Do your rabbits (which are very cute) live inside and in hutches get the chance to get outside in a fenced area for exercise and fresh air? If not in would be nice to be able to have them outdoors each day which would give you a chance to give the hutches a really good daily clean. Screen doors and windows will stop the flies coming in while still allowing fresh air inside. I live in warm Australia and every home has screens on all windows and doors as flies are a constant pest. Good luck.
    • See 1 previous
    • Eva David Eva David on Feb 12, 2018

      These flies are not coming from outside.

  • Tobey McCool Tobey McCool on Dec 07, 2015
    I have seen restaurants hang clear baggies of water with pennies in them to deter flies. it must be able to twirl, the look of the pennies in the bag look like a nest and the flies stay clear. worth a shot
  • Vickie Vickie on Dec 07, 2015
    Essential Oils may be an answer---It is my understanding that flies hate the smell of Lavender. Mix some drops in water and mist away. Hide some saturated cotton balls. Buy a diffuser.. Maybe grow a plant.. It won't hurt you, and it won't hurt your bunnies. Debbie's peppermint soap may work, too. The smell will keep the flies away..
  • Debbie Debbie on Dec 07, 2015
    Yes, my tablet provides a word it recognizes and uses that word instead of what I type. Spray on or around the problem area. If the pest is in a spot where you can spray directly on it, the pest dies instantly. If you are spraying on carpet or upholstery, use a fine mist, it even kills fleas. This is effective on all pests. It is soap so if by chance your pet ingests it, it will not poison the animal like chemical products will. It is watered down significantly, even if you accidentally ingested it, I not sure that you would even taste it.
  • Andrea Kane Andrea Kane on Dec 07, 2015
    After trying many products, I have had great success with the following: This is a plug-in light that attracts the flies and they get stuck on the sticky paper backing. I have used for two summers and had to only replace the sticky papers but not the light. A cheaper, but great product is Black Flag Fly Window Traps. These are triangular traps that stick to the lower corner of a window. The flies crawl in, get stuck on the sticky surface and die. I have found at WalMart and Ace Hardware. Good Luck...I hate flies!
    • See 1 previous
    • Tami Walsh Tami Walsh on Dec 07, 2015
      @Andrea Kane Great info, Andrea! I hate flies, too! I'll have to check my local Ace Hardware store for those window traps. I never heard of those and have only just resorted to the fly paper rolls. They do get a lot of them, but I swear, some of these flies get wise and avoid them like the plague. Those are the ones that are always landing on my arms or my music while I'm trying to play my saxophone.....sometimes being so bold as to even land on my face! I can just hear them laughing as they fly off after my shooshing motion. Irritating little buggers indeed!
  • C C on Dec 07, 2015
    Fresh Basil will keep flies away. I have tried it and it works. Hang it outside the pens on a hook. Unfortunately it's not always in season. I will second the penny in a bag of water trick, although it doesn't have to twirl, just hang it in doorways so that light reflects off it. Get a gallon baggie, add 2-3 cups water and 4-5 pennies and hang where flies enter your space. It creates a prism in the water that looks like a scary creature with dozens of eyes that scares the flies and they stay away. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I think it is determined by how much light (natural daylight or sunlight or even an interior light) hits the bag, Cheap enough to try though. Look up on horse blogs for ideas - there are lots of treatment for flies in barns as its an on going problem for horses. Be careful using any essential oils too close to your animals, some can be toxic if they come in contact with them (sometimes even the smell can be toxic). It would also help if the pens were more open on at least two sides so they get more air circulation. Even adding a circular fan on the ceiling might help.
    • See 1 previous
    • DORLIS DORLIS on Dec 08, 2015
      @Nicky Dolman Cut off pieces of basil, put the in water until they root and then plant them. You will have a constant supply of basil. Sit them in a windowsill for sun
  • Colleen Colleen on Dec 07, 2015
    flies don't like fans.
  • Nicky Dolman Nicky Dolman on Dec 07, 2015
    I've been given some fantastic ideas to try. Anything to keep my fur baby's happy healthy & chemical free is a good idea for me. Thank you so much to anyone who answered my calls for help. Nicky.
  • Nicky Dolman Nicky Dolman on Dec 07, 2015 useful information on essential oils and bunnies.
  • Rosemary Kelly Rosemary Kelly on Dec 09, 2015
    A handful of pennies in a ziplock bag half-full of water suspended from the ceiling or door frame works. I've seen them in horse barns and salad bars.
  • Nicky Dolman Nicky Dolman on Dec 09, 2015
    I've just been and bought a basil and a mint plant. I will be taking cuttings of them both at the weekend so I can get then have lots of plants dotted around.
  • 861650 861650 on Dec 11, 2015
    Flies hate the smell of bay leaves. Read about a woman who purchased vanilla scented xmas trees like the ones you put in your car. Hung several around her porch and no more flies. And about those essential oils...they are harmful to cats. However, you can find "good quality" oils and use sparingly. Lots of cheap oils out there and I would not use them even if I didn't have a cat. Do your research please.
    • Moneen Harwell Moneen Harwell on May 17, 2020

      Essential oils are not harmful to cats per say. That is an urban myth started by a story on the internet. You should be careful using them around any animal or human but they are not toxic. There are some that they don't like and will usually leave the area if they do. I have many friends with cats who use them daily and the cats have no problem. There are also books and references available about essential oils and animals.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 12, 2018

    Sticky hanging fly strips.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Feb 11, 2023

    The fly strips are an option, we visited a house which is across the street from a horse farm and she had fly strips hanging everywhere. There were screens on the windows and lots of cats and litter boxes. The fly strips did catch some of the flies, but the majority were buzzing about, literal bacteria spreaders. The grossest part of this was I was not vigilant enough and got my hair stuck on 1 of these strips.

    In your case, I would go the essential oil route. Out of reach of cats and other pets.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 12, 2023


    I have got them stuck in my hair also.

    I know mice and spiders dislike peppermint scents. Why not put some (diluted of course) I should say spray some around. That is assuming rabbits don't also dislike it.

  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 17, 2023

    Hi Nicky, hope this helps you out. A few safe ways to kill flies indoors

    Vinegar & dish soap

    A mixture of vinegar and dish soap can help you trap flies. To use this method, mix about an inch of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in a tall glass. Cover the glass with plastic wrap. Secure the plastic wrap with a rubber band and poke small holes in the top.

    Flies will be attracted to the vinegar in the glass and will fly through the holes. However, the dish soap causes the flies to sink instead of being able to land on the vinegar.

    Cayenne pepper & water

    Cayenne pepper can help repel houseflies. Mix it with water and spray around the house to deter flies from coming in.

  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 17, 2023

    Hi Nicky, such sweet little animals, I want to hug them LOL! You can try this, Citronella, Rosemary & Lavender oils can help deter flies from your rabbit's accommodation. Use a good quality pure essential oil only. Dab drops of oil around your rabbit's enclosure but only in places they cannot reach. Keep it away from the rabbit's hay, food, water & bedding. Or use a container 0f some type to put them in.

  • Karl Karl on Sep 16, 2023

    Get a bug zapper and put a lamp shade on ìt to hide the fact you need one. You'll hear zaps all night until one day they stop. Trust me they won't cry out saying help me.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 26, 2023

    Clean them out every day! maybe twice a day in summer!