Labeling flies as annoying pests is an understatement! Flies not only sting, bite, and swarm, they spread disease! So how do you get the fly situation under control?
Unfortunately, flies are enemies that come with owning your beloved equine. Even if you employ the most meticulous fly control efforts, you can expect your buzzing battle opponents to be present on your farm. Educating yourself on ways to make them retreat is the ultimate plan when it comes to getting your fly situation under control.
Follow these 10 Ideas to Rev Up Your Horse Fly Control Program:
1. Control Moisture: Insects breed and drink in wet areas. Keep your stalls dry & eliminate anything that holds rainwater such as old tires or feeders. Create good drainage around your barn and pasture areas.
2. Manage Manure & Waste: Manure is a fly’s favorite meal! Clean horse confinement areas daily, and if possible remove manure to an off-site location once a week. Avoid spreading fresh manure on your horse pastures.
3. Provide Shade: Did you know that some fly species avoid dark areas? Turn off barn lights and provide shade in pastures when you can to avoid attracting flies.
4. Avoid Livestock Neighbors: If possible, avoid pasturing your horses next to cattle & other livestock. Cow manure attracts face and horn flies.
5. Harness the Benefits of Air: If your horse is stalled, place large fans in your barn. Blasts of air will deter flies from entering your barn. If your horse is pastured, provide access to breezy areas.
6. De-Worm Your Horse on a Regular Basis: Some flies' life cycles involve your horse's digestive tract! Through contact with manure and grazing old pastures, horses are susceptible to parasites such as Bot Flies. Completion of a Bot Fly's life cycle is dependent on the larvae consuming nutrients from tissues in the gastrointestinal tract of a horse!
Image A: Have you ever seen these tan specks attached to the hairs of your horse's legs, flanks, shoulders, mane, or chin? These are Bot Fly eggs and need to be removed! When horses lick or itch these areas, the eggs are able to enter their gastrointestinal tract. There are many "bot scrapers" available on the market today such as the one pictured above to remove these eggs!
7. Outfit Your Horse in Fly Masks & Sheets: Flies love the moist areas of a horse. Since spraying chemical fly sprays around a horse's face is not a great idea, use of a mask allows for protection of these delicate areas.
8. Feed-Through Fly Control: A safe & easy to use feed additive that prevents the hatching of stable and house flies in manure. If administered correctly, it is very effective!
9. Use Fly Baits & Traps: There are many different types, but all use some variation of fly bait or attractant to lure flies onto a sticky surface or into a receptacle, where they die. Benefits: Can kill flies in specific areas without putting insecticides into the air.
10. Protect your horse with Horse Fly Sprays: One of the most effective ways to make your horse less attractive to flies!
There are a diverse amount of fly products available on the market today including Permethrin & Pyrethrin based products and natural fly control products. Natural fly control products utilize one or more essential oils that insects hate to keep they away from the sprayed surface. One of the added benefits of natural horse fly sprays is that they provide an option for horses with sensitive skin!
Manna Pro Recommends Calm Coat Natural Fly Repellent, available wherever Manna Pro products are sold. Calm Coat uses a combination of citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, cedarwood, rosemary, and clove oils in a fragrant, gentle, non-greasy spray. Its botanical formulation effectively repels biting insects including mosquitoes, yellow flies, black flies, no-see-ums, gnats, chiggers, ticks, and deer flies. For additional information visit Manna Pro's Website to learn more about the benefits of using the natural horse fly spray Calm Coat!
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