Fly control?

I had a conversation with a lady this morning that triggered me to blog about pesky situation that many of us horse owners have to deal with this time of year. FLIES!!!! We were lucky enough to get a lot of moisture during the spring, which we badly needed, but along with the moisture came the presence of many pesky insects! Since horses put out as much as they put in (food consumption), it attracts the many families of flies. This can become a huge problem very quickly. So as horse owners, it is our responsibility to try and manage the situation.

Flies irritate the horses in many ways. They tend to fly around their faces, gather all along the body and bite and just plain become a nuisance! There are so many products on the market such as fly sprays to varying degrees that claim to control the situation. Most horse owners have at least 3 or 4 of those products lying around their barn. I have personally probably tried all of them myself. Some work better than others, some don’t work at all. It was always my thought that the more expensive the spray was, the more effective it should be, right? Wrong! Its a daily battle and should be dealt with daily during the fly season. I have since learned to mix my own concoction to try and illuminate the population. I use skin so soft body oil by Avon and citronella oil and mix those together. It seems to work about as good as the expensive products. Plus it smells great and gives the horse coat a nice shiny gleam!

In addition to the sprays, I also put fly masks on my boys. These protect their face and ears from the pests. Now keeping them on is a different story. My two have made it a game to see which one can get the others mask off first. It’s a search every day to find the missing fly mask, but at least I know they are protected most of the time.

There are natural organic ways to try and control flies. A type of fly predator can be used. This is tiny wasp about the size of a gnat that feeds off of the fly larvae that is laid in the manure. The company sends out batches of these predators that about to hatch and you sprinkle it all over the areas where the horses potty. These work great, but you must be sure to start it in the very beginnings of spring before the flies get really bad to get a good control of the situation and then they send out fresh batches every 3 weeks or so depending on the area and number of horses.

A regimen of doing all of these will certainly help with the fly population. Key is to stay on top of it at all times. It’s tough in this area, no doubt. But our 4 legged giants are certainly worth it.

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