There are different species of flies in the world. While some are known nuisances, they can be still upsetting. Also, many species send and cause diseases. As a horse owner, it is important to practice the fly control program. This is to protect your horse’s comfort and health.
Here are some of the common flies that pester horses:
These are common cosmopolitan pests. They usually lay their eggs in moist and decaying organic substrates.
Horse Flies and Deer Flies
These are large and heavy bodied species that live along edges of ponds, lakes or streams.
They are also known as punkies. These flies feed upon a variety of warm blooded hosts including humans. Although they are small, these insects inflict a fierce bite. They often result in a lesion that is more painful than of a mosquito.
They have a slender, rigid, piercing – sucking proboscis projecting forward. Females and males feed on blood and are only on the host when feeding. They often cluster around feet and legs of different livestock.
They are a little larger than houseflies. They feed on cattle and horse secretions. That includes tears, saliva, nasal discharge, blood (from wounds/insects or placenta), serum.
These are half the size of a house fly. They resemble the stable flies but more slender along with other subtle differences.
Fly Control Methods
Here are the three fly control methods we can always practice in managing a horse pasture.
We should always practice prevention of pests inside the barns, stalls, and pasture. This is by using the right product for pest control. In this way, we can reduce the number of flies early in the season. Also, breeding can be then prevented by using products that interrupt fly life cycles. Do not forget to practice daily sanitation. Always take housekeeping measures to reduce fly population inside and around the barn.
You can reduce larval habitats that are attractive to flies with regular cleaning. Keep any horse feed inside closed storage bins. Remove standing water to keep your barn and pasture areas clean and dry. Always dispose all wet feed and hay and ensure that garbage is then disposed. Also, you can use repelling sprays around the barn. Also, set traps for common nuisance flies outside. This is to discourage them from reaching the perimeter of the barn.
Maintaining pastures clean and employing good manure management is a tedious task. But this has to be done to control pests in the area. Manure should be then cleaned daily to keep the pastures healthy. Also, to prevent the growth of adult flies in the manure, use a feed-thru fly control product.
Five Fly Control Products
Methods of fly control can be also effective if then paired with best fly control products. These products aim to protect you, your horse, and your surrounding environment. We will learn how products below can help you build your effective fly control strategy.
Farnam SWAT Fly Repellent Ointment
When it comes to Farnam’s product, SWAT fly repellent is on top. If your horse has an open wound, this prevents any flying insects from pestering your horses. This helps them recover fast. Plus, this ointment keeps biting-ear-gnats away!
Farnam SWAT Fly Repellent Ointment is ideal to use on horses that has sensitive skin. You can use this to rub on your horse’s hard-to-reach spots like underneath its belly or inside its ears. Upon using, you can instant good results in about one to two hours and its effect can even last a day.
Protects Against Biting and Nuisance Flies
Repels house, stable, face and horn flies
Effective for hours
Contains Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical, Di-n-propyl Isocinchomeronate
PROS: Aside from horses, this product can be use on Ponies and Dogs as well. After application, the ointment stays on your horses skin well.
CONS: This product is toxic to human. Read the label & follow the instructions well.
Absorbine UltraShield EX Fly Spray
Absorbine UltraShield EX Fly Spray offers a fly repellent solution in a bottle. This is safer to use as you don’t have to touch the chemicals when using. It has an effect that will last for over a week. It also works best on sweaty horses, as this is waterproof. Sunscreens and coat conditioners are in this product as well. This is to protect your horse from too much sun exposure.
This spray contains protection against insects including crawling pest on barn surfaces. You’ll see the result immediately after use. It also lasts up to 17 days as it is weatherproof.
Vertical and horizontal spray settings deliver optimal coverage from head to hoof. Ergonomic design lets you spray on without hand fatigue. It works upside down to spray under the belly and other tough-to-reach areas.
PROS: Works well with dogs too.
CONS: This has a strong smell which can be empowering for some.
Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Repellent Horse Spray
If harmful chemicals aren’t your best choice for a fly repellent, then this product is perfect for you. Espree Aloe Herbal is a natural fly spray that is usually made with botanical oils. It has a nice smell that your horses will love. Since it’s all natural, this product is safe for people with allergies & asthma.
Aloe Herbal is also best for summer use. It has a sunscreen solution and coat conditioners. This will protect your horses from extreme heat.
PROS: Perfect for people who can’t inhale strong chemicals as well as touch them.
CONS: IT’S NOT READY TO USE. Read the label and directions to use.
Farnam Tri-Tec 14 Fly Repellent Spray
Tri-Tec Fly Repellant is a water-based formula. What’s good about this is it does not smell strong. With no rain, its effectiveness after use can last 14 days. Even if it does not smell strong, flies and mosquitoes does not like it. Tri-Tec can be usually applied either wipes or spray. You can use a small funnel to reload your spray bottles so you don’t waste any filling the container.
Farnam Tri-Tec 14 Fly Repellent Spray protects any horse from different flies. That includes house, stable, face, and horse flies, plus gnats and mosquitoes. It also protects horses against deer ticks that may send Lyme disease.
PROS: This product is an overall use against different pests.
CONS: This isn’t waterproof. It also contains chemicals that may be harmful to sensitive skin. Wear rubber glove or mitt when applying as a wipe.
Pyranha Wipe N Spray
Pyranha Wipe N Spray is a ready to use product that doesn’t need water mixture before you can use this. This product works well if you spray and wipe it on the horse’s coat. It is waterproof, so you can apply this on them before strolling with your horse. Aside from horse’s body, you can spray this on stable walls to ward off annoying flies. You can use a small funnel to reload your spray bottles so you don’t waste any filling the container.
1 Gallon Bottle
Effective On Flies, Mosquitoes, Gnats, Fleas, And Ticks
Ready To Use Formula
PROS: Oil based but it isn’t as oily as other products.
CONS: If you use this on other animals, it may cause allergies. Avoid doing so as much as possible.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!