Horse facilities attract a lot of visitors, and most of them are welcome to go in. People come to admire the horses in the beautiful barns and paddocks where they are usually kept. Then there are the biting insects that come uninvited. And all too often, they bring along some diseases.
Stable hygiene is the first line of defense in keeping unwanted visitors out of a barn. Another place to practice good stable hygiene is in the feed room or storage. The feed storage can either deter or attract rodents and other critters that do not belong in the barn.
In this article, we have listed seven effective pest controls. This is to keep your horses away from these pests.
Seven Best Pest Control for Horses
Farnam SWAT Fly Repellent Ointment for Horses
If you’re looking for a product that you can use around wounds and sores, then Farnam has a great product to offer. Farnam SWAT Fly Repellent Ointment is ideal to use on sensitive, hard-to-reach areas. It is then formulated to use around wounds, sores, scratches, and abrasions. SWAT ointment is your go-to solution. You can apply it daily for effective control against flies. But, you should never use this on horses or foals intended for slaughter. Also, do not apply near eyes and mouth.
After rescuing a foal, it took no time at all for biting flies to begin tormenting the animal. There are blood spots on all four legs and along the face. With Farnam SWAT Fly Repellent Ointment, you will notice the flies leaving. This is most especially if applied around the wounds. You will see marked improvement a few days of use.
- Protects Against Biting and Nuisance Flies
- Repels house, stable, face and horn flies
- Effective for hours
- Use on horses, ponies and dogs
- Contains Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical, Di-n-propyl Isocinchomeronate
- Excellent to protect open wounds from flies and gnats
- Product delivered on or before scheduled time. Secure packaging.
- Strong smell
Farnam Bronco e Equine Fly Spray with Citronella Scent
If you’re looking for a product that provides protection for both horses, dogs, then this is a must buy. This product handles all jobs. You can choose the gallon size and you’ll have enough to refill your quart bottle to spray in the bar. It comes in ready-to-use, water-based formula has a pleasant citronella scent.
Farnam Bronco e Equine Fly Spray is a non-oily insecticide repellent. It may be then applied with a trigger spray applicator or as a wipe. This keeps all sorts of flying and biting insects at bay. Also, it smells terrific.
This is a refill gallon. All you have to do is add this in a spray bottle and use. No mixing required.
- Insecticide and repellent for use on horses, dogs and premises
- Kills and repels horn flies, gnats, ticks, fleas, chiggers and lice and repels mosquitoes
- Ready-to-use, water-based formula has a pleasant citronella scent
- Used in and around horse barns and stables as a premise spray
- Available in 32 ounce and ready-to-use spray in gallon sizes
- Ready to use product
Pyranha Wipe N Spray
This pest control product is a pyrethrum-based formula. It was then made to be directly applied to the animal. The ready-to-use formula provides superior flies protection. This is while imparting a high sheen to the hair when brushed out. This is usually known to be effective. One to two ounces per head will guarantee the best protection. It also contains lanolin as a coat conditioner and has a citronella scent. This product is then proven effective against flies, mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, and ticks. Pyranha Wipe N Spray kills flies on contact and those that stay on your horses within 24 hours. It also works on horses that have sensitive skin and coat.
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
- Kill flies on contact, and stays on my horses for at least 24 hours.
- Can be then used daily during pest season
- May cause allergic reactions if failed to follow the description
Absorbine UltraShield EX Repellent for Horses
If you’re looking for a product that proves to control flies, then this one is a must choice. This is best for those who depend on comfort and protection. When you need to end fly frustrations, reach for this spray. Absorbine Ultrashield EX effect lasts longer than most products.
Spray stall walls and around feeders to discourage flies from gathering. Spray inside your horse trailer before loading horses. This is to ensure its comfort while traveling. Apply a light spray to brushes before grooming. This results in consistent full coverage as well as gaining a polished clean hair coat.
- Advanced formula contains many sunscreens and coat conditioners, including aloe and lanolin.
- Weatherproof (up to 17 days with UltraBond Technology)
- Ready to use, water-based formula
- Immediately effective and LONG LASTING
- The formula stays on even sweaty horses
- This has a strong smell, which is overpowering
Farnam Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray for Horses
First of all, this product is one of the top lists because it won’t sweat off! It has a unique formula that works even in wet conditions. It will protect your horse from biting flies, gnats, and deer ticks that may carry Lyme disease. This product is a great choice!
Farnam Equine Endure Sweat-Resistant Spray is long-lasting, much longer than other sprays. You have to apply it every day for a few days. Before it builds up to it reaches its effectiveness and lasting capabilities.
- RepeLock Conditioner
- Binds to the hair shaft and provides up to 14 days of pest control
- Available in cheap refill sizes!
- Stays active
- Works in wet conditions and also when the horse sweats.
- Didn’t cause any swelling or skin irritation
- Works for several hours on long trails
Farnam Fly’s-Off Fly Repellent Ointment
Protect your pet from the pest with this flys-off Fly repellent ointment for dogs & horses. Farnam has made another product that you can use to control pests. Flies can be a big problem for dogs, especially in kennels or runs. Fly-Off Repellent Ointment keeps the flies away from open wounds and sores. It’s also great for the equine pals, working to repel those annoying flies in the stable too. This is great for healing, as it prevents your Animal from constant swatting of the flies.
- For dogs, horses or ponies
- Repels stable flies, house flies, Face flies, horn flies, etc
- For wounds and sores
- An ointment used for around wounds, sores and other sensitive areas
- Kills stable flies, house flies, Face flies, horn flies, etc
- Great to use when your horse went through an incision. It helps its wound untouched by the flies.
- Has a strong smell & sticky
Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Repellent Horse Spray
If you’re looking for a product that is organic, then it is the best one. This pesticide has a gentle blend of ingredients, including botanical oils. It repels flies, gnats, and other flying insects on horses. Aloe Herbal Horse Spray contains coat conditioners. It also has sunscreen which promotes a healthy coat and protection from the sun.
- EPA registered insect repellent with essential oils – Horse Journal Top Pick
- Organic Aloe Vera, Sunscreen, Coat Conditioners
- Gives healthy coat and protection from the sun
- Contains Coat Conditioners
- Works well with other animals as well.
- High Toxicity. You need to be extra cautious.
Other Alternative Ways to Control Pest
Buy an ordinary large, heavy-duty plastic trash can that has a lid that snaps into place. Under no circumstances is it recommended to leave sacks of feed out on the floor. Exposed feed lures rats and prowling animals venturing into the stable.
Automatic misting systems can be then built into a barn or an existing facility. The automatic systems dispense a mist of insecticide down into the barn via nozzles. The systems are timer-operated and adjustable. This allows the farm managers to set the duration of misting intervals and the number of times per day.
Put pest traps outdoors so you can control horseflies and deerflies invasion. The trap is to lure these insects. As long as the trap is set, these insects will move into it, and become trapped in a containment receptacle on top.
Pests’ repellent collar and leg bands can be then used either when horses are out or stabled. The collar and leg bands are then impregnated with repellents. This is to provide relief to the head, neck, and legs for up to two months.
You can get rid of any receptacles that can hold standing water. This serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and should be then removed.
For rodents, you’d have to go with metal, hardware cloth, a welded wire that they can’t chew through. They can get through a pretty small hole, so you have to make sure that all around your barn is well sealed up.
Other Pests that may harm your Horses
They do not attack horses, but they are toxic to horses and can contaminate alfalfa hay.
Face Flies and House Flies
These flies are non-biting, annoying, small black flies. They feed on the tear ducts of the eyes, around the nose, or on wounds and cuts. Both species breed in fresh animal manure.
This small, grayish-black stable pest has a painful bite. It pierces the skin and sucks blood as a food source.
House, Face, and Stable Flies
They all lead to disease, infection, and the parasite Habronema (stomach worms). Infected flies deposit stomach worm larvae in open wounds.
This very small insect (half the size of the house flies) sucks blood. It is a nuisance to horses pastured with cattle.
Horse Flies and Deer Flies
The female horse flies and deer flies attack horses. Their bite is painful and causes a flow of blood that attracts house flies.
These tiny, humpbacked flies can congregate in tremendous numbers around horses. This causes extreme annoyance and itching. Their bite can cause hemorrhage and bloody crusts.
Culicoides and Leptoconops
These are major pests to horses. They have a painful bite. They cause hypersensitivity or “sweet-itch” along the base of the mane and tail. It also includes over the withers, chest, and facial areas.
These insects feed on horses in great numbers and cause significant blood losses. Skin eruptions can appear on horses bitten by mosquitoes. They cause equine infectious anemia (EIA), eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). Also, they’re responsible for Western equine encephalitis (WEE), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE).
They lay eggs on the forelegs, shoulders, and lips during the summer and fall. The principal damage caused by the bot is to the stomach lining. In extreme cases, bots can cause a stomach rupture or fatal colic if they block the valve to the small intestine.
Lice are species-specific external parasites. The horse sucking louse, Haematopinus asini, feeds on blood. These little creatures are usually seen on the head, neck, mane, and tail during winter and spring.
Heavy tick burdens can result in general unthriftiness, anemia, and susceptibility to disease. Ticks carry diseases such as Lyme disease found in many Eastern states.
This very small parasite is uncommon in horses. The two forms of mites that affect horses are sarcoptic mange mite and psoroptic mange mite. The sarcoptic mange mite burrows into the epidermis. The psoroptic mange mite lives on the skin surface. They both feed on skin and tissue fluids. Symptoms are irritation, itching, and scratching.
Health Effects of Using Pesticides on your Horses
For pesticides to be effective against the pests it must be active, or toxic. Pesticides are toxic and are hazardous to humans, animals, and the environment. People who use pesticides must understand the relative toxicity, potential health effects. They need to follow preventative measures to reduce exposure to these products.
Insecticides cause the greatest number of pesticide poisonings in the United States. Pesticide poisoning will result from acute exposure to organophosphate insecticides with carbamate. Organophosphate insecticides include chlorpyrifos, dimethoate, methyl parathion, and ethyl parathion. The carbamate compounds include carbofuran, methomyl, and oxamyl. Organophosphates and carbamates inhibit the enzyme cholinesterase. This causes a disruption of the nervous system. Life forms with cholinesterase in its nervous system can be then poisoned. This includes insects, fish, birds, humans, and other mammals.
Chronic Toxicity and Chronic Effects
The chronic toxicity of pesticide subjects animals to long-term exposure to the chemicals. Chronic effects are any harmful effects resulted from small doses replicated over time. Chronic effects include birth defects, production of tumors, and genetic changes. Also, it includes blood disorders, nerve disorders, endocrine disruption, and reproduction effects.
Symptoms of Pesticide Poisoning
The symptoms of pesticide poisoning will range from skin irritation to even death. Different classes of chemicals cause different types of symptoms. Sensitivity of individuals varies to different levels of these chemicals. Effects include:
- Excessive salivation and tearing
- Muscle twitching
- Respiratory depression
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of appetite
Can you use Malathion on your horses?
Malathion is 57% is pet safe if used as directed. Pets need to be then kept off the lawn while the product is being applied. They can return to the area once everything is dry.
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!