Summer + Horses = Flies.
Those three seem to go hand in hand, and if you have been around horses for any length of time you know how obnoxious they can be. Flies are not only pesky, but can cause health problems with your horses if they are not kept at bay. There are many options to keeping the fly population down and common sense tells us that the less flies you have, the healthier your horse will be. So, we want to share 5 natural fly control tips that are sure to inspire you today.
#1 - Manure Management
This was just the topic you were hoping for, right? This task is something that needs to be taken care of in a very consistent manner. We suggest having a dedicated area away from the barn, but close enough for you to haul manure, to compost your manure. Composting manure has so many benefits, especially if you have a garden. Some other options are to spread it, sell it or give it away. Depending on where you live, it may surprise you how many people would love to help you manage your manure! For more in depth manure management options, check out this article by Equisearch
#2 – Better Diet Equals Better Manure
When thinking of flies, diet is not typically the first thing that comes to mind; however, unhealthy manure will attract more flies. It is safe to say that we all want our horses to be happy and healthy. If you were raised around horses, maybe you feed the way your family has always fed or the way your trainer has suggested. It can be incredibly beneficial for your horse, to research the WHY behind your feed routine. The choices are unending and it’s up to you to find out the best diet for your horse to ensure maximum health. The better the diet, the healthier the manure, which results in less flies. Equine Wellness Magazine has a great article on natural feed options
#3 – Control Adult Flies
No matter how proactive you are with prevention, you will still have some adult flies to contend with. There are many options out there, but the one many of us are familiar with is the yellow sticky tubes that hang. These can be an eye sore, but they also can be very effective as well. There are also many do it yourself options
that can be found on Pinterest that can be made for little to nothing, except for your time. Controlling adult flies is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to keeping flies at bay.
#4 – Use Fly Spray On Your Horse
There are many options for fly spray; however, we strongly recommend using a non-toxic option. You want to stay away from any toxic spray that will leave greasy residue on your horse. This is a super quick recipe that you can make on the fly, no pun intended.
Quick Fly Spray
18 oz. white OR apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. dish washing soap.
Mix in a 20 oz. spray bottle and shake gently until well blended. You may add water to dilute. Spray liberally on your horse.
Want a few more DIY Fly Spray recipes? Click Here
#5 – Consider Chickens
Mother Earth News
shared this testimonial from a reader, “We have a 40-acre horse farm. The horses leave bits of grain on the ground after they eat, and some undigested grain shows up in their manure. With all of this food, we had a serious rat and mouse problem. My grandfather set out rat poison, and a trip to the veterinarian and $500 later, I found out that my Jack Russell terrier really likes the taste of it. She is fine, but I refuse to allow any more poison on our farm.
Instead, we got chickens for pest control. The birds accompany the horses and clean up all the grains on the ground and in the horses' manure. Their careful gleaning eliminates the source of food for the mice and rats, and now the pests have all but disappeared. The benefit I had not counted on when I added chickens to our farm is that now we no longer have a flea problem. The chickens also help control flies and lawn grubs. I love having the chickens. Not only do they control unwanted pests, but they are fun to watch, too. — Tina Durborow”
We are confident these 5 natural fly control tips will help you have healthy and happy horses. The key is to find what works for you and do it consistently. The more natural the approach, the healthier it is for you, your horse and the earth as well. We encourage you to share this helpful article with a horse friend today.