Summer + Horses = Flies.
Those three seem to go hand in hand if you have been around horses for any length of time you know how obnoxious they can be. Flies are not only bothersome 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 motivate you today.
1. Manure Management
This duty is something that needs to be taken care of in a very consistent manner. We recommend 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!
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.
3. Control Adult Flies
To catch adult flies outside of your barn, consider using fly traps that lure flies into them. There are two types of traps – those that attract flies visually (best for biting stable flies) and those that attract flies by odor (best for house flies). Traps should be hung in outside locations that are not near your barn as you want to lure flies away from the barn and your horses.
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.
Ceiling and portable fans are also a great way to deter flies inside your barn. The circulating air makes it difficult for the flies to make their way around the barn. A fan angled to blow air over your horse will make it even harder for flies to land on your horse as well. It is very important to make sure that you use fans and power cords that are specifically designed for agricultural use to reduce the risk of fire.
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.
Another Natural Fly Spray to try is Smartpak’s Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Spray. A gentle blend of ingredients, including botanical oils to repel flies, gnats, and other flying insects on a horse. Contains coat conditions and sunscreen which provide a healthy coat and protection from the sun.
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