Don’t let pests be a pest! Your horse will thank you!
Summer months can be a nightmare for horses due to the presence of flies and other biting insects. Not only are they a nuisance, but they can also cause health problems such as skin infections, eye irritations, and allergic reactions. Here are some tips for effective fly control for horses:
Barrier Horse Clothing
One of the most popular solutions, barrier horse clothing consists of fly sheets, fly masks, and fly boots. They are all a great way to protect from bites, and if you are in a boarding situation where you do not have control over environmental solutions, they are your horse’s best defense. Make sure that the sheets, masks, and boots fit properly to prevent chafing and discomfort.
Fly sheets are available in several different options. There are sheets with attached neck covers, detachable neck covers, and belly bands for additional coverage. You can choose from a soft and silky mesh, like the Defender Silver Elite Standard Neck Fly Sheet, or a stiffer, more durable mesh, like the Rambo Protector – take into account your horse’s pasture and personality when shopping for a fly sheet.
Fly masks will protect your horse’s delicate face from flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. Available with or without ears, and in versions with standard or extended noses, there’s a mask to suit any horse. Check out sleek fitting spandex versions, like the Professionals Choice Comfort Fit Fly Mask, the best-selling Cashel Crusader Mask with Ears, or the wallet-friendly Defender Comfort Masks.
Fly boots can really help by stopping the stomp – and the associated lost shoes and hoof and leg soreness that can be caused by it. Boots are typically made of a breathable mesh material with softer fleece or fur trim for comfort. The Gatsby High Vis Fly Leggings are very reasonably priced and provide great protection, while the Kensington Bubble Boots provide superior airflow.
Fly sprays are an effective way to keep flies away from horses. There are different types of fly repellents available, including sprays, wipes, and roll-ons. There are also insecticide sprays that will repel and kill any biting pests, but you may want talk to your veterinarian to make sure those are safe for your horse. Sweat-resistant Endure is always a best seller, all-natural Flicks is safe for most life stages of horses, and cutting-edge Ecovet Fly Repellent actually works to alter the output of your horse’s chemical smell to make your horse less appealing to flies.
Keeping the stable and surrounding areas clean is the first step in controlling flies. Regularly remove manure and soiled bedding, as they are breeding grounds for flies. Ensure that the manure is disposed of properly, away from the stable area. You may want to consider adding a stall deodorizer to your stall cleaning regimen, like Stall Dry Deodorizer Powder or Odoway Odor Absorber Spray.
Fly traps are a great way to control fly populations around the stable. There are different types of fly traps available, including sticky traps, baited traps, and electric traps. Place them strategically around the stable to attract and trap flies. You can choose from jug traps, like RESCUE! Big Bag Fly Trap, or sticky traps, like Starbar EZ Trap Fly Trap.
FInstalling fans in the stable can help to keep flies away. Flies do not like moving air, so placing fans strategically around the stable can help to keep them at bay. You can hang a fan easily on just about any stall with the Gatsby Nylon Box Fan Holder, and it’s portable and perfect for show setups, too. The Mustang Collapsible Box Fan Holder allows for a top mount on most stalls for directional airflow.
In conclusion, fly control for horses is essential for their health, wellbeing, and sanity. By implementing these tips, you can ensure that your horse is protected from the nuisance and health risks associated with flies.
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