How to keep flies off horses
As fly season approaches, the buzzing critters seem to occupy everyone’s mind. The warm weather brings a certain sense of anxiety and fear to farm and ranch owners across the US, and for good reason too. People who live in urban built-up areas or cities have no idea what it’s like to constantly battle with flies. It feels like they make it their mission to cause havoc wherever they fly.
If you aren’t shooing them away from your food and pets, then they’re bound to be disrupting your livestock. Depending on the type of fly you’re faced with, this can extend to fly types that are sure to bite and upset your beloved equine friends. Gnats can be a problem, as can mosquitos. Not only do they bite, but they can gather around the eyes of your horses. They feed on the liquid that runs down, causing all kinds of nasty irritations and diseases.
In this blog, we’re going to cover how to keep flies off your horses, leaving them to enjoy the summer season as best they can.
Tactics to protect horses from mosquitos and biting flies
There are various types of flies that will bite your horses. It’s important to strengthen your defences so that your horse has the best chance of protecting itself. As we have discussed in previous blogs, this can come from protective clothing and defences placed around the farm.
Don’t get us wrong, fly traps are undoubtedly the best way to stop flies from reaching your horse (shameless plug), but it’s important to employ other tactics too. Firstly, invest in fly masks and fly boots. It’s important to purchase the correct sizes and materials so that your horse is comfortable during its daily movements. Fly boots will stop flies gathering around the legs of your horse. This is a common problem area that needs to be protected. If flies gather there, horses naturally stomp to shoo them away. Although this is good to see from a protective standpoint, the stomping can cause further injuries to your horse. Similarly with the fly mask, this will prevent flies biting and feeding on the eye area, meaning disease will be avoided.
Whilst we’re discussing clothing and protecting gear, why not try a fly sheet too? Fly sheets keep insects from landing directly on your horse’s body. The mesh-style material allows air to circulate over the skin evenly. However, it still blocks out flies from accessing the skin of your horse.
If you’ve already got the appropriate clothing, then you should consider how to deter biting flies from getting close to your livestock. For example, flies and mosquitoes don’t cope well with turbulent air conditions. Therefore, during times of day where flies appear to be most prevalent, bring your horse into the stable or stall with a fan aimed in the direction to deter flies from entering. You’ll find this to be effective if done correctly.
You can also try tactics like screened stalls which are useful if the fly harassment is really bad. Other things like fluorescent lights can help reduce flies in the surrounding area too. This is because this type of light is least likely to attract them. This also extends to turning off all the lights in your horses stable at night. You could even try placing lights away from the horses stables to lure mosquitoes and biting flies away from your livestock.
Controlling water and airflow to reduce biting flies
Gaining control over the environment where horses live can be the difference between keeping flies at bay, and suffering from an infestation. By controlling moisture levels in the environment as well as airflow, you can make your stable a lot less hospitable to biting flies and mosquitos.
The biting flies in question require moisture to reproduce and thrive. Unfortunately, many areas of dampness in and around where your horses live provide the perfect environment for these horrible critters to lay their eggs and have a party. Once they hatch, they immediately begin to bite and feed on the blood of your horse. Therefore, reducing the potential for these conditions is paramount.
In order to keep potential fly populations in check, it’s important to remove wet areas wherever you can from the yard and stables. This includes things like repairing leaks of pipes and roofing, sealing hoses and turning off automatic waterers completely when possible. Following wet weather, you should also check the horses living area thoroughly for areas where water has built up. These should either be dried or covered with dirt.
Ultimately, it should become a priority to clean up and dry damp material frequently to prevent flies from laying eggs and doing the dirty business. This will subsequently stop flies from hatching eggs and therefore lower the fly population.
As previously mentioned, airflow is another important factor. By controlling airflow in the barns and stables, this will make travel extremely difficult for flies. Don’t make things easy for the bastards, they deserve hell!
The Ranch Fly Trap
Okay, time to plug the best tool at your disposal. The Ranch Fly Trap.
You can spend a considerable amount of time building your defences and adopting new behaviours to prevent flies from bothering your horse. However, they will still arrive to cause havoc, no matter what. Therefore, it’s critical to invest in fly traps to take care of the remaining fly population.
The Ranch Fly Trap makes easy work of fly infestations. Regardless of the size of the problem, our traps are designed to attract and kill flies, providing happy horses and peace of mind for the owner.
Now is the perfect time to level up your fly trap defences. With fly season looming over us, get ahead of the game and invest in proven technology. Not only do we offer traps, but we even provide incredible bait too.
Take the stress out of fly season and let the Ranch Fly Trap do all the hard work. Not only does your livestock deserve it, but you do too.
Shop now via our website.