Warmer weather is what every equestrian looks forward to. But there is one thing about summer that I'm sure we could all agree we could do without - flies. Flies are a nuisance to say the least - especially horse flies. They feed on blood and can leave nasty bites which can cause serious irritation for your horse's skin. Some horses are even allergic to fly bites. Flies can also be found in the corner of horses' eyes and can cause infection due to the bacteria they carry. So what can you do to help prevent flies from aggravating your horse? There are a variety of options for every horse.
Many horse owners invest in fly sheets which work double duty. Not only do they work to keep flies off your horse's skin, they also reflect the sun which prevents sunburn, bleaching, and keeps your horse cool. A fly mask is another good investment which protects your horse's eyes. Fly masks can be purchased with our without ear covers.
Fly repellent spray is another common tool. Absorbine is a common brand and their UltraShield fly spray is a favorite among equestrians due to repelling flies, mosquitos, and ticks. And it's long-lasting nature makes it great for both shows and horses who are out to pasture. There are several different types of spray to choose from and everyone seems to have their favorite - just find what works best for you and your horse (and your budget).
Some even prefer to mix their own fly spray with natural ingredients such as citronella or lavender. Natural fly sprays are great if you have foals or young horses. It's also safe to use on dogs and other animals such as goats, alpacas, and chickens!
Farnam makes a feed additive, SimpliFly, that prevents fly larvae from developing in the manure of treated horses. Speaking of manure - make sure to keep your barn as free from manure as you can and keep your manure pile as far from the barn as you can as this is where the flies lay their eggs. If your manure pile is close to the barn, FlyPredators might be a good option. They consist of small "parasitoids" which you sprinkle over the manure and they eat the fly larvae.
Fly season doesn't have to be so bad if you follow our tips!
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