Flies around horses and in barns can be a very annoying occurrence, especially when riding. Even though horses are all born with a pretty good built in fly swatter (their tail) it is never enough to keep the pesky flying insects from leaving bite marks.
While it’s extremely difficult to eliminate them all, there are many important and beneficial things you can do to cut down on them drastically and keep them from bothering your horse, or even yourself.
How to Eliminate Flies and Insects Around Your Horse & Barn
Know your enemy. You can’t fight an invader unless you know all about him. Where he comes from, what he likes, and how he reproduces. Different types of flies may require different plans of attack. Aside from just being annoying flies can cause many health problems for your horse. They carry and spread diseases, cause allergic reactions, can cause infections and even create digestive issues in your horse. All reasons we want to eliminate them as soon as possible, by attacking them at every stage of their life.
The Life Cycle of a Fly
Flies live roughly 21 days. The three most common flies you’ll find in the barn are house flies, horn flies, face flies, stable flies (also known as horse flies, the nasty ones that bite) and gnats, the little tiny flies that swarm around manure all day, but rarely bother you or your horse. There are also flies called bot flies that actually love to lay their eggs in your horse’s coat.
Despite what you may think, generally, a house fly’s main purpose in life is not to annoy you and your horse… it’s to help the environment decompose rotting, organic matter such as manure, dead animals, plants, and more. The more rotting and decomposing matter you have laying around, the more flies you’ll attract. For this reason we find them in barns and around garbages or dumpsters.
1. Keep your barn clean, this includes regularly mucking out, keeping your barn dry, removing spoiled hay and covering food.
2. Using UV lights these are great but have to be set up correct. You must hang the light away from the stable or area you want to protect attracting the flies out of the barn at which point they will get zapped. Turning stable lights of will help the light attract more flies. DO NOT hang light inside the stable or barn you will be attracting flies in then many will get distracted by a warm nice looking food supply your horse. This increases the flies in your barn and reduces the amount the UV light will catch.
3. Essential oils are great especially citronela but carrier oils evaporate very quickly especially in hot weather so using a slow releasing product like FLY-OFF inserts or NATURAL HORSE diffusors will help protect your horse all day. Also will these types of diffusors the oil can be 100% rather than diluted so far stonger as it does not come in contact with the skin.
4. Flies live 21 days but lay and amazing 80 eggs in that time so catching as many flies as possible is
great 1 fly within one month can multiply to over 5000. Using things like fly glue is great especially out in fields, paint onto a bucket as the dark swinging movement replicates an animal and it will then catch the flies. WARNING - do not hang in trees, bird or bat paths. Also aviod near flowers where bees may get caught.
5. Fly Rugs these are great especially for sweet itch horses, also helps keep the horse cool but you need to get a well fitting one and you can now get fly boots. These are also great to use with FLY-OFF inserts they cilp easily on the rug and give protection to uncovered areas.