No Fly Zone: Fly-Free Equine Management

The increasingly warmer weather around the country has brought out myriad flying nuisances: horse flies, house flies, deer flies, mosquitoes, gnats and stable flies, just to name a few.

The irritation these winged creatures can cause both horses and humans is great, from stomping off shoes to remove flies from legs to cutting rides short because of swarms of flying insects. Additionally, these winged wonders can carry a plethora of diseases, including West Nile Virus and pigeon fever.

While many equine and farm owners are diligent about using fly spray on their horses, there are many components that can affect the spray’s effectiveness. While it’s imperative that owners read and understand how the sprays work, it’s also important to follow directions to the letter when applying them. Many manufacturers recommend specific application instructions that can help lengthen the time the spray is effective.

Factors to consider include:

  • Natural or Chemical
    Natural fly sprays use essential oils or herbal extracts to keep flies at bay (think lavender, citronella and lemongrass). Chemical-based sprays contain insecticides that are man-made, like pyrethrin. It’s important to note that fly sprays containing insecticides will repel and kill flies, while natural sprays will simply repel them.
  • Water or Oil-based
    Oil-based sprays have more staying power than water-based fly sprays, they’re able to handle sweat and rain, but they also attract dust and dirt. Some horses are sensitive to oil-based sprays, as well. Water-based sprays  don’t attract dust and are less likely to cause irritation; some have additional ingredients like lanolin or aloe to make them more water-resistant.
  • Cost
    Higher-priced sprays generally have more active ingredients in them, reflecting the higher cost. They may also have additional ingredients that enhance the spray’s performance. With regards to fly spray, the more expensive the brand, the better it most likely works to keep flying pests at bay.

Other physical barriers that can help keep flies at bay include fly sheets, fly masks and fly boots. Options to control flies around the farm include parasitic wasps, fly traps and premise sprays.

Read more about ways to control flies on your farm at Horse Channel.

The post No Fly Zone: Fly-Free Equine Management appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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