No one likes pesky insects. For your horses, they can cause a variety of issues, from minor behavioral problems to painful Sweet Itch. Many insects are carriers of disease, also putting your horse at risk for serious medical conditions such as Lyme disease or West Nile Virus. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of measures you can take to control your horse’s exposure to flies, and The Cheshire Horse can help!
Fly sprays are the most common method of controlling insects. We offer a great variety of fly sprays that come with different active ingredients, from the strongest permethrin-based product to the gentlest blend of essential oils. Roll-on and ointment repellents can be used for the horse’s face and other sensitive areas. Spot-on treatments contain higher concentrations of repellent, and they are applied less frequently, requiring less maintenance than sprays. Shop our large selection of Fly Repellents here.
Fly Sheets, fly masks, and leg guards provide a physical barrier between insects and the horse. They’re available for use in turnout or while riding. Fly apparel is a cost- and labor-effective method that can be a great option for sensitive horses. Fly sheets and masks have the added benefit of UV protection. Some are also made with insect repellent fabric, such as the Amigo Bug Buster by Horseware. Shop Fly Sheets & Masks here and Repellent Apparel here.
There are three main types of fly traps. The first is the odor trap, which uses attractants to lure and catch flies including house flies, flesh flies, bottle flies, and eye gnats. The second is the sticky trap, which uses shapes and bright colors to attract, trap, and kill flies. The third kind of trap is the biting fly trap, which is the only type of trap that will catch biting stables flies. Fly traps work best if you use a combination of the three and place them around the border of your facility. Shop all Fly Tape & Traps here.
Spalding Labs Fly Predators
Fly Predators from Spalding Labs are tiny biteless flies that destroy pest flies in their cocoon stage. According to Spalding Labs, “Fly Predators serve as a major check of pest fly populations by destroying the next generation of flies in their immature pupa (cocoon) stage.” To learn more, visit spalding-labs.com.
To maximize the effectiveness of Fly Predators, begin spreading them in all manure areas when daytime temperatures reach the 60s. Additional Fly Predators should be spread every 3-4 weeks as well, because pest flies reproduce nine times faster. To purchase Spalding Labs Fly Predators, visit either The Cheshire Horse location and fill out an order form.
Feed Through Fly Prevention
There are a number of oral supplements that can be used to deter flying insects. This is a great option for sensitive horses. These supplements commonly contain garlic, thiamine, and/or brewer’s yeast, which are reported to keep pest flies away. Some also include ingredients to reduce manure odor and pest attraction, as well as to interrupt the fly’s reproduction cycle. The Cheshire Horse Garlic is a human-grade supplement to protect against flies, ticks, mosquitoes and gnats. Shop all Feed Through Fly Prevention here.
Manure management is one of the most important ways to reduce fly populations. Cleaning stalls daily and paddocks weekly can help to eliminate the fly eggs before they hatch. Composting manure is one of the best options in climates that get regular rain. The heat created by decomposition prevents larva from surviving below the outer surface of the pile. Stirring or shifting the pile can help speed decomposition. Other methods of prevention include eliminating unnecessary standing water, regularly cleaning buckets and feeders, and providing a regular source of airflow for your horses (e.g. with fans). Shop Stable Supplies here.