If your horses are plagued by flies, the best and most obvious way to combat these maddening pests is to keep your barn clean. But despite your best efforts, where there are horses, flies will always follow.
Traditional Fly Prevention
While there are a number of commercial products available to eradicate flies, all have drawbacks:
- Fly masks and sheets: These can be great for protecting parts of your horse from those pesky bugs — if you can keep them on your horse! Fly sheets can be uncomfortable in hot, humid weather, and many horses are notorious for removing them.
- Fly sprays: Fly spray is a go-to solution for keeping flies at bay. However, chemicals found in these sprays can irritate some horse’s sensitive skin.
- Feed through fly control. These supplements cut off the fly’s life cycle by inhibiting growth, but many people are concerned that products lethal to flies could harm their horse's health. Natural supplements containing garlic can be used to deter flies from biting, but consistent ingestion of garlic can cause anemia in horses.
Natural Fly Control Alternatives
If you haven't found a commercial fly control product that you and your horse are comfortable with, try one of these natural solutions:
- Keep a spray bottle of white vinegar near your dump pile to spray down the manure frequently will help decrease the fly population. This will not only make it more difficult for flies to survive, it will also deter them from laying eggs in the manure.
- Spritz your horse with apple cider vinegar can work as a natural fly spray to keep bugs away.
- Use fly predators is a great natural way to cut down on the fly population. Simply sprinkle fly predators over your manure pile and watch them go to work!
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