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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FLY control is very important!

Fly control!
Why worry about it?
Because flies lay eggs and horses ingest them creating havoc on their gut, in wounds; costing us more in vet bills, special feeds, and a shorter quality of life for your horse. 

Like your stall base and bedding choices, there are several types of fly control.

1. Basic is fly predators, these are TINY flies that eat regular fly larva before they hatch.  These are great IF everyone around you uses them too! Flies will travel up to TWO MILES so if anyone uses something else they will never work perfectly unless you own hundreds of acres and order more than needed each month.  These are delivered to your door through the mail, and you toss them out as soon as they arrive.  They are not sent during winter but a mild winter may not kill all your fly larva either.  These are noninvasive predators that travel shorter distances that a fly thus MORE than deemed necessary may be required.

2. Feed through fly deterrent.   These are chemicals you feed your horse that is suppose to be harmless as it is not absorbed by the stomach or intestines and stays in the feces of the horse NOT allowing the larva to fully develop THUS not adding the fly population.  NOTE... these will keep fly predators from being able to hatch as well so you can not use BOTH types of control or you will be killing your predators you paid for!   The good thing is this works great if you can not control the fly control outside your property.  Like neighboring cattle or other horses not being protected with fly control.

3. Fly deterring applications on the horse.  I normally use a natural fly spray to spray down my horses legs, tails, and face.  I use a marigold spray for really bad days where knatts and flies are bothering my horses.  I use a bright PINK swat product for any cuts, scrapes, or open wounds so flies do not lay eggs in them causing infection, delayed healing, or worse scars. I use the bright color so I can see it from a distance if it needs to be reapplied.  This deterrent will not kill flies so it does little to nothing in the long run. 

4. Barn fly deterrents...   I use everything!  meaning I hang fly bags... yes they actually make bags that smell like rotting flesh that will attract, trap and eventually the fly dies in the bag.  I hang two to four of these in the barn rafters each year and throw them away once they are full.  I also use fly tapes and throw them away and replace them as needed.  AND again I use the pine sol cleaner even in the over hang area merely because it keeps flies away.    I DREAM of a day I have an actual barn system.  This is a misting system that you control the number of mist per hour and length of spray in and throughout your barn area.  It is an expensive system, requires up keep and replacement parts but once in place if you stall your horses 24 / 7 this system is almost all you need to keep flies from your barn.  Sold in Farm Tek  and other supply catalogs.

We all know I just had the vet out to my place and even he and his assistant commented on how fly free my barn was.  I use the feed through chemicals and physical natural sprays, along with bags and tapes and my system works really well for me.  My horses have not had bots in years, and with a Vanner this can be a challenge!

You are going to attract flies into your barn if you do not clean up and out any hay that has any moisture.  Meaning any scraps your horse dropped and didn't eat.  Or any hay left over that simply attracted moisture from the air.  Hay creates a prefect environment for flies even if there is no poop in the stall, a disheveled stall, strewn with hay will cause you problems.

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