Flies Driving You and Your Horse Crazy?
Natural fly control is easier than you might think.
If you have horses, you have flies. It’s just a part of horse life. But just imagine a life without flies. No more watery eyes, blood dripping, whelps all over their body, tail swishing and foot stomping. Now imagine that you can control flies without the use of toxic chemicals. Think it’s too good to be true?
Chemical Fly Repellents-Insecticides
Insecticides are either adulticides (baits, spray-on, paint-on), or larvicides (spraying breeding sites and using feed additives).
There are many different chemicals available to either kill adults or larvae. These chemicals work on some level but remember, chemicals=poison. And if you are using poison to kill flies, I ask you to consider, what is that poison doing to your horse? To you? Have you noticed the smell when you use chemical fly spray? Well if you can smell it, you are breathing it. So is your horse. Now, I personally try NOT to breathe chemicals.
I had a several clients who boarded their horses in a big busy horse boarding barn. Every year in the summer many of the horses would come down with this inexplicable cough. The Vet was summoned, who always attributed it to allergies. What no one seemed to notice was that the horses were up all day in the barn and every few minutes the automatic spraying system sprayed a fine mist of chemical fly spray. The horses were held captive in the barn having to breathe the stuff. No wonder they had respiratory problems. I couldn’t seem to convince the barn manager but it seemed like common sense to me.
There are options. Natural fly control options that work just as well if not better in some circumstances.
The most important part of controlling pests is to break the life cycle. Kill the larvae before they can hatch then kill the adult flies before they can lay eggs.
The most simple way to kill larvae is Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE). When given daily some the DE remains in the manure and kills any hatched larvae by means of dehydration. Wormfree Naturally is a natural wormer that contains DE and when fed regularly, can dramatically cut down on flies in and around the barn.
Fly Parasites also work very well when sprinkled in manure piles. Fly Parasites are gnat-sized, nocturnal, burrowing insects which do not bite, or sting humans and animals. These tiny insect predators serve as a major check of fly populations by destroying flies in the immature maggot and pupa stages.
Killing and Repelling Adult Flies
Flies hate the smell of eucalyptus, cloves, basil and lavender,citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, or mint. If you use a natural fly spray make sure the ingredients are pure essential oils and not cheaper imitation fragrance oils. Our Natural Horse Fly Spray contains the essential oils of Cedarwood, Cintronella, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Pennyroyal, Peppermint & Tea Tree Oil. It can be mixed into a sprayer and used directy on your horses or in an automatic barn sprayer without worry of toxicity or coat and skin damage.
Garlic and Apple Cider Vinegar for Natural Fly Control
Both garlic and apple cider vinegar can work very well when fed regularly. They work by restoring the horses PH to slightly alkaline state. Insects are attracted only to an acidic environment. So they are not repelled but actually are never attracted in the first place. My favorite product for this is Bug Zap Garlic.
Bug Zap Garlic for horses is a natural insect repellent that helps to repel flies and mosquitoes. Deters breeding of insects in the manure.
The pellets contain:
Garlic: A natural source of sulphur to help keep flies and mosquitoes away. Helps with digestion and circulation.
Diatomaceous Earth: Helps to prevent breeding of larva in the manure. Helps to control internal and external parasites.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Helps to improve circulation. Balances the horse PH thus helping to defer colic. Stimulates proper digestion. Assists in helping to control internal and external parasites.
Flaxseed Oil: High in Omega-3 fatty acids. Promotes a healthy, glossy coat and boost the immune system. Supports good blood circulation.
Geraniums and Marigolds for Natural Fly Control
Any good gardener, anywhere in the world, would tell you that the two simplest and most popular methods to keep pests away are geraniums and marigolds. Plant these around the outside of your barn or add them to hanging planters near the doors of your barn. They are not only very effective insect repellents but make your environment more beautiful.
Controlling insects really can be easy and non-toxic. By incorporating these suggestions you and your pet could enjoy a pest free summer.