Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Those Pesky Flies

















I haven't done a fly post yet this year, so I thought I would now, since yesterday was really our first hot day and it seemed to be most noticeable. We, as horse companions and owners are forever battling the dreaded fly. This year I'm trying a new strategy and combining forces. It's important in so many ways to keep the fly population down for the health of your horse. Not only because they are annoying to our horse friends, but spread disease and parasites, so along with a good worming program we should have a good fly elimination program.


I have decided to use Fly Predators this year to help keep the fly population at bay. I've already spread my second bag and I must say, I believe it's working already. I've heard lots of good reports about them and dozens of testimonies about how well they and so I ordered a 7 month supply that get shipped to me around the same time each month. The cost was about $130 for the season's supply. They come to me in a dormant pupae stage in a breathable bag. I wait a few days to see them begin to stir and then release them in the areas where the horses have pooped. In and around the shelter as well, even though there is no poop in there, there are mats which have been pooped and peed on. So far, I believe they are working and they are natural. The tiny little wasps invade the eggs of that the flies have layed and get to dining. Awesome.


I also use Bronco Fly Spray and spray the girls legs about every three days as it is supposed to last three days. It does have Citronella in it along with a mild pesticide. I've many different fly sprays and I do like the results I have gotten with this one, however, if anyone out there knows a better brand, please pipe in.


I do have the traditional Farnam fly masks, but they make me nervous. I worry about the horses' eyes. So I've just ordered the crochet ear and forelock covers for my horses and will give those a try this year. As soon as I put on the Farnams, my horses will rub and dent in the part over the eyes and I don't want an eye injury.


I also have a regular worming program and worm four times a year. Straight Ivermectin in summer and winter. A combo paste, to include cover for tapeworms in spring and fall. In my eight years of having horses on this property, I have never had a horse with fly eggs stuck to it. I remember as a kid going to riding stables and often seeing little yellow specs stuck to the horses' shoulders. I also try and keep my horses poop under control. Thankfully I have a farmer neighbor who is happy to have manure spread on his field. And every other year, I hire a company to come and scrape the paddock and remove any build up I have left over from the winter or I'll rent a bobcat and do it myself.
So this is my seasonal fly control regimen........What do you do? Any ideas or tips are most welcome here as I am always open to suggestions!




12 comments:

Portraits de chevaux said...

It is a good idea to use fly predators. I don't know if this product is available here for I have never seen one. I'll read your blog to know about its efficiency. See you soon.

Callie said...

As of now, Portraits, I'll be purchasing the fly predators again next year! I think they work great! Provided the birds don't get to them.

kdwhorses said...

I have heard alot of great things about the Fly Predators. I have been using Simply Fly in there feed once a day. It is a IGR based pellet that you put in there feed and it kills the larva of the flies. It really seems to be working. I also brush them down every morning and put fly spray on them. I am currently using Pyranha Fly Spray and it is alot better than the one I was using. My farrier recommends VIP Fly Spray, but I have not been able to find it around here, it is sold out! I have been wanting to try those crocheeted (sp?) fly ear covers. I was wondering how they stayed on though, if they shook there head if they would come off. I also have fly strips or that sort of the thing in the barn. The key with fly control is doing multiple things to prevent/help it. You can not just do fly spray or a fly mask, you need to do a combo of things. Or at least on the flies down here! I also bathe our horses at least 2 times a week. Chickens spread the manure in the pasture. Keep us posted on how the fly predators are working, I am defintely interested in them. Thanks for the great tips!

Callie said...

KDW, I know that Victoria Cummings over at Teachings just raves about the predators and so far I'm happy. The real tell tail will be during the hot months. I too am wondering how those crochet things stay on. I'll know in a week or two when the delivery man drops them off....LOL

Rising Rainbow said...

I have used fly predators and I love them. I also try to keep my manure pile covered with a tarp although currently it is naked with a new tarp waiting in the barn to be applied. lol

When using fly predators you have to be careful using fly sprays because they will kill your fly predators as well as your flies. So keep that in mind when applying. If you're spraying it on where the fly predators are, youre killing part of your prevention.

The crocheted ear covers tie on under the throat latch.

I have used fly masks for years and never had an eye injury from the horses rubbing their eyes. I have had the horses take them off each other and have learned not to leave any kind of tap sticking up with the velcro. That's what they were using to remove them. lol

Callie said...

Oooh, Thanks, Mikael, I almost forgot about the fly spray thing. I actually have sprayed them away from the Primary release sights of the predators and away from any poop they may be invading.

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

We have the fly predators at our barn (in GA). It's cracks me up because the BO get's so "protective" over his little bugs and watches over them until they are ready to leave the nest...er bag. They do help to keep the fly population down some, there are still flys, but we'r in GA...

and I LOVE the Pyranha fly spray too, it smells awful, but works and I love the aresol can, hate trying to pump a fly spray bottle that isn't working anymore!

kdwhorses said...

Thanks Mikael for informing us on the ear mask! In all the pictures I have never seen the throat latch! I may have to order a few then! I will have to see if they have boy colors, I can see the fit hubby would throw if I put a pink or some other girlie color on his horse!

Callie said...

KDW, the ones I found at Country Supply came in black, brown, red and baby blue. I ordered red and blue.

A Bit Unbridled said...

I use Equitrol II feed through pellets. The generic name is Diflubenzuron and I believe that it is the same as SimpliFly. It poisons the manure so the larvae can't survive but is harmless to animals. I have found that it works pretty well. I would be interested to see how well fly predators works. You'll have to update!

Mikey said...

I use Pyrhana fly spray too, I like that a lot. I use it every other day. I also put masks on the 3 horses that are particularly tasty to flies. I have the dead animal smelling bags hanging up too, those work fantastic. I clean pens twice a day and spread manure in our big pen, and those horses tromp it around.
For the ears, I keep a roll on handy and have gotten most of the crew ok with me swiping it inside their ears, but I only do that when the no-see-ums hit. Those are some wicked bugs!! I never clip ears around here, I like to leave the hair for protection.
Flies SUCK!!!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I hate those little buggers. We use Avon's skin so soft sometimes and my daughter tries all kinds of natural fly sprays, I'm not so sure any of them work as good as the chemical ones, which we don't use anymore. We use fly masks and the crochet hats too. I do hope the flies give us a break this year, it really makes riding hard at times to have the horses constantly kicking their bellies and shaking their heads.