The snow is melting; it starts getting warmer, and the flies come out. Dreadful, I know. But mid-spring/summer isn’t really the time to plan how you’re going to tackle this year’s flies. Having a plan before hand, it makes life so much easier, and I mean so much easier. I live in an area where the weather is defiantly true to the seasons with it being hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Anyways, here are some tips and tricks so that the flies actually stay away this year:
- Every time you run out of fly spray, get a new one. As in new brand and bottle. If you constantly rotate your fly sprays out, then the flies really have no time to reproduce other flies that are immune to your favorite, go-to fly spray. Here’s an example with my personal favorites: 1 week of Absorbine UltraShield Red, then Aloe Herbal Ready-to-Use Horse Fly Spray for a week, then homemade fly spray for a week, then Farnam Tri-Tec 14 Fly Repellent for a week. Now you have four weeks (possibly more or less) of different fly sprays to use. Once this cycle is up, start from the beginning. This will definitely help keep your fly population to a minimum!
- This one seems quite obvious to many people, but I thought I should still include it as a sort of reminder. Every time you go out to feed or at least twice a day, make sure you clean your horses stall or pen! If you make sure to clean and make it a priority, the fly population will go down and stay down.
- Another obvious one but, fly masks! If your horse has a fly mask make sure to spray it with fly spray the put it on your horse. This will help the flies stay away from their eyes and your horse will overall be happier. If your horse doesn’t tolerate a fly mask, spray some fly spray on a baby wipe or you semi clean hand and rub it all over his face and ears. Make sure to be cautious of his eye area to avoid irritation.
- If your horses’ pen has any solid wood walls, it’s good to spray the walls with fly spray. It may seem like a waste but I’ve found that it really helps. If the flies don’t like your horse or your horses’ pen, they’ll evacuate ASAP as there will be no comfortable living space and nothing to feed on, whether it be your horse is their waste/manure.
5. Make your own fly spray! My favorite recipe is 1 1/2 cup of water, 1 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of 100% melaleuca oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of 100% lavender oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of 100% cinnamon oil. Mix together then dump into an empty fly spray bottle.
I hope these tips were helpful and will be beneficial to next years fly season and to your fly wipe out expedition! I know from experience that these tips & tricks will actually work as long as you’re rotating your fly sprays. In reality, that’s the only way to be successful in keeping the flies at bay and your horses happy!