Excess Flies this year even with fly predators

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Excess Flies this year even with fly predators

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    09-01-2012, 02:36 PM
Unhappy Excess Flies this year even with fly predators

My horse is a 12 year old TB and has has been kept at the same barn for the past 4 years and this past March he was given to me and I decided to keep him at the same facility because there had never been major problems there before.
However this year for some reason the extra heat and major fly population took a toll on my horse's weight. I have since brought him back to an awesome weight (he looks better than he ever did). He has access to his pasture 24/7 and two different sheds for his use. The main barn where he eats has a worse fly problem then the far shed. He lives alone.
We have had fly predators for years so the property itself has some protection already. I have personally put up fly strips and different basin catchers which mildly help. He also gets sprayed during the day and I use swat around major fly areas however he never gets rubs (unless he sticks his head through the fence for grass)
The fields are maintained by your truly, I keep the weeds down and make sure the pastures don't get too high in grass. (they mow regularly too)
I did change my horse's feeding and he has a higher protein diet now, could the flies be more attracted to him and his barn because of the food?
Also he eats inside his run in stall but when he eats he will put his head out of the window therefore dropping some of his food on the floor, walls and outside the window. He gets his teeth done every year (they have a funny wear to them but the vet said once a year is good) and he has an awesome appetite, never chokes and his poops are consistent and good.

What would do you think I could do to keep the flies from attacking so much? I really feel they are a big part of the reason he lost so much weight earlier in the season.(also it has been much hotter this year than last year)
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    09-01-2012, 07:55 PM
Good luck. This is the worst horse fly year in my memory and nothing keeps them away. Everytime I go in the pasture I kill 10-15. You could try a fly sheet on your horse...it may help.
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    09-01-2012, 08:07 PM
Fly predators don't take care of every type of fly, although they're very good at cutting down on the stable fly population.

I always use traps along with my predators, since the traps will get what the predators won't. The only thing I've had trouble with this year are gnats and those humongous B52 horse flies, and even those aren't really out in swarms.
    09-02-2012, 07:33 PM
Hahahah, *hate flies*
Thanks for the input though :P
    09-04-2012, 06:01 PM
My lesson barn has been using fly predators for the past 6-10 years, use fly traps, take their manure elsewhere, turnouts are cleaned regularly, and stalls are cleaned in the morning. There are honestly no flies whatsoever. We still put fly spray and masks on them, but that's just for their eyes :)
    09-09-2012, 10:14 PM
The best thing to do with run-ins and barns is to make them as dark as possible. Put a sheet of plywood over the window and hang old carpeting, tarpaulins all the way to the ground and then a little more. A few slits not quite all the way up will allow a horse to easily go in and out. The carpet, or tarp also brushes flies off them when they go in. The reason for carpeting or canvas tarps is because you need the weight. Plastic tarps just fly around in a breeze. When it's dark the flies will stay out. If the shed/barn is good and dark the horse will stay in all day so must be fed and will go out before dark and spend the night out.

flies, fly control, protein

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