Annoying Bot Flies - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Annoying Bot Flies

With the temps going up and the hair coming off the horses it is soon going to be time to battle the bot flies! Hooray. These have to be my very favorite of flies because they turn my mare into a bucking, snorting lunatic, lol. The only thing worse are the gigantic horse flies that sound like an airplane buzzing around. I keep my horses sprayed with Pyrhana fly spray and that helps keep everything EXCEPT the bot flies away. It's almost comical to watch me and my main mare when they are out because she will be running and bucking and i will be running after her trying to catch and squish them, lol. Fortunately we don't get innundated with a bunch at one time so i only have to deal with a few at a time. Pixie is the only horse that goes nuts about them too. The others just stand there as she's running and bucking by them several times until the fly gives up and moves on to one of the horses that stands still. As a result, she hardly ever has bot eggs on her but my gelding gets covered in the eggs. The bad part about that is that he is a very light color which makes them difficult to see. I have yet to find anything that keeps them away so if anyone has any ideas, I'll try it. Since they don't actually land on the horses the fly sprays just don't help. The only other thing i can think is to coat their legs in vaseline which is a whole other mess waiting to happen, lol.

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post #2 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 06:26 PM
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I use a bot knife or one of those Slick 'N Easy Grooming Blocks to get them off. I also use Endure fly spray and that seems to work pretty well. I'm interested to hear what other people do for bot flies too!

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post #3 of 17 Old 03-05-2011, 05:51 PM
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I don't like to use chemicals on my horse (I will when I have to, I just don't like it on a regular basis). We had a horrible problem with horse flies, stable flies and bot flies last year. Tried a number of sprays, including Pyrhana(sp?) - nothing worked. Finally put out sulfur/salt blocks, and voila! No more horse flies at all, very few stable flies, only the occasional odd bot fly, and almost no botfly eggs on the horses.

Will be buying sulfur/salt blocks a little earlier this year!

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

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post #4 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 12:08 PM
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I've heard that feeding horses garlic powder will keep flies away. That is if you want a horse that smells like onions all summer. xD Aparently some people mix it in with grain to trick the horses into eating it. I'm not sure how much, or if it'll keep bot flies away, but if you look into it maybe it might help.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 12:25 PM
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I have the same problem, so I'm interested to see what people have to say.

Ever since we moved to the country, the insects have been 10 times worse than in the city. I never had bots on my horses until last summer, and then I couldn't keep them off. I had my TB in a fly sheet, mask, and boots, sprayed both my horses regularly, dewormed them religiously, and nothing helped. The mosquitoes are bad out here, too. Funny thing is, they eat Victor alive, but I hardly ever see a bite on Norman.

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post #6 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 12:36 PM
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The flies and ticks are like that around here. They will go after some of our horses, and not really bother the others much at all. I don't know why that is - unless it's because the ones they were after had so much white on them. However, daughter's paso fino wasn't bothered by them much either. Don't know if that was because instead of actually being white, she's perlino and only looks white.

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures!
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 03:02 PM
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I tried feeding garlic to the horse but he resented me for it and wouldn't even touch his foor a few days after for fear their was still garlic in the bucket. So I squish the garlic cloves in my hand and rub a bit of the juice around his ears, chest and cheeks before a ride. That keeps away the mosquitoes. As for bot control. I use a slick n' easy and a pocket knife for the very difficult ones.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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I may try the sulfur block. I don't mind scraping the eggs off and I keep the ponies de-wormed regularly. They are just difficult to see on the light colored horse and he's the one that gets them the most because he just stands around like a big dufus. I can't do fly sheets and all that because they are on 24/7 turnout. They would shred them in no time flat! I don't fly spray until the flies come out in full force. A lot of how bad they are depends on where the cows (next door) are during that time too. When the cows are farther away, the flies aren't so bad but when they move them to the adjacent pasture we have tons of them. Bot flies tend to come and go throughout the summer. I guess it myst have something to do with their life cycle.

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post #9 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 05:09 PM
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Maybe you can talk the owner of the cattle into trying the sulfur blocks, too. They dont' cost much, if any more than the plain white blocks, so if he keeps salt out for his cattle, that might be the way to go.

We used the sulfur blocks when we were running cattle - they really work. They aren't 100%, but they work well enough that the cattle aren't distracted too badly. If both of you use the sulfur blocks, you should see a siginificant decrease in the fly population.

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures!
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 05:24 PM
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That's interesting about the sulfur blocks. I'd not heard of it before as far as keeping flies down. I'll give it a try this summer.
We've used fly predators for about 5 years now and I'm a firm believer in them. We have 4 horses and other livestock chickens and dogs. The fly population is near none. I like to let the chickens out into the horse lot as I think they will peck and hunt through the horse manure to get to any larva. Just have to keep them away from the predators as they love to eat them too


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