Attack of the Bot Flies! - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By walkinthewalk
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-12-2011, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Attack of the Bot Flies!

I have to tell you, I was devestated. Absolutely devestated when I brought Noah out for his workout this morning and found that he had three large patches of bot fly eggs on his shoulders and legs! Actually I didn't even know what they were ( ) at first. I was like....'Noah, have you been rolling in flowers or something? o.o' because they almost looked like pollen, but when it wouldn't brush off- I called the a friend over and she told me just what they were; the evil buggers.

We've never really had to deal with them much here, but I definately got all of the experience I need to be considered a professional bot-picker! Took me nearly three hours to get them all off ._.

Once again, embarressingly enough, I don't know a thing about bot flies or bot eggs, so I need some education! xD

What methods (besides hand picking, which is what I had to do) do you use to get rid of them, if you don't have a bot-fly blade? I can pick one up next time I'm at the tack store but that's not for another week or so. And how do I keep the flies from laying eggs? I sprayed some fly spray all over him today, but I'm sure it will wear off within a few hours.

I also don't know if they're harmful or if they're just plain annoying. Can they harm him in any way?

Thanks for dealing with my inexperienced butt! ;D

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post #2 of 5 Old 11-12-2011, 06:02 PM
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First, here's a couple links. Please note the third link talks about throat & nose bot flies. The difference between them and the common bot fly is their egg SELF-MIGRATE into the horse's mouth

How to Get Rid of Fly Eggs on Horses |

Lambriar Animal Health Care - Equine Bot Fly Chart

Throat & nose bot flies

Once you read these articles, you will understand why the eggs should be removed from the horse.

Soaking the hair in warm water and quickly scraping the eggs off is the easiest way. Using warm water tricks the eggs into thinking the horse is licking them, so they release. Soon as the water cools down, the eggs stick back onto the hair; that's why they don't come off in the rain,

I have seen Throat Bot eggs this year; didn't see them last year. You have to pull the jowel hair backward pretty hard and look close. Looking in the daylight is the best. Unless there's a ton of them, it's really hard to see these particular eggs under the barn or arena lights.

If I can, I cut the hair with scissors. If the eggs are laid in such a way that I can't get the scissors in there (you can only do so much clipper clipping before the horse is bald - lol), I will smother them with some kind of ointment. Anything -- Vaseline, A&D, antibiotic, just any kind of ointment you can get your hands on. Vicks would work too.

I use bot knives, others prefer the blocks. Bot knives are one sided and they aren't all created equal either. The ones that work the best for me come from Tractor Supply but that could change by the time I need to buy more. They get dull pretty quick when four horses need scraped - lol

Bot eggs and tapeworms are the foundation reasons why the equine world worms "after the first hard frost", not before.

There are folks that take the Ho-Hum attitude of not removing the bot eggs "because they'll be there again tomorrow". True enough but the more diligent we are in removing the eggs, the better the chances they won't end up in the horse's mouth to migrate into the stomach and hatch

I hope this helps and while I did chuckle reading your post, I only chuckled because that was how I felt about ticks when I first moved south and found those miserable things covering my horses, one spring

You'll get used to picking them off. Some years are worse than others. This year I hardly found any common bot eggs, but did find a few throat bots. Other years the horses can come in at night and look like I hadn't cleaned the eggs off them for several weeks.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-12-2011, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! Reading those articles, I'm definately very glad that I took the time to pull all of them off, rather than just a few. I almost just left them. I'm afraid to use scissors though, because he seems to have really thin skin and has literally no winter coat yet; so I might accidently nick him or something.

He's wormed regularely, but I'll check to be sure his wormer includes bot flies stuff too. The last thing he needs is ulcers...he's already a hard keeper.

Guess I'll be heading to the tack store tomorrow.

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post #4 of 5 Old 11-12-2011, 09:33 PM
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I like to use a grill block (way cheaper than the Farnam block, you can buy a big grill block for about $7 and cut slices off of it and use them just like the Easy Slicker and you'll get 20 slices or more for that price) rather than a bot knife. For throat bots I go ahead and just clip jowels and throat latch, anything else scrapes right off with the block. I make my horses stand on a tarp, yup the big blue scarey tarp, while I scrape and then I dump it into the trash just to make sure they don't stick to anything or anyone else. Welcome to OK & TX where the bot is the scourge of the horse world!

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post #5 of 5 Old 11-12-2011, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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That's an idea!

Yes, I'm very glad that I decided to do it in the dirt by a drain, rather than tied in the paddock. I'd hate to be the cause of ingested eggs o.o

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
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