Garlic for flies? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-26-2010, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Question Garlic for flies?

Has anyone ever used a garlic supplement (such as Bug Off Garlic by Springtime) for fly control? I'm not a huge fan of the chemicals or the cost of most fly sprays but I don't care to buy something that isn't going to work. Advice?

[sorry if this has been discussed. new to the forum.]

The horse, through all its trials, has preserved the sweetness of paradise in its blood. ~Johannes Jensen
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-26-2010, 08:17 PM
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I tried Bug Check two years ago. It was a diatomacious earth substance. No effect. This year I tried a garlic powder by Springtime something company. It worked a little, but I stopped using it since it's strong taste was a very bad mix with my horse's cookie dough tasting weight gain powder. I was afraid he wouldn't eat the two together.

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post #3 of 12 Old 10-26-2010, 08:24 PM
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I wonder, if they are fed a garlic supplement, will they reek of garlic when they sweat? My gelding found some onion grass in his pasture (he loves the stuff), and after a hard workout, he smelled of onions so badly it made my eyes water... Has anyone noticed this when using garlic?

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post #4 of 12 Old 10-27-2010, 01:34 AM
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I feed my guy Barrier - it's a garlic-based supplement for keeping bugs away. He is incredibly sensitive to bugs and it definitely did help a little bit. When the bugs are bad though, I also give him a good spray of Deep Woods Off.

ETA- I have never noticed him smelling of garlic because of it!
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-27-2010, 04:09 PM
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I used to feed one of my horses freeze dried garlic and I'm just not sure it was effective enough. It sure didn't help with horse flies and that's what bothered him most.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-27-2010, 04:19 PM
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I use a garlic supplement in the summer, it works a little but he still gets some small bites. his coat looks lovely though! It says in the description that it is good for coat conditioning, it is! I have never noticed a smell on him, apart from him breath after he has eaten it!

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-27-2010, 08:45 PM
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I tried garlic years ago, and it didn't help any at all. The only thing I've found that helped (trying to stay away from chemicals - mostly out of laziness and Dancer goes berserk if she sees a spray bottle) was yellow salt blocks.

We were over run with horseflies this summer. Our horses, especially the paints who had a LOT of white on them, had bloody necks and shoulders from the horseflies. Flysprays kept the regular little flies at bay, but only irritated the horseflies, and they came right back. In desparation, we put out the yellow salt blocks. Vet said the sulphur in them wouldn't hurt the horses at all. Within three weeks, the horse flies had all but disappeared and the bloody necks and shoulders were healing. The little flies had greatly reduced their numbers and our horses were happy campers.

I was afraid they would stink from the sulphur, but they just smell like horses - maybe just a bit stronger. I can live with that!

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post #8 of 12 Old 10-28-2010, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Now, has anybody had success with all-natural fly sprays? I tried one the summer before last and it seemed to work about as well as the cheaper chemical sprays but not as well as the really expensive stuff.

The horse, through all its trials, has preserved the sweetness of paradise in its blood. ~Johannes Jensen
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-28-2010, 12:12 PM
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Garlic worked for me. It takes time to get through their system, so if you don't try it for at least a month, of course it won't work. I just used a dash of plain old garlic powder you can buy in the grocery store. I found it helpful to start it a month before your fly season starts, so it is in affect when you need it.

Some folks say garlic is linked to anemia which is not true. Onions are linked to anemia when fed in very high doses [several pounds] and since onions and garlic are related, that leap was made. No official studies have been done to confirm or disprove either theory.

No, my horses never smelled of garlic. You would have to feed them an awful lot for that to happen. You only need a dash a day.

Bottom line, some people think it works, others don't. You'll just have to try it and see. =]
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-28-2010, 12:24 PM
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Tried it this year, didn't notice a change. It didn't make her smell like garlic or anything, but it sure made her stall smell like it, because the powder was all over the place! She didn't like it either, we had to wet her food so that it stuck to her grain and she HAD to eat it...otherwise she would try her hardest to eat around it!

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
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