Fly Spray! What works and how well??
I was out with my horses the other day and they are being eaten by small knat flies (i think that's what they are called) they are small black flies that are wonderful at getting stuck in your hair, ears, nose, eyes. Just wonderful little bugs that also love to bite and it's a mixture of the horsefly bite and mosquito bite so it hurts immediately and itches and swells up, they love the ears by the way! Anyways, I have fly masks on the horses but they are biting the horses lower chest/armpits area, gentile area on mare and gelding, mare's teats, the nose, ears, just about anywhere they can and it's awful! They are only out in the early to late evening and come in swarms. Anyways, I tried a few fly sprays in the past and found nothing to work for more than an hour, if that! So has anyone found any that work and are safe?
We have HUGE nasty flies in Arkansas. What has worked for me is the following, mixed in a 32 oz bottle.
I use a 10% permethrin concentrate. I don't remember which brand, as this is the 3rd summer I've had the bottle, lol. Valley Vet has a couple though.
Durasect II Pfizer Animal Health (Farm Supplies - Cattle Health - Pinkeye Protection - Cattle Fly L
Brute Pour-On Y-Tex Corp (Farm Supplies - Cattle Health - Pinkeye Protection - Cattle Fly Lice)
The oils I bought off of eBay. They're essential oils.
Oh, and those sound like Bull Gnats. We get them here too. Nasty boogers...
SWAT ointment works well on teats, sheaths, faces, etc. It attracts dirt, but at the horse isn't eaten alive...
I have had good luck with Pyranha fly spray (I was in Arkansas with those flies, too, ouch!!). It's spendy, though. luvs2ride, I may have to try your mixture--it sounds great and I'll bet it smells great!
I've got my mare on Apple Cider Vinegar, and there is a noticable difference in how many flies are pestering her already, compared to the two other young horses here.
For spray on fly spray, I prefer TriTech, or Endure, and I usually only use it when riding. I use a fly sheet when they're turned out...course i still need to get my mare one, as my last horse's sheet didn't fit her!
The Permethrin based fly-repellents last the longest (typically up to 8-9 hours). The Pyrethrin based will break down in light and only last an hour or two. The marigold/citronella naturopathic versions work well, but only for about 20-30 minutes.
I have a few clients using the citronella impregnated anklets that their horses wear all the time that work, and also the tie-in permethrin tags can help. SWAT works great on the areas that are already irritated as it creates a protective barrier from the gnats.
The gnats are called culicoides spp (hundreds of different species) and they are a bugger. Many horses have a hypersensitivity to proteins in the saliva of the insects and can develop nasty lesions from them. Management changes can also help. Turning out later in the morning and bringing in before dusk can help reduce the exposure to larger numbers of the insects. Using fly sheets in some horses. Cutting back brush away from barns. Keeping the manure pile down wind. I have had some clients install fans in the barn to help deter the gnats.
Well my horses have a run in shed for their shelter that is cleaned daily with wood shavings which help get rid of the flies as well but their pasture is open with lots of sunlight and just a few trees gathered in one corner and I have no manure pile thanks to living near Amish who clean the turnout for me and come with their manure spreader and leave with the manure so I have no manure on my property except a few randomly through the field but even still they usually pick those up as well. I have tried Tri-Tec and Endure and they lasted about 20-30mins which has been okay for trail riding but once it wears out Glyder dances around and kicks at the flies on his belly and it gets hard to try to train him with him so distracted so I have to stop and respray him. The main issue if when they are in the pasture and are being eaten alive. I will research some of the other products suggested, any others that people have tried?
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