Combating Mosquitoes and Flies - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-29-2014, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North central Iowa
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Combating Mosquitoes and Flies

Up here in Iowa, the mosquitoes are horrible in the wooded areas it seems like. I enjoy trail riding a ton, but the mosquitoes make it hard to want to go anywhere. Does anyone have any ideas on how to repel mosquitoes and flies on both the rider and horse? It would be nice to get out again without getting carried away by bugs...

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post #2 of 14 Old 07-30-2014, 08:31 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mountains of NH
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I coat myself and the horses in repellant. I even bring a small bottle along in a fanny pack.

Test it first but I usually pick a long skinny branch and leave a few leafs at the tip and use it to knock the bigger biting flies off of ears and my back.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-30-2014, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
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I am in Florida we have every kind of bug you can imagine. I cover my horse and myself in the deep woods off. I also carry a smaller bottle and re-apply after we have both been sweating for a while. I also ride in long sleeves, even in summer, and put a fly mask on my horse.

I recently read that downy fabric softener mixed with water is supposed to repel mosquitoes, I think it was a 1:4 ration, but don't remember.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-01-2014, 02:10 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Camp Verde, Az
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The bugs are horrible this year! I use good quality fly spray on my horse and use a repellent on me too. I spray my hat even. I'm quite guilty of not wearing long sleeves as they just seem to annoy me, but the bugs are winning. If you're going to wear a long sleeved shirt go for the kaki colors. There's a reason all those safari clothes are that color. In a pinch the new light green that wrangler is using this year is good. Stay away from black and dark blue. It attracts bees.

SueNH I love that idea of the branch. My mare is extremely ear shy so getting repellent on her ears can be trying. And those pesky little deer flies love the ears!
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-01-2014, 06:49 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SE TN
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I spray my cloths with perminone and skin with deep woods addition for Miss Lacy, after the fly spray, if the fly are really bad, she gets a fly mask....

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-01-2014, 03:58 PM
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The blood suckers are distracted by anything that disguises your human or the horses natural smell - the stronger the better. The other flies seem to not mind anything so they're harder to deal with. Fly masks and leg boots help and so does one of those leafy swishy branches that SueNH suggested
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-01-2014, 05:03 PM
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I also would pack Deep Woods "Off" for both the horse and myself.

This time of year, I even made the poor horse wear a fly mask with ears. It not only keep the bugs out of his ear but we used to run into some gigundus spider webs, that seemed just high enough to whap the horse in the forehead and ears

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-01-2014, 06:30 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Camp Verde, Az
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Ooooo, speaking of ears, my horse HATES those masks with ears. My vet suggested taking a little Swat and smearing it inside and outside the ears. Really helps and lasts a full day.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-04-2014, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I bought an insect repellent shirt from Columbia that works great. Been surrounded by mosquitos, everyone else is getting attacked, and I'm fine. Flies on the trail don't seem to bother the horses too bad except for big horse flies. I've noticed they don't care much about fly spray and the best I can do is swat them with my hat when I can reach. Make sure your horse is OK with that first.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-04-2014, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Colorado
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Endure works pretty well on my horse, but I found out the hard way not to forget the deep woods off for me - first time I needed the spray this summer I didn't have it. So since my horse was well sprayed, the flys, no-see-ums and mosquitos just went after me.
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