Attack of the horseflies!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Michigan-U.S
Posts: 130
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Exclamation Attack of the horseflies!!

Well, it's been really hot for the past few weeks where I live. Actually we've been in a drought for 3 weeks. But my questions is, would the hot weather affect horseflies??

I've been working with my 5 year old mare on getting a bath (And Today was the first time we used the hose AND soap!! ;D) but there are so many horse flies around her that it's hard for her to focus and listen. they range from small, greenish looking ones, to the very Large black ones that dive-bomb her.I have to horses, my 5 year old and my 27 year old pony; but for some reason they hardly ever go for my pony. Why is that and is there anything I could do to help them out??

**Side notes** I do spray them with fly spray, it's a good brand and does help to repel flies.-- I feel like the large horse flies only appear when I bring the hose out to work with my horse. You can hear them buzzing around and they will actually wait until we're done working before attacking her.

"Even the greenest horse has something to teach the greatest rider."-Anonymous
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Dallas TX
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Sorry I have no solution but I get it! I grew up in the chicago area and we had flies, then I moved to texas...and one day this black terradactil freakin thing was flying around and my horse that is from new jersey starts freakin, I'm freakin my friends(texans) are like what is wrong I'm like what the hell is that!! they said a horse fly like i was stupid I'm like THAT IS NOT A HORSE FLY, thier like yeah it is, well let me tell you honestly here they are like 4-5 inches, they are huge!!!! and they hurt when they bite! so sorry I'm sure they are thirsty and blood thirsty and i dont know what to tell you other than I think they are worse at diff times ofday, maybe look itup! good luck
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,292
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we have one and if we kill it it stays a way for a while and one appears again.. they will go after my Bay, and Black and white horses and leave my moms chestnut and white horse. i find lighter horses get less flys then darker ones and i have to spray my horses over and over while i can spray moms horses legs and he will be fine where they wont..
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-19-2012, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I feel your pain! My white appy has no problems with horse flies, whereas my poor bay gets attacked and turns into a bucking bronco when one lands on him. I'm not sure what color your horses are, but someone once told me that the flies prefer dark colored horses. I personally think it has to do with how sensitive their skin is, which unfortunately my bay also has. While this may not be the most practical solution to your bathing problem, what I do when the bombers are out, whatever part of the horse that I'm not washing, I cover with my riding fly sheet. I strongly recommend the cashel riding fly sheet set, hands down one of the best purchases I have made for my very bomber-sensitive horse :)
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-19-2012, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Oh yeah, and fly spray doesn't do a whole lot for the big horse flies. I have yet to find a brand that repels them at all. Luckily the ones around my place tend to avoid anything indoors (barns, stalls, lean-to's). Hopefully this helps!
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-19-2012, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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i uses ferber 44 adn it seems to keep them away from them. i hose my QH off during hot days and he loves it but bugs are a problem and if there are a lot i wont spray him or he will be attacked and he is alergic to flys so he has TONs of bumps on him.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-19-2012, 03:40 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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It does seem like a wet horse does attract more flies. Possibly because as the water evaporates, it carries their scent which attracts the flies.

We are having problems with flies too. We've tried several different types of spray but none seem to last very long. We took some sticky fly tape, the ones on the roll that you put in the barns, and stung it out along the middle of the fence. Kind of like an additional wire. In two or three days, they are full. I thought the horses would get their tails stuck on it but that hasn't been a problem. We did get two birds stuck on it this last time. It does help though.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-19-2012, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seminole, OK
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We used to have a horrible time with horseflies. They were so bad that most of our horses had bloody necks and shoulders. We tried spraying them - which worked for the regular flies, but seemed to just make the horseflies all the more determined...and bloodthirsty.

Vet told us to use the yellow(sulfur) salt blocks. After about two weeks, the horse flies completely disappeared. Guess they moved on to greener, less smelly pastures? Actually, though - I didn't notice any difference in the horse's smell after they started on the salt blocks. Guess it was enough for the horseflies. Oddly enough - it also helped with the ticks we've had such a problem with. Didn't get rid of them altogether, but we found about a 75% improvement.

Now we set out the yellow salt blocks in March so the horses have a chance to build up whatever it is that gets into their system that keeps the horseflies away.

There were only two of our horses that weren't bothered by the horseflies - Dancer and Rain. Dancer is a grulla, and Rain is a blood bay, so I don't think it was their color. Dancer is Rains dam, and we also have her sire (who is now a gelding), and he was one of the worst affected.

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

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post #9 of 13 Old 07-21-2012, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 95
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My gray mare has a horrible time with flies. Even with a fly sheet, she is just getting bit likely crazy, and her belly has small bloody sores that I have been putting Swat on, which does seem to help. I just ordered a fly sheet with a belly band, so I'm hoping that will help her belly. I'm going to try the yellow salt block-thank you dee for the suggestion!
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-21-2012, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Thompson, Manitoba
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Up here we are the fly capital of NA... Or it seems. Up here we use a product by Farnam called "wipe". Just wipe it on and helps keeps the bugs at bay!
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