Terrible flies, horses going nuts! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-29-2020, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Terrible flies, horses going nuts!

Advice for a swarm of biting flies? We moved over the winter and this is our first summer at this property. I've been on the verge of wanting to move again due to the horrid bugs. We've had the worst gnats anyone has ever seen, and they're constant - there is no "relief" time. We wear nets to go outside, pretty much since late spring.
Now we have flies in a matching proportion. And to the horses, these are worse! They're literally going nuts right now - I've never seen so many flies. They're all in the barn hiding, stomping, biting, rearing, bucking, kicking, crying, raking their bodies down the walls, dropping and rolling. They're sweaty, stressed out messes.
The property is high, dry and sandy so this puzzles me. We clean the manure up 3 times a day in both barn and pasture. They're under fans which are having no effect. I tried a shop vac blower (like a small leaf blower) and I cannot blow these things off their legs for even a moments relief, its madness! I've nearly soaked the poor horses in swat, fly spray and essential oils to no avail.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-29-2020, 07:05 PM
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I have to deal with flies just like you're talking about. They drive the horses crazy.

Here is what I did when we only had a three sided run in shelter. Need to find a sheet big enough to cover entire door way to the ground.

I used a heavy duty staple gun to attach it above doorway then just about a foot down on one side. Leave a small opening on the one side. Horses quickly learn to push through curtain.

I got a barn spray that had 1% vapona and sprayed curtain down on both sides. Then spray shelter down inside walls an roof. I didn't use this spray on horse just shelter and curtain. My shelter had very few flies after doing above. Had two fans secured up high on both ends of shelter turned on high.

Before I did above horses were rolling kicking ,bucking & stomping. They couldn't stand still for a second. Running through the brush and just going nuts. They were literally covered from head to toe in biting flies. My horses were also a hot sweaty mess. We keep manure picked up in barn and out in Corral's.

Still to this day every year the flies get just horrible.

I now have a barn with stalls use curtain and keep it sprayed down like I did run in. My barn is pretty much bug free. Hope this helps.

Here's a picture of current curtain. Will be hanging the one that goes almost to the ground. Flies are horrible yet.
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Last edited by rambo99; 06-29-2020 at 07:16 PM.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-29-2020, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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I will try that, thank-you. They're so bad, poor ponies.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-29-2020, 08:58 PM
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Just for giggles maybe try my wife's trick. She takes a plastic 2 liter soda bottle and cuts the top off, all way around about 1/3rd the way down from top. Throw cap away. Then invert top push down into bottom part. This makes a funnel. Then poke four holes down about an inch, spaced evenly (like 12, 3, 6, 9 o'clock) so you can hang by string or wires. Then about a pint mix of beer and sugar soda with a little extra sugar.
Flies, bees, mosquitoes love it.


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post #5 of 16 Old 06-29-2020, 10:31 PM
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Here's the spray for doing shelter and curtain. The darker you can make shelter the better. I use a blanket that's dark colored. Flies don't do dark barns.

You are welcome !! I totally know what your dealing with.
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Last edited by rambo99; 06-29-2020 at 10:36 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-30-2020, 09:32 AM
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Might I also suggest a barn spray system...
We have this and it works wonders...everyone, mine and the neighbors horses come home to our pole barn that is not dark, not fully enclosed but has 2 spray locations that direct the spray to cover near the entire underside of the barn.


Most farm stores, Walmart, Tractor Supply, Rural King...any business that has livestock supplies often has these or a competitors brand that all work the same.
2 "D" batteries needed and a can of your choice spray gives your barn 24 hour protection at 10 minute spritz interval fly relief. One sprayer coats a 12' spritz pattern that then mists throughout. My area covered is about 40' apart of machine and there are no flying anything in that area, none.
Replace the can every 30 days...
{Do watch the system you purchase as there are 2 can sizes and not interchangeable with each other!}

We are surrounded by cattle businesses, both beef and dairy, thousands of animals literally.
Along with damp ground, lots of manure, intentional animal water cooling holes with lots of standing water, high pasture grasses so get the eaten alive issue...
This machine worked miracles for us.
No more frantic horses, stomping, fretting off weight and just plain miserable animals..
Those canisters by me are $9.99 - $11.99 depending upon what formula you purchase. Read the cans carefully.
When they are on sale I stock up or I order online from whoever if the price is better, no store allegiance here.
Can only say, it works and is relief.
We also have this in our attached house garage and no more flies or mosquitoes arriving through the door when it opens, and we have one by our back door covered patio {not screened} and we have no fly or flying bug issue here anymore either..
Might be something to look into along with what others have suggested.
...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-30-2020, 09:40 AM
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We have the terrible no see up gnats here and Vicks works well to deter them. I buy the off brand at the dollar store and smear it on the ears and on the tummies of my horses. They also wear fly masks when out. I also use EcoVet fly spray which works really well - althought it is expensive.

The vicks and Eco Vet work well for gnats and Eco Vet works OK for flies. We have no luck with fly traps as usually they just attract more flies unless you hang them away from where the horses are.

My horses are in a dry lot with no shelter during the day so I cannot use the dark barn idea
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-30-2020, 11:21 AM
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If you go with the county vet fly control Big Dee's has the kit for 36.95. . Probably cheaper at local farm store though.

Horse flies are swarming along with deer flies. This stuff doesn't do either of those bugs. Light barn and they be in barn biting harassing horses. Not talking a few of these bugs talking in the thousands. They are relentless in there attacks.

Light barn here is absolutely useless ,might as well leave horses out to run go nuts and lose weight.

Biting little house like flies aren't out hardly so far bug Season isn't over yet.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-30-2020, 12:22 PM
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Fly sheets are worthless too. Bugs get up underneath them horses can't get bugs off them. So run more buck kick and lose there minds.

Work at a boarding barn every horse that had on fly sheets, no longer have them on. Owners found out bugs were under the sheets trapped. Fly sheets are torture devices.
They had the most expensive fly sheets money can buy.

Last edited by horselovinguy; 06-30-2020 at 01:52 PM.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-30-2020, 08:40 PM
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What type of flies? Stable flies, horse flies, deer flies?

Stable flies respond to predator wasps.

I do not know anything that works on horse flies or deer flies other than some traps.

For deer flies:
UF/IFAS Pest Alert

For gnats, buy skin so soft and add https://www.chewy.com/repel-plant-ba...iABEgJcTvD_BwE

Mosquitoes, buy mosquito halt.
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