Bot flies while riding - and a ticklish mare... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-03-2017, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Bot flies while riding - and a ticklish mare...

Well I've 'searched' all over the forum and internet and find many things about the bot fly eggs but not how to manage them while riding... So, as usual, I'm back here at the 'new to horses' forum to get your sage advice.

My mare is so ticklish. She hates fly spray, and baths, and anything else that could be mistaken for a bug (Getting better - but no amount of work on this area seems to 'desensitize' her... it seems to truly be that she's sensitive).

Under Saddle: Bot Fly season is here - fly spray does nothing - we were pasture riding yesterday, and she was constantly kicking at her belly. Then, one started dive bombing her throatlatch area and she was tossing her head like crazy - so much that the reins actually got tossed over an ear once or twice. (She's not a head-tosser, and I don't think it's donned on her to do this as a defiance; she typically likes to get along). At one point I dismounted to try to swat the monster(s). She jumped when I touched under her chin... then when she realized it was me not a bug, she leaned her head into my hand so I could give the area a good scratch.

After that, she still was fighting them (and sometimes imagining them); I tried scolding her (how much tossing and belly kicking is too much, even when they are trying to defend themselves???), but that didn't work either. Even trotting didn't keep her mind off the bugs. Was annoying enough to cut the ride short (and I didn't want to take any chances on her getting totally fed up). She hasn't been like this all summer even with regular flies and horse flies... She HATES the bots though. My friend's horse isn't as bothered by them.

What should I do to give us both a more pleasant ride? anything she can wear that will protect her? eyes and ears don't seem to be a problem. Mainly neck and belly.

I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-03-2017, 03:00 PM
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there's a few belly sheets out there to use when riding. Also for her neck you could see if you could get some sort of neck cover. I have old pool netting here and might just use that and duct tape to fashion something...sometimes you got to get creative. Have you tried essential oil fly spray? It shouldn't irritate her skin and you could use a cloth to apply it. She might react better to that.
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-03-2017, 03:01 PM
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I started using this stuff...not sure about Bots in particular, but it is a great fly repellent, and you wipe it on, so no resistance. Having said that I emptied some into a bottle, Fergie doesn't care about being sprayed, I was well impressed when I sprayed her at the weekend, and the fly on her back died as soon as it hit it!

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post #4 of 18 Old 10-03-2017, 04:39 PM
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1. Bot flies are totally impervious to fly spray -- they do not land on the horse --- they shoot the eggs thru a tail shoot onto the horse.

1.1. Throat bot flies ---- those evil beaches lay eggs that self-migrate into the mouth:(

2. Agree to wrap your horse in a fly sheet suit of armor and I would slather Vaseline, really thick, along the jaw bones to help prevent those eggs from sticking.

A few days ago I took the clippers to the jowel hair on both my horses so I can see the little soandso's better. Do not clip the chin whiskers or the nose whiskers as those are feeler gauges. My horses don't need that long jowel hair yet. By the time it is cold enough for that extra hair the bot flies will be gone and the hair will have grown back:)

I hope you can find a solution that works for your horse. I know some horses are driven absolutely bonkers by those bot flies.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-05-2017, 03:17 AM
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Interesting, I have never had bot flies attack the head, they usually go for legs and withers.

Must be a different sort. You certainly have some vicious flies that side of the pond!
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-05-2017, 06:54 AM
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We use fly "wipe" by farnum, (green bottle) it can be wiped on and is oil based and seems to keep the big flies off. I have also used a horse tail fly swatter while riding, (looks like a crop with a horse tail at the end) and that is nice, just swish around the butt or under the belly. Our horses love it, but one mare in our barn was afraid of it at first, so her owner had to desensitize her to it to get her used to before using it while riding. good luck, I hate flies of all sorts!
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-05-2017, 07:30 AM
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Years ago I finally bit the bullet and started using Tri-Tec 14 despite the fact that it's one of the most expensive fly sprays out there. And yes, it really does work at least until they roll or sweat it off.

I always crouch down and concentrate the spray on the belly and between the legs as the flies go for those big veins and arteries and seem to know that the poor horse can't do anything about it. I have a small sponge in a sealed plastic container and use that sometimes to just wipe it on. For me, Tri-Tec has stopped every single fly that was even tempted to land on my horses.
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-05-2017, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
Interesting, I have never had bot flies attack the head, they usually go for legs and withers.

Must be a different sort. You certainly have some vicious flies that side of the pond!

Here's a link that mentions Throat Bot Flies. Until a few days ago, I never saw one, only the eggs they leave on the horse's face.

I was washing one of the horses when I noticed something that resembled a Bumble Bee hovering around the horse's face. It hit me that was a Throat Bot fly. I took a swipe at it but missed.

Far as being vicious, they aren't. They are a major annoyance and it is a major PITA trying to keep the eggs off the horse.

https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/free...df/lm-10-3.pdf
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-05-2017, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
Here's a link that mentions Throat Bot Flies. Until a few days ago, I never saw one, only the eggs they leave on the horse's face.

I was washing one of the horses when I noticed something that resembled a Bumble Bee hovering around the horse's face. It hit me that was a Throat Bot fly. I took a swipe at it but missed.

Far as being vicious, they aren't. They are a major annoyance and it is a major PITA trying to keep the eggs off the horse.

https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/free...df/lm-10-3.pdf
Wellll yuk

No wonder she is freaked out by them. I couldn't understand, since I know from swatting them that although they look like honey bees, they are very soft (more like a moth's body) and don't bite or sting.

The only thing that seems to get rid of them is a hard freeze. Thank goodness the season is only fall... but sadly, that's when we have some of the most gorgeous riding weather. It's always something....

- On another note, some of the above suggestions were to put sheets or wraps on her while riding... that actually scares me a little, since it's the hovering of the flies that drives her crazy (anticipation), and they never actually touch her or land on her. I'm afraid she'd thrash just seeing them, and get hung up in whatever I had on her for protection. And, I never could find a belly sheet for use while riding. I think psychologically, she'd be just as worried about them whether or not they could actually get to her. I don't want to cause a wreck. That tail hair swatter thing sounds quirky, but interesting!

I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -

Last edited by Folly; 10-05-2017 at 10:44 AM.
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-05-2017, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasin Ponies View Post
Years ago I finally bit the bullet and started using Tri-Tec 14 despite the fact that it's one of the most expensive fly sprays out there. And yes, it really does work at least until they roll or sweat it off.

I always crouch down and concentrate the spray on the belly and between the legs as the flies go for those big veins and arteries and seem to know that the poor horse can't do anything about it. I have a small sponge in a sealed plastic container and use that sometimes to just wipe it on. For me, Tri-Tec has stopped every single fly that was even tempted to land on my horses.
I've never known it to stop bots though - they don't land on the horse, so they don't get exposed to it.

I will agree with you on how well it works. I picked some up over the winter at Tractor Supply - a whole gallon for $40.00 (CLEARANCE!!!!) (I'd have bought more but they only had the one). That stuff has been AWESOME... and there's nothing more satisfying than spraying your horse and watching the flies that are on them at the time drop dead on the ground immediately.
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