These steps notwithstanding,
you will still have to deal with the flies that do manage to breed. Since some
flies – mostly houseflies - lay their eggs in your horse’s stool, you may add
feed-through products which will effectively impair the flies’ favorite breeding
ground by sterilizing it, thus killing off any hatching larvae in the manure.
The feed-through itself is non-toxic to the horse, but it will have a
distinctive effect on the flies. It is imperative that every horse in your barn
or pasture will eat this substance, since otherwise the flies will simply zero
in on the untreated animals.
Other kinds of flies will prefer other living environments. For example, stable
flies prefer to breed in manure that is combined with straw, but also in wet
straw, grass clippings, moist soil, and even grain. Since these kinds of flies
are hard to control, some horse aficionados have begin to utilize parasitoids,
minute wasps which do not bother horses or people, yet effectively decimate the
fly population by using the larvae as a food source. If you choose to go this
route, you will need to ensure that they parasitoids population remains high to
combat the flies, which generally means replenishing them. Whatever flies do
manage to make it past those little wasps need to be captured with bag traps
that are laced with a fly attractant and which will capture large number of
these insects. These fly traps come in many varieties, so be sure to use the
kind that will work best for you. Generally speaking, the disposable kind may be
the best route to go.
Last but not least in your attempt to control the fly population should be the
use of insecticides. The goal of the entire fly management program is to have as
few flies left to kill as possible. You will need to be cautious around your
horses and it is a good idea to read the manufacturer’s label and follow the
directions closely. Once again, there is a wide variety of insecticides
available; there are topical sprays, foggers, and also misters. Some come in the
form of strips laced with insecticide but they may not be safe to use in
enclosed areas. Fly bait will work on the insects that do not feed on blood – as
is the case with stable flies – thus it will only work on house flies. Another
important method of fly management is proper weed and vegetation control.
Whatever insecticide you may decide to use, make absolutely certain that it is
labeled for the use around horses, and that it is safe to use on bedding, inside
stables, inside enclosed areas, or wherever you will plan to use it.
A final mode of control program involves repellants that are applied directly to
your horse. These may take the forms of shampoos, lotions, and other kinds of
applications that will bring the repellant in contact with the horse.
Effectiveness of the repellant depends in large part on its staying power; the
latter depends on its base substances. For example, oil based products may stay
on longer than water based repellants, and so you will need to be aware how
often you will need to reapply the substance. Mechanical repellants include
clip-on repellent strips that are attached to the bridle, fly masks, and also