How To Protect Your Horse During Fly Season?
Towards the end of May and early June, our horses will have been enjoying the warmer weather. Along with the luscious green fields of grass. However, they won’t be the only ones enjoying the summery temperatures. This time of the year is the beginning of the fly season. Unfortunately, they love nothing more than to pester our beautiful horses.
These insects, although small, can often not only irritate your horse. But can in fact cause harm to horses, and sadly there is more than just one type.
This fly likes to lay eggs on our horse’s coats. When the horse licks its coat there is not only a high chance of them ingesting the eggs. But the licking or biting movement can often encourage the eggs to hatch. This can sometimes result in tooth loss as the larvae set themselves into the gums or tongue causing mouth ulcers. The same can be said if larvae travel into the stomach. They again can cause complications such as stomach ulcers, because once they have made their way into a horse’s stomach. This is where they will remain throughout the colder months until the following spring when the same process begins again.
How to prevent Bot Flies
To prevent any eggs or larvae from getting that far it is advised to check your horse daily. Areas on your horse where these creatures like to nest are along the horse’s mane, neck, shoulders, and forelegs. It is also important to worm your horse. As this will protect them by killing off any larvae that may have been ingested. Equest has created an oral gel to help combat internal parasites, especially the bot fly larvae. You will need to speak to a professional before giving this to your horse. They will need to ask you questions in relation to your horse as this is an over-the-counter product. This will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
Using a horse-friendly fly spray like Leovet Power Phaser Fly Spray should keep these nasty little flies at bay. This spray should help protect your horse from flies for up to seven hours with its powerful aroma.
The midge is another small pesky flier. These tiny flies can be terribly irritating to your horses. Midges’ favourite times of the day for feeding are at dusk and dawn. If possible it would be wise to keep your horse stabled between these times.
Midges are drawn to water, undergrowth, boggy grounds, dark clothing, as well as horse manure. They have been known to breed in these areas. This is why keeping your horse’s space clean and removing any manure is extremely important. If you don’t want them to invade the area and annoy your horse.
How to prevent midges
To prevent midges from taking up residence near your horse. Why not install an electric fan because these small flies aren’t the strongest when it comes to flying. A fan will prevent them from flying near your horse. Remove any stagnant water because you might as well be waving a green flag and inviting them in. Water checks are crucial, this is one of their favourite spots to breed as well as feed.
When your horse is out in the fields if possible place them in an open area. If there are winds this will reduce the chances of flies bothering your horses. If this is not an option, why not invest in a breathable face mask designed to prevent flies from entering.
Weatherbeeta has a great range of masks that not only block flies from entering. But reduce the glare from the sun. These masks cover the whole face including ears, eyes, and mouth.
Sometimes midges can be mistaken for mosquitoes because they are similar in how they look. However, midges are a lot smaller in size. Both these insects can cause a skin condition known as sweet itch, especially midges. Not every horse will have an allergic reaction but for those that do, it can be extremely uncomfortable.
If your horse has a reaction to the bite. The common areas of irritation are their mane, tails, under their abdomens, face, and their ears. As the name suggests, Sweet Itch will result in your horse itching the spot in which they may have been bitten. With persistent itching and biting the area can become inflamed with a considerable amount of hair loss.
Prevention is most definitely the best cure with no cure for Sweet Itch.
Unlike midges which are known mostly to travel in swarms. The horsefly is a lone traveler that likes to make an appearance during the months of June and July. This small fly likes to spend its time in wooded areas and has a fear of the dark. So for horses that may have become victims to this pesky pest. Keeping them in dark spaces will support their healing.
Unfortunately, horseflies can transmit diseases that can harm horses. The open wounds they leave behind can draw out other pests known to feed on your horse. Increasing their risk of further infection if not treated.
How to prevent Horseflies
If using a horse-friendly face mask or rug to keep these flies from attacking your horse. Make sure you use a product with good quality fabric. Anything that is light or thin may be penetrated making your horse vulnerable to bites from these flies. They have been known to bite through the fabric. A female horsefly will travel a far distance for its food source which includes breaking through barriers.
Having more than one horse grazing in a field should help combat horse flies. They will use their tails to swoosh away any pests. The more horses the better.
Before you put your horse outside make sure to spray them with a repellent. NAF Off Deet Power is a great all-day protector. As is Leovet Power Phaser Fly Spray which has previously been suggested for Bot Flies. But works brilliantly on repelling horse flies.
If your horse has been bitten, treat the wound as soon as possible to relieve your horse from any discomfort. This can be done by bathing the area followed by an antiseptic cream to soothe your horse.
The Deer Fly
Unfortunately for our horses, the horse fly has a cousin known as the deer fly. The name suggests this type of fly might be an innocent fly. But unfortunately, just like their cousins, they enjoy feeding on horses. However, unlike the horse fly, the deer fly does not travel alone. Persistent little pests, these flies will try their best to break the skin. Whilst travelling in groups makes them slightly more difficult to ward off than one horse fly.
Deer flies like most flies can make your horses uncomfortable and miserable. Again, preparing your horse ahead of the fly season will help prevent them from getting bitten by these flies.
Weatherbeeeta has designed a mesh mask for your horse’s head, including their ears. Made from durable fabric this face mask will get you through the fly season. Preventing these flies from biting your horse. This mask includes nose tassels which are great for keeping flies away from your horse’s muzzle. When teamed with a horse rug deer flies shouldn’t stand a chance.
To further protect your horse from Deer Flies, spray a horse-friendly fly repellent. Especially if your horse is grazing close to areas that are prone to this type of fly.
The Common House Fly
The house fly is something we’re all familiar with and the same can be said for our horses. These pesky insects are rampant during the summer months and love nothing more than your horse’s manure. It is important to keep your horses stable, clean, and free from manure. As much as possible because the house fly will not be able to resist. These flies sit and breed in horse manure which can be harmful to horses. As they carry the bacteria from these deposits. They are also known for feeding on any leftover food. Checking your horse’s feed should be included in your daily routine especially as the temperatures begin to rise. The warmer temperature and leftover feed create the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria.
Wood Shavings can often be the preferred option for bedding because it reduces the number of flies. The bedding should be changed frequently and kept as dry as possible.
House flies are drawn to moist and warm areas, especially when it comes to breeding. They can often be found circling your horse’s eyes and nose. Which can make your horse become extremely irritable and can also cause infections such as conjunctivitis. Resulting in an inflamed and uncomfortable eye.
How to combat House Flies
Using fly rugs, fly masks, and fly sprays will help keep your horse protected from the house fly. Global Herbs FlyFree is also an excellent natural alternative to help keep your horse safeguard from flies. This natural supplement will help soothe your horse during this season and with a powerful scent. It should deter flies from going anywhere near your horse.
Hopefully, this post on the fly season will give you some ideas on how to protect your horse from flies. If you have any equine-related questions call one of our stores to speak with our team. Or contact us via our website or any of our social media channels.