Oh No! Fly season is here
Spray, pump, wipe…repeat! Each year horses suffer at
the onslaught of a winged, biting, egg laying and disease carrying
army of insects. We walk into battle with our artillery of chemical,
natural or organic wipes and sprays. We even feed fresh or dried
garlic. The question is do these work? What other choices do we
Thriving upon research, the arena of pest control provided an
opportunity to experiment with several application products.
Unsuccessfully, I even tried to make my own. The two topical
application type products that really worked no longer were
available. Unfortunately both lost the battle and had gone out of
business. Do I have different flies than everyone else? When it
comes to topical applications I look for products that are organic
and there are many out there. The only way to find out if they work,
What about garlic? Yes, I believe it helps with insect control; plus
a healthy dietary supportive product to boot. What about
Diatomaceous Earth? Yes, I’ve read studies and have tried using it
myself. As a feed through it provides some fly control. To apply
topically dries the skin and to coat the stall floor dries out the
hoof so those are not good options. It has helped though when spread
down the aisle of barns or in certain areas of the barn yard. What’s
thrilling is Diatomaceous Earth is an inexpensive weapon for insect
control. Make sure you purchase food grade and take the necessary
precautions for eye and inhalation protection during application.
What else can we add to our armory? It may come as a surprise to you
but the new front line is another winged insect. They are called
“Fly Eliminators” and the company’s concept is to reduce the use of
chemical pesticides. “Fly Eliminators” are gnat-sized parasitic
wasps that feed upon and breed within developing (pupal) stages of
manure breeding flies, eliminating the adult pest fly. They work!
Experimentally, I did not implement “Fly Eliminators” one season; my
horses have yet to forgive me.
This tip was brought to you by Kendra Helfter and KAM Animal
Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE webinars,
which take place monthly. These webinars are an expansion of KAM’s
weekly tips. Go to
www.kamanimalservices.com to sign up for the next webinar.
The FREE webinars will conclude with a question and answer session,
so be ready with your nutrition questions.