Flies, oh my!

This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by NinaJD NinaJD 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • NinaJD Original Poster NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    So it’s fly season(yay). what does everyone use to keep those nasty things off your horses?
    This is my second time trying a feed through. I’m trying the simplifly this time around. I have used the smartoff before…but this was cheaper(gasp, I know!)
    and i’m currently using the smartpak fly spray. Which smells great, is a little greasy, but has been working well.
    Once that stops working I’ll switch back to my normal spray which is they pyranha wipe and spray in the blue bottle.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I find the citronella spray to be most effective for my horses. I don’t yet need to put flysheets on them yet, as the spray is working very well.

    It is never the horse's fault

    NinaJD Original Poster NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    I have one that breaks out from citronella. If it smells like it, i won’t use it.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Hey NinaJD! I used to use Simplifly, but one year I had a bad batch (at those prices!) and had an epidemic. This forced me to consider Arbico’s fly predators to keep the population down. You can’t do both because the feed-through will kill the predators.

    Once per month I receive the predators in the mail and disperse them at dusk after they hatch. I have only had one failure with the predators in the last several years, and that was because I put them out before several days of heavy rain and they drowned, and the wet conditions made it perfect fly-breeding weather. I order a year’s supply late in fall or in early spring to take advantage of the specials, and am billed when they ship them each month.

    Predators do not keep down populations of other insects so you still have to contend with no-see’ems, gnats, and bees, but I’ve had great success with them re flies.

    Additionally I find that alternating fly sprays will improve their effectiveness because flies have such short life-spans it doesn’t take long for them to build local resistances. I vary between several products, but with the predators I don’t need to use nearly as much pesticide. So far this year we’re not seeing many. I’m still working on my first quart of Tri-tech. I also like Endure and Pyrahna, and will switch to one of them when the Tritech is gone.

    Third in my arsenal is Mr. Plucky the rooster who adopted us (oh the joys of country living). He just appeared one day, our official mascot and bug-eater. I don’t know that he does all that much fly elimination, but don’t tell him, it will just hurt his feelings. Who knows he might just be the one making the difference this year.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    Clean yard, clean horse, keep body surface temps cooler (fans, shade, inside day, out at night), strategically placed lights, I also rotate repellents but tend to only use them when a service is involved (vet, farrier, etc.): my guys spend a lot of time grooming each other and I am not big on them ingesting all that chemical …stuff.. Not a fan of fly sheets as I don’t see that they cover or protect the most bite-able parts and just make the horse hotter and more irritated. More sweat=more bugs.

    I do feed Bug Check ( a garlic based supp) and find that tho the flies etc still hover and loom, they don’t seem to bite as much. Still looking for a GOOD tick deterrent (other than guinea hens and slathering pasterns and faces with pink SWAT… works GREAT! but looks funny..).

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    I like fly sheets. However, there are only 2 types of Turnout fly sheets that are actually able to stand up to T/O conditions: The Textiline mesh material (Schneiders calls it Dura Mesh or something like that but it is Textiline) and the white jersey material used by State Line,Schneiders & a few others. None of the rest hold up. Also, be careful when buying online when you can’t see what you are buying, & have to rely on a tiny photo and the ad blurb. A lot of what is labeled “fly sheets” are what most of us call “scrim sheets”; a lighter weight version of a T/O flysheet that will work great to keep flies off your horse when tied to a trailer at a show, but will not hold up as a T/O. But you can keep the scrim sheets for shows when you want something that doesn’t look like it was pulled out of the rag bag or for putting on the horse in a stall after a bath, as T/O flysheet do take a beating.

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    Hi, G&S : )
    I have a Dura-mesh..two even : D Beautifully designed, fits very well, and durable to say the least (you are so right about turnout durability) but HOT. Had two horses here suffer from heat issues with them.

    If I were at an event or activity, I would be much more inclined to use one. Around home, not so much.. unless a horse seriously just can’t cope. Some really can’t.

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    All these posts are exactly why we need this forum. What works for one horse will not necessarily work for another, and the local climate is also a huge factor. Lucky for me, my horses are very, very good with their clothes, with the exception of fly masks. Hate ’em, won’t keep them on (Selena won’t even let me put one on her), and bury them in manure as soon as I am out of sight.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Good point pheets! Adjustments must always be made to meet the specific summer conditions of each horse owner’s location, and tolerances of the horses. I am located in Michigan, so a lot of humidity, and a few summer days of 90, but they are the exception, not the rule, and last year & probably this summer, we may even have fewer than normal 80 days. Some of the ramifications of global warming are the opposite of what one would expect. Also, my turn-out areas either have a decent amount of shade, or have almost constant light breezes, both of which make a difference.

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    I, too, am lucky in that my kids are not fussy with their clothes. Big Mare is not a fan but will not destroy, either. And yes, absolutely climate and immediate environmental conditions will dictate the need or not and if a sheet/blanket/mask IS needed, the varieties of such are readily available. I do accommodate my horses, THEIR choice whether they will wear a fly mask or whatever, or NOT. I figure if they put up that much of a fuss about their clothes, being naked and exposed is evidently less of a bother for them. So be it. It is THEIR comfort. My responsibility demands that I offer choices, not necessarily or always force the issue. generally speaking.

    I am in south central New England (MA) with diverse temps, humidity and weather events. We even get tornadoes now, and while they are nowhere near as widely damaging as within the tornado belt( GOD bless anyone that IS living there)….yet…. the concern and anticipation are palpable.

    Because this is a flysheet/insect management thread, I will happily disclose (and not deviate: ) that Shocka is currently donning the Dura-mesh (nights are still cool..40’s), WITH hood, and a fly mask nearly saturated with Repelex : ) We will see how he fares during the day while out with the herd (they manage each other while standing under each other’s tails and manes).. He does NOT suffer the bugs well at all.

    I DO appreciate that this forum is more often informative and essentially factual in the experiences and results of various products. We all have horses, or at least access or obligation to, and have had diverse experiences from which I personally (as well as my horses!) have benefited, thank you : ).

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    NinaJD,
    I forgot to mention a tip my vet gave me this spring and I do think it’s improved Mischief’s response to insect bites. He’s sensitive to bug bites and takes a bit longer to heal, so my vet suggested Omega 3 and that has helped. I’ve had Carmagirl on it already, so I just added it to Mischief’s diet in early spring.

    Smart, Dark, and Handsome is what Mischief (a seal bay) is using. Carmagirl gets a SmartOmega 3 (a red bay).

    We can’t keep every insect away from them, but we can minimize the impact of the insect. So far this has improved Mischief’s life and that would be the point.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    NinaJD Original Poster NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    We have tried the predators, but with a feedlot up the road, they do no good. We have chickens and a good clean up schedule. With poop pile away from the barn area.
    All 3 are on omega 3. I’ve noticed they dont have no seeums on them this year, while all the others do.
    This is just the beginning, September and October tend to be the really crazy fly season.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

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