Best way to fight off the bugs?

Discussion in 'Horse Grooming' started by LuckyGurl, May 14, 2017.

  1. LuckyGurl

    LuckyGurl Senior Member

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    What does everyone use for bug control in the summer? My gelding just seems to attract the bugs (worse then the others anyways), and it drives him nuts!! My options are limited! I have tried flysheets and fly masks! He destroys them all! I can't make a smudge as the owner of the property they stay at is not home during the week! I go out once a day to check on everyone but still would not feel comfortable with a smudge burning and no one around!

    I have just used fly spray in the past but I'm wondering if there is something that can maybe be fed to them or put in their water to help ward off the pesky bugs!
     
  2. Cynical25

    Cynical25 Senior Member

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    I've not tried it on my sensitive skinned boy, but something like Farnam Equi-Spot gets applied every 2 weeks to help repel bugs.

    Eliminate mud/standing water and pick up or spread manure to make the place less hospitable for bugs to live & reproduce.

    SmartPak BugOff from before fly season until late fall, supposed to make horses smell less attractive to bugs and not react as intensely when bugs do bite. I use it March-Nov in Texas since one horse occasionally reacts so badly to fly bites that I need to call the vet out.

    Endure fly spray and SWAT ointment seems to last the longest on my horses, but that's only like 2ish days, sometimes I can get away with just a spray of cheap Repel-X on legs to stretch out Endure spray days.
     
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  3. CJ

    CJ Senior Member

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    Some people add a lil garlic to food or apple vinegar to water. Bug Off as I recall is mostly garlic powder.
    I tried Garlic powder on my old guy who was tick Sensitive. Some horses are onion/garlic sensitive, and overdosing runs the reported risk of anemia, maybe in sensitives. So I was hesitant, but the barn swears by it, and it seemed to help.
    I also like a battery operated fly spritz system in the stall or shelter/ shed they have access to.
    Generous use of the cheap fly spray made of permethrins or pyrethrins.
    Avon "SkinSo Soft" cut with 1/2 water or into cheap/ water based fly spray also worked well. Its mostly mineral oil, so the ingredients are benign.
     
  4. Melanie Falls

    Melanie Falls Registered

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    Great suggestions here- I second the suggestion for using apple cider vinegar; I like to add it to my fly spray concentrates instead of water for an extra boost. You can also try planting some herbs (if you are allowed) around the barn to repel insects- lavender, mint, rue, lemon thyme, rose geranium, to name a few. Fly predators are also a great option. Also note there are some good natural alternative fly sprays without the chemicals- my customers (I have a store that sells natural horse care products online- see signature) report that most effective for flies has been the Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Spray and for ticks and Mosquitoes, the Total Horse Protection Fly Spray. My horse also gets some sweet itch on his belly, so I lather it with No Fly Zone salve and then spray with the Aloe Herbal spray to protect. That works well. Good luck!
     
  5. JStorry

    JStorry Senior Member

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    I put apple cider vinegar in their feed... and it makes a huge difference
     
  6. Morganhorse321

    Morganhorse321 Senior Member

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    We use fly predators with great success. The first year we used them, the flies were so minimal, we never really noticed them. Foolishly, we thought flies just weren't a problem that year so didn't order predators. BIG mistake. Our fly control is so much better with the predators.

    We have also used garlic in the feed and it seems to help some.

    The biggest help (on top of predators) is just good barn maintenance. Keep manure picked up and spread out. Try to keep muddy areas dry if possible.
     
  7. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    Keep manure Picked up, and drain all tubs, buckets etc. regularly.

    We use fly predators and these are very effective for Horse flies and Black flies.

    I have been using Equiderma Neem Oil Horse Spray which must be applied AM and PM, and Smart Bug Pellets during the summer for Mosquitos and No-see-ums and that works well without poision. I've had some good results over a 2 week period from Equi-Spot but some horse react like they are being burned by it when it is applied.

    We had an extremely wet winter and spring and are being advised that once it gets warm that we will be swarmed with No-See-Ums and Mosquitos. I ordered one of these last week...it wont be here until Tuesday but I'm really hoping it works and will post my findings afterward.

    http://www.mosquitomagnet.com/mosqu...-trap-mm3200?gclid=CIb07bTX_NMCFQ5Efgod8Q8ADA
     
  8. CJ

    CJ Senior Member

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    Sometimes barn maintentance or housekeeping isnt the issue. A well kept barn can be in the vicinity of a creek or pond and be besieged with mosquitos and/or biting flies, black and green, just because theres a nearby water source.
    First place, 2nd barn raps & buddy were in was adjacent to a large running creek. The field & grass was wonderful but the greenhead flies that came out of the wetlands were big & mean & painful. Thats when I discovered automatic dispenser sprayers were indispensible, and the horses would come in (runin barn) just for the relief of a spritz/ed space.
     
  9. JStorry

    JStorry Senior Member

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    Chickenso help too... my hens live with my horses haha
     
  10. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    For those of you who use apple cider vinegar... how much do you use?
     

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