Fly Control Prevention and Management

Fly Control Prevention and Management

Controlling flies around horse barns is all about using the right products at the right time.

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From Farnam

As the days grow longer and warmer, the fly population at the barn also reaches levels that extend beyond annoyance – for both horses and humans. 

When it comes to fly control, it is vital to start early in the season to prevent infestation in the barn and pasture. The best way to do this is to target species that are most common to your environment and most harmful to your horse. 

Maintain Your Barn and Pastures

Once springs arrives, you want to do your best to keep the areas around your barn and pastures dry. While this may seem like a feat, it’s important to maintain dry ground as much as possible to stop the spread of flies early on. A female housefly can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, but only 2 to 4 percent of the fly eggs make it to adulthood. It takes no less than eight days for a fly to develop into an adult, and it can live up to 30 days, depending on the climate. 

  • Remove manure and wet bedding from stalls daily, as clean conditions lessen the chance of a fly infestation, which will make for happier horses and humans alike. 
  • When it comes to manure management, environment plays a large role in best practices. If you live in a dry environment, spread the manure so it dries within a few days. This will prohibit mass amounts of flies developing. 
  • If the environment is on the damp side, concentrate manure into a large pile. As it starts to decompose, it becomes too hot to support fly reproduction.

Choose the Right Products for Your Area and Lifestyle

Products that interrupt fly life cycles are also extremely useful at the start of fly season. SimpliFly Feed-Thru Fly Control from Farnam prevents fly larvae from developing in horse manure, so you’re ultimately halting fly production at its source. This supplement, a great addition to your horse’s feed beginning in early spring and continuing until cold weather sets in,  can be top-dressed on grain or mixed into the horse’s full ration.

More often than not, you’ll find yourself outdoors with your horse throughout the warmer months, whether you’re competing at a show or taking a leisurely trail ride. In this case, a fly spray that stands up to sweat is a necessity. Farnam’s Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray for Horses offers protection from biting flies, gnats, ticks and lice, and provides up to 14 days of fly control. It is the only fly spray on the market with RepeLock conditioner, which binds to the hair. Rainy, humid day at the show? No problem – Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray for Horses has you covered, so you don’t have to worry about excessive tail swooshing and head shaking in the show ring.

Another option is Equisect Fly Repellent, which offers a pleasant scent from the essential oils used in the product. If you have a horse with sensitive skin, this fly spray is ideal as it is gentle but still very effective against a variety of flies, mosquitoes, gnats and lice. The spray is comprised of botanical and essential oils of citronella, clove stem and corn mint. Equisect Fly Repellent is great for daily use and does not attract dust or dirt on the coat.

In many areas of the country, ticks are a major – and potentially very dangerous – problem for horse owners. Ticks, flies and mosquitoes can transmit diseases including West Nile Virus and equine encephalitis that are extremely detrimental to the health of your horse. Equi-Spot Spot-On Fly Protection for Horses, simply applied once every two weeks, provides long-lasting control against these pests. If your horse is turned out often or lives outside 24/7, Equi-Spot Spot-On Fly Protection for Horses is an ideal product, as it is rain- and sweat-resistant.

Stick With the Plan

Start your fly control plan early and continue throughout the warm months. Stay stringent when it comes to keeping your facility clean and apply repellent products to your horses as directed. Be sure to choose products based on the types of pests you face and the environment you live in. When all the pieces come together, you’ll have a happier, healthier herd and a barn that is free from an excess amount of flies.

Farnam offers a complete line of fly control products to protect you, your horse and your environment.