The Battle is On!

Every spring horse owners gear up for one major battle… the battle of the FLIES.
Get an early start on these pesky critters before they take over your barns and stress out your horses for the summer.
Flies causes horses all kinds of issues from bites and irritated skin to causing stress because your horse is off his normal grazing times and not getting enough to eat.  These pesky insects also carry many different diseases that they spread throughout your herd or your neighbors herd. They also cause your horse stress as they stomp, run, blink and rub trying to rid themselves of these pests.
You can help your horses out by doing these 5 simple things…
1.Keep it Clean
I know, I know, it's a barn, but if you pick the stalls daily and keep your manure covered with a plastic sheet or take it far         from your barn, you will eliminate the breeding area for the flies. If they have a favorite spot they hang out in the pasture it is good to clear that area daily of manure also.
  1. Clean water and clean feed areas.
 Keeping these areas clean help reduce fly-breeding areas also. Keep your buckets clean and clean any left over feed from around the feeding area daily.
  1. Protective Gear
Fly sheets and fly masks are great for protecting sensitive areas and open wounds that you can not use fly sprays on or if you are trying to keep things all natural around your barn.  Make sure you cover their ears with a small enough mesh to keep the smaller gnats and mosquitos out, and it is a good idea to have two fly masks for each horse so you can wash them daily, keeping the dust and dirt away from their eyes. Fly sheets also help keep the protected from the harmful sun rays and keep them cool.
  1. Fly Repellent
There are many different types of fly repellent from sprays to roll ons that work very well against flies and mosquitos. Just be careful not to get them in their eyes or in any open wounds.
  1. Natural Predators
Birds are great at keeping fly population down. Barn Swallows are the best. They eat thousands of flies a day and it is easy to clean up under their nests as you are cleaning out the horse stalls.
Flies can cause your horses a lot of harm but with a little work they can be kept under control and your horses kept safe!