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Category: Pest Control Tips | 08.12.2013
Over the past 11 years, we've upgraded the capabilities of the traditional fly spray system to a multifunction all-out attack on a nuisance insect that you may come in contact with. The bug slayer, we've installed fly systems in over 100 horse barns throughout the Tampa Bay area with great success. The temperatures are rising, the days keep getting longer and we all want to spend more time at the barn with our horses. While many types of flies can bug your horse during spring and summer, you will most likely be dealing with house flies and stable flies. Effective equine fly control is accomplished by using a combination of control methods that target each stage of the life cycle. Remember, it’s easier and more effective to prevent fly breeding than to control adult flies.
Although naturally occurring, fly predators are usually not found in large enough amounts to control the entire aggressive fly population at your barn. During horse fly season (April to September) fly predators should be replenished once a month. Another way to break the fly life cycle is through feeding your horse a supplement containing Insect Growth Regulator (IGR).
Although it is nearly impossible to remove all potential fly breeding grounds from your farm, IGRs are a great way to help reduce the fly population. If you are planning on introducing an IGR component to your fly prevention program, all horses on your property should be feed the Insect Growth Regulator for maximum effectiveness. There are two types of fly repellent available to protect your horse from adult flies, spray on and feed through. At Southern States, we offer a variety of different fly spray for you to choose from ranging from standard chemical based to newer non-toxic herbal alternatives. A more comprehensive approach to fly repellent is to install an insect control system in your horse barn.
Water-based and plant based insecticides can be used with the insect control system so you do not have to worry about potential toxicity affecting your horses, dogs, cats and people that inhabit your barn.
Once the system is installed it works 24 hours a day giving you peace of mind that regardless of whether or not you are at the barn, you are actively controlling your insect population.
Regardless what fly prevention strategies you put in place there will most likely always be some bugs around your horse this Spring and Summer.
Now that you have unleashed your fly prevention arsenal it’s important to reevaluate your daily cleaning and maintenance around your horse barn. There is no single fly control program that can completely eliminate flies from your barn, pasture area and horse, however using the tips above, understanding basic fly control and creating a fly management program for your barn can help reduce the population.
Actually, the mosquito misting industry evolved from the traditional barn fly spray systems. In theory, the idea of the fly control system is to strategically meter out, a dose of a mild insecticide, on a periodic automatic basis that will not only kill but repel flies in a barn area.


Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only ones itching to get out to the barn during this time of year. When flies bite your horse and feed on his blood, in serious cases, they can potentially cause digestive problems and even stunt your horse’s growth. These thrive around horse barns as they prefer horses and manure for both feeding and breeding locations. Field deposited manure helps fertilize your horse’s pasture, however it also serves as a fly breeding ground. As horse owners are getting more and more concerned about products that are safe for use on their horses and the environment fly predators are gaining popularity. However it is because of the naturally occurring predators that without adding additional predators, your barn isn’t consumed by flies. Although one release of predators can temporarily reduce the fly population it is important to apply predators more than once to ensure you have enough predators to attack the latest deposited eggs and their larvae. At Southern States we sell Pfizer Solitude IGR a feed-through horse fly preventative which, when mixed ? oz into a horse‚Äôs feed daily will prevent house and stable fly development. Cyromazine, the active ingredient of Solitude IGR, safely passes through the horse’s system and is excreted in the manure. There should be a noticeable different in your fly population after 2 weeks of feeding an IGR and full results will be seen within four to six weeks of feeding the IGR.
Extensive research by the United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA) shows that Cyromazine is safe for horses, other mammals, beneficial insects, birds and fish.
Ideally feeding should start in later March prior to the beginning of fly season and continue until the first hard frost of the fall. There are a number of fly spray products on the market that can be used to repel and kill flies.
There are several products out on the market that have been specially developed to deter flies from landing on your horse or you can go with old fashion garlic and apple cider vinegar.
If you have a horse that is especially sensitive to bug bites you may want to consider dressing them in equine fly gear.
Like fly masks, the tightly weaved material that makes up fly sheets prevents flies from being about to bite the horse through the material. And if you are so fortunate to own and enjoy horses of your own, you know the maintenance and care of your animals is extremely important, and expensive. In 2002, we installed our first mosquito misting system that offered dual capabilities for fly control. The key ineffectiveness is to strategically place the misting nozzles in areas that will have the greatest impact on the fly population. In order to protect both your horse and barn from fly infestation this year it’s important to understand the fly life cycle. Areas where horses congregate such as water troughs, shady areas, run-in sheds and gates should be cleaned weekly at a minimum to diminish fly breeding and control parasites.


As flies deposit eggs in the top few inches of moist manure, minimizing moist manure surface area is an effective fly reduction strategy. Fly predators are tiny non-stinging wasps that are part of a total farm fly control program.
Although these products can be pricey, you can use them to meet the fly protection needs of your individual horse.
Remember fly spray needs to be reapplied as horses sweat, get wet and after exposure to direct sunlight as this can lower the effectiveness of the repellent.
Internal fly repellent works by having the horse secret oils that will repel flies and keep flies from biting. It takes a while to build up this bad tasting effect so it is recommended that you combine internal with external fly repellent at the beginning of the equine fly season.
You can design the system to meet the needs and configuration of your barn to ensure that you have nozzles placed strategically over stalls, aisle ways or wherever you have an insect control problem.
A fly mask can help prevent the flies from irritating not only your horse’s face, but it can also help reduce the stress level associated with constant bugging by flies. Another benefit to both fly sheets and masks is not only do they protect your horse from pesky insects but they also protect them from harmful UV rays. Store horse feed in a tightly sealed container or bin that won’t let the odors out and will prevent flies from getting in. One spray nozzle strategically placed above the middle of each stall were usually handle the fly problem in that specific area.
Flies cannot develop in dry environments, so spreading manure thinly is the first step in trying to break the fly life cycle. These wasps both lay eggs in the fly pupa as well as feed on fly larvae while it is in the manure around your farm. These nocturnal wasps will do the rest and neither you nor your horse will probably ever know they are around. When using feed through repellent it is not necessary for every horse on your property to be receiving it in their feed. Flies love laying eggs in moist organic material and a little preventative measures up front can go great lengths when it comes to horse care.
Nozzles arranged along the runways, going to and from stalls will assist in controlling flies in common areas. Nozzles arranged along outer air flow roots, along soffit edges outside the stable will limit the number of flies entering the barn.



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