Fly control : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Soon it will be spring and along with that flies. What do you use in and around the barn to get rid of them? It seems to me that the automatic sprayers would not be healthy for the horses or me. Though some swear by them. I've used a larvacide in the feed once a day with fair results and am planning on doing this again starting next week. Are the fly parasites good? Do you have to replenish them on a regular basis or will the multiply? Do they over winter? We have 18 acres in Maryland. Most fly sprays that I have used are not very effective; the one that works the best for me is the original Wipe. It's to expensive to me to use on a 2X's a day basis; I only use it when I ride. I use fly strips, bait traps (away from the barn, by the manure, chickens and geese), rotate sprays making sure that I get a different chemical base each time and keep the manure picked up. The back part of our property is swampy and wooded, any other standing water around the house and barn I get rid of. I know that this is a long post with many questions. Just wanted to see what other people use successfully. Thanks in advance for any help.

-- Lynne (, February 22, 2001


Look in the archives under PESTS...we had alot of discussion about this last Spring, so there are some good things there. God bless.

-- Lesley (, February 22, 2001.

We will start our bullets this weekend, along with our worming of the dogs, and applying their Bio-spot for fleas. We also are mowing :(

Our bullets are mens tubes socks filled with Golden Malrin, sold in Jeffers Livestock catalog. By the way folks if you go to you can get 5$ off on any 25$ orders, from all three of Jeffers catalogs! Anyway :) we fill the socks up with the Golden Malrin, and place these overhead in areas where the drips won't poison the goats. I have 3 up in a 30 x 40 barn. I wet these each night, I replace the Golden Malrin in them about 3 times a year, works great for us. Well that and letting then hens out each day to clean up any spilt grain! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, February 22, 2001.

You know what, I did look in the "pest" category. Guess I missed them the first time. Looked again and found some good ideas, definitely going to try the vinegar in a bag trick. Thanks again.

-- Lynne (, February 22, 2001.

I use regular sticky flystrips but hang them in half moon loops from the barn rafters.The half moon loops keep them above my head and out of reach of curious goats.I change these about once a month.It's cheap and works for everything but those dog flies that come in late summer.Those make life hell for both dog and goats.Does the Golden Malrin kill these?

-- JT Florida (, February 22, 2001.

I don't have a fly problem. I feed food grade Diatomaceous Earth to the bovine, equine, swine and chickens. The DE deworms the livestock and flies can't breed in the manure.

DE can be used dry or sprayed in outbuildings for your problem. DE will be effective when it dries.

-- ~Rogo (, February 23, 2001.

If you want to truly be safe, get fly predators (available from several insect labs -- advertise in all the horse magazines, such as Spaulding labs) and use them religiously according to directions. This usually means a monthly application until you've reduced the population to a controllable level -- it may ultimately take a couple years to achieve full knock-down. However, if your neighbors have manure heaps and don't practice fly control, you'll likely be battling them forever. The predators reproduce to some extent, but not ever enough to outstrip what the flies can do.

Put out Big Stinky fly traps to catch adults. Encourage barn swallows and frogs and toads, put out bluebird houses in your pasture, and if you can, stable the horses during the day when flies are active and turn them out at night. Cover your manure piles with black plastic to exclude flies and solarize larva. Pick up the manure in the fields regularly, esp. if the horses are leaving stud piles (alternately, rake them out and dry them out so the larva doesn't hatch) We're looking into the Pyrahna spray system, since it uses pyrethrin, which is less toxic than almost all the commercial fly sprays and wipes on the market (altho Clac 86 has been getting quite high ratings in independant testing for low toxcicity and lasting power -- it's made in Germany and kind of hard to find here, has to be sold as a horse deodorant or something silly like that, due to some odd brangle here in the US).

The last I heard, the feed-thru larvacides, which are organophosphates (i.e. a cousin to Agent Orange) were due to be pulled by the EPA because, surprise surprise, it's not as safe as the manufacturers claimed it was, and they have been linked to equine abortion and deaths, which the manufacturer says is anecdotal, but apparently the EPA and FDA don't believe it,because it's one of those substances that they have targeted to pull in the next few years as a hazardous substance.

Your chickens can also be a good ally in war on flies. Turn them loose in your pastures (good book -- Pastured Poultry -- on this). They will scratch apart all the manure so you don't have to, pick out the undigested grain and incidentally the flies and larva.

If you're interested in pasture management, there is a course on it online right now --

The war on flies is an ongoing thing, but they have been with us since time immemorial, so we're not likely to be rid of them in our lifetime either. Good luck.

-- Julie Froelich (, February 23, 2001.


How much D earth do you feed to your horses? I've looking for a better solution for our fly problem here.


-- Stacia in OK (, February 23, 2001.

Here is the corrected address for the Jeffers coupons, sorry.

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, February 23, 2001.


Yesterday I had actually tried the full address you just listed and never could get to it, but then the computer seemed to be doing all kinds of weird things. Tried it just now and it worked - thanks.

-- Terry - NW Ohio (, February 23, 2001.

I was amazed once when a chicken plucked a horsefly off my horse's leg as it was feeding.

-- Dee (, February 23, 2001.

== Rogo, How much D earth do you feed to your horses? I've looking for a better solution for our fly problem here. Thanks ==

Stacia in OK, you can feed food grade DE specified amounts mixed into the feed for different species, or free feed it. Like most things free fed to critters, they know how much they need. Horses get 5 ounces (one cup)/day. DE is approved by the EPA, AMDA and the FDA. If the proper amount isn't fed, it won't work for deworming. My Mammoth was licking dirt. I figured he needed some minerals, but who knows what kind! Since eating the DE, he no longer licks the dirt.

-- ~Rogo (, February 24, 2001.

Jeffer's has leg wraps to keep the flies off of horses' lower legs. They look like they're made of netting and velcro. Expensive, but I plan on investing.

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (, February 24, 2001.

I don't feel right about 'feed through' pesticides for horses, cats and dogs, or any creature. I work with pesticides daily. It takes about 3 years for the EPA, (actually longer), to test and approve a pesticide for use. The label that finally goes on the container of Golden Malrin, or Purge III, or etc., costs the manufacturer about 8 million dollars or more, at last tally. (Just to get the label information approved!) Then it has to be RE-approved every few years !$$$! Now, of course, the manufacturer is going to recoup that expenditure in sales, and I'm sure that there are political lunches, and perks for EPA officials that exercise liberality in approving and registering some of these chemicals, but all in all, it is somewhat COMFORTING to know that all the company and federal fuss is taking place about whether or not these products will injure secondary targets (like livestock, crops, and applicators), don't you think? Pesticides used with discretion, in correct quantities and rates are better than some of the alternatives. We try not to use it around our gardens if we can help it, but sometimes the elimination of extreme populations of pests can be quite worth the trade-offs. I just mention all this for the occasional YUPPIE mindset that I sometimes detect on this forum.

-- Action Dude (, February 24, 2001.

I use a reel to reel fly tape mounted on the rafters in my barn. I love it! We reel out new tape each week (while reeling in the old) and I always amazed at how many flies are stuck to that tape. It is sold in Jeffers catalog.

-- Jeanne (, February 25, 2001.

A while back I was reading an article in the paper about a new method of fly control Texas A&M had come up with. Nearly choked I was laughing so hard. They let ducks and chickens roam around in the manure! The birds ate the fly larvae. Kind of confirms what I have often thought about a college education:o). Farmers have been doing this for hundreds of years. If I am where I can let my chickens free range it sure does cut down on the fly population. It also helps if your barn or other congregational area is where there is a breeze. Cleaning pens frequently also helps. For horses specifically we used to make sure and keep the fly eggs off their legs(usually scraped them off with a pocket knife). Not sure if it works but I have heard of folks rubbing mint leaves into the hair(fur?) of horses to keep flys away.

-- Amanda in Mo (, February 26, 2001.

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