Help, nothing seems to be working on the flies! (Horses)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
"Biting" or stable flies are driving me, my husband, my 2 horses, my 6 goats, and my 2 dogs crazy! Not to mention anyone that comes to visit. I feed my horses garlic powder, spray them with Absorbine's Ultra Shield(supposed to last 5 days), and pour a oil-based pesticide (forgot the name, supposed to last 2 weeks)down their backs and still the flies seem pretty bad. Nothing seems to last more than a day. I'm feeding the recommended dosage of garlic...I don't know if it would work better if I fed more or not. I haven't tried vinegar in their water yet, but don't even want to bother if it doesn't work. Help, I'm wasting alot of money for products that don't work. Someone please tell me of something that REALLY works. I keep a pretty clean place. Also is there something I can put on my compost pile to eliminate it as a breeding ground? It is the only place on my property that would be appealing to the flies as a breeding ground. Thanks!
-- Amy Sabino (email@example.com), June 11, 2001
I throw mint down in the stall floors to keep flies out of the barn.
-- Connie (Connie@lunehaven.com), June 11, 2001.
I suspect that you are having hot and muggy weather and will probably have a thunderstorm in the next 24 or so hours. The flies are always worst then, they bite before rain.
When it gets really bad like that, I go for the TriTec flyspray. If the horses are sweating a lot, most fly spray doesn't last nearly as long as the optimal conditions they cite on labels, but TriTec (which is supposed to last nearly 2 weeks) may have to be reapplied every 3- 4 days in really really bad weather.
If at all possible, try to stable your horses during the day in a cool dark barn, which will help to keep some of the flies out as they gravitate more toward the light. When they are just horrible, we keep the horses in during the day and out at night. You could probably do the same with the goats.
Big Stinky fly traps help some, and you can put plastic over the manure heap to solarize it and make it too hot for fly larvae. I have also found that sprinkling Listerine in the aisles (about half dilution with water) will also help drive the flies out.
-- julie f, (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 11, 2001.
Julie, makes sense that the Listerine would help repel the flies, it contains thymol, I think vaguely like mint or camphor!
Amy, try doubling the garlic dose, my horses get a tablespoon in their grain twice a day this time of year. Helps about 75%, not 100%, but I don't have to use anything else.
-- Annie Miller in SE OH (email@example.com), June 11, 2001.
Have you tried guineas as organic pest control? Since we started raising guineas to roam the property, we have drastically reduced our tick, bug, and even fly populations.
-- Liz Rhein (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 11, 2001.
Don't waste your money - my experience is that there is no real solution - either have to get use to it or get rid of the beasts. We use to have so many flies and have tried EVERYTHING!! After we sold the sheep (not because of the flies!!) the flys were a lot less. Sorry this answer is so depressing!!
-- kelly (email@example.com), June 12, 2001.
The most effective things I've used for fly problem's are a spray mix of Repel-X, skin-so-soft, and Larry's Horse Spray. Larry's is an all natural spray, which can be used alone tho not as effective as using all three. It can be bought at petvetsupply.com. They dont' tell you there that it is a concentrate, 5 parts water to 1 part Larry's. I also give my horses 1-2 cups per week of brewer's yeast, which you can usually buy bulk at most feed stores. I noticed after putting one horse on the yeast the flies didn't like her as much, so I expanded it to the others. Bugs don't bite me as much if I take B-Complex, particularly B-1.
Tho none of these things will get rid of the flies they do supply some relief. Oh, I go to E-Bay to get good deals on Skin-so-soft in bulk.
The above has worked in 3 states, CA, NE and OK.
-- Stacia in OK (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 12, 2001.
hi,i read a few months back where there is a feed through product for horses,maybe equitol? i used skin so soft from avon on our horses with great success.also saw an aerosol dispenser that sprays a certain amt so often ,i think they started aound 40.00 hope it helps.
-- julie (email@example.com), June 12, 2001.
Hi, we have been using those long sticky fly strips that don't have chemicals and they have helped, but only a little.
It has been so damp and humid here and there seems to be thousands of flies this year!
I'm trying to keep the rabbit barn and chicken enclosure as clean as possible but flies are just everywhere.
-- Suzy in Bama (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 12, 2001.
Try dusting them with diatomaceous earth and sulfur (50/50) and dusting buggy areas with the diatomaceous earth to kill larvae. It needs to be reapplied after rain etc and is non-toxic. Haven't tried it yet on the sheep myself yet but its a reputable organic method. Ducks make great pest controllers too. They can drastically reduce a fly population but there will always be those pesky buggers. Good luck.
-- Alison in N.S. (email@example.com), June 13, 2001.
Use the D.E., I use it with the poultry in the feed and sprinkling it in the barn and the fly population is MUCH lower! I add 2% to all of my animals feed, even the dogs. It helps control worms in dogs, horses, and poultry. Including other livestock. Craig
-- craig swasnon (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 14, 2001.
The feed-through fly controls work fairly well, the only problem being that a number of animals are dying from it as well. It's an organophosphate (I believe that is the same 'family' as DDT and Agent Orange is it's cousin), and according to the horse health magazines, it is slated to be pulled off the market in the near future as unsafe.
-- julie f. (email@example.com), June 14, 2001.
well, I know this is not going to work for horses, but it works on my cow. She is so laid back, I can take a flyswatter and kill most of them at milking time twice a day.
-- daffodyllady (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 14, 2001.
Fly country that has worked best for us in the past took several steps. First, keep everything clean. Second, we put a fan in the barn and the flies didn't like it. The fly strips were miracle workers for us in Mississippi. I think the most important was to not give them anywhere to hatch larvae. I turned my compost pile every few weeks to keep it hot enough they wouldn't lay and went around the property picking up droppings weekly to add to the compost pile. Our fly population dropped drastically after this. You will still be swatting a few. You might try putting up some purple martin houses if they nest in your area. We had 8 apartments and noticed the change in bug population after they were occupied.
-- Chris Tomlinson (email@example.com), June 15, 2001.
It really is a daily chore. With horses I would use the feed through for a start. With the goats I use the stinky traps, but you do not put these in your barn area. You want to lure them away from you, not to you. I also keep a clean barn, moving the compost pile away is also a must, it is a little further to haul the wheelbarrow! I also use Golden Malrin in mens tube socks. Each evening they are squirted with water, the flies light on them in the evenings and die. I have them up over my head in the barns. Watch for drips, making sure they don't drip on hay or grain since it is a poison. Third is my hens. They are let out each morning after their egg laying and my chores, keep everything scratched up really well. I would save the DE for your winter bedding, worked great for us, and for top dressing the compost pile. Keep your pile turned and wet so the heat is up, even black plastic over it will keep it to hot for the flies to lay larve in. I do use Bronco fly spray on the goats (and now the donkeys) think it gives them some relief, but like you said you really have to use all of this stuff together all of the time. We really only see flies at feeding time when we open the feed containers. Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 15, 2001.