Keeping your horse comfortable and healthy during fly season is crucial. In Ireland, the mild and wet climate creates an environment where flies thrive, making it essential to have effective fly control strategies. Flies are not only a nuisance but can also affect your horse’s health and well-being, causing stress and transmitting diseases. Therefore, implementing fly control measures is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and healthy environment for your horses.

Tips for Effective Fly Control

Keeping your horses fly-free involves more than just using repellents. It requires a mix of strategies that work together for the best results. Here are some expanded tips for effective fly control:

  1. Regular Application

Consistency is Key: Fly repellents, whether in spray, gel, or cream form, must be applied regularly to maintain their effectiveness. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the frequency of application. For example, products like Nettex Fly Repellent Advanced Spray provide up to 72 hours of protection, but this duration can be shortened by factors such as rain, sweat, and washing​. Regular application ensures continuous protection.

Proper Application: Ensure the repellent is applied evenly and thoroughly. Pay extra attention to areas where flies tend to gather, such as around the eyes, ears, and underbelly. Use a cloth or sponge for sensitive areas to avoid irritation.

  1. Stable Management

Clean Environment: Flies are attracted to manure, spilled feed, and dirty bedding. Regularly remove manure and soiled bedding from stables and pastures. Implement a frequent cleaning schedule to minimize breeding grounds for flies.

Fly Traps and Zappers: Fly traps catch flies, reducing their numbers. Also, consider using electronic zappers to quickly get rid of flying pests, managing their population effectively.

Ventilation: Make sure stables have good airflow to stop moisture and heat from building up. These conditions can make it perfect for flies to reproduce. Proper airflow can help keep flies at bay.

  1. Rotational Grazing

Prevent Overgrazing: Overgrazed pastures can become hotspots for flies due to the build up of manure and urine. Rotational grazing involves moving horses between different pastures, allowing time for each pasture to rest and recover. This practice not only controls flies but also promotes healthier pasture growth.

Pasture Management: Pasture Management: Keep pastures tidy by mowing and harrowing them often. This breaks up manure piles and lets predators and environmental factors kill fly larvae. This practice reduces the fly population significantly.

  1. Integrated Approach

Physical Barriers: Use fly sheets, veils/masks, and leg guards to provide a physical barrier against flies. The Weatherbeeta ComFiTec Airflow Detach-A-Neck Fly Sheet is an excellent example, offering full coverage with breathable mesh fabric​. These products prevent flies from landing on and biting your horse, reducing irritation and potential for disease transmission.

Nutritional Supplements: Incorporate supplements like Horslyx Garlic Balancer into your horse’s diet. Garlic is a natural fly repellent, and when ingested, it can make your horse less attractive to flies​. Such supplements also provide essential nutrients that support overall health and well-being.

Multi-Pronged Strategy: Using a variety of methods like fly repellents, barriers, and stable management together makes a complete fly control plan. This way works better than just using one method because it tackles the issue from different directions.

Here are some top products available from White’s Agri that can help you manage flies around your equine friends.

  1. Leovet Power Phaser Durativ. Leovet Power Phaser Durativ is a strong fly repellent that gives lasting protection against flies, mosquitoes, and horseflies. It’s made for tough conditions, great for the busy Irish summer when flies are out in force. The gel is simple to use and keeps your horse comfy for up to seven hours.
  2. Carr & Day & Martin Flygard Extra Strength Spray. Carr & Day & Martin Flygard Extra Strength Spray is another excellent option. This powerful spray combines citronella oils with fly repellent properties to keep flies and insects at bay. It’s quick-drying and effective for hours, making it a convenient solution for everyday use.
Carr, Day, Martin Flygard extra strength
  1. Equine America Forget Flies. Equine America Forget Flies is a powerful in-feed solution to repel a variety of biting insects. Formulated with a potent blend, it offers reliable protection for your horse. Perfect for peak fly season and for horses that are highly sensitive to flies.
  2. Leovet Tam Tam Gel. Leovet TamTam Gel is an innovative gel formula is expertly crafted to provide effective and long-lasting protection, allowing your horse to enjoy outdoor activities without the annoyance of insect bites. With its gentle yet powerful ingredients, Leovet Tam Tam Gel offers a comfortable solution for horses sensitive to fly sprays. Easy to apply and non-greasy, this gel is ideal for daily use during peak fly season
  3. Horslyx Garlic Balancer. Horslyx Garlic Balancer is a unique approach to fly control. This nutritional supplement contains garlic, which is known for its fly-repelling properties. By incorporating it into your horse’s diet, you can help reduce the number of flies that bother them naturally. Plus, it provides essential vitamins and minerals, promoting overall health.
  4. Horseware Mio Fly Rug. This rug is designed to keep flies away from your horse, ensuring their comfort and health during fly season. It’s perfect for Ireland’s mild and wet climate, where flies thrive. With its durable construction, the Mio Fly Rug provides long-lasting protection against flies, mosquitoes, and horseflies. Plus, its easy-to-use design makes it convenient for everyday use.
mio fly rug
  1. Garlic Granules/powder. Using garlic powder or granules to control flies on horses is a natural and holistic approach that some horse owners find effective. Garlic contains compounds that are believed to create an odor on the horse’s skin and sweat that flies find unpleasant, thus acting as a repellent. To use garlic as a fly control method, you can add it to your horse’s feed daily. Start with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage as needed. It’s essential to monitor your horse for any signs of sensitivity or adverse reactions.

By following these expanded tips, you can create a more comfortable and healthy environment for your horses, significantly reducing the nuisance and health risks associated with flies.