At this time of the year we tend to want to skip over August and pretend it is spring already. Winter isn’t over yet – but we can prepare for spring and summer so long.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your spring insect free and your horse’s happy. Although you can never fully eliminate insects, such as flies or mosquitoes, you can prepare your farm, and barn, for the battle against these annoying insects. And the sooner you start the better.
Keep the area clean
It is as important to keep insects off of your property as it is to keep them out of the barn. Standing water on the farm or nearby creates a breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes. While water cannot always be eliminated you can get products to put in standing water that is safe and kills mosquitoes before they are old enough to bite.
Other insects breed in areas such as soiled bedding. To limit the amount of flies and other bugs around your barn you need to make sure that stalls are not only cleaned frequently, but that the soiled material is moved away and covered.
Feed fly control supplements
Fly control horse supplements protect your horse from the inside out and discourages flies from biting or landing on your horse.
Fly spray / insecticides.
To protect your horse on the outside you can dip it in an insecticide concentrate, such as Stride’s Equiworld Tick Dip, that controls tick, lice, flies and biting flies. This can generally be used as a spot treatment or a whole body treatment.
You can also spray the barn and surrounding areas with an insect repellent spray such as D- fend 5 or D- fend 6. These can be used indoors and outdoors and are colour and odorless. Sprays like this help for the control of malaria vectors, nuisance and biting flies, cockroaches (American and German), bedbugs, fleas, mosquitoes, hide beetle larvae, fish moths, stable flies, ants and Alphitobius larva, and beetle.
Stride Distributors also has a great new product that is a mist spray system for horse stables – an environmentally friendly insect repellant system using plant oils.
Fly masks and sheets.
Fly masks and fly sheets are a great final protective barrier against insects. Usually made out of a plastic gauze which is fairly robust and does not tear easily, fly sheets protect horses from the bites of external parasites such as flies, mosquitoes and Culicoides midges.