Summer time is FINALLY here!!!! But along with the glorious longer and warmer days, you will probably have to deal with flying pests. Mostly a minor inconvenience, but sometimes, those flying critters can carry nasty diseases that you would rather not catch, nor have your horses become infected with the latest, exotic disease.
When the weather gets warmer, it is very important to do everything you can to keep the fly population low. You will become a fly defender for your barn, as well as your horses.
There are many things you can do to keep the flies at a tolerable level, although no flies to most would seem a tolerable level, myself included. But since that isn’t a very realistic option, let’s go over some of the things you can do to control pests on your property.
Dispose of Manure
Where there is manure, you will inevitably have flies. The best way to keep the fly population under control is to remove their breeding sites, which just happens to be fresh manure. (Disgusting little creatures!) Regularly clean your stalls, pens, and pastures. If you have a way to dispose of the manure, you can, but sometimes this isn’t an option, so make sure your poo-poo pile is far away from your barn. We actually use our horse poop as compost, so we have a very large compost pile that we take the poop too. It is far away from the barn, and I try very hard to clean the horses stalls at least once a day once the ground has thawed.
Eliminate moist areas
Flies and flying insects love moisture, so by preventing it, you will be able to cut down on the fly population.
Hang Up Fly Repellents
You can make your own fly repellent, or you can buy them. I decided to try one out recently, and actually did a review of the product. It is called bug pellent, and it costs about $15.00 from State Line Tack, or Dover’s Saddlery. I bought this not sure if it was going to work, but it really has. After being in the barn for one day, the flies are gone!!!! I really like this product because it is natural, it uses essential oils infused in a beeswax center. There are no chemicals in the product, and it smells great! If I can’t figure out how to make this on my own, I will be buying it again. If you want to see it in action, I made a video of the product and how it works.
These little buggers are awesome! They eat the fly larva, and then no more flies! They are a natural way to deal with a fly problem around the barn, and although I haven’t had to use them, if my fly problem were really bad, I would look into getting some. I think they would be an excellent addition to a large stable, but since I only have 2 horses, I can’t seem to justify spending the money on them, well not right now anyways, and I may change my mind by the end of summer when the flies seem to be out of control.
I know this isn’t a complete solution to getting rid of the problem, but let’s face it, we ALL buy use fly spray! You can buy it or you can make it, that choice is up to you. But when I go into a tack store, and see that a bottle of fly spray (chemicals) costs $20.00 for a 32 oz. bottle, you can be sure I am going to find a way to make my own! If you want simple, mix equal parts of white vinegar with water. A gallon of vinegar from Wal-Mart will cost you $2.50. That means you can make a gallon of fly spray for $2.50. It stinks, but it works. The only down side is that it is short lived, meaning you will have to apply it more frequently than the store bought versions.
Another option is to make a little bit of a fancier homemade fly spray. You add a few ingredients together, and include some essential oils, and you will have a long lasting fly spray that is all natural. I made a video of it, and show you exactly what you will need to make it.
There are many other ways that you can manage flies and insects around your barn, but hopefully this will give you a head start on your education in fly fighting!