The beauty of summer is here and if you’re a horse owner like me you know what fly season is! We have a small herd of 4 horses, 2 are very fly sensitive and 2 are not. I notice that the 2 sensitive horses are consistently covered in flies from head to hoof. They often have a little raw patch under their barrel where the flies love to congregate. In an effort to keep our horses comfortable I want to provide you with some tips on how to keep flies off horses, naturally.
Feeding 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of garlic per day helps to keep the flies at bay! Be aware that overfeeding garlic can lead to anemia in horses. Please consult your vet or equine nutritionist for further information.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Feed up to 1/4 cup daily for an average 1000 lb horse. You can choose to dilute it with the same amount of water. OR you can add ACV to their water buckets. I typically place 1 cup of ACV in our 26 litre tubs. *It’s important to use plastic tubs as ACV can leach minerals from metal or galvanized tanks.
It’s important to use the natural, unpasteurized cloudy vinegar rather than the distilled pasteurized form.
Herbs and their oils have been used as fly repellents for centuries. You can dilute these essential oils with water, a mild base oil, lotion or gel: citronella, geranium, eucalyptus, lemongrass, thyme, lavender, tea tree, pine and/or clove. Mix 1 ounce of oil to 16 ounces liquid. Once you’ve mixed up your essential oils, put them in a spray bottle and spritz your horse all over, avoiding his eyes.
Feeding DE with your horse’s supplements on a daily basis helps control parasite and fly infestations. We feed BioEquine that has a DE base and our horses love it. I’ve noticed a huge decrease in the amount of black house flies around the farm.
To prevent flies from taking over your property, keep it as clean and tidy as possible. Muck out your horse’s stall/paddock daily and pick up manure from his pasture regularly. Horse flies breed in water, so try to get rid of any standing water. Empty, clean out and refill all water troughs regularly to get rid of larvae.