10 tips to beat the Bugs & Flies this Spring & Summer
This year the weather has been perfect for nurturing a heavy crop of FLIES! We had a mild winter, a warm spell followed by a pretty soggy time. Now the weather has suddenly turned warmer, the flies are out with a vengeance, and they will be here for the duration of the summer, through to autumn. Now is the time to put steps in place to ensure that you can be on top of flies and stay on top of them around the yard and your horses too!
There is no doubt, flies are a pain for both horse and owner, but our top 10 tips will help you with fly control as we move through the spring into summer.
1. Keep the Fly Rugs on
We all love to give our horses some proper field time with no rugs, but don't forget a quality, well-fitting rug can be the first line in defence for your horse against biting insects. Make sure you keep them clean and change and/or check them regularly.
Fly Rugs are often in short supply in certain sizes later in the season. Make sure you check yours now and replace any that may have been nibbled by mice over the winter, or any that have been damaged.
We recommend the Wolseley All In One Fly Rug – it is a great value, light-weight sheet that is designed specifically for summer protection from flies and other insects.
2. Stable V's Field
Keeping to a routine of stabled in the day and turned out at night is a great way of working with nature to avoid the worst of the flies. This also means that your horse can go out fly rug free overnight. Flies in the heat of the summer may still bother horses in the early evening though, so make sure you don’t turnout or remove fly sheets too early in the evening.
3. Breeze is best
Hills and breezy areas make it hard for flies, so this is the best turn out option if you have a selection to choose from.
Either natural or man-made, a shady area will be sought out by horses to escape the worst of the flies in the heat of the day. As we move through spring and into early summer, the temp drops, but flies are still persistent. A field shelter, trees or free access to a stabled area gives your horse the option to choose.
5. Fly Repellent
Don't ditch the repellent too soon! Using one with coat conditioner doubles up as a grooming assistant so you don't feel like you are wasting money just on fly spray. Bremsen is our recommended product – it is a natural repellent; it is extra strong and long lasting too. It is full of moisturisers (Aloe Vera, Sesame Oil, Avocado Oil and Walnut Oil) to care for the skin. At Farm & Stable, we recommend Bremsen as the best all round fly repellent.
Where flies are biting the use of soothing antibacterial fly repellent cream will also assist in management where fly strike and maggots may be an issue.
6. Fly Traps
Hanging Fly traps outside stables, field shelters and in places where horses congregate to rest is a great way to entice them away from your horse. There are a variety on the market to suit all needs, budgets and the size of your fly problem. Traditional fly papers always come in handy for stable blocks or enclosed spaces or for larger, open areas then we highly recommend the Red Top Fly Trap. These will lure and kill thousands of flies. Simply hang around in particularly problem areas and watch the fly problem disappear!
Garlic is a natural repellent and can be used in various forms around the yard – even adding it as a supplement or additive is worth a try, and the horses love it too! Either as a supplement added to feeds or in an easy feeding stable or field lick, garlic is highly palatable and can help reduce the desire for flies to land on your horse or bite. To boost minerals, vitamins and a dose of garlic too why not try our Garlic Field Lick – if you can bear the pungent garlic aroma, you can have these around the stable too to keep the flies away. https://www.farmstable.com/flexilik-garlic.html
8. Clean Eyes
Keeping eyes clean can help reduce flies around the horses face. Some horses get wet eyes, where fluid runs down the face and for some reason flies love this! A simple daily sponge with clean water is enough to stop unwanted gatherings on the face. In the peak of the season we also recommend cleaning the eye area and then using a mask too to prevent any build up during the day.
Keeping horses away from natural water courses, where water is stagnant significantly helps reduce flies in the vicinity. Running water and coastal areas tend to fair better than lakes and ponds.
Like Fly Rugs, these need to be kept clean and be checked regularly. Just like us, some brands will fit your horses head shape better than others. From full ear and nose masks to simple fly fringes, we stock a variety to suit your needs and budget. If your horses won't tolerate a mask or fringe consider allowing the forelock to grow for the summer as a natural defence.
To view our entire range of Fly control products, Click here to visit