Last year and this year we have been doing some different things for fly control. In general we don't really have big problems with flies, but in my humble opinion one fly is too many, simply because it is guaranteed that the one fly will make its way into my vehicle and never leave. I've tried many different natural sprays, sprays made with essential oils, and every brand of regular fly spray there is to buy and quite frankly none of them work very well. It seems you get maybe an hour, sometimes less, of effectiveness out of spraying the horse and that's it. In thinking about it I just didn't see how it was healthy for any of the humans involved to be constantly breathing in large amounts of insecticide, not to mention the fact that it really can't be all that good for the horses to get coated in the stuff plus breathe the fumes, too get such minimal help. I might be more interested in accepting an increased cancer risk if the sprays really worked. But they don't so we started trying a couple of different things for fly control.
We started using fly predators from Spaulding Labs last year, and are doing so again this year. Fly predators do nothing for the flies already buzzing around. They feed on fly larvae so the goal is to break the life cycle and kill the flies before they ever have the chance to annoy horses or people. So far we have been reasonably happy with our fly predators and they definitely seem to keep the numbers down. Their only downside is they aren't effective against all types of flies so they won't be effective as your only line of defense.
We also got a biting fly trap that you put in the pasture late last season. We almost never see the B-52 bomber horse flies but we do get deer flies. It trapped a lot of flies but we didn't start using it early enough in the year to really know how it would work. This year we have two of these fly traps in two different pastures to see how they do and compare results. One has been up a few weeks but we just set the other one up a few days ago. The one we just set up already has at least a hundred dead flies in it and the one that has been up of course has more than that. That sounds like a lot but when you are talking about an insect population a hundred flies is nothing. That being said some sick and twisted side of me is quite pleased every time I look at one of the traps and see the dead flies in it. It gives me a real feeling of satisfaction which I probably shouldn't admit to publicly but there you go. We will have a better idea in the fall about the usefulness of the fly traps.
If anyone has any other tips and techniques to share for fly control we are all ears!
Kennedy and Toledo
Flyer, Lotus and Faune
Darby having a good roll
Rocky and Largo grooming
Since they were completely ignoring me as I called (screamed their names) them repeatedly for breakfast I took their picture. Wiz, Dutch, Renny, B-Rad, Murphy and Sebastian
Lofty leading the procession in for breakfast followed by Donneur, Asterik and George
Merlin and Lucky