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Keeping Summer Horse Pests Away

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Summer is here. With that comes a lot of fun activities for you and your horse. However, summer also brings out the flies, who are looking for sources of food and ways to breed. Here is everything you need to know about keeping your horse and stable free of these annoying pests:

What are the common horse pests?

Horse flies are a very specific species of large fly, but they aren’t the only kind of fly that can bother you and your horse:

● Blackfly: Commonly misidentified as “gnats.” Unlike most gnats, blackflies bite. They are easy to miss sometimes, because they tend to bite horses inside of their ears. A good way to tell if blackflies are bothering your horse is if their ears are sensitive, twitching, and have small bumps.

● Botfly: These don’t bite, but they use horses as a breeding ground. They lay eggs on their legs and wait for the horse to ingest them. Once they enter the horse’s mouth, they will hatch and burrow into soft tissues like gums, cheeks, or under the tongue. They will then move to the stomach, build a cocoon, and emerge in the manure to become adult flies.

● Face Fly: These flies are easy to recognize, they tend to be found right on a horse’s face around the eyes. Face flies feed on the secretions from your horse’s eyes. They will eat blood from any open wounds.

● Horsefly: A large species of fly. They can be found all over the planet, but prefer to breed in warmer climates. They are named because they are often attracted to horses. They are scavengers who drain blood and can leave itchy, painful welts behind.

● Housefly: Unlike other flies, house flies don’t bite your horse. However, they love to breed in horse manure and once hatched will buzz around irritating your horse. They may not cause any physical risks but they can put your horse in a really bad mood.

● Stable Fly: Named because they are most often found in stables. They live around your horse’s legs to bite and feed on the blood. The bites can really sting and be a serious source of irritation for your horse.

These nasty pests can be found in stables all over the world and can put your horse at risk for some pretty serious illnesses or diseases.

How horse flies are a health risk

Any pest that feeds off of blood can be a serious carrier of illness and infection, including all of the different biting horse flies. Some of the most commonly transmitted diseases include:

● Mechanical Dermatitis
● Allergic Dermatitis
● Anthrax
● Equine Infectious Anemia
● Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis
● Western Equine Encephalomyelitis
● African Horse Sickness
● Vesicular Stomatitis
● Pinkeye
● Mycetoma

As well as a long list of other bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

How to get rid of horse flies

Completely getting rid of flies is impossible when you take your horse outside. However, there are a lot of things you can do to help reduce their presence and keep them from irritating your horse. These include:

Clean Out Your Stables Daily

Many species of flies are attracted to manure. They feed off it and use it for breeding. So make sure that you clean out and rinse down your stables every day to remove any manure.

Once the stables are clean spray Equi-Spa Peppermint Summer Protection around the area and on your horse blankets to stop these pest from coming back. Peppermint Summer Protection is a natural, plant-based bug-repellent that is safe for your and your horse. (check out label of your current brand of pest repellent – does it tell your to wear breathing protection, gloves, etc. when using it? Do you really want to be spraying that stuff around where your horses sleep?) You can also hang fly traps, just make sure they are in a safe area where they can’t hurt your horse.

Keep Your Pasture Clean

Remove piles of manure from your horse pasture to help reduce the presence of flies. This can seem like a pretty massive task, however, if you do it daily it won’t become a problem. I like to just go out with a bucket and a rake, it gives me time to enjoy the weather. Fortunately, horses are picky grazers so they often defecate in the same areas.

Adjust Their Diet

There are some things you can add to your horse’s diet that will help reduce flies, especially botflies that breed in their stomach. I’ve found apple cider vinegar can make a lot of difference and I include some simple recipes in my e-guide Ancient Herbal Wisdom For Natural Horse Care which you can download for free here. However, I recommend always speaking with your vet before making any changes to your horse’s diet. They’ll be able to make recommendations specific to your horse.

Groom Your Horse Daily

Daily grooming is the most important way to keep flies at bay and to give you an opportunity to detect any bites or wounds before they become infected. Cleaning around their face and eyes will remove the face-flies’ source of food. Keeping their legs and hooves clean and free of manure will help keep stable flies away. Flies love dirty horses. So the cleaner your horse, the less likely they will be to bother them. While grooming look for signs of bites our irritated skin especially around the ears, eyes and dock. If you do find signs of insect bites, apply The Balm. This will help the bites heal naturally and will keep other pests from feeding off the wound site.

Following these simple tips will help keep flies away. With a little support from Equi-Spa’s natural pest control products, you’ll be able to protect your horse all summer long. Furthermore, you won’t be replacing one dangerous irritant with another. Though effective, chemical pesticides present an array of health risks to your horse. Our products are effective at keeping the bugs away without the risk of unhealthy side effects.

211 thoughts on “Keeping Summer Horse Pests Away

  1. All great suggestions! I believe daily grooming is really important so that you can keep problems from getting out of hand. Summer is a problem for flies and we don’t want our companions suffering

    1. Keeping summer pest away is so very important, considering I have no immune system due to infusions. #ICantGetSick #Keeping Summer Pest Away

    2. Keeping summer horse pests away!

    3. Been on a farm and knew this

    4. ?

      1. This was very informative

    5. Great information

    6. Thanx for the Great advice

    7. Keeping summer horse pests away! I know I cant stand horse flies!

  2. Informative, thank you.

    1. Awesome! Thank you!

  3. VERY HELPFUL ARTICLE, thank you

  4. Good advices. Thanks

  5. 😁😁😁👍👍👍.I will.have to pay greater attention to the flies ..thanks you so very much..

  6. Definitely good suggestions.

    1. Very helpful, thank you!

  7. It is important to keep grooming the horse especially in the summer because of the amount of insects that can affect their quality of life

  8. Interesting thanks!

  9. I loved the tip on daily grooming. Great article.

    1. This was very interesting what i read. Thanks for the tip.

  10. Invaluable advice – prevention is always preferable

  11. Prevention is key, definitely lots of changes come with a warm season.

    1. Yes! Flies are terrible here in Florida this time of year with the heat!!!

  12. Great advice

  13. interesting thank you

  14. Great suggestions!

  15. flies bother all mamals!

  16. Great advice – I think cleanliness is the key to keeping flies away

  17. Oh gosh, nothing is more disturbing than a streak of red flowing down my beautiful grey mares leg. Always scares me. I hate horse flies and can not even imagine how terrible it must feel for my girl. Thank you for the information!

  18. Thanks so much for the great tips!!

  19. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a very true quote in any situation, but especially so when it comes to the health and happiness of your horses!

    1. Lots of good information

  20. Very informative article, didn’t realize horses had it so bad.

  21. Great information thank you for sharing

  22. Thank you for sharing this helpful information.

  23. Great advice. Thanks

  24. Very helpful advice, thank you!

  25. I love that your products are effective at keeping the bugs away without the risk of unhealthy side effects.

  26. peppermint works well, as does garlic.

  27. Lots of information I did not know!! So crazy that horse flies pose such a big risk. Love the tips for prevention 🙂

  28. Thank you for the advice!

  29. It’s impossible to keep all the bugs away, but all these tips are helpful in reducing them.

  30. Good tips, cleanliness is a key factor. I didn’t know about apple cider vinegar though.

  31. Great info!

  32. Good article, very helpful

  33. Thank you so much. Great tips.

  34. Oh my goodness botflies are so creepy! Thank God for amazing protective products!

  35. I knew there were risks, never knew how dangerous they could be till now.

    1. These are some good tips.

  36. Thanks for the info. I didn’t know diet could affect the presences of flies.

  37. Yes, I think if you own a horse it is your responsibility to make sure your horse is happy and healthy – keeping on top of all these suggestions should go a long way towards that goal.

  38. In Indiana we used to have horses. We moved to Florida many years ago, and my extended family took over our old farm. I know just how much work goes into keeping pests away from them!

  39. This is very good information thank you

  40. ty for all the good info!!

  41. Great info!

  42. AWESOME Information!!!

  43. cool article

  44. Great advice I’ll be sure to pass along to my Equine friends.

  45. Great suggestions and I love your products!

  46. Great info. Thanks!

  47. We have very little problem with flies. We keep the paddocks clean and groom daily. We also have fly traps around just in case. Good common sense information in your article

  48. Mosquito bites sure are fun to scratch. Mmm mmm, satisfying!

  49. I have been bitten by a horse fly and it hurts This is a great article Thank you for the awesome information

  50. Great info. Who knew?

  51. It’s important to keep summer pests away safely

  52. Love it! These posts are helping my daughter read and learn real life experiences for the horses! She loves learning all things animals

  53. Awesome tips thanks a bunch!

  54. good

  55. Great read

  56. Really interesting!

  57. Peppermint works for so many things!!

  58. Thank you for the great tips for keeping these pests away.

  59. Very informative and helpful, thank you!

  60. Thanks for the post. Super useful and informative.

  61. These are all great tips. I began cleaning up the horse manure and it worked to perfection.

  62. I love horses

  63. Nice read, thank you for the information.

  64. I loved the tip on daily grooming. Great article.

  65. Thanks!

  66. The blackflies are a problem where I live. Thanks for the tips!

  67. I honestly did not know that horses had such an issue with flies. I have seen horses bothered by them, but as a non horse owner I was surprised at the variety.

  68. I never knew horses could get pinkeye!

  69. Thank you for these tips

  70. Fantastic information

  71. Thank you for great info.

  72. So important! Thanks!

  73. Thanks for all the information and tips provided. Very helpful.

  74. very good knowledge to have. thank you ..

  75. Lol that horse is funny, who woulda thought though, that pests could cause such an issue.

  76. Wow I didn’t know about those flies and their risk

  77. Always a great reminder. Thank you for taking the time to write this :)!!

  78. I feel sorry for horses because they only have their tails to swat away insects. Thanks for posting!

  79. Those terrible flies! Thanks for the tips.

  80. Very informative.

  81. I hate horsefly bites too!

  82. great advice

  83. Yes I will try your methods..the fly swatter doesn’t really work!

  84. Great advice that will help your horse to have a more pleasant life.

  85. Important tips that will have to saved for taking of your horses.

  86. This was a bery informative article. Thank you sharing! ❤❤

  87. Had no idea these many insects could harm horses. Very informative!

  88. Daily grooming is critical to keep the pests away. Thanks

  89. This was very insightful THANKS

  90. So many pesky pests to look out for!

  91. Great article thanks.

  92. Good to know!

  93. Awesome

  94. Very interesting. Just here for the contest. 😀

  95. The summer heat can really wreak havoc on horses/ponies. Good and helpful information.

  96. Good read and it was very informative.

  97. Very cool information! I don’t own any horses (yet), but its very fun to learn about them!

  98. Thanks for this important piece of information!!

  99. I will tell my niece about this.

  100. Love these tips

  101. Thanks for the great info.

  102. So many great suggestions. Thank you for all you do. We appreciate you 😘

  103. Some great tips for keeping summer horse pest away!

  104. Deer flies are a big problem this year. They are driving the livestock and wildlife crazy. Not to mention that people can not go outside without applying a repellent (and they still buzz around your head).

  105. Terrific Advice , thanx

  106. In Arkansas they had huge horse flies I’m sure glad they have products to get rid of those pests.

  107. A lot of good advice some of which I had never heard of or thought of.

  108. Thanks for the tips!

  109. Good article, very helpful

  110. Great tips to remind people how to keep these pesky insects at bay. They are not just an annoyance, but can cause serious illness.

  111. wow – very helpful advice

  112. Great advice cleanliness is the key to keeping flies away. I don’t want flies on my horse, in the stable or near me.

  113. Very good suggestions. Flies are dangerous to horses.

  114. Thank you for this extremely useful advice with tips I will definitely be utilising.

  115. Very helpful

  116. great article

  117. Boy oh boy Nestor so cute

  118. interesting


  120. good blog!

  121. This is a very informative article. My uncle used to own a farm with a few horses and I remember him always cleaning the stables and brushing his horses to keep the flies at bay. I would sometimes help him with some of the chores and that’s how how realized how much hard work goes into keeping a farm and keeping the horses healthy.

  122. Thank you for this useful information. I can’t stand any type of fly.

  123. Good information

  124. Cool. I don’t own horses but my neighbors do. Also black flies are EVERYWHERE and nothing seems to keep them away. I might have to try the peppermint spray.

  125. Great advice! Thank you

  126. To me horse flies are the worst, thanks for the great tips.

  127. such nice photo and nice article thanks for it

  128. These are some great tips, thank you! The black flies are terrible here.

  129. Great advice for controlling all of those flies and avoiding potential diseases.

  130. Excellent advice.

  131. Nasty flies should go away!

  132. Thanks for the info

  133. Such great suggestions!

  134. Great reminder on how to limit flys,

  135. Very informative article about horse flies!

  136. Thank you for the information

  137. thanks.

  138. Wow! Great info. I never knew about a couple of the types of flies mentioned. Learned something today! Lol Thank you!

  139. very informative

  140. Thanks for all the info!
    I use a fly, UV, Kool Coat. I’ve been playing around with all types of sprays for the legs.

  141. you have great info im in country hee and horse cow acros the road

  142. real helpful tanx

  143. good advice

  144. Awesome tips indeed

  145. Lots of great info

  146. Poor horses. I hope this would help!

  147. Thank you very in depth article

  148. Very good article

  149. Quite

  150. Interesting topics &great giveaways

  151. Great tips! Thank you

  152. I never realised just there was such an extensive range of pest to be aware of. As they say you learn something new everyday. I will certainly be taking proactive steps to cover my horses health appropriately

  153. Those were helpful tips! Thanks for sharing.

  154. Interesting and informative!

  155. I always appreciate great tips for keeping a healthier stable.

  156. Good advice thanks from this newbie

  157. Good tips thankyou

  158. Good article. Feel sorry for horses flies are so annoying

  159. Great tips to keep your horse healthy

  160. i really like it thank you

  161. great tips thank you

  162. Never thought about this. Great advice!

  163. Never thought about this.

  164. Good to know! Thank you.

  165. Thanks for the article.

  166. Interesting article thanks

  167. Wow I never knew bugs where that for horse. I always see them around but never thought they where bad.

  168. Wow a lot of great information ty so much

  169. Wow I never knew there were so many different flies that are that bad. Thank you for the information, this definitely updated me

  170. 👍

  171. Thank you for the info

  172. very informative

  173. Awesome information! Horse flies are so annoying

  174. Thank you for the tips horse fly bites hurt like crazy

  175. Great information!

  176. These are such great tips! Thank you

  177. Here in Southeast Alaska one of our biggest problems is horseflies! I love your advice for the apple cider vinegar – will definitely try this! Thank you.

  178. Wow, very informative! Great information!!

  179. Very good to know


  181. great info….i love majestic..and happy horses are the best..thanks

  182. Worked in a petting zoo and we followed these practices daily for all our animals, not just the horses.

  183. I hate horseflys. They hurt so badly!

  184. Great advice I really believe in keeping the stalls cleaned is a must also you get a great workout too

  185. I have a friend who has taken on the care of an older horse . Will pass this on to him!

  186. Thanks for the tips!

  187. Ugh the flies are terrible! I can’t even imagine how my poor girl feels! Great article and advice

  188. Never thought they’d be that susceptible to things as bad as anthrax. Very informative indeed.

  189. I love the idea of natural products for all of our animals.

  190. So much information, very informative thank you for all the info

  191. While I don’t have any horses nor do I take care of any, I still really enjoyed reading this blog post and learning about what can happen to a horse if he/she is bitten or bothered by a certain pest and what you can do to prevent pests from potentially biting or bothering a horse in the first place. If I ever find myself spending more time around horses in the future, I will definitely come back to this blog post again.

  192. Reducing the flies and keeping them away are a task. Natural products help

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