Summer is here, but with it come the flies. When it comes to controlling flies in and around your barn, you have many different options. Choosing the right type of fly control for your stable will depend on a number of factors, and each fly management system has its own pros and cons.
What You Need to Know About Different Types of Fly Control
Here are the details you should know about the different types of fly control options available. We’ve highlighted some of the most common options to help you get started.
Fly predators are small non-stinging wasps that eat fly larvae, helping to break the fly life cycle and decreasing the fly population on your farm. They are a natural fly control option, and can be a great choice if you are concerned about the chemicals contained in fly sprays and other fly control methods.
You can order fly predators from many companies, and they will be delivered to your door. During fly season, you will need to release fly predators on a monthly basis, which means you will have to order multiple times. In order for fly predators to be effective, you need to order enough of them to handle the fly population at your barn. Be sure to refer to the information provided by retailers to ensure you order the right amount.
There’s a simple way to keep flies from bothering your horses while they’re in your stable: Fans. Barn fans create moving air, which keeps flies out of the area. If your horses will be stalled during the day, consider investing in a single fan to aim into each horse’s stall. Larger ceiling fans can also move air throughout the entire barn, reducing the flies in the area.
Fly Spray Systems
Fly spray systems can dramatically cut down on insect population in barns. These systems deliver sprays of insecticide at pre-determined intervals, killing flies inside the barn. They work around the clock, and require very little maintenance.
The major drawback of these systems is that they can be expensive, especially for larger barns. You will need to determine where to position each nozzle, and will want to target problem areas, such as over horse stalls or over the feed room.
While a full fly spray system for your barn may be cost-prohibitive, retailers do offer smaller battery-powered units which can be effective in smaller areas.
Fly repellents and fly sprays are the go-to fly control for many horse owners. The exact type of fly repellent or fly spray that is best for your horse will depend on your location and the type of flies that are present in your area. You will also need to follow directions regarding application frequency, and many fly repellents need to be refreshed after a horse sweats or gets wet.
Many horse owners find fly repellents containing pyrethrins to be most effective. However, pyrethrins are considered low-toxicity chemicals. While they may be a safer choice than other insecticides, pyrethrins can cause allergic reactions in humans and, at high doses, can cause pyrethrum toxicity in animals.
Feed-Through Insect Growth Regulator
You can also break the fly life cycle by feeding insect growth regulator (IGR) products to your horses. These are products like Simplify or Solitude IGR. The active ingredients of these products pass through your horse, remaining active in his manure. There the ingredients prevent fly pupae from forming, reducing the fly population on your property.
Feed-through IGR is effective, but you should really have all of the horses on your property on the same product to maximize the results.
Other Fly Control Issues
No matter what fly control method you use, it’s important to practice some basic habits, like promptly removing manure from stalls and keeping your feed room clear. Combining multiple fly control methods may provide you with the best results, leaving you with happier, more comfortable horses.