Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Those Damn Flies!

Yesterday's shopping list:

Fly swatter
Fly traps
Fly strips
Fly spray
SWAT for horses
The young man ringing me up astutely pointed out, "You must have a fly problem!"

Well, EVERY fly is a problem.

(I don't have much luck with the bag of water fly traps.  Plus, they're kind of stinky and tough to see the dead flies, but I still put them up in the barn.)

 (The fly strips are my fave!  The flies love them and I actually get to see the body count.)

 (I couldn't live without SWAT.  This stuff WORKS!)




I also get monthly shipments of fly predators, but I started my order late this year and the predators don't eat adult flies.



We do have birds in our barn which help to keep the fly population down.  As do the spiders I've been hesitant to kill.  I'm usually like, "Big spider, KILL it!"  This year, I'm like, "Big spider, yay, eat more flies!!"

Do any of you deal with the fly on the belly issue?  That place where your horse's hoof or tail can't reach to swat flies?  At a barn I was at a long time ago (sounds like a fairy tale) I was told the flies had burrowed so deep into one horse's belly they  made it to the intestine.  Is that possible??

I use SWAT on those spots just as they begin and it clears them right up.  Also, it seems that some of my horses are more prone to the belly scabs than others.  My older horses, for example (less flexibility to reach back there with their feet?) 

What do you all do to combat flies? 


14 comments:

  1. I learned something this year while at Horse Master about fly control. What I learned is that I've been doing it all wrong! The entomologist for Spaulding Labs recommends putting those gross water-filled stinky traps at the edge of your property instead on in your barn. They can draw flies from over 1/2 a mile away! I had FOUR of those stinky traps in/around my barn - I was calling in the flies from the neighbors. Ick. I moved the stinky traps to the edge of the property and am using sticky traps in the barn area instead. Since those stinky traps smell like death, I don't mind having them at the edge of the property at all! Additionally, I use the fly predators, so our flies aren't terribly out of control this year. We still have them, but not nearly as many as my neighbors.

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  2. Gun Diva, thank you!! I'll move my traps out to the edges of the property, too. The last thing I need is to lure more flies IN to my barn!

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  3. I've never heard of a fly burrowing in to the horse's intestine. I'll ask my boss if that's possible. We use predators too, and think they really help. I spot spray the horses with Adams fly spray, especially belly and legs. I have 2 that are overly sensitive and have the scaly, itchy skin spot on their bellies. Eagle is the worst. I use several things, but especially like Belly Balm followed by fly spray on top. That seems to work the best. We used to use the fly strips but our swallows kept getting caught in them, and we quit. I've never tried the stinky bags. We do what we can but have a horse rescue next door with anywhere from 20-40 horses routinely and they do nothing, so our little bugs are seriously overworked. I still think they help though. I'm a follower of your blog but never get notices when you post. Wonder why that is??? Yes, I am so ready for some rain. I am just sick of this heat! Hubby and I are planning our first trail ride with Eagle...hoping to do it this weekend. I'm both excited and a little nervous! :)

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    1. I hadn't heard of belly balm. Is it just for that type of thing? I hadn't ever heard of birds getting caught in the sticky traps, but that is a sad side effect. :( There used to be a horse "rescue" next to us, but those horses had to be rescued from the rescuer. When she was boarding over there, the flies were really bad. I can't wait to hear about your ride this weekend. My daughter's getting married at our house next week, so we have been BUSY with all that and no time to ride. I'm not sure why you don't get notices about posts. Thanks for telling me.

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    2. I've never heard of Belly Balm either - is it like SWAT?

      I use Redmond's First Aid Clay on bad bites. My mom likes SWAT, but I got the First Aid Clay for free and found that I really, really like it (it's good for human stuff too) and it isn't as icky as SWAT.

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    3. I'll have to check that out--First Aid Clay--never heard of it. SWAT is messy, but it does good work. I was thankful to see they have it in clear now.

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    4. Gun Diva, does it have a fly repellant built in like SWAT?

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  4. Just did some catching up here, and read that you're travelling to Norway. How awesome is that!!?? I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy those cool temps...take lots of pics for us to see, okay? :) Have fun!!

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    1. Believe it or not, I'm already back. I do have some photos of the trip I'll blog about soon. I took photos of some very primitive viking burial items--horse bridles included. Apparently, they killed a bunch of horses and buried them with their leaders.

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  5. You wrote:
    " (The fly strips are my fave! The flies love them and I actually get to see the body count.)"
    Bwahahahaha, isn't it funny how those little buggers can bring out the bloodlust in us?

    Smudges are what works best for me - rotten hay or flax straw makes the thickest, gaggiest smoke & the horses just BATHE in it.

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    1. Smudges? I'll have to google that. I've never heard of it! Sounds fun though.

      Yes, flies bring out the bloodlust! When your ally becomes humungous spiders, you know it's war.

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  6. I had the bag one year- I hung it right above my manure cart and it really worked.I didn't put it up this year and it seems fine. I like the strips too. I truck my manure away every few days to my pile which is far from the barn and I keep things pretty picked up around the barn. I also have some barn swallows and they really keep the population down.

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    1. I love the birds in the barn. Ours seem to have left though, and that's about when I saw the spike in flies. Putting the bags by the manure is a great idea.

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  7. I think someone told you an untruth when they said the fly burrowed so deep it went in to the intestines of the horse. I can't see that happening. The only way this could happen is if a wound on the horse became so deep it eroded in to the intestinal wall. If this happened, the horse would probably be dead soon after, but not from a fly.
    I am not an expert, but this is my thought concerning the fly and the
    intestine. :-)

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.