Though spring brings welcomed warmer temperatures and plenty of sunshine, with it comes the reemergence of flying insects, many of which can be a nuisance for horses. The bites from horse flies, house flies, black flies, bot flies, mosquitoes, midges, ticks and more can cause itching, lesions and other skin issues. Flies and other biting insects can also cause headshaking, conjunctivitis and wound contamination, as well as spread diseases like West Nile Virus.
Most flies thrive in moist, warm conditions like manure or spilled feed. While it's important to clean up areas where flies thrive, it's also important to help your horse remain fly free. These tips can help:
- Remove manure from stalls and paddocks
- Maintain a manure pile as far from the barn as feasible
- Use insecticides specifically designed for barns in interior areas where flies congregate
- Maintain drainage around barns and run-in sheds to prevent standing water
- Use a flymask or flysheet if flies consistently annoy the horse
- Stable horses in mornings and evenings when flies are most prevalent, if possible
Read more at HorseTalk.
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