10 December 2018
All horse owners know that one some of the biggest pests in summer are flies! They’re not only annoying but can attack us and our horses with diseases that can be serious.
We’ll take a look at everything you need to know about flies and horses, as well as what you can do to prevent them!
These annoying pests, although little, can carry a number of deadly diseases that are especially dangerous to our horses. These diseases are carried via the flies mouth, footpads, hairs, and faeces which are then deposited in the horse’s food. They are able to carry more than 33 million disease-carrying microorganisms on their body which can include typhoid, tuberculosis, and a number of other potentially deadly illnesses.
Transmitted diseases are not the only dangers when it comes to flies, they can also irritate the horse’s legs and cause them to stamp and damage their legs and hooves – which can lead to serious leg related problems down the road. Flies are also known to bite horses, making them uncomfortable and can cause nervousness and stress in the horse.’
Although flies typically have an extremely short life cycle, they are excessive breeders. This means there is no real way to stop flies, only controls to minimise their effects on your horse. This means you can have certain procedures in place in order to keep the fly population down around your stables and therefore minimise the effect they have on your horse.
Your first step to controlling fly populations is to start at their breeding source. Flies love moisture in and around stables and there are a number of methods and chemicals that can be used to rid the area of flies and their larvae.
Any still water source that isn’t drinking water, as well as manure, should be removed as soon as possible as this is their main breeding grounds. This will not only destroy the larvae but will remove possible sites for them to breed in the future. These problem areas are usually old feeders or tires that pick up rainfall and are rarely checked. It is imperative to remove these and clean up stalls daily for manure to reduce the fly population.
Other preventative measures
A good drainage system around your stables will reduce the amount of stagnant water and moist areas.
Basic fly traps can give you a great indication of the number of flies if you regularly check them. If you notice that more flies are being trapped then you need to do something more to control the numbers.
If you believe that the flies are too much to control, placing fans in the stables that blow towards the doors and therefore will stop flies from entering and annoying your horses.
No matter where you live in Australia, flies are a huge problem – especially around horses. However, by using some of the tips above, you will be able to control the numbers and therefore lessen the impact that they have on you and your equine friends.
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