Posted in Farm life

Seeking Advice: Fly Protection

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp. 

Ugh. 

While all the rain this year has allowed the pasture to grow and the hay supply to be abundant, it has also allowed the insects to go a little wild. It is to the point where they are having issues eating their grain between stomping and biting at the nasty little buggers. I’ve also noticed that their hooves are starting to chip from the combination of being softer from all the rain and the trauma of all the stomping. 

We have been spraying them with heavy duty fly spray frequently but it seems like it only works for a day and then they either sweat it off with the high temps and humidity or it rains and washes it away. Even the supposedly water proof stuff isn’t lasting more than 48 hours. 

Past use of feed throughs didn’t produce any results for us and just kept Pete from eating. 

I’ve started looking into fly sheets for them. Riding Warehouse has a good variety at a reasonable cost. If we go that route it has to be an open enough mesh to not cause overheating in the hot sun and high humidity. It’s in the upper 80s and low 90s and is only going to heat up from here. I’d rather them get bitten than have heat stroke. Plus most of the bugs seem to be on their legs. 

That lead me to look into just getting fly boots or those newish shoo fly bags. That way the legs are protected and they won’t overheat. But I’ve never been fond of wrapping the legs up and I’ve read that people have issues keeping them on. 

So that leads me to asking you all….fly sheet versus fly boots versus shoo fly versus something I haven’t thought of?? They need some relief and it is too early in the season to ignore. I don’t have a barn, so stalling them with a fan isn’t an option and Dusty looked at me weird when I suggested we buy a massive outdoor fan and put it in the pasture. 

11 thoughts on “Seeking Advice: Fly Protection

  1. I’ve had pretty good luck with the Saxon fly sheets — they’re relatively inexpensive and lightweight, and I can usually get 2 summers of use out of them. I live in Missouri so our summers are muggy and we frequently have 100+ plus days when the humidity is factored in. I did a review of them on my blog last summer, you can find it on my reviews page if you’re at all interested. I do want to try some fly boots though, as I’m noticing a lot more stomping this year than usual (probably due to our mild winter coupled with a very wet spring).

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    1. I will go back and find that review. I was looking at the Saxons. I think if I did fly sheets and boots my horses would over heat so I am hoping to do one or the other. I’m just not sure which one to do

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      1. We have really nasty aggressive horseflies, so I felt like sheets offered more protection there — but YMMV in terms of what kinds of flies you have the most trouble with! ☺

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  2. good luck and let us know what you try and whether it works or does not work! seems like nobody has a silver bullet, but there are certainly lots of options! i’ve been considering trying boots too but haven’t pulled the trigger. we had a hell of a time keeping one pair (idk what brand) on a horse at my last barn.

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    1. That’s my worry. I don’t need to waste money on wraps that don’t stay on. The shoo fly bags seem interesting but are expensive for a plastic bag. Plus I think Pete would be petrified of them. Ugh. Poor horses need some relief.

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  3. Flies suck and there’s no good answer to solving the fly problem. I find fly sheets to be to hot especially if shade is slim. I have one on Chimi to help prevent his coat from bleaching out and I feel bad for him most of the time. But he seems to be comfortable enough! I got him the horseware mio from ridingwarehouse and it’s on season 2. But I don’t use a fly sheet on anyone else bc I really hate them when it’s so muggy and hot.

    Equi Spot might be your best bet and probably the easiest to use. It’s like frontline for your dog but it’s specifically made for horses to help with flies. It works really well for ticks and I’ve used it in the past on my horses. Can’t remember how well it worked for flies but it really kept the ticks off my tick magnet horse Gus. Plus you only have to put it on 1x a month? Or something like that… but either way it’s not a daily fly spray 🙂

    The absolute best way to deal with flies is the fly predators. But I think you have to start in April? But for next year I would look into buying them and putting them out. It definitely helps reduce the number of flies out there biting your horses!!!

    Hope this helps!!!

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    1. Thank you for all the advice! We had looked into the predators but were too late. It’s in my list for next spring.

      I think I’ll stay clear of the sheets then. I was worried they would over heat in it specially our big guy who sweats like crazy anyway.

      We tried the Equi Spot when we lived in WI and it did nothing for them. I’ve not seen a tick on them yet so that’s good.

      I think I’ll try those shoo fly leg wraps. At least it will give them a break from the legs being eaten up.

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