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Old 06-11-2013, 09:55 AM  
KSL
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Sooo many horse flies

Does anyone know of a high powered spray to defend horses from the huge horse/deer flies? They are SO bad this year that I can barely trail ride because they get all over the horses legs and belly. Even just in the pasture they are covering my horses! They also crawl into my geldings sheath and that sucks

Yesterday, there were 10 on ONE of my mares legs. These things are big and they HURT when they bite. One has bitten me through my clothes and stung for 30 minutes. They also cause a lot of bleeding that can't feel good.

I've tried expensive sprays and even if I douse the horses once a day, it doesn't help. I can literally spray the fly spray DIRECTLY on a stinging horse fly and they won't move I've thought about fly sheets but these buggers will sting through them I believe, and it's SO hot that I don't want to put an extra sheet on my horses 24/7.

Help!
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:06 AM  
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KSL, they are just as bad here in Central Florida. I was just talking about this with some of my friends here, and no-one has any suggestions!!! Will be watching this one closely!
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:10 AM  
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With all the rain we have had, I am afraid it is just going to be a bad season for horse flies. I built a trap similar to this one (http://www.bitingflies.com/) and put it up early this year. It helps some but doesn't completely get rid of the flies and of course doesn't help on the trails. Try not to ride around dusk as I find that is when they are at the worst. I haven't found a fly spray that really helps.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:12 AM  
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Fly sheets are your best bet.
My horses LOVE their fly sheets, plus some money saved on fly spray too.
They are protected from the biting flies so much more, than just using fly spray.
I have 2 sets of sheets per horse, after a few days, I change sheets, and wash the dirty ones.
My system is working pretty well for my guys.

I also hang those Quick Strike fly strips in my barn.
They work really well for control in the barn.
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Last edited by redboy : 06-11-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:30 AM  
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adding info...

Someone wrote to try Listerine, original formula as a fly spray.

Put it in a spray bottle and go for it... also mentioned diluting with water and for fly sheets to soak them in it then hang to dry and it helps that part of the horse too.

Read it this morning but can't remember exactly where it was on the forum or who posted it (sorry to that person)...

Maybe this will work on those giant biting buggers too... worth a try I think.

OK... so now search for that thread and post... think it was in this section of the forum written within the last few days...
Aggravating I can't remember where exactly nor find it to copy and paste it for you to see.

ETA:
GOT IT!!!

this section go to Fly Spray thread and read...it is there written by BlueDiamonds & THMisty....

Last edited by horselover4life : 06-11-2013 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:46 AM  
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listerine

I am not sure about the Listerine. If used directly on a horse it can burn. We used to spray Listerine on horses fetlocks and ankles wrap them with plastic wrap and then a standing leg wrap to bring down swelling and define ankles for shows. No bats please - I was a groom at a stable and did what I was told. If you put too much Listerine on directly to the skin and had something over it it would blister the horse.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:06 AM  
KSL
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I read the listerene post but I believe that's for regular flies. These aren't flies, they are little monsters about as big as a quarter. I don't see listerene phasing them without dousing the horses and I don't want it to burn their skin.

Especially spraying listerene on this big, bloody fly bites... Ouch!
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:13 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSL View Post
I read the listerene post but I believe that's for regular flies. These aren't flies, they are little monsters about as big as a quarter. I don't see listerene phasing them without dousing the horses and I don't want it to burn their skin.

Especially spraying listerene on this big, bloody fly bites... Ouch!

Body armor of steel...

Sorry, no idea of what to suggest.
I do agree they hurt like the devil itself when they bite the horse or you...
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:01 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSL View Post
Does anyone know of a high powered spray to defend horses from the huge horse/deer flies? They are SO bad this year that I can barely trail ride because they get all over the horses legs and belly. Even just in the pasture they are covering my horses! They also crawl into my geldings sheath and that sucks

Yesterday, there were 10 on ONE of my mares legs. These things are big and they HURT when they bite. One has bitten me through my clothes and stung for 30 minutes. They also cause a lot of bleeding that can't feel good.

I've tried expensive sprays and even if I douse the horses once a day, it doesn't help. I can literally spray the fly spray DIRECTLY on a stinging horse fly and they won't move I've thought about fly sheets but these buggers will sting through them I believe, and it's SO hot that I don't want to put an extra sheet on my horses 24/7.

Help!
It is interesting to read that horse flies are a big problem elsewhere this year. At a stable near Princeton, Texas, I have seen more horse flies this year already than in all previous years at this location. I usually only saw one every couple of years. This year, I have killed three or four in one day. Thankfully, they are slow and easily swatted.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:39 PM  
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I have had some success with the spot-on treatment. I know someone who uses it religiously in the warm months to keep ticks off the horses, and I've used it for the annoying gnats on my property. It doesn't totally replace flyspray, but since one of the areas you put it on is in a line along the back of the legs, it might help with your problem in particular. I HATE those things, it feels like they take a chunk of flesh out of you when they bite!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:39 PM  
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I wonder if the feed through stuff would help?
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:15 PM  
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get this! it works on everything ive tryed! http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...s?cm_vc=-10005 anything with rabon in it works wonders.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:30 PM  
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BlueDiamonds218 YES. We had AWFUL horseflies.. and We put that out yesterday and the flies are already nearly gone. & for the people suggesting Listerine with diluted water, that only works for mosquitoes. I sprayed it directly on a horsefly, it did nothing. The absorbine black bottled spray works pretty well. Kills on contact.

PS... If you're going to invest in a flysheet, get one with a belly guard. The ones from Weatherbeeta are awesome, they don't tear, & they have fly repellent in them. I like the ones with a detachable neck guard too. & Kensington Fly Mask with ears and the fly boots are awesome. My mare is Full Time pasture, NO RIPS, & she hasn't been able to take it off. The boots stay up too!
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:35 PM  
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I was riding on Mon and my mare was really agitated with the deer flies and I know that they can really bite. I also read the post about Listerine and bought some while in town today. I thought I would put it on the ear mask hoping it would do some good. IT also mentioned mixing with water and spraying it on. Has anyone tried this and is it bad or good for the horse`s skin
I also bought a fringe that fits along the brow band and strings hang down so when the horses shakes her head they move and hopefully will chase the flies away
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:02 PM  
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There is one section on our trail rides where the deer flys about swarm us, the horses have learned the trail by heart and we usually gallop this section.

Edit: I was side tracked at the moment of writing this and meant to add that we have never found anything that helped...other than a fly swatter to bat them away from the horse's faces the best we could, we have also ridden with fly masks because it was so bad... And I'm up north! I don't even want to know what it is like down there!
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:22 AM  
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We don't have a whole lot of those horse flies, but they are pests when they do find you. I have been bit and they do hurt and itch!! So I can imagine how the horse feels. That being said the best fly spray I have found is Mosquito Halt. It comes in a black bottle with a yellow sprayer and smells different, but it works the longest and the best. It doesn't just repel it will kill, I spayed my horses udders cause that is where those pesky gnats love to hang out and bite her all up and they were falling off dead. So I am sure that it would work for the horse flies. I read part of an article i think at horsejournal.com that did a test on all the fly sprays and Mosquito Halt worked the best for the longest. I just wish they sold it by the gallon like the rest of the sprays!!

I forgot to spray one day and my horse thought I was beating her lol, I would wait till that darn horsefly landed and smack it, like TXhorseman said, they are slow.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:28 AM  
KSL
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We don't have a whole lot of those horse flies, but they are pests when they do find you. I have been bit and they do hurt and itch!! So I can imagine how the horse feels. That being said the best fly spray I have found is Mosquito Halt. It comes in a black bottle with a yellow sprayer and smells different, but it works the longest and the best. It doesn't just repel it will kill, I spayed my horses udders cause that is where those pesky gnats love to hang out and bite her all up and they were falling off dead. So I am sure that it would work for the horse flies. I read part of an article i think at horsejournal.com that did a test on all the fly sprays and Mosquito Halt worked the best for the longest. I just wish they sold it by the gallon like the rest of the sprays!!

I forgot to spray one day and my horse thought I was beating her lol, I would wait till that darn horsefly landed and smack it, like TXhorseman said, they are slow.
It's not so easy to smack them when there are 15 on one horse and 10 more swarming around.

This is the only thing that gives my stud a little relief in the evening, hanging out in the creek!

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Old 06-12-2013, 12:03 PM  
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So I have a question for the folks using fly sheets. Do your horses not get really hot with those on? I have seriously thought about purchasing some for my horses, but I am in Alabama and it gets hot as heck down here. I mean the horses are already hot but I was afraid with the fly sheets, they would get even hotter and sweat even more....and I was worried about how well the sweat would evaporate. Are you using them only on stabled horses or when they are out in the hot sun?
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:25 PM  
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Bluediamond - can that block be given to an HYPP h/n horse? He only has access to the plain white salt blocks, but the those killer flies are eating him up!!!
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:50 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDiamonds218 View Post
get this! it works on everything ive tryed! http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...s?cm_vc=-10005 anything with rabon in it works wonders.

Does this work, even when out trail riding? I have found that nothing works, even the repellants that are supposed to withstand disappearing once a horse sweats
There have been summers, that riding in the mountains has been almost impossible, unless you climb high, due to those big horse flies, driving the horses nuts. Even if they don't land, the horses know that their bite really hurts, and react to them just buzzing around.
One time we rode all the way tot he headwaters of Scalp (about a 5 hour ride from Ya Ha base camp. We tried to tie the horses up, while we had lunch, but someone ran the dinner bell for the horse flies, and they descended in droves. We had to eat riding back.
We are also more limited in Canada as to which pesticides and strength we can use, so that is another 'fly in the ointment, so to speak!
I also am all ears for a solution! With all the rain we have had this year, I know they are going to be horrible. My husband won't even ride in the summer, some years, waiting for that killing frost!

Just read the info on that block, and from what I get out of it, the block prevents various flies from developing in the manure, so would make your home site more fly free, but I don't see anything about it keeping flies off of a horse ridden out on a trail-or am I missing something?
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