With the warmer weather biting insects and flies are waking up.
The blackflies have already made their appearance here; pesky little bugs that you don`t notice have bitten until after they`ve had their meal. They love to nestle into the hair on the horse`s ears, leaving behind itchy lumps. We have found that AVON Skin So Soft Original Scent works well to repel them, although the effect is not long lasting. There are lots of sprays around to help repel bugs, fly masks
to keep them off of eyes and ears, and fly sheets
to prevent your horse from being bit and developing welts that might be uncomfortable and not look so great in the show ring.
I've tried homemade sprays, but have never found one that was very effective. Most smelled bad--mainly like vinegar--and in some cases I wondered if the bugs appreciated the condiments I had sprayed on my horses. Some folks like to add garlic or cider vinegar to their horse's diets. There's some question about the wisdom of feeding garlic to horses, and vinegar in any application doesn't seem to do much.
If you have a stable you might want to keep a few muscovy ducks.
Muscovy ducks can help control stable flies.
Photo 2007 Rick van Helden
Muscovys are fly eating machines! I've never had much of an appetite for duck though since learning this, and my sister telling that one of hers caught and ate a mouse.
What do you do to repel those biting insects? Have you found a sure fire method of fly control for horse or stable? Take the poll, and leave your comments below!