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Protecting Your Horse From Bugs

March 1, 2022

Today is Horse Protection Day! There are quite a few things that would fall under the umbrella of protecting horses. You’ll need to not only protect your hooved pal from illness, injury, and disease, you also want to protect him from smaller threats … such as flies, midges, and mosquitos. A Clarkesville, GA vet offers some tips on this below. 


Masks

As the name suggests, these are great for keeping flies away from Silver’s eyes. They should be made of soft, breathable fabrics. 


Manure Management

Keeping stalls, paddocks, and pastures clean. Removing waste is crucial for your horse’s health. Where you keep it also factors in. Your manure pile is literally a hotbed of activity for flies! Store manure piles away from the stable, and have it picked up regularly.


Sprays

Consider installing a spray system that will automatically release fly-killing agents. Just do your research with these. Some horses (and people) may react to certain chemicals. 


Apple Cider Vinegar

Spraying your stalls and manure piles with vinegar can help repel flies. You can actually spray some right on Silver, too. Every little bit helps! 


Fly Traps/Strips

The fly strip has been a stable staple for decades now. These are simple and effective, if not very appealing. There are also modern options, such as solar traps and ultrasonic devices. Ask your vet for specific recommendations on these products.


Fight Fire With Fire

As it turns out, the best defense against certain insects may actually be other insects. One option that may work is parasitic wasps. They feast on fly larvae, helping control populations naturally. (Don’t worry, they’re too small to bother you or your hooved buddy.) 


Address Moisture

Any areas that are consistently wet are a concern. Standing water in buckets or puddles can easily turn into mosquito nurseries. Address any leaks or drainage issues, and sprinkle a non-toxic moisture absorbant over damp areas. Don’t forget about things like tarps, which could trap water. Dump and clean stock tanks and troughs regularly, too. 


Fans

Ventilation is crucial in barns for many reasons. It can also help control flies. Use large fans to keep air flowing.

 

Parasite Control

Never underestimate the harm that worms can do to our equine pals. Keep up with your vet’s recommended deworming schedule.


Do you have questions about your horse’s health or care? Contact us, your Clarkesville, GA animal clinic!

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