As the weather gets warmer, there are new pests that attack our horses and a number of safety precautions that need to take place. Flies are a major problem in summer, as they are not only annoying but can carry human and horse related diseases. Petplan will take you through what you need to know about flies and your horses, as well as the best preventative measures…
As already stated, flies can carry a number of diseases for both humans and horses. These diseases can be carried around in the flies mouth, footpads and hairs, and faeces which can then be deposited in food intended for livestock.
Flies have been known to carry typhoid fever, tuberculosis along with a number of other horse and human diseases – some that can be deadly. They are able to carry 33 million disease-carrying microorganisms on their inner and outer body surfaces.
Not only do flies infect horses with serious diseases, they can irritate horses around their legs which cause them to stamp the ground and in turn damage their legs and hooves. Along with this, often flies will bite horses making daily activities uncomfortable and can lead to the horse becoming nervous and cause them to become stressed.
Flies have a short lifecycle, yet they breed a lot in this time which means there is no real way of stopping them – you can only minimise their effects. There are certain procedures and items that you can put in place that will drastically reduce the amount of flies there are around you and your horse.
There is quite a large range of chemicals that can be used to rid your stables of flies and their larvae, although you should try other methods first. The best way to control flies is to start a program that targets breeding sites and controls moisture in and around your stables.
Horse manure and moist/wet areas are the main attractants for flies around stables and pastures. By removing still water that is not for drinking as well as manure, you will destroy their breeding grounds and therefore minimise the amount of flies hanging around down the track. Problem areas are usually old feeders or tires that hold rain water, therefore it is imperative to clean stalls daily of manure and remove any water sources that will attract these stable pests.
Other areas that should be thought about when controlling flies are:
- Creating a good drainage system around the stables to reduce still water and moist areas – keeping the area as dry as possible
- If flies are a serious problem, you can place fans that blow at the doors which will stop flies coming in to the stables
- Basic fly traps are a great idea to measure the amount of flies on a weekly basis. If the amount of flies grows each week, you need to be doing more in order to control them
When it comes down to it, flies are always going to be a problem when it comes to horses. However, they don’t have to be so much of a problem that it affects your horse’s daily activities. By starting a preventative schedule with a few simple tips from above, the amount of flies will be greatly decreased and your hose will be able to enjoy the summertime that little bit more.