Fly Control - How do I keep my horse happy?

Fly Control - How do I keep my horse happy?

It's an age old question for horse owners, "how do I keep my horses pest free during active fly season?"

Warmer temperatures mean pleasant riding and barn chore weather for us humans, but unfortunately they also bring flies, mosquitos, horseflies and other very annoying and even dangerous pests to your horses. So how do you keep them happy all season long?  We have some tips!


TIP 1. Know when fly season is coming, and prepare early.

Depending on where you live, fly season may start before winter is over, so preparing early is key. The following is a list of things to do to get ahead of the curve on fly control:

a. FLY PREDATORS. One of the best things you can do for early prep is to plant fly predators around your property, fly/fly larvae-eating organisms that will help keep populations way down through the summer.  

b. MOISTURE CONTROL.  Flies, mosquitos and other insect pests tend to grow in damp areas, especially where there is standing water.  Unfortunately in many climates, the spring rains and snowmelt create several areas of standing water and mud around our properties, which largely contribute to the size of summer pest populations. To help this issue, make sure to always dump any standing water after rainfall, make sure to have good drainage set up around your property, and also use pesticides in and around areas that are hard to control the moisture in.  If you have any ponds or other larger bodies of stagnant water around your property, make sure to use the fly predators in these locations.

c. VACCINATE. Make sure your horses are up to date on their annual vaccines, as many summer pests carry common equine diseases such as West Nile, equine encephalitis, lyme disease and more. 

2. Know who's coming to your area!

The above table is from the US Department of Agriculture, and details the most common flies that infest different regions of the USA.  Knowing who's coming is another key to prevention, because certain pesticides, vaccines and fly predators are more effective against them than others. 

3. Hang fly traps in your horse's stalls and around the pasture

While fly traps shouldn't be your first line of defense, they certainly help fill in the gaps between all the other remedies. Having traps with tantalizing bait that excites them more than your horse is super helpful to keep adult flies away from your horses!

4. Invest in high quality fly protection gear for your horse.

This is the last and final line of defense to keep those pests from bothering your horses, and this is a place where it pays to invest in high quality items.  Fly season is long, and not only do you need fly protection gear to be durable, but it also needs to be comfortable for your horse, as theoretically they will be wearing these items almost constantly for months at a time.  If you buy cheap stuff, it won't last more than a season if you're lucky, and in most cases it won't even make it that far.  Some of these items can even be downright dangerous when they begin to degrade.  Take for example some fly leggings: A lot of the cheap manufacturers use metal rods in the side supports, which cause real danger to your horse when they break down and expose the metal rod.  In other cases like fly masks, if they're cheap and dont stay on well, they can tear or come part way off which can spook your horse and cause them to panic and hurt themselves. Poorly made fly sheets or those with cheap material can tear easily and also cause a panic-inducing scenario for your horse.  Damaged products are not only a good way to watch your money burn, but also pose serious risk to your horse's safety and those of their pasture mates. So it's truly one of the most important things. you can do, to invest in quality. 

TailCinch brand fly gear is the highest quality you can find, and we have taken great care to design products that last a long time and are safe for long-term everyday wear. You can feel confident in your purchase with us, but of course, if choose another brand we truly hope you do your research and pick products that are made to last.