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Fly Control for Horse Owners

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Damon Pollard
June 2, 2022

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke center. Today’s topic is Fly Control for Horses.

With recent periods of moisture, the fly population in our county has exploded. Horses are especially sensitive to fly infestation, and there are many ways to help combat these pests.

Good sanitation is the first step. Remove manure from stalls promptly, and if possible compost the manure. Remove any wet, spoiled hay and bedding to lessen fly traffic.

Fly strips or sticky tape can help lessen fly populations. As well, fly traps that are managed properly, will also take out many of the breeding population. Spray walls, and other barn surfaces with an insecticide spray to kill adult flies. Malathion, Co-Ral, or Cygon, are safe to use and will knock down flies effectively. Fly baits are also highly effective, however, use caution as they are harmful to children and pets, so place them in a secure area.

On pasture, use insecticide impregnated strips, either tied to a halter or to a light string tied around the neck. There are many effective insecticides that can be directly sprayed on the animals, some are for daily use and others  have more residual effect. There is no insecticide that will control every fly, and by using a variety of different products, you can effectively break the life cycles, and accomplish a higher level of control.

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke center. If you would like more information on controlling flies on horses, call us at 439-4460.