Even if you employ the most diligent control efforts, including regular manure collection and disposal, you can expect flies and winged pests to be present on your farm. Here’s what you can do to make your horses more comfortable and your property less fly- and bug-friendly.
1. Remove anything that holds rainwater, such as old tires and unused buckets, and fill in persistent or perennial puddles.
2. Do not spread fresh, uncomposted manure on horse pastures you intend to use before the manure decomposes.
3. Don’t overcrowd pastures.
4. Clean up grain spills and decaying vegetation, such as grass clippings and uneaten hay in pastures.
5. Keep water buckets clean and provide fresh water.
6. Deworm your horses on a regular basis.
7. Apply insecticide and repellent frequently.
8. Outfit your horses in fly masks.
9. Provide a shady shelter as a refuge from biting flies for pastured horses.
10. Remove manure from stalls daily and from pastures twice a week, and compost or dispose of it.
This article originally appeared in the May 1997 issue of EQUUS magazine. Read “A Trail Rider’s Guide to Stopping Flies” in the June 2006 issue for a few quick and easy techniques to stop winged pests from ruining your summer rides.