Beat back bugs naturallyPosted by Animal Care Team on
Wouldn’t it be nice to wave a magic wand and eliminate the entire bug population?
While it’s unlikely your wishes for a pest-free horse life will be granted, you can dramatically reduce the population of obnoxious insects on your property with an eco-friendly fly care program that starts with a property management strategy.
Don’t wait until the flies are here. Start now with these nine tips to dramatically reduce those obnoxious, disease-carrying pests.
- Clean up: Bugs multiply in damp, warm conditions—and they especially love manure. Clean stalls and paddocks regularly.
If you compost manure, choose a location away from the horse’s living areas to draw pest populations to other areas of the property. Weeds and overgrown grasses are prime real estate for insects, so be sure to keep fence lines maintained.
- Eliminate standing water: Pooled water is another favorite breeding ground for insects. Look around your barn for any objects that can collect water, drain and remove them. Adding downspouts can help direct water away from barns.
- Cover up: Full body fly sheets and fly boots made of mesh deters bugs looking for a place to land. Don’t forget the head and face—the UltraShield® Fly Mask is made of mesh that 80% of harmful UV rays and reduces solar glare. As a bonus, it has a removable nose piece that can provided added protection of the face.
- Fight back: Airflow disrupts a bug’s flight pattern so increasing natural air flow and/or using fans can help. Use in combination with fly traps to further reduce populations.
- Mix it up: Changing your horse’s turnout schedule is another way to reduce exposure to biting bugs. That may mean bringing horses in during the day and turning them out overnight when bug populations are less active.
- Turn out the lights: Bugs are afraid of the dark, maybe not quite, but they are attracted to light. Keep lights off and provide shaded areas to deter some pest species.
- Cover feed: Flies love feed as much as your horse. Sweep up storage areas regularly and store open feed bags in containers with lids.
- Know your neighbors: Cattle and other livestock are known for attracting brutal horn and face flies. If you keep cows or other stock nearby create distance between pastures to make it harder for bugs to find and dine on your horse.
- Use an eco-friendly fly repellent: Essential oils have proven fly repellent qualities. UltraShield Green® blends seven fly-fighting natural oils, including geraniol. The natural formulation has a fresh botanical scent and is safe for perimeter use on horses, ponies and dogs, while also protecting against ticks.
“We use UltraShield Green ® daily. I like the cleanliness and the natural ingredients in the product,” said performance horse trainer Brad Barkemeyer. “It's just healthier for us to breathe in as well as our, as our animals to be around. We also spray it in the stalls and around feeders and waterers.”
Peace of mind
The ready-to-use eco-friendly fly repellent UltraShield Green® will give you the edge over pesky insects this riding season. Combined with sunscreen and lanolin, the water-based fly repellent will keep your horse's coat insect-free, shiny and conditioned at the same time.