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Horse Flies

There are over 30 species of blood letting flies. These flies hunt by sight. They are painful vicious biters of both people and horses. And they are more than just an annoyance - they can transmit diseases like Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) and Potomac Horse Fever (PHF). The horse & deer fly can suck blood for several minutes and only the female horse fly bites to feed on blood. 

Both horse flies and deer flies will deposit eggs on vegetation around moist soil or very near water. The larvae will burrow down into this soil and feed on organic matter. The larvae mature into flies in the late spring.

The adult flies are very strong fliers traveling long distances from breeding sites. They will enter any area within minutes of spraying with insecticides. Fly sprays are basically ineffective when it comes to horse flies. The best control is obtained by trapping the female flies before they have the opportunity to bite/reproduce. This will reduce the population and make the area around your barn and pasture a much more enjoyable place for both you and your animals.

An excellent horse fly trap is made by Newman Enterprises ~  888-685-2244

Epps Biting Fly Trap™

Reduce biting flies in your pasture by 80%…whether they are biting your horses, cows, dogs or kids, they deliver a very painful bite. The Epps Biting Fly Trap kills horse flies, deer flies, and all other biting flies. The Epps trap is uniquely effective because it traps biting flies by using the flies own natural behavior patterns. Many biting flies are attracted to large objects of contrasting color to the surroundings because such objects tend to be potential hosts like cattle, deer, and horses. 

Also, biting flies tend to circle the host before actually landing to bite. The Epps Trap takes advantage of these behaviors by providing a large, contrasting surface area, with transparent areas (which are actually clear plastic deflectors) representing air space between an animal’s legs and over its back through which the flies would normally circle before feeding. 

Flies see the deflectors as open spaces and try to fly through then. They hit the deflectors and ricochet into the soapy water in the trays below. Dish soap is added to the water in the trays to cause the flies to be wetted and drown faster. Studies have shown that the unit covers an average of 20 acres and 1 pound of biting flies each day, 24/7… 

WOW! This is the ultimate biting fly trap, and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it…The trap requires no chemicals, or messy baits, just add soapy water. This trap is environmentally sound… In the past, poisons have been used to control insects. However the use of poisons is not favored due to the deleterious effects on the environment, and the possibility of killing potentially beneficial insects. Contact Horseline Products 1-800-208-4846.


Homemade Fly Trap

2 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vinegar

Mix ingredients to make fly bait. Cut a plastic 2 liter soda bottle 1/4 down from the top. Invert top portion into bottom portion. Punch 4 holes at top, tie string (twine) to hold both portions together and hang. Add fly bait & hang at your barn.  Dispose of entire container when full of flies.  (as you probably know, the longer this hangs the worse it smells and the more flies that it attracts.)

Homemade Fly Paper

2 C. milk 
2 T. black pepper 
2 T. white sugar 
2 T. brown sugar 

Brown paper bags, cut into strips. Boil milk, pepper, and sugar together for 5 minutes. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes longer, until thickened, and then let cool. 

Wind the brown paper strips into a tight roll and drop them into the milk mixture. Let them become completely saturated. Rewind the strips gently and let them air dry on a cookie sheet. They are ready to hang when they are sticky to the touch. 
To use, suspend the strips up and out of the way wherever flies are a problem. 

CAUTION: Keep the strips away from young children, especially after they are covered with flies.

Fly Repellent

2 cups white vinegar
1 cup Avon Skin So Soft (Bath oil)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon eucalyptus oil

Reminder - Consult your vet and use at your own risk.

Fly Control

An easy do it yourself fly spray that is relatively inexpensive. This spray will attract dust. So don't use it before a show.

2 cups light mineral oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. citronella oil
2 tsp. eucalyptus oil
2 tsp. lemon dish detergent
Mix in a spray bottle

Reminder - Consult your vet and use at your own risk.


Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil

Mix 3 parts water to 1 part Avon's skin-so-soft in a spray bottle. Spray liberally on your horse. This also softens his coat.

Reminder - Consult your vet and use at your own risk.


Horse Insect Repellent Mix

1 oz. Citronella Oil
2 oz. Skin-So-Soft (Avon) or Coat-So-Soft (Rio Vista)
1 Cup Cider Vinegar
1 cup Water
Mix in a 20 oz. spray bottle.

Reminder - Consult your vet and use at your own risk.


U.S. Forest Service Bug Spray Recipe

1 cup water
1 cup Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil
2 cups vinegar
1 tbs. Eucalyptus oil (found in health food stores)
Optional: few tablespoons of citronella oil.
Shake spray bottle well before spraying on horse, human or dog!

Reminder - Consult your vet and use at your own risk.


Citrus Insect Repellant Spray

2 cups light mineral oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. citronella oil
2 tsp. eucalyptus essential oil
2 tsp. lemon dish soap

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Label the bottle. To use gently shake and spray on your horse avoiding his eyes. NOTE: Do not use this spray before a show as it attracts dust.

Reminder - Consult your vet and use at your own risk.




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