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View Full Version : Simplifly pros and cons?



huntergoneeventing
Aug. 5, 2011, 11:02 AM
My friend and I are starting our own barn and have been tossing around the idea of putting everybody on Simplifly. We are looking at a max of 5 horses so the cost shouldn't be too bad I don't think. One reason we were thinking about doing this instead of the fly predators is we were told that using fly spray will kill the fly predators and then you wasted that money for nothing... Does anybody have their guys on Simplifly? And if so how do you like it? Right now there aren't any flies at the barn because there haven't been horses there for over a year, but I am sure they will be moving in as soon as we move horses so I want to be prepared. Any help would be greatly appreciated! :yes:

deltawave
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:36 PM
I use Solitude, which is a very similar product but the only one (last I checked) that indicates that it's OK to use on pregnant or nursing mares. I occasionally have a broodie, so have just been using this one all along. It also is a "single dose" product so the pony and the big horses all get just one scoop, which is a little easier and the packaging is a little less bulky.

All in all I am very happy with my fly situation. :) Last summer was terrible, the first bad year we'd had in ages, heaven knows why. This year, roughly the same weather (if not worse in terms of heat and rain) and they're back to being very manageable.

I have never had any luck with fly predators. I did have a long talk with one of their reps and he insisted that using fly predators with products like Solitude or Simplifly was OK since the predator larvae grow/pupate inside an insect, not directly in the manure. This was a concern for me. In the future I might give the predators a try again. Normally I don't use very much fly spray, which tells you how well the Solitude works.

This is not to say that I have NO flies, because I do. But they're pretty darn minimal when compared to other barns I visit. I do use fly masks (black flies in the ears) but almost never fly sheets and no boots. The IGRs do not help at all with deerflies and horse flies, which only trapping seems to control. I have a big bomber trap that helps with those. And as I mentioned, the little black flies that plague the horses' faces and ears in early summer are not prevented by IGRs either. Masks go on in May only, but those little monsters are thankfully short-lived.

Other things that help are sticky fly tapes and traps, as well as cedar bedding.

arabiansrock
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:45 PM
we have used both simplify and solitude at our barn, and the solitude seems to work better. But EVERYONE has to use it, religiously. We are having trouble with compliance this year, you can tell because we have more flies than previous years :(

huntergoneeventing
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:49 PM
By no means to I expect to get rid of ALL of the flies because that is just impossible. Currently I am at a barn where the flies aren't bad at all but that is because it is pasture only so there aren't any big manure piles or stalls etc (at least that is my theory). The deer flies are horrible tho.

We are looking at a 5 stall barn and moving our horses at the end of the month. I know we don't have a whole lot of time left to be dealing with flies, but I would rather start out trying to prevent them than trying to get rid of them later. Do the horses need to be on the simplifly or solitude for the whole year? or just the months that the flies are bad or about to be bad?

As far as the compliance goes we are considering including it in board and letting everybody know that we will be using it. We are only looking at 2 boarders total so I don't think it will be that big of an issue. At least I hope not. :D

deltawave
Aug. 5, 2011, 01:14 PM
IME and IMO there's very little point in starting it now. Better to start in February/March so that you have a head start on next year's flies. Far too late for it to make an impact this year.

I take mine off it after a couple of very hard frosts (usually late October) and make sure the manure pile is dealt with (removed from the vicinity of the barn and composted) at around the same time. Then in early spring I remove and compost again, but by then the horses are back on the product and the manure pile going forward into spring/summer is all "treated" stuff.

I don't think there's any reason you couldn't feed it all year, especially in climates that are warmer than ours, but I appreciate the cost savings of 3-4 months without it. :)

huntergoneeventing
Aug. 5, 2011, 01:43 PM
Well the reason I was thinking of starting it now was because the barn they are moving to doesn't have any flies and I would like to keep it that way.

If our winter this year was anything like the last one, we won't need to keep them on it all year long either.

pony grandma
Aug. 5, 2011, 01:45 PM
I have used Simplifly for 2 yrs now - huge difference compared to predators, they did not do the trick here for me no matter how much money I spent on them.

I buy the big tubs when ALS has a no heavy frgt charge sale mid winter or when Jeffers has a 20% off deal. Then I stock up. Same as stated - need to start before the fly season then can stop after the hard frosts. I hang a few big fly bags for the flies that still exist and by now my barn is relatively fly free - no need for fly masks, no stomping (and THAT saves $$!). If I went out there right now I would probably count 4-6 flies and I have 4 horses and a pony.

My biggest help was that 3 neighbors within a quarter mile both directions sold out their cattle. ;)

My question, since the feed thru product is now organophosphate free, exactly how will it rate at producing organic gardening manure? Would it not pass that muster?

deltawave
Aug. 5, 2011, 03:10 PM
I give my composted manure away, but do not offer it up as "organic", because of this product and the fact that my horses are dewormed and also receive whatever medications that are appropriate.

You can still buy feed-through fly control products that have organophosphates--Equitrol is one--but you couldn't pay me to use them. :no:

baysngreys
Aug. 5, 2011, 04:23 PM
You can still buy feed-through fly control products that have organophosphates--Equitrol is one--but you couldn't pay me to use them. :no:

...and I wouldn't board my horse anywhere that it was mandatory :(

I use Predators and have NO flies, NONE!!
Everyone comments when they come to visit - no flies, no stomping, no swishing! Everyone has their shoes on!!!

I also use fly spray (for gnats) and it doesn't seem to interfere with the Predators.

Not sure what your feed thru product is going to cost but my Predators cost $28.50. That's $4.75/mo per horse. I buy the quantitiy for 8-10 horses and I currently have 6 here, sometimes 8. They all live out and it's enough for all the pastures, grooming areas and sheds.

This year I started with the Predators earlier and it made all the difference. And yes, I muck out the sheds and harrow the pastures and they still work.

Trevelyan96
Aug. 5, 2011, 06:10 PM
It doesn't seem to work for me. I am switching to fly predators next year. I've used it religously for 10 years now, always start in March and stop in Oct, and the flies always seem to get bad end of July - Sept. I also pick up my paddocks daily, compost my manure pile and make sure the winter pile is spread before last frost. I also use an automatic fly spray dispenser inside the barn, and traps outside.

This year has been especially bad. I don't know if its because of the horrible wet spring or the miserably hot summer, but the flies are awful. Or maybe the flies are just developing a tolerance for the stuff, but I'm definitely switching to predators next year.

JeanM
Aug. 5, 2011, 06:48 PM
Solitude was recommended to me a few years ago by the Ag-Extension person, so I've been using that, plus the fly predators, plus I started putting a tarp over the "local" manure pile. I dunno how much the Solitude & the predators do; hard to say, really! But I do think I have decreased the amount of flies with putting a tarp over the manure pile... Just one horse, so I dunno how feasible it might be for multiple horses. I relocate that pile about once a month to a place up in back that is farther away from the neighbors, too.

hosspuller
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:21 PM
. I also pick up my paddocks daily, compost my manure pile and make sure the winter pile is spread before last frost. .

I think spreading your winter pile is a mistake. I can see the flies in the spring settling their eggs quite comfortably in your manure spread all over the pasture. Cold weather is a hard time to get enough heat in a compost pile to cook it into humus instead of manure. Humus is stable and won't feed insect larvae. So spreading manure accumulated over the winter is just like having your horses distribute it fresh. :lol:

hosspuller
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:29 PM
I use Equatrol II. It works the same as Simplifly. Makes the manure a poor place to raise insect larvae. Equatrol II is available in larger containers to reduce cost.

Without it or start it too late in the season, we have to deal with clouds of flies. Unpleasant for us and the horses. I think trying to use predators for two horses in several large pastures spreads the predatures far too thin. Or I would have to purchase & release more predators than two horses justify.

deltawave
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:43 PM
Around here there is quite a long time between the last frost and the arrival of stable flies. On the order of 2 months. Plenty of time for spread manure to dry and age and become inhospitable to fly larvae. But I don't spread manure on my pastures unless it's been composted down to odorless, black organic matter. More to curtail worms than flies, and also because I don't like the idea of my horses foraging with their noses in poo any more than they have to. :)

CB/TB
Aug. 6, 2011, 01:21 PM
I've been using Equitrol II for years and years, every spring and summer. I just have one horse( now) at home, so I can control everything. I have very,very few flies every year. I still have to spray and hang fly traps, but I wouldn't be without it every year. It's usually a toss up as far as product. Ehen I go to the tack shop in the spring,, whatever comes in first is what I get, almost always EQuitrol II. This year I added it to my Smartpak. As was said, whatever you use,, you MUST start early, before the first fly and don't expect to be 100% fly-free- not happening. I 've also discovered a product called "FlySwatter' which is a granulated product that repels/kills flies when sprinkled over bedding or , as I do, just outside the stall. Lots you can do to reduce flies, but again, all horse must be on the product to be effective. Good luck.

UpperFallsFarm
Aug. 7, 2011, 04:59 PM
We have used Simpli Fly for 6 years. 40 horses here and all horses are required to be on it. April through October.

Love it! We have no flies. No need for fly masks.

Remember it does not work on all types of flies especially ones that breed along creek beds. You also need to understand that you can not be surrounded by other livestock or sources for flies in order for it to work. If your neighbor has 5 horses and doesnt treat you are defeating the purpose.

We tried the Predators but way too expensive for the amount of horses here, ants eat them and it was just a pain to put them out every month. Feed through goes right into their meals every day!

We spread our manure off property and clean paddocks/round bale areas on a regular basis.

You can ask any boarder here, well worth the $15 per month it costs!

UpperFallsFarm
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:00 PM
Solitude was recommended to me a few years ago by the Ag-Extension person, so I've been using that, plus the fly predators, plus I started putting a tarp over the "local" manure pile. I dunno how much the Solitude & the predators do; hard to say, really! But I do think I have decreased the amount of flies with putting a tarp over the manure pile... Just one horse, so I dunno how feasible it might be for multiple horses. I relocate that pile about once a month to a place up in back that is farther away from the neighbors, too.

By using the feed through you are killing your fly predators too! You can ask the company where you buy them from they will tell you that you can not use these two products together!

baysngreys
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:11 PM
I think trying to use predators for two horses in several large pastures spreads the predatures far too thin. Or I would have to purchase & release more predators than two horses justify.

Not true.
I have 6 horses on 17 acres and the amount of predators for 8-10 horses is enough.
The trick is to spread them where there are piles or areas of manure. I walk all up and down the pastures and lightly sprinkle predators from the bag as I go.
The predators will travel up to 150' but getting them within 50' of manure to start helps.

It's never too late to start either. Putting predators out now will take a bite out any new flies hatching but you'd need to keep up with traps to get rid of the adults you already have.

whicker
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:45 PM
I use solitude. I have used both predators and simplifly and haven't had as good results. We have 7 horses plus dog and cats. 20+ acres, mostly in horse use.

This year and most of last year, we haven't had flies. I think too hot and dry, and the neighbors are using the solitude, too. even along the stream beds, there hasn't been enough water to keep the usual swarms of deerflies and ticks happy. I saw the 1st horsefly of the summer this afternoon, chasing a horse into the turn-out shed. The mosquitoes haven't been around, either. Maybe all the barn swallows and bats are helping..

What do you all use for the big bombers?

I also use fly spray and tick killer on the horses. Being in the epi-center for Lyme is full out war.

deltawave
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:25 PM
By using the feed through you are killing your fly predators too! You can ask the company where you buy them from they will tell you that you can not use these two products together!

I was pretty sure this was the case also but was informed on a recent thread that this was emphatically NOT the case by a guy from Spalding. The thread is here somewhere if you want to search.

I had to ask some very, very pointed questions to get a straight answer (I have a degree in Biology and wanted more than the simplistic answers I originally got) and I never bothered to look up any citations, but I was assured that since the fly predators' life cycle does NOT include a stage directly in manure (they grow up and begin the pupal stage inside the fly larva) then they are more or less not subject to the IGR that's in these products. If I contemplate using predators again (not much of a need since my Solitude works very nicely) I would actually want to review some literature. But this was what Spalding told me, FWIW.

Sparky Boy
Aug. 8, 2011, 10:16 AM
I used simplifly for the past two years. Hardly any flies in our barn of 3-4 horses. This spring I'm down to two horses and forgot to start the simplifly. I noticed a big difference. Next year, I will not forget ;)

huntergoneeventing
Aug. 8, 2011, 10:19 AM
I really appreciate all the input. I am thinking that it is worth it to at least try it out, and if it seems to help then we will be investing in it for the long haul. Like I said, we don't have flies right now because there aren't any horses and haven't been any horses on the property for over a year. We would like to keep it low on flies if we can once we move to the property.

IronwoodFarm
Aug. 8, 2011, 01:22 PM
I am with baysngreys. I use fly predators and I spray my horses with fly spray (because predators or any other product doesn't kill every fly). There's no problem with killing off my predator population by spraying my horses.

And I would say that there is a 95% improvement in the reduction of flies thanks to the predators.

GallopHer
Aug. 8, 2011, 02:08 PM
I'm a HUGE fan of Simplifly. But, as everyone else has stated, it is just too late to start any of the fly reduction programs this late in the summer.

Best of luck.

CB/TB
Aug. 8, 2011, 02:12 PM
Nothing takes care of those Big Bombers, except a 2 x 4 ! Luckily, here at least, they are few and far between and seem to have a 'season". Mine have come and gone. They also seem to be somewhat territorial, and I never see more than one or two at most at a time flying around the horse. You do have to actually hit the damn things and be quite sure they're dead. My horse will come to me and stand there until I get the nasty thing!

whicker
Aug. 8, 2011, 05:58 PM
The big bombers are territorial, and hang out in the shade near streams and water. They don't mind being in sunlight once they have fix their sights on their prey, though...

The tri-tech 14 slows them down and they will vere off without hitting their target- most of the time. They also don't latch on as hard when I'm using the buzz-off or frontline in the combo. I do love having my horses frantically gallop up to me in the pasture and position the bomber for me to hit hard-lots! We both watch it drop and meet eyes with a high 5 for teamwork well done...:D:lol:

pony grandma
Aug. 8, 2011, 07:25 PM
I do love having my horses frantically gallop up to me in the pasture and position the bomber for me to hit hard-lots! We both watch it drop and meet eyes with a high 5 for teamwork well done...:D:lol:

I used to line the bodies up on top of the feed freezer to make a count for each day. One yr at 4-H the stall decorating theme was favorite sport! Just make a poster board as a score board with a horse fly count!