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View Full Version : The art of killing B52 bomber flies



Petstorejunkie
Aug. 18, 2011, 12:14 PM
We all hate them, I know. I think there is nothing more satisfying for both horse and human than killing one of those sonuvas. They have returned to terrorize the horses yet again.

I've found that the slow approach and then grabbing them works the best (with gloves!). If I can get a tactile grip on them and restrain them, I'll pluck their legs off one by one before crushing them. I like to think they are reincarnated murderers, and rapists or something. If I can't grab them in a manner to torture them, I simply make a fist as hard as I can until I hear them crunch. Then I throw the carcass to the ground with a mighty force!

Slapping them is merely an invitation to duel. It delays them momentarily, only for them to come back and attack again.

Today, I think I reached Zen Master B52 Ninja Assassin status. I had taken my dressage horse out for a fun day of cross country jumping, and were on our way back to the barn. He knows I will get the B52 if he lets me know they are swarming and will be patient even while it's biting so I can hone my attack, but today was an exception. He let out two HUGE bucks, then promptly went back to behaving (I've owned him 11 years, and this was his first time bucking under saddle EVER, so the B52 must have been a major general or colonel or something). I knew it was on our tail. I went back into dressage mode, and took the opportunity to practice medium trot in a different saddle.
Before I knew it, along side of us, keeping up was the B52! I took both reins into my left hand, and snatched the B52 out of the air, like a mighty panther catching a butterfly, crushed it, and threw it to hell! muah ah ah! (all while maintaining our lovely medium trot :cool: )

So, I want to hear them; tell me your B52 killing stories! Oh and if you know a repellent that actually keeps them away, please share :)

crosscreeksh
Aug. 18, 2011, 12:35 PM
I don't choose to get as personal as to dismember them. I smash to kill or disable, then step on them!! Back in NC we had "Guard Flys". They were HUGE, Yellow Jacket "looking" bugs that attacked and killed horse flys and Bombers!! Sucked them out like a grape. They were really big and loud, but the horses seemed to know they were "Good Guys" and didn't bother about them....they never even landed on the horses, just went after the big flies. Those Guard Flys only came out about July 1 and only certain parts of the state.

Belg
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:00 PM
Our little pasture Napoleon came running flat out towards me kicking out his back end the other day. I decided to stand my ground.... ended he was bringing one down on his croup for me to kill ;) Swat, stomp, and showed him the evidence. I have a friend for life....

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:09 PM
Back in NC we had "Guard Flys". They were HUGE, Yellow Jacket "looking" bugs that attacked and killed horse flys and Bombers!! Sucked them out like a grape. They were really big and loud, but the horses seemed to know they were "Good Guys" and didn't bother about them....they never even landed on the horses, just went after the big flies. Those Guard Flys only came out about July 1 and only certain parts of the state.

I have them on my farm, too!:cool:

Jumpin_Horses
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:13 PM
you cant just throw them down. they WILL get back up

they are like the Wraith on Stargate Atlantis

im currently doing very well, ive only missed a couple

but, they receive a quick merciful death, which they truly do not deserve. they just scare the bee-gees out of me too much to give even the slightest opportunity.

however, I am proud of my 2 year old Muley. I watched her whip her head around and snatch one off her own back, and EAT IT :eek:

yep, she seemed pretty pleased with herself.. "nom-nom-nom-nom"

Jumpin_Horses
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:15 PM
Ive seen those guard bees..

they are called Cicade Killers

I actually saw one suck the life out of a bomber in flight, and he was even polite enough to drop the dead bomber almost at my feet...

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef004.asp

tabula rashah
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:20 PM
I like to hit them pretty good with the hose stream to knock them down- then CRUNCH! quite satisfying

goodhors
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:43 PM
We have a ton of Cicadia Wasps, have never seen them kill a bomber. Their nest is near the main gates to paddocks, so the C. Wasps SHOULD have prime hunting if they actually do kill them. Maybe I have a different line of wasps than other folks.

We are careful of our C. Wasps, enjoy watching them each year. Extremely docile wasps and so BIG you can see everything they do, which is quite interesting as they drag things down into their dirt nests. They have never been aggressive to people or animals, though the cats eat them at times, small son pestered them a lot (I would have stung him!) C. Wasps don't get upset if you walk by the nest with a horse or the tractor, or yourself, just buzz about without stinging or swarming like other wasps might.

And they are only out and about for short times in the summer. I think ours have gone back to hibernating, were only out for a couple weeks. No holes in the ground now, so they are not active now. Extremely nice bugs to have around.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:43 PM
Ive seen those guard bees..

they are called Cicade Killers

I actually saw one suck the life out of a bomber in flight, and he was even polite enough to drop the dead bomber almost at my feet...

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef004.asp

Thanks! I've wondered what their right name is. We call them guardian bees.

2DogsFarm
Aug. 18, 2011, 01:54 PM
Boy, if I ever come across a Cicada Killer Wasp I will probably get stung trying to kiss it right on its mandibles!

My current B52 story:
I am mowing lawns one early evening, near the pastures

Out of the corner of my eye I see Kouma - Hackney Pony - zooming.

Meh - not unusual for him, I go back to mowing.

Then I see my 17h+ Sam doing Airs Above the Ground :eek:

Sam is not one to practice dressage or even exercise voluntarily.

I turn off the mower and sure enough, when I get to them, they are under attack - at least 4 or 5 of the nasty no-so-little b-yotches*

And, like others here, both horse & pony stand for me to smack the bastids off them.

*tidbit of useless info:
The only B52s that bite are female.
They need blood to fertilize their eggs.
See Below:
(courtesy of North Dakota State University)
X-tra "Oh, Great :no:" info bolded


Horse and Deer Flies
Horse and deer flies are large biting flies which can inflict painful bites on horses and humans. Both horse and deer flies have been incriminated in the transmission of equine infectious anemia.
Further, because the bite is painful, horses may become restless and unmanageable when they attempt to ward off attacks by these flies. Immature larval horse flies are aquatic or semi-aquatic and the last stage larva overwinters. Life cycles are long; most species have only one generation per year and some species may have a two year life cycle.
Only female flies feed on blood.

ReSomething
Aug. 18, 2011, 02:06 PM
Hmm. Says those cicada wasps occur here, but in sandy soil - well, the only sand I have is in a heap next to the heap of gravel, not in the soil. I'd love to encourage them.

So far I have a couple of methods. One is the slap and the other is the scrape. The pigs don't like to be slapped so I have to make a long stroke with my hand and hope the fly gets crushed. Usually it does and then I have to go scrub my hand.
So far this year I've been surprised several times by one or the other of the horses running up to me to be slapped. It's a little disconcerting to hear hoofbeats running up to you or having them run up and swap ends to present you with their tormentor.
DW put up a link to that HorsePal trap in another thread. I'd love to get one or two but they are pretty spendy. I just might cave and get one what with the number of horseflies we get up here, they are thick.

Jumpin_Horses
Aug. 18, 2011, 02:25 PM
Hmm. Says those cicada wasps occur here, but in sandy soil - well, the only sand I have is in a heap next to the heap of gravel, not in the soil. I'd love to encourage them.

So far I have a couple of methods. One is the slap and the other is the scrape. The pigs don't like to be slapped so I have to make a long stroke with my hand and hope the fly gets crushed. Usually it does and then I have to go scrub my hand.
So far this year I've been surprised several times by one or the other of the horses running up to me to be slapped. It's a little disconcerting to hear hoofbeats running up to you or having them run up and swap ends to present you with their tormentor.
DW put up a link to that HorsePal trap in another thread. I'd love to get one or two but they are pretty spendy. I just might cave and get one what with the number of horseflies we get up here, they are thick.

FWIW - horsepal fly traps didnt work for me. waste of a lot of money. i will give you a good deal on mine, its in the barn somewhere

ILuvmyButtercups
Aug. 18, 2011, 03:00 PM
Yeah, this morning when I fed one of my guys in the bucket strapped to the paddock fence for him, he stood frozen for a second... very unusual, he's usually a major pig. Huh??? I thought maybe he was sick? Colicking? Then I stepped back into the barn to get his hay, and heard allllll this pounding racket - raced out to see him bucking and bucking and bucking wildly, the B-52 bomber was the size of a cat. OK, so I exaggerate, but I've NEVER seen this sweet boy react like this before to getting buzzed and bitten.

Ran got my fly sprayer, the big tank thing with a long wand. This horse was bucking so hard for so long it wasn't safe to even try to approach him to slap the cursed pest. Once that spray hit his back he stood stock still, knew I was getting him relief. I got a good cover of spray on him, and he relaxed and began to eat. Those horrid vampires will even follow the horse into the run-in shed they are so detemined. Poor horsies.

My poor old guy, Buttercups just stands there and lets those things suck him dry..... I put him in the stall under fans all day. Poor boy, I'm always finding bloody trails down his legs, on his neck, if I don't get him in by 5:30 a.m. Out again late, after the sun is nearly set. What can we do??????????

5chestnuts
Aug. 18, 2011, 03:54 PM
Oh and if you know a repellent that actually keeps them away, please share :)
Herbal powdered garlic as a supplement in the horses feed. They fly past my guys like mine are invisible. Those horrid pests will actually bother me :eek: but will only circle once around my guys and then leave, not to return.

Been using garlic for the past 4 years, ever since I discovered this stuff works like an Invisibility Cloak to those nasty horse flies. Best.supplement.ever.

To keep them away from me while out riding, I use Deep Woods Off. I've used DWO on my horses for years, and it works better than any horse spray for green heads and deer flies. Doesn't seem to much faze the bombers, however. Only thing that really works... is the garlic. Guess it just changes the body chemistry smell to "phew-ee!" rather than "yum!"

For the pasture, best to use a fly sheet. A heavy duty thick one.

Jumpin_Horses
Aug. 18, 2011, 04:03 PM
been giving smartpaks "smart bug-off" all summer (w/garlic)

has NOT worked at all. not so "smart"

the only thing that has actually worked for us is bug spraying everyone, every morning with bug sprays containing Permethrin, or deep woods off

MunchkinsMom
Aug. 18, 2011, 04:07 PM
Information on building your own horse fly trap:

http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G7013

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Aug. 18, 2011, 04:53 PM
been giving smartpaks "smart bug-off" all summer (w/garlic)

has NOT worked at all. not so "smart"

the only thing that has actually worked for us is bug spraying everyone, every morning with bug sprays containing Permethrin, or deep woods off

I agree on the garlic. Plus I worry about anemia. But y'know, the repellant doesn't work for me either. I've read that's because the B-52's are sight, not scent predators. But I don't know if that's true.:confused:

JB
Aug. 18, 2011, 05:50 PM
Our little pasture Napoleon came running flat out towards me kicking out his back end the other day. I decided to stand my ground.... ended he was bringing one down on his croup for me to kill ;) Swat, stomp, and showed him the evidence. I have a friend for life....
Mine do this too! Now I'm waiting on the youngster to learn the deal :)

pony4me
Aug. 18, 2011, 08:20 PM
My two oldest guys are smart enough to run to me if they have a B52 bothering them. I usually carry a fly swatter, hit the fly enough to knock it to the ground, and then step on it. I remember one time when my dear old ASB watched me strike down a fly, and then he went over and stepped on it. I'd like to think he planned it that way. Another big assist is the Epps fly trap. I had 23 dead ones in it today.

Heliodoro
Aug. 19, 2011, 08:58 AM
My barn you get 5 extra points on your dressage test if you kill one of those suckers while in the ring... :P

They are the only thing that makes my horse buck, thankfully he's learned to give a little warning buck now as to say "hey Mom, on my 6!" instead of turning into a rodeo Bronc.

Belg
Aug. 19, 2011, 09:06 AM
They are the only thing that makes my horse buck, thankfully he's learned to give a little warning buck now as to say "hey Mom, on my 6!" instead of turning into a rodeo Bronc.

LOL Same with my Belgian. I don't think she does -anything- without calculating the path of least resistance.... but it's pretty impressive when 1800 pounds of horse bucks under 200 pounds of rider. Kind of reminds me of surfing swells on a sailboat... fortunately she, too, has learned the value of the swat!

SunkenMeadow
Aug. 19, 2011, 09:38 AM
Ugh, I had one following me on a trail ride last weekend. I kept brushing it off my horse, but then it kept landing on my helmet (it stayed up there while I was screaming doing an extended trot slapping myself in the head like a monkey on fire). I couldnt shake that sucker until I did a little hand gallop. The gal I was with got quite the chuckle out of my display. It certainly did not help any that I trotted through a huge spider web. All that stuff we teach people about nt screaming on horses went right out the window...I was the biggest sissy...