No luck with those, but the feed-through fly control stuff (Simplifly, Solitude, etc.) is excellent, IME. You need to start it very early, though, like before the ground thaws, and all the horses on a place need to be on it.
I use Equitrol II and this year I added Bug Check in April just to see if I could REPEL the flies the feed thru didn't take care of. I really don't think I see as much "swishing" this year. BUT, we had a cool, rainy spring so I'll have to wait to see what happens when( if!) summer arrives at all this year. So far we're on the second FULL day of sun and it's going to be in teh high 70s/low 80s(f), so we'll see. And yes , the trick with any of these products is to start early and have all horses on the feed thrus. The Bug Check, Buggzo, etc would probably be great for people in a boarding situation, just to keep flies off THEIR horses. These products do have some killing properties that can't do any harm and anything that can decrease the bug population can't be all bad. And , my horse does not smell like a Pizza Hut!
CB/TB: I am in a boarding situation and am trying to help my horse out. So, should I go more in the direction of BugCheck if I decide to try this?
I am not sure, but I think that my horse is developing a mild sweet itch and am trying to keep the bugs away from him. Right now, I am using an apple cider vinegar rinse everyday. I have heard that you could feed them ACV for the flies, but he has a history of ulcers and I am afraid to put an acidic substance into his stomach.
The amount of acid in a cupful of vinegar is equivalent to about a tenth of a teaspoon of stomach acid. Whether it does anything vs. flies is also questionable, but it's highly unlikely to do him any harm ulcer-wise.
I actually have noticed him being less bothered by flies with just the vinegar rinse (about as much as a good fly spray). Thanks for the insight deltawave, I tend to be the paranoid mother! Not wanting to feed him the vinegar is why I was looking into these supplements.
I'd give the Bug Check, Bugg off, or whatever garlic supplement you'd like a try. I think it's the Thiamine in it that works. If it's going to work, even later is better than not at all. The dosage ( of garlic)in any of them is probably not enough to give problems. It's also pretty inexpensive as supplements go. Some just get the Costco, BJ's, Sam's garlic granules and use that; not sure of the dosage there. I've been reading on these boards that Listerine( the original yellow) seems to repel bugs- applied, not fed! It's been warm and sunny here for 3 whole days! Still, I'd rather have this than 85+ degrees anyday. Good luck finding something to help .
Any new opinions on feed through bug control supplements? Any brands work particularly well? Is it already too late in the season to start? Do they help with mosquitos as well as flies? My poor mare has big welts already...
The ones that are meant to "repel" bugs (like Buggzo, Bug Off) can be started any time--their purpose is to make the individual horse "taste bad" to insects. This is supposed to work for mosquitos as well. I've personally seen no benefit.
The Solitude/Simplifly/Equitrol family prevents flies from hatching, and I've had much better luck with them by starting to feed well before the last frost, so all the manure in the manure pile is "treated" and inhospitable to fly larvae. These have NO effect on mosquitoes or horse flies but only the ones that breed in poo.
Pete, I have used the Smart Bugoff with great success in my barn. I have my boarders put them in their smartpaks, and then buy the big bags for my lesson horses. They all eat it with no problem, and I definitely noticed a difference for them all last year! Getting ready to order the first bag for this season!
I'm not entirely convinced it works...but I think when all the horses get it they all seem a lot happier within a few weeks. Still plenty of bugs on the property, but less around the manure (which definitely reeks of garlic).
I've also tried a pure (?) garlic that was available in bulk from my feed store. Seemed to have about the same effect, and slightly cheaper.
People credit ACV with all sorts of superpowers. . It's highly unlikely to make flies avoid a horse when ingested, but at least it's cheap and probably harmless.
I don't think vinegar has superpowers (at least not the cheap Walmart version I purchase) but I have fed it in the past to mask supplements for my old gelding. What I noticed...in his field of 12 geldings, he would be the only one NOT being bothered by flies. Also, for myself, I am an avid pickle eater and LOVE the taste of ACV & sugar. I eat sweet pickles every single day, and it never occured to me that I DO NOT get bothered by flies or mosquitos...ever! I think the acid in the vinegar must alter our "smell" just enough to deter the bugs. And NO, my husband doesn't think I stink either I've finally co-erced my TB gelding into eating ACV so hopefully I can help him tolerate summer a little better this year. He HATES any type of bugs with wings, and he is just plain miserable. If the ACV doesn't help, I'll try the Smartpak supplement and hopefully something will help!