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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Currituck NC

    Default gnats HELP!

    The gnats this year at my place are INSANE. NOTHING seems to help and my one TB mare is going crazy. She has literally spent the last week non stop moving, either walking or trotting with some cantering. Even at dinner she eats for about 30 seconds, kicking, shaking etc, then trots around the field and comes back and eats more.

    The other horses are certainly bothered, but none to the extent she is. She's wearing her "All bugs must die" outfit, and I've been slathering swat under her chin and throat, and on her belly...but its not helping. She always loses a bit of hair this time of year under her chin and at her girth area from the gnats, but this year its quite a bit worse. The gnats period are worse...we've had a fairly mild spring that hasn't jumped right into summer like normal, along with an excessive amount of rain, which I think is why they are so bad.

    She's a very sensitive mare period, hates flies, being brushed etc, but this year is crazy...

    I don't have the ability to keep fans going in the stalls, and I'm not sure if it would be any better anyway. She's getting to the point now where she is completely exhausted, starting to trip and you can just tell by the way she's moving that she's tired....She's in a large field with no trees, grass is mowed so not super tall etc.

    Is there anything that will work??? My fly spray hasn't been doing squat (repel x mixed with vinegar), is there another one that works better? I've used equispot on her before with good results, but it doesn't seem to be helping her.

    Mare, she's just turned 6 this year...and I'm starting to wonder about sweet itch? She's not got welts or scabs, just losing the hair right at her throat and right where the girth goes (and my new saddle is arriving this week so she's not been ridden since Feb/March so its not that).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2000
    Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?


    try posting this in horse care would be my suggestion
    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Seattle, WA


    Agree that you'll get more of a response in the Horse Care section.

    But I'll add my two cents.

    Try one of the flyspray impregnated fly sheets (Amigo Bugbuster or the Rambo version.....there may be others by now?). I had a horse who got terrible midline dermatitis from the gnats around here and it was a lifesaver for him.
    Forever exiled in the NW.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL


    Skin so soft from avon was the one thing we found to work really well. Makes them super greasy feeling but keeps the bugs off.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2004
    Tallahassee, FL


    Iguana Oil. They have a website. Made in FL. Seriously works amazing. They have an equine formula and a human formula. I bought a case last month to get me through summer.
    The Greatest Sense of Freedom is on a Horse!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009


    Which rug are you using? the way the present one has ridden up, it's not doing much good ... have you looked into the Boetts?
    (I know they are $$$ but if it actually works ...)
    Do some reading on the UK forums about the alternate brands.

    Poor mare

    ETA is it possible to move her to another farm where you could try her in a stable with fans etc while you sort out options?

    You might also try a product such as this - it's definitely better protection than vinegar & less irritating to the skin (also a lot more $$, I must admit ).
    Make sure you're also treating the itching, FP swears by this stuff - it's the only reason he still has a mane & tail & hair )

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2002
    selden, NY


    Burts Bees makes a bug spray that works great on the horses for gnats! I buy a case at the beginning of each year

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2000
    wishing I were anywhere but here


    G-natural, used to be calleud gnat away. I think Smartpak carries it. Smells like ponds cold cream but always seemed to work for me when the gnats were insane. That or the Pyrhanna spray, but be careful if your mare has sensitive skin because some horses can have a reaction to it.
    \"In all manners of opinion, our adversaries are insane.\" Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2009
    Upstate NY


    Oh - she's saying "Gnats! HELP!". I thought the OP was saying that gnats help, and I've never heard of a gnat helping anyone with anything.

    heh heh.
    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2011


    This won't help in the field.. but in the stall, maybe.

    I found by accident while on vacation that if you leave a glass of white wine out that gnats will flock to it and immerse themselves. Perhaps a few open bowls of white wine around the barn (making sure dogs and cats who have a taste for the grape cannot get to it) would help in that confined space.

    ETA Use the cheap stuff.. Carlo Rossi make a jug wine..
    Last edited by skydy; May. 12, 2013 at 02:36 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007


    Skin So Soft really does keep gnats away.

    The Rambo Sweet Itch Hoodie rug ad neck rug and mask are the best protection from gnats.

    D-Itch, a feed-thru product from NAF, a UK company, really does help horses cope with gnats. It is no longer sold in the USA, but you can order it from in the UK.

    Applying Tritech or Endure daily, before you put on the fly sheet, will also help keep gnats from driving horses crazy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005


    Absorbine Ultra shield. Spray on throat neck, chest belly udder area and tail head.

    You can spray it lightly on the rest of the horse too.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2005


    I feed my sweet itch mare ground flax seed and while it doesn't completely prevent the itchies, it makes a marked improvement

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Boston Area


    Flax seed has been shown to help with the symptoms of Sweet Itch. I just happened to write about it. BTW, you can feed whole flax.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2000
    Goochland, VA


    Can't you put her in a stall for at least part of the day to give her some relief? Gnats are horrible, but I keep masks with ears and fly sheets with neck covers on all of our and they are fine. But they also get to come into a stall.
    Finding, preparing, showing and training young hunters, in hand and performance.

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