I've been considering adding a misting system to my barn. I have a 10 stall barn and huge pastures. I am always struggling with spiders (I know...they eat the flies) and have gnats and flies. My barn is clean and stalls are picked constantly during the day in the summer, but I'd like to see fewer insects. I have struggled with this decision for years. I'd love to hear opinions on person's experiences...are the systems effective; is one better than another; what type of insecticide works best, etc. FYI: I don't think my situation would work well with fly predators.
I love the fly misters. I've used everything from the Country Vet ones that use batteries and you replace the spray can every 30 days to the big 55 gallon drum ones. I think they make a HUGE difference and wouldn't be without our anymore. The Country Vet ones work great where there is no electricity, but do end up costing a lot more to run if you have more than a small area to cover. I've used them mainly in run in sheds.
On our 55 gallon one, I just use the plain permethrin from Tractor Supply. I dilute it according to directions. I use it in my fly spray bottles too.
I don't like working in a barn w/ misting systems. When they go on, I run outside or face getting choked up coughing. I can't imagine having that chemical on everything in the barn, horses, hay, feed, feed troughs, etc.
They do cut down on the insects but at what price?
My thinking on the misters in the barn is that I could set them to go off during the evening a few times and then not have them going off during the day while the people and horses are in the barn.
There are different types of automatic systems. Are they the same? SprayMaster, Shoo-Fly, etc.
Love them. With the misting system and one of those giant industrial fans at each end the barn stays fly free in the summer. I prefer to either my own mix or a natural fly spray to avoid noxious fumes.
Years ago a barn I worked at installed a fly misting system, and two of the horses broke out in hives and had to move. Find out what the chemical is and google it befor you install the system. Even if you just run the system when no one is around, you and the horses will be exposed to pesticide every time you sweep or touch the walls, it persists in the soil and on porus surfaces. If you decide you don't like it, some of the chemicals can take a long time even years to break down.
Research is begining to show links between lawn chemicals and cancer in dogs,
I love my fly spray system. My horses are comfortable and the barn is fly-free. I also don't have cob webs to clear out anymore either. I'm amazed how infrequently the systems goes off to keep my barn clear of bugs.
By the way, pyrethrum is a natural material made from the painted daisy (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium or Chrysanthemum coccineum).
Not trying to get anyone riled up--I'm really just genuinely curious. Those of you who have said you'd not use one (for whatever reason), do you use fly spray actually ON your horses? If so, what kind? Do you spray it on, or wipe it with a towel/glove?
Those of you who have systems, what brand of spray do you use? I've always been disappointed that my stalls are not fly free with my system.
Part of it is probably that the mist can be blown by the wind.
I have a system in my barn. I love it. This year the flies are horrible because we have had too much rain. We have a company that maintains the system, refills it monthly. The flies have still been bad so they manually fog the barn when they come also. If you put in a system make sure you put in plenty of nozzles. One in each stall, many down the aisle and one over each barn doorway. Our ceilings are very high at our barn and it was very hard to get enough sprayers up.
We have a Shoo-Fly system in both of our barns. The system in Florida has been in place for 15 years and still works perfectly. We have replaced a few nozzles over the years but no repairs to the main system. It makes a huge difference in flies and mosquitos. Our barn in Kentucky is new and we just installed a new Shoo-fly system. Again very satisfied! When we bring in horses from the pastures they have flies on their faces due to a cow farm nearby. As soon as they enter the barn the flies fly out and the horses remain fly free while inside the barn area. We have it set to go off once an hour during the heat of the day and once every 6 hours after that. Again very happy with the results!
Has anyone installed the Shoofly system themselves and can you speak to how difficult it was to do? I just got a cost estimate for the system itself, but am wondering if DH and I can install.
I can't speak to the Shoofly system per se, but we install our generic no-name 55 gallon drum system ourselves (several times as we move it everytime we have had to move to rent another barn). It's basically setting up the drum in a safe place, screwing on the top, fastening the tubing to where you want to go, and installing the nozzles. Our nozzles install by pushing the tip into the tube and then tighening a screw band around them. Then plug in the motor on the drum. So I would say, if you have some basic tool knowledge and a ladder, you should be fine.
The barn I board at has one. I have to say it's pretty nice. I've been in the stall when it goes off and it doesn't bother me and my horse doesn't care either and she still eats and drinks normally. The stuff they use is not horrid smelling. I don't remember what its called though. Every once in a while one stops working. Fortunately the barn manager is great handyman. I think it works to an extent, but the flies love my horses fetlocks and the misting systems doesn't reach to her fetlocks so I constantly have to put fly spray all over her legs.
"There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humor and the other is patience."