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Best spray for horse flies

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  • Best spray for horse flies

    Has anyone found a good spray for HORSE flies? I am talking the 1" ginormous, slow, you can catch them in your fingers and squeeze them until they pop flies? My new horse is VERY intolerant of them. I have them pretty bad at my place; I can stand around at dinner and kill 15 or 20 at a time. He has a great fly sheet with belly band but these get up in the sheath area so that is no help. Fly predators? Spray? Idk. Poor guy wont stay outside when it is hot b/c he just can't stand it (just arrived in SC from PA and has no idea what this humidity and large bird-sized bugs are all about!)
    Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

    "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

  • #2
    A .22? Sorry, my impression has been that they are impervious to anything short of physical violence. Maybe spraying the heck out of them with pure permethrin would kill them non-violently, but I haven't seen any sprays that actually repelled them when used normally. Maybe someone else has a secret potion (arsenic?). I call them B-52's because they're slow but massive like bombers.

    Since it's mostly one area, maybe putting a bunch of SWAT on and around his sheath would work. ???
    The plural of anecdote is not data.
    Eventing Yahoo In Training

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      oops I meant to post this in horse care!

      Oops! But I'll take these suggestions here too!
      Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

      "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree that it is a tough one. I go the fly sheet route with a belly band (Schneiders is a nice one for the price) and use Espace gel on the areas not covered.
        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          So I was wondering about the swat...slathering on a good layer of this or the gel would prevent them from stinging, you think?? Poor guy is going to be covered head to toe in mesh or sticky stuff! And it gets so stinking hot here in the summer I don't know what wearing a heavy rambo fly sheet is going to do to his sanity! Looks like he'll be voluntarily indoors in front of the fan starting, um tommorow. Its already almost 90 here He is ready to go back to PA
          Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

          "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Gato, I am not opposed to violent death I actually take pleasure in crunching them, no matter how messy!
            Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

            "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd suggest Pyrahna fly spray - it SAYS it protects against horse flies, but I haven't had any horse flies to try it out on. I LOVE it - spray it on a fly and you can see them flop on the ground and within seconds they are dead. I think it smells pretty good, but it does "leave a conditioning shine" or whatever, that can be kind of greasy. It comes in a yellow bottle. Good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                here is the deal with Horse/Deer flies (especially the large ones). The REASON that fly spray is toxic to insects and not humans is largely related to dosage. Insects are smaller, thus a smaller dose kills them. When you start getting in to horse/deer fly range, you need much larger doses. Therefore those doses woulds start to get toxic to humans (small children, domestic pets, etc) so most insecticides will not be effective.

                Fly predators will NOT Work on horse/stable flies. wasps in the family Pteromalidae primarily attack muscid flies (house flies, stable flies) and have some affinity for calliphorid (bottle) flies.

                Horse/deer flies breed in low marshy areas but have pretty extensive dispersal. They also tend to be very territorial and host location specific i.e. why some species hover around your head and others around your feet and why if you move 5 feet by that tree in the field you are surrounded, but move out of that zone and they wont go near you.

                Best recommendation is to keep your horses out of the pasture that they are attacking during the period of time that they attack (generally crepuscular).

                Trap options include the Epps trap and the Horse Pal trap.

                ETA: Source: I'm a graduate student in Entomology

                Comment


                • #9
                  I use SWAT on the sheath area and ears. Leaves my horse looking like the Easter bunny which is appropriate for this time of year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think horse flies, which hunt by sight and not smell, care about fly sprays at all. I put Deep Woods Off on ears and neck when I ride, which helps with deer flies, but nothing but bomber traps works for the big bloodsuckers, IME.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      GatoGordo, I swear I clicked on this thread ready to post the same thing -- "A .22?"

                      Giggle.
                      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I feel for your horse! Poor Baby!

                        I use tri-tec 14 often, plus buzz-off for ticks. The horse flies do vere off when they get close to the tri-tek. I figure that they will die if they latch on and get a swig of the tick spray. It is quite satisfying to nail those bombers!
                        Last year I used frontline for the ticks, but this year the ticks have adjusted and it no longer works. I try to stay out of the low marshy areas. Which is hard when you are doing conditioning on small mountains and tall hills.

                        I do carry a swatter with me when I'm at the barn, too. The vornado outdoor safe fans really have a blast to them, if the horses make it to the barn. The barn is low light, compared to outside, so that helps.

                        I had the same trouble with the flies getting up inside the netting. That really caused havoc.
                        Intermediate Riding Skills

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          TSHEventing, thanks for the expert advice!
                          They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've got a question about the swat. We always have to use it in one of our horse's ears as he is sensitive (or perhaps they are just attracted to him?) to gnats. Somehow the swat becomes a gooey mess all over his forelock by the next day. Anyone else have this problem?

                            Think I'll try the tri-tech spray this year. We used ultra-shield last year.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              entymology and etymology

                              Thanks TSH, now I really *will* remember the meaning of the word "crepuscular."
                              :-)
                              http://behindthebitblog.com
                              Dressage, riding, sport horse blog
                              BTBbrowbands.com
                              Unique browbands for dressage and hunter riders

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                haha, dusk

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  For regular flies, I use Mosquito Halt. it's the only stuff I've found that I can spray on and NOT see flies landing on my boy's legs two seconds later.

                                  For those ginormous horse flies, I use Cashel bug armor. Cover every spare inch of them, and use a fly mesh mask for myself, as well. The only way to protect yourself from gnats to those huge green bombers, if you must trail ride in Southern Pines in the summer.
                                  "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                                  So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My standby is Farnam Super 7. One time I visited a friend's barn who was out of town and one mare was just covered by these huge horse flies. She was frantic. I grabbed my Super 7 and sprayed her and most of them went away and she could finally relax. Poor mare. This was about 15 years ago and I still remember it! Actually, my Dad was with me (not a horse person at all) and HE still talks about that day. I would also swat the sheath area. Those flies are nasty and will bite right through a fly sheet! I have to spray my fly sheets too when they are active in August.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      ugh, thanks for reminding me that "black fly" season is coming.

                                      I hate those things. It's probably the one time a horse will tolerate you hitting them (we wait till they land and smack, bug fall down dead). I think they know you are killing those godforsaken flies. My apologies to the entomologist, I am sure they are good for something....

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Belly Balm from Tail Tamers. It is a natural thick paste that won't sweat off as fast as sprays. Works great in ears too for gnats!

                                        I think Jeffers carries it, or google Hillview farms Proven Products for riders. I got it from her at a horse expo and LOVE it.

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