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Garlic/ fly repellent supplements?

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  • Garlic/ fly repellent supplements?

    I heard garlic is a great thing to give a horse to keep flies off. How much should I give & how? My horse gets fed 3 times a day. How many times a day should he get fed the garlic(+how)?

    There are also a ton of fly repellent supplements out there, which ones are the best? And which one is the cheapest that are still good?

  • #2
    I feed garlic for ticks, and find it to work well for that use. I don't find it to do anything for the flies or gnats, and that's a pretty common refrain. Given the very real risk of Heinz body anemia, feeding garlic for flies doesn't make a whole lot of sense.



    • #3
      1. Ditto when I fed garlic it worked well to keep the ticks off but didn't do anything to repel flies.

      2. The Alliciin in RAW garlic is what can cause anemia. There are many processed/powdered garlic Products on the market for horses. They all have instructions on how to feed.

      3. While I used garlic for several years, I did not feed it to the horses with stomach issues. If your horse has had ulcers even in the past, I would not use the garlic as it can be hard on the stomach. I would also include hind gut issues regarding not feeding garlic.

      I also only fed the garlic during tick season, which where I live is about nine months out of the year LOL

      I haven't fed garlic for a long time as my two remaining horses both have digestive issues. Plus the neighbor now has chickens and even though they don't come on my property my tick population has been reduced by a large margin LOL


      • #4
        Originally posted by walkinthewalk View Post
        2. The Alliciin in RAW garlic is what can cause anemia. There are many processed/powdered garlic Products on the market for horses. They all have instructions on how to feed.
        There are at least two studies in equines that show freeze dried garlic can cause Heinz body anemia and (iirc) other hematological changes.

        Air dried is supposed to carry less (but not zero) risk, so that's the way I go, with the Springtime stuff.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Simkie View Post

          There are at least two studies in equines that show freeze dried garlic can cause Heinz body anemia and (iirc) other hematological changes.

          Air dried is supposed to carry less (but not zero) risk, so that's the way I go, with the Springtime stuff.
          That's a good thing to know

          Our tick issues have not been bad the last several years and even less since the neighbor got chickens. EXCEPT where DH is concerned. They are waiting in force if they hear him coming, lollol. We put hay up on Saturday -- so far he has found five ticks on himself, over the span of the weekend and giving the horses hay -- nobody else had ticks on them -----lol


          • Original Poster

            What about the smartbug- off pellets that smartpak carries?


            • #7
              I have used garlic the past 2-3 (maybe more?) years but bought the smartbug off pellets this year since I was able to get them half off. My horse has been on them since about mid March. The flies, mostly the gnats, are TERRIBLE this year. They definitely still bother her but don’t seem to bite and draw blood as much as they have in previous years. I also bought her shoo fly leggings this year. I only use them on her front legs and they have made a HUGE difference. Typically she is miserable most of summer with the bugs and humidity but between the leggings and the smartbug off and her high powered fan she isn’t doing too bad.


              • #8
                I've been trying brewer's yeast and I have noticed a huge drop in the number of bug/gnat/mosquito bites on my very sensitive horse. Took 1.5-2 weeks to really kick in but the difference is significant. Typically I need to constantly treat her ears and belly, but this year I haven't had to at all (knocking on wood!).


                • #9
                  Originally posted by princehf View Post
                  What about the smartbug- off pellets that smartpak carries?
                  SmartPak will send a sample if you ask. A few years ago I thought to try this at my barn, but none of the horses would eat it, nor would they touch their food bowls or buckets until they had been thoroughly scrubbed out to remove all trace of the stuff.


                  • #10
                    I like Bug Check. SmartPak carries it but you can also buy it direct. I tried stopping it mid-summer 1 or 2 years ago when I ran out as I wasn't sure if it really did anything. I noticed a big difference and I have been purchasing it ever since. It doesn't really keep the flies off, but it clearly deters something that my mare reacts strongly to. I also very, very rarely find ticks on my horses despite their field being surrounded by woods.


                    • #11
                      Our barn has had zero luck with garlic or any of feed through fly products. The horses smell garlicy... especially when they sweat... and they're still covered in flies.


                      • #12
                        I have a chestnut mare who is very sensitive to bug bites and I live in the bug capital of the universe (Florida). In the spring, before bugs reach peak, I start her on Buggzo, by Horsetech. It really helps keep the biting bugs away from her and keeps her from getting the huge welts she gets otherwise.


                        • #13
                          Even though my horse wears a lot of fly gear, he was still getting huge welts last summer. I tried him on Buggzo, and it seemed to help lessen the number of welts. Trying it again this summer. He seems to like the smell/taste. Maybe it's the apple cider vinegar in them too.