Why Managing Horse Flies Is So Important For Horses

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Why Managing Horse Flies Is So Important For Horses - Silver Lining Herbs

Reasons to Protect Horses and Dogs From Summer Pests 

The dog days of summer are here, and you know what that means: abundant amounts of flies! While most of us probably wish the dog days of summer meant spending more time around our dogs, summer means high temperatures and chilling with bugs in full force.

These bugs can include flies, ticks, and all kinds of pests.

But flies and ticks aren’t just problems for those of us who spend a lot of time outdoors. They can be problems for horses, dogs, and other animals as well. 

Flies can pose several issues for horses that might not be apparent at first glance. While horses may swat flies away with their tails, their tails can only do so much.

So, why is managing flies and pests so important? How can certain herbs for horses — amongst other tools — help ease you and your horse’s fly problem? Here’s everything you need to know about how to rid of horse flies, ticks, deer flies, and other pests for you and your lovable animal friends.


Horse flies are irritating — and quite painful

A close-up picture of a sad-looking horse with flies on its face

Flies feed on organisms’ blood. If you have horses or other animals, you’re going to see flies at breeding sites and in wooded areas, near bodies of water like marshes, streams, and pools, and anywhere your horse spends the majority of their time.

Flies are especially active during the daytime, so while a small number of flies buzzing around aren’t usually a big deal (you and your horse can easily “shoo” them away and go about your business), it’s important to make sure that flies don’t emerge and breed abundantly. If your fly population becomes unwieldy — as is the case during summer — flies can become a persistent problem that’s both irritating, can cause allergic reactions, and lasting damage to you and your horse.

Horse flies can cause horses to swat, twitch, and stomp. You may find your horse exhibiting temperament issues as well.

If you live in a region of the country where flies bite, these fly species can cause problems (and painful bites) for you and your horse.

Since horse flies salivate over and love to consume “a blood meal”, a large group of colts, mares, and other adult horses serves as a five-star meal for these pesky gnats. As a result, biting insects will aggregate near horses, which can be overwhelming for your poor horse.

Whether pests are biting a horse’s hide or irritating a horse’s large eyes, horse fly bites can be excruciatingly painful and stressful, which if gone untreated can lead to infection.


Horse flies can carry diseases

A horse rider with helmet on harnessing a horse

Biting female horse flies and other members of the Tabanidae family are a common source of disease, right along with ticks. That’s because female flies feed on blood from various organisms, as opposed to their male counterparts who feed on pollen and plant nectar.

All of this bloodsucking can cause serious problems for your horse.

And problems during the sunny dog days of summer can snowball into problems in the future. For example, flies, ticks, mosquitoes, and a host of other pests can be a source of disease if they bite and if the bite goes untreated for long periods.

Some fly species can cause eye infections and swelling if flies bite around the eyes.


How to help your animal friend fight summer pests

Silver Lining Herbs employee looking down at a horse and leading them by rope

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s why we recommend a variety of herb-based remedies to ward off pesky horse and bot flies.

Horse dewormers can help animal owners to keep internal parasites and pests under control.

To ward off strong fliers, you can also opt in to our Bug Control Bundle for Horses, a bundle that comes packed with tools to help you fight off serious pests.

Another helpful prevention strategy for horse flies includes adding natural horse dewormers to your horse’s feed. Bug repellant is also a wonderful place to start if you need a quick solution for warding off insects.

Bug repellents are ideal for reducing itching and other harmful side effects resulting from horse-fly bites. Our bug repellant is made with herb-based ingredients like witch hazel, lemongrass, and peppermint, all of which are palatable and healthy for a horse, dog, and even you.

Instead of insecticides filled with toxic materials, opt for mesh eye coverings for your horse. Eye coverings and herb-based repellents are less invasive and may make your horse feel more comfortable during those sweltering summer days.


A fly’s worst nightmare is a clean habitat

A man, woman, and young boy walking in a shadow-laden field of grass with horses

While certain herbs for horses can be helpful, managing their environment is equally important to help curb the spread of horse flies.

The key way you can create a noxious environment for horse flies (that is, to keep them from hatching and taking root in organic matter), consider managing the manure around your barn. You can add the manure to compost or keep the manure far away from where horses spend most of their time.

Since horse flies lay eggs on vegetation near wet soil, vegetation, and other organic matter, moving manure away from the horse will decrease the chances that larvae and horse flies multiply.

In short? Keep your horse’s living areas clean to reduce the chance of horse flies reproducing effectively.


Horse flies also hate a clean animal

A woman using a horse sponge to clean a horse's eye

Which is why it’s beneficial to keep horses and dogs well-groomed. The occasional bath, along with brushing, can help keep your animals’ coats clean and minimize insect attraction.

But don’t worry if your animals aren’t squeaky clean or spotless, as a solid coat of dirt, dust, and the occasional mud splatter can deter horse flies from attacking your animals. Since most cattle, livestock, and mammals — horses included — spend the bulk of their time playing outdoors and frolicking in the grass during summer, it doesn’t hurt to keep loose dirt in your horse’s paddock or pasture where they can roll around. 

Know that doing so might be the most friendly and natural way to help your horse and dog curb the harmful effects of airborne invaders.


Other summer-related pests

A woman and man smiling with a dog lapping into their arms

Many people confuse horse flies with ticks. There is a huge difference between horse flies and ticks.

While ticks aren’t always a problem in barns, stables, and tended pastures, they can be on trails. Since most ticks generally live in and around shady or moist areas near the ground, they can affect walking horses, dogs, and the rest of us meandering along brush and near water sources.

Similar to ticks, worms and parasites can also cause problems. Worms can be picked up when horses feed on grass in pastures, at shows, and right from the comfort of their homes. If left untreated, your horse barn and stall can make for an attractive habitat for these serious pests who are intent on multiplying and growing.


A more wholesome solution for summer pests

Two dogs, a horse, and a smiling owner kneeling in a brown dirt field

As the heat blasts on, it’s crucial to keep your horse and dog’s health and wellness top of mind. At Silver Lining Herbs, we understand just how important it is to keep your animal healthy during the summer.

We’re setting the standard for a healthy life for all animals. We’ve created a full lineup of wellness products for your horse, dog, and even you and your family to help you live a long and healthy life.

Our equine supplements are developed to address a wide range of common concerns for your animal friends — everything from respiratory care, to temperament, and more.

As the weather becomes hotter and dryer, grass may become less sparse. If you notice your horse is sick from horse flies or is not eating enough, our weight gain supplements for horses work wonders.

What sets us apart is that we only use real herbs in all of our supplements. In other words, healthy living is based on real, healthy ingredients guaranteed to deliver results.

To learn more about why the pros endorse us for all their animals’ needs — or to learn more about healthy living for you, your equine companion, and your furry friend — don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

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