Fly control. It’s never a question of “if” the flies will return, but rather “when” and “how many”? But with so many fly-control products using heavy chemicals, you might be searching for some solutions that will keep you and your horses toxin-free while still reaping the benefits of seasonal fly relief. Today we’ll cover natural solutions to combating flies in the barn, including our secret (and all natural) weapon against flies year after year.
Get Your Manure Under Control
It’s no mystery that flies are drawn to feces, and horse manure is no exception. Daily stall cleaning is essential to keeping flies out of the barn, especially because stable flies breed in manure. Designating a specific area for manure collection away from the barn will help reduce the number of flies in the barn, as will consistent manure removal from the property.
Fly Traps and Natural Repellents
Fly traps are a great way to reduce the number of flies buzzing around the barn, and come in many shapes and sizes. Many livestock supply companies also sell natural hanging fly repellents that use non-toxic wax and essential oils that repel bugs without posing an extra risk to you or your animals.
Parelli’s All-Natural Secret Weapon: Fly Predators
When it comes to controlling flies naturally around the barn, Parelli Natural Horsemanship’s secret weapon are the Fly Predators by Spalding Labs. Born out of necessity to control pesky flies around horses and livestock, the Spalding Family wanted to manage flies around their horses without chemicals. The fly-fighting parasites that they discovered, now known as Fly Predators, became a grassroots business that quickly caught fire in the horse world.
“Fly Predators kill flies before they emerge. You simply sprinkle them near all manure areas every three to four weeks during warm months. It just takes a few minutes and you’ve done your fly control for the month.” – Spalding Labs.
What Pat says about Spalding Labs: “I’ve been using Spalding Fly Predators since the mid-80s. I used to use a toxic system that would kill flies by spraying poison over the top of myself, my horses, my staff, and my children in order to control flies. Since I’ve been using Fly Predators—the natural way—I, my family, and my horses have all had a better life.”
Ceiling and Portable Barn Fans
Ceiling fans and portable fans are a great way to reduce flies year-after-year with minimal recurring costs. Simple stand-up fans are great to whisk away flies that seem to hover around the cross ties, whereas ceiling fans can keep a steady breeze flowing through the barn, making it harder to land. Small clip fans angled over your horse in his stall are great to regulate your horse’s temperature and keep the flies from landing on him throughout the day.
Fly Sheets & Masks
Another great non-toxic method for reducing flies around your horse are fly sheets and fly masks. These equine apparel items create a physical barrier between your horse and the flies while still keeping them cool in the warmer temperatures. They’re easy to add to your routine, too, because you can throw them on between grooming and leading your horse back to his pasture.
All-Natural Fly Spray
Did you know that you can make your own fly spray? While there are many great natural fly sprays on the market, they can be a bit expensive. This simple fly spray recipe can be made with household ingredients and essential oils (we recommend Young Living for maximum purity and effectiveness).