One of the first things that must be done is to control the moisture in both the stable and in manure. It is also important to remove both unwanted food and manure on a regular basis. Manure should also be spread out thinly, so that it can dry out, further destroying the habitat for fly larvae.
Another issue is flies that breed within the horses faeces. In order to combat these types of flies there are feed through products available that will sterilise the horses’ stool, thus removing a favourite breeding ground for these sorts of flies. However, it is imperative that you make sure that all of the horses will eat the feed-through product otherwise the flies will just target the horses that have not consumed the feed-though, making their lives a misery.
Other flies may prefer to live in manure mixed with straw, wet straw, moist soil, grain and grass clippings. Some horse owners have started to use parasitoids (minute wasps that do not harm humans or horses) to combat these flies. The parasitoids stop the flies from maturing, as they feed upon the fly larvae, stopping them from maturing into flies and therefore reproducing to create further fly infestations.
Insecticides are also useful in the battle against flies which have invaded your horse’s environment. Insecticides are best used once you have already eliminated as many flies as possible using other methods. As they can be harmful to horses and humans it is important to use these products with caution and to make sure that you have read the manufacturer’s directions thoroughly before use. Insecticides are available in a variety of different forms including foggers, topical sprays and misters.
Insect repellents are also available, which you can apply directly to your horse. These are available as lotions shampoos etc. The effectiveness of these insect repellents depends upon how long it stays applied e.g. oil based products may stay on for longer than water based products. This means that when using these types of products you need to take into consideration how long it will take the product to wear off and make sure that you are reapplying as necessary.