As the temperatures rise, so do the insect populations. Although managing these pests can prove challenging, your horse will be eternally grateful for your efforts. Below are Whipley Manors top five tips that can help you protect your horse from insects.
1. Manure management
Although we can’t eliminate insects all together (and honestly, we wouldn’t want to), we can control our management practices to minimize our interaction with these pests. The first step, which isn’t glamorous, involves a pitchfork and some elbow grease. Insects are drawn to manure, which means keeping stables and fields as clean as possible. This will help prevent areas where insects will congregate.
2. Clean water supply
There are numerous reasons why a clean water supply is important for your horse, and just one of those is insect control.
3. Protective gear for your horse
If your horses are sensitive then providing them with a fly sheet and mask will protect against insects, sun bleaching and in some circumstances can help to cool your horse too.
4. Fly repellents
In addition to the steps above, it may also be helpful to use fly repellents on your animals. Before saddling up to ride or show, apply fly spray to your horse’s skin and coat. This will often result in a much more pleasurable ride, as your horse won’t be bothered by flying insects. Repellent ointments can also be very useful if your horse is scared of sprays, and they often last longer than your average fly spray.
5. Natural predators
One area of insect control that is often overlooked is using natural predators. Believe it or not, maintaining a population of bats on your farm can be a very effective way to minimize flying insects. Bats will consume up to 1,000 flying insects in just one hour and birds such as sparrows and swallows will also play their part too. Ohh and don’t be too quick to scare away any little 8 legged barn friends either!