Keeping Bugs Away From Your Horse

A horse can attract flies, mosquitos and gnats whether in the barn, the field or when you are riding it. This guide is about keeping bugs away from your horse.
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June 26, 2008 Flag
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What can I use to keep flies off my horses. I can't use commercial sprays and wipes as they make my eyes red and swollen.

Betty

June 28, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use a fly mask for his face.

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August 21, 20080 found this helpful
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I use Gordon's pony and horse spray. It works really well, and I also use a fly mask on my horses. But here is my secret; I put like 2 ounces of mineralized salt in their food. Once the salt is through their system, when they poop, the flies do not hang around the poop in the stables. People always comment about the lack of flies.

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October 2, 20080 found this helpful
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I have 10 cats, a dog, 5 cockatiels, a goat and chickens and just started using Diatomaceous earth. I bought FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth because I want it IN the animals as well as ON them and around their sheds/coops/bedding, etc. Make sure if you try it, to use only the FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth.

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August 20, 20090 found this helpful
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I started using Bug Check for my horses this spring and boy, does it work! Give it about three weeks from the time you start feeding it and you will see the difference. I buy mine through KVvet, in the 10 lb. size. It has garlic and diatomaceous earth in it plus some other things. By the way, if you give your livestock diatomaceous earth, you do not have to worm them.

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June 23, 20160 found this helpful

August 19, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

Here are three easy ways to keep flies off your horse.

  1. Horses tend to move around the hay and straw in their stall. On the hay and straw are pieces of sweet grain which tends to be a food source for flies and bugs. Every once in a while, I would take the horse out and just rinse him/her off to get the pieces of sweet grain, which are usually microscopic. Don't do this too many times, about twice a week because washing too many times could be unhealthy for your horse's skin.
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  2. After you ride your horse, they are usually sweating a lot. Flies tend to like the saltiness in sweat. After you ride your horse, you should usually wash or even just rinse your horse off. A good way to get sweat off is a sweat scraper ($20-$40). It brushes sweat off your horse while your washing him/her off. It will not only cool your horse off, but keep flies and other bugs off as well.

  3. The last decent way to keep flies off your horse is to get a good brand of fly spray ($15-$50) actually made to keep flies of of your horse. You can go online to get a good brand of fly spray or go to your local horse and stables store.

Hope it Helps :)

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February 18, 20160 found this helpful

My horses go inside in the morning, into a dark barn. Few bugs go in where it's dark. They are fed hay inside and won't emerge until almost dark. The bugs aren't so bad then. I carefully wipe petroleum jelly near the corner of their eyes and also up between the hind legs. It will be full of scabs from bites. Bugs don't like the greasy pet. jelly and it won't harm the horses, rather soothing.

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June 1, 2013 Flag
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What kind of home remedy can I use to keep flies and mosquitoes away from my horse and his eyes?

By chribom69 from Wildwood, FL

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June 3, 20130 found this helpful

I have heard the addition of apple cider vinegar to the drinking water keeps flies not interested.

http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/flies.html

I would not give any animal garlic. I am referring to the part in this link that deals with the addition of ACV to the water. I do this for my pets.

I would also put vaseline on the ears and around the eyes. You could check with the vet about the vaseline around the eyes if you like.

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August 7, 2010 Flag
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I live in France and we have a few horses living close by. I have looked up the natural remedies for keeping flies away from horse's eyes and found them very interesting. The trouble is I do not own these horses, but it breaks my heart to seem them so unhappy. I have been seeing a particular horse each day and know his temperament to understand how unhappy he is.

What can I do to help him without interfering. Here in France they just put their horses out to pasture and that's it! His hooves are all broken, too. Please help. I thought of making up a garlic solution to rub around his eyes, but want your advice. Kind regards.

By Michele from France

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

I would contact your local ASPCA or your local governing office that protects animals, if you feel you can't talk to the owners. Some people get horses as pets and know nothing about their proper care. You can also gather a lot of information on the Internet regarding the care of horses.

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

I read on the internet the other day that WD-40 will keep flies off horses and cows. This product is found around the car parts section. It is a spray that can be found very easily. Dollar General even carries it. Hope this helps. ~Janette~

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

I've just gotten the email about WD-40 too but don't believe it! I checked Snopes and WD-40 is not fish oil and is not harmless. Please do not apply to cows or horses or any living thing.

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June 26, 2008 Flag
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My daughter is fostering a retired race horse. He is very gentle, the problem is he gets bit by mosquitoes, flies and horse flies. Horse spray, human spray and Skin-So-Soft have been tried but don't work. He gets welts from the bites. Does anyone have a solution? She has to keep him in the barn with a bug zapper and fan on him but he really wants to be outside. He has broke through two fences trying to get away from the flies biting him and ran back into his stall.

Anna from Owls Head, Maine

Answers:

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

Vicks vaporub works for me and my dog and I don't see why it wouldn't work for the horse, poor thing! I was around some horses last week and they were miserable from the flies. (07/09/2007)

By susan matthews

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

My horses graze peacefully with a face mask on, I tried looking through it and their vision is fine. No chemicals involved! I took it to my sewing machine to make it fit a bit better, I look out the window and their tails hang down most of the time, no switching. (07/09/2007)

By kimhis

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I don't have Horses but there's a bag you can buy for the flies and it traps them like crazy. We have chickens and believe you me, they draw the flies even tho we're very clean, so I found these clear bags with a yellow plastic hanging top on them and bought 2. I hung them in a tree real close to the chicken house and the next afternoon, they were full of flies. Now we don't have but a few flies hanging around and that's because of the hot weather here in Arizona, they're looking for shade and water.

You can find the bags at the Hardware or feed store. I think I paid about $10.00, they are worth it. They smell to high Heaven and that draws the flies. They're also non-poisonous, too. As for mosquitoes and gnats, I use a Garlic mixture on my dogs and it keeps the Mosquitoes and gnats away. I found it online and ordered the powder. I also sprayed it all around my property and we're not bothered with them anymore. It also got rid of the Horse Flies. I can't remember the website but will look it up and post it later. (07/09/2007)

By Louise

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

When we had cows, I used Diatomaceous earth, it's what they use in filters of swimming pools. As we could not get real close to some of our cows, I could throw it on their backs and it kept the flies off. Not a poison and it should work for horses, also you can put a small amount in the grain and it will deter flies when it is expelled (07/10/2007)

By Lila Arroyo

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I have tried Clear Vinegar and Dawn detergent, proportions unknown. I have been guessing, it seems to help on the horses I can spray. (07/12/2007)

By Mike

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

Sound like he's spent a lot of time indoors and this new life outside is something new to him. My horse tried to run from the rain when I first got her. Garlic helps, but feed too much and they get anemic. Skin So Soft doesn't last, as well as all the water based sprays. Even the oil based sprays that are nastier still don't last as long as they claim. The pour on stuff only last for 2 applications, then stops working altogether...very discouraging. I would spend the money once..get a fly sheet for him and a fly mask. He'll look like an alien standing out there, but he will have found happiness, especially where those allergic welts are concerned. (11/12/2007)

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I use Dawn dish soap, white vinegar and water, equal parts. Put it in a spray container and spray away the pests! Of course, no eye areas... yikes! I also used it on young calves. Good luck! (03/27/2008)

By Dans2ndwife

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

CITRONELLA, ROSEMARY, SUNFLOWER, AND EUCALYPTUS OIL MIX WITH 10 PARTS WATER

We also use another blend for horses that already have sores from the previous bites. (06/24/2008)

By Theasherbalcreations

RE: Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

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July 2, 2007 Flag
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I would like home remedies for flies and gnats on horses and around the barn.

Answers:

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

The nice people at Horsequest has this reponse to your question:

Response (Dr. McCall) - 05/24/2004 11:24 AM

"The best home remedy for fly and gnat control around horses is cleanliness. Make sure that all potential fly and gnat breeding places are cleaned up. These breeding places are any moist debris (wet hay piles, rotting vegetation, manure, wet areas under feeders and waterers, etc.). Stalls and sheds should be cleaned daily. Also, water troughs should be emptied and cleaned weekly and areas that collect rain water should be eliminated to reduce gnat and mosquito populations. All manure and vegetative debris should be composed to reduce insect eggs and larvae. If horses are stalled, screens and fans can help reduce insects in stalls. Unfortunately, other home remedies (herbs, vinegar, etc.)are not extremely effective in controlling insects around horses. There are a large number of "natural" insect repellents on the market which might help with minor fly infestations, but probably would be overwhelmed if the horse owner has a large insect problem or has neighbors with fly producing situations (other livestock, dog kennels, wet areas, etc.). Also there are fly predators on the market which eventually reduce fly numbers in a contained situation, but these predators do not reduce flies already in the environment. Fortunately, there are many effective and safe chemicals on the market which can repel and kill flies on horses, in manure or around the stable. If the horse owner decides to use these insecticides, he should read and follow label directions when using the products."

By ThriftyFun

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I'm a veterinery assistant and have many people in our area swear by using AVON's Skin-so-soft bath oil SPRAY on their horses. It not only keeps the flies off it also gives their coats a nice shine. According to the clients, you use the spray daily when needed. I would be careful not to get into into their eyes just like any other fly spray. Use a clean rag, spray the rag and wipe around the face. Hope this helps!

By Mary-Jane

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I feed my horses about 2 tablespoons of granualted garlic a day. That seems to help. It does not keep all the flies away but it has reduced the number that bother them. I do use fly predators which has greatly reduced the fly population.

By Me

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

What I use on my horse is white vingar, skin so soft, water and drops of tea tree oil. Like the others say make sure you don't use around eyes. I use when going riding. On hotter days may have to use more. Good luck.

By Kathy

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I use Apple cider vinegar in my horse' oats, start with small amount so they get use to the smell and then add more. Also I've heard of adding it to there water.

It helps with other things with soreness in there legs, too. They say drinking a glass of water with apple cider vingar and honey works for people why not horses?

By Kathy

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I have used two cups vinegar, one cup skin-so-soft, one cup water, and 3 Tb of vicks vapor rub works well in a spray bottle

By lindsey

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

Just a word of caution. Skin so soft gave my horse an allergic reaction on his skin. (had a mare that was fine with it) He ended up with small bumpy hives? all over his skin where I had sprayed. Needless to say, I never used that on him again.

By ann

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

Warning... my mare gradually developed extreme itching/flaking skin in her mane and tail when given 1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar once daily in her oats. She also had an extreme reaction to Avon Skin So Soft, so I've given up on any "home remedies" for her. Interestingly, she does fine with Permetrin fly sprays! She has trouble with the "natural stuff" but is fine with chemicals! Go figure! The yearling does fine on vinegar, so it must be an individual thing.

By heather

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

Forgot to mention a GREAT method for keeping blood-sucking gnats from biting hairless areas on the horse (udder/sheath, between hind legs, around anus and under tail). You can even use this on nursing mares and the foals are not bothered by it. Rub some Olive Oil on these areas and you'll be amazed at how it repels gnats. I've never had an adverse or allergic reaction and the older foals nurse regardless of the oil (though I wouldn't use it right after birth until the foal is bonded and nursing for 2-3 days). You need to reapply every two-three days or whenever the horses go out to pasture where there are a lot of gnats. The only drawback is that it attracts dust and you'll have to wash the area once a week so it doesn't build up dirt.

By heather

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I use any vinegar with a tint of tea tree oil and a dish soap it seems to work. So what's not worth the try. One of my horses has had a allergic reaction to it but the rest of them did not. Oh I also use a Apple Cider Vinegar in their water it makes a shiny coat and keeps some flies away so try it works for me and i hope it works for you.

By Chloe

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

hi I've used vegetable oil and cooking non-stick spray and it seems to be helping a lot!

By jenna

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

as a vet tech and a horse breeder I have learned that one way to keep flies out of your horses ears (or any where else that isn't chafed or open sored or near babies), use any hemorroid cream.

By lexie

Remedy for Flies and Gnats on Horses

I have always used an oil (canola,vegetable etc) mixed with crushed garlic cloves, vinegar and water to dilute...I also bleach the barn windows and floor to kill any larvae. Keeping the surrounding area clear of any pools of water etc is key to minimizing your horse's exposure

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