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Hi Cherry,

I was reading recently about Cat Nip Oil to repel flies and other insects.  Just wondering if you have used/or heard of this concept.  If so where cans a person purchase the oil.  Thanks.

Karen in Boise

 Hi Karen,

No I have not. We do use a natural oil product for bare skin areas. It is called Bare Skin Barrier.

It contains

Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba, Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavender, Tea Tree Oil

You can read about it here Bare Skin Barrier.

 

 


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Those pesky heavy-duty, blood-sucking bombers that line up on a horse’s neck like shingles on a roof…….awfully irritating. We have problems with them here in the Colorado foothills near our creeks and springs for about two weeks this time of year and on trail rides in the timbered areas most of the summer. I’ve seen first hand how they can drive a horse crazy and cause large welts from their painful bites. Read more about horse flies and deer flies at the University of Kentucky site.  

I’ve found that a long-sided fly sheet that has a neck extension used in conjunction with a fly mask with ears and nose shield are a great deterrent to any flies. If you armor your horse like this, the only place you’ll have to spray or apply fly cream is under the jaw, and on the belly and legs.

Unfortunately, as you’ve probably discovered, application of fly products don’t seem to deter horse flies and deer flies for very long. And the fly traps that I talk about in Fly Control are effective for trapping house flies and stable flies but don’t attract horse flies and deer flies.

I’m not aware of any fly predators that target horse fly or deer fly larvae.

There is a trap specifically designed to capture horse flies which you can read about here.

Cherry Hill  horse training and horse care books and videos

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How to Control Flies

on Your Horse, around the Stable and

Horse Barn – Part 1

©  2010 Cherry Hill © Copyright Information

If you look in your favorite equine supply catalog, you could find up to 15 pages of fly control products!  During fly season, the shelves of your local feed or tack store will display a myriad of insecticides, repellents, fly traps, baits, and masks.  The choices for fly control products can be overwhelming.  However, if you arm yourself with some basic fly facts and gain an appreciation for the importance of management, you’ll have a better chance of winning your war against flies.
Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping AlmanacStable flies, horseflies, deerflies, horn flies, and face flies are a menace to your horse’s health and well-being.  Stable flies, by far the most common, are the same size as a house fly but while house flies just feed on garbage and spread filth, stable flies (both males and females) suck your horse’s blood.  Common feeding sites include the lower legs, flanks, belly, under the jaw, and at the junction of the neck and the chest.  When stable flies have finished feeding, they seek shelter to rest and digest.

The bite of a blood-sucking fly is painful and some horses have such a low fly tolerance that they can be driven into a snorting and striking frenzy or an injurious stampede. How  to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill Even fairly tough horses, subjected to a large number of aggressive stable flies, might spend the entire day stomping alternate legs which can cause damaging concussion to legs, joints, and hooves, and result in loose shoes, and loss of weight and condition.

Stable flies breed in decaying organic matter.  Moist manure is a perfect medium.  The life cycle is 21 to 25 days from egg to adult.  A female often lays twenty batches of eggs during her thirty day life span.  Each batch contains between 40-80 eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the adult flies emerge ready to breed.  Stablekeeping(The clouds of small flies on manure are often mistaken for immature stable flies but in fact are a different type of fly which may play an important part in the decomposition of the manure.)  The number of flies produced by one pair of adults and their offspring in thirty days is a staggering figure in the millions.  That’s why fly prevention is the most important line of defense in your war against flies.

FIVE LINES OF DEFENSE IN YOUR WAR ON FLIES

Your first line of defense is
TO PREVENT FLIES FROM BREEDING.

For those flies that manage to breed, your second line of defense is
TO PREVENT THE LARVAE FROM HATCHING.

If some of the larvae succeed in hatching, your third line of defense is
TO CAPTURE ADULTS FLIES IMMEDIATELY.

To deal with flies that avoided the traps, your fourth line of defense is
TO KILL THE REMAINING FLIES.

For flies that escape your previous four efforts, your fifth line of defense is
TO PROTECT YOUR HORSE.

Natural fly protection with Bare Skin Barrier

Watch for parts 2 and 3 of this post coming later this week.

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