Monday, April 11, 2011

Reader Question - On Fly Management

I received a question from Marilyn on Fly Sprays. ”I stable my horse, a white Polish Arabian, at a barn that is not keep clean of manure very well. I can clean my own stall in between when management finally gets around to having one of the boys do it, but it doesn’t seem to help the fly situation last year. I have been noticing more flies and know that soon we’ll be in the thick of fly season again. Is there anything I can do for my horse and my stall given the general poor cleaning management practices? What fly spray do you recommend?”

Keeping all facilities clean of manure stalls is a necessary first step to reducing the fly problem.   If the facility dumps manure into a pit or dumpster for periodic removal, then they should consider spraying insecticide on this temporary manure storage once or twice a week between removals.  I managed a large horse facility where this worked well.  Your options then are a combination of fly sprays, fly masks, sweat sheets, and anti-fly products such as fly strips, fly traps and the introduction of fly predators onto your property.

I have not used the fly predators. People that I know that have used them all have good things to say about it. These are basically little critters you introduce as eggs or larvae then they birth and mature and kill flies. For more information go to

I have used fly strips and even the nasty smelling fly traps. They all do good work, but don’t get all the flies. Another option is feed through products like Farnam Equitrol which inhibit the maturation of flies in manure. I have no experience with using this, but it is fairly cheap. I believe a $50 supply would last all fly season or close to it. For more information on Farnam products go to

As far as fly sprays are concerned, I use them and prefer the Pyranha or Tri-Tec,..I think Bronco not very effective and the price reflects that (you get what you pay for). Just check the labels to see what percentage or concentrate of permethrins are in the mix. Permethrins are the insecticide and repellent chemical in most off the shelf brands of fly sprays. Just be careful not to spray into mucous membranes or eyes.

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