Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fly Management Tip

This is a bad year for flies locally because we had so much rain during the winter months.  I'm using Fly Eliminators, but stopped using the bag and bottle traps with attractant in them because they stunk to high heaven, and I suspect that the attractant just gets the flies excited and they mate more than they might otherwise, thus creating more flies while killing others.  I'm using fly masks on the horses, of course, but they still stomp their feet to get the flies off their legs and manage to cut themselves up with their own hooves in the process.  I use Pyranha fly spray, but am not religious about applying it.

The other morning I went down to the barn and noticed a long black line on Rock's neck.  I had to get up close to figure out what it was, and as I approached, all these flies jumped off his neck and flew away, leaving an open cut behind.  I scrubbed his neck with Pyranha shampoo and then cleaned the wound with Betadine solution.  I needed to go into the house to get Swat, and was amazed to find not a single fly on his wound when I returned.  I guess the fly deterrent in the shampoo really works.

The frustrating thing is that he wouldn't have had that cut on his neck if he weren't trying to rub flies off of it on something sharp in the first place.  Summer seems to be the season of self-inflicted injuries.

Anyway, I've been trying to come up with a more effective solution regarding the fly problem.  One day I had picked up all the fresh manure out of the paddock and put it in a wagon, but I didn't have time to dump the wagon out.  A few hours later, when I approached the wagon, hundreds, maybe thousands, of flies flew up out of it.  I ran in the house and grabbed just regular household fly spray, and sneaked up on the wagon.  Then I sprayed the aerosol all over the manure in the wagon.  I couldn't believe it!  I killed hundreds, maybe thousands, of flies in one fell swoop.  I didn't have to wait for them to fly into a trap or wait for little bugs to eat their larvae or fart around with fly deterrents that just temporarily chase them off.  I stopped them dead in their tracks.  RAID!  Actually, I was using Hot Shot.

Anyway, here's the trick:  Park the wheelbarrow or wagon or tub right next to the barn or the horses, because the majority of flies want to hang out around the living animals.  Leave the fresh manure out for a couple of hours when flies are at their busiest, and then blast them.  In my case, I keep my manure pile so far away from the horses that there really aren't many flies on my manure pile.  But if I keep the fresh manure close to the horses, I can trap a lot of flies.  I would swear that with each day I do this, there are visibly less flies around the horses.

I'm working on building up my strength again after another slew of health issues, so I went for a slow, but steady mountain bike ride.  I was surprised to see several horses coming toward me down a trail in the middle of a week day.  I cut over to an adjacent trail, not knowing if these horses would be okay with having a bicyclist coming straight at them.  Then when we were about to pass, I looked at the horses and riders.

The horses seemed a little concerned, but the riders seemed even more concerned, so I stopped and said hello.  There were two little girls riding bareback with no helmets, so I definitely did not want to make any sudden movements.  The first three horses and riders passed me uneventfully, and then the lady in the back waved to me and I waved back.  Then she laughed and yelled out, "My horse really likes you!"

I saw that the horse had its head up in the air and was excited.  The rider was struggling to keep it focused.  Next thing I knew, she was riding over to me.  She said, "I'll just bring him over to you, because he really wants to meet you."

I thought that was funny, because my horses try to either jig away from bicycles or freeze up.  I've never met a horse who wanted to love on a bicyclist.  She said he was only four years old.  She rode her horse around me really close.  I said, "I have horses and they get really excited over seeing bicycles, so I always just stop when I see horses when I'm bicycling."

She said, "Well, I appreciate it."

I said hello to the horse in a friendly tone, and the rider said, "That's what he wanted."

I guess she wanted me to talk to her horse so that he would feel satisfied over receiving my attention.  The horse then turned back toward his buddies and trotted off.

It's a nice, cloudy day for outdoor activities.  I'll probably go out in spurts, keeping in mind that rattlesnakes like to come out in these temperatures when they don't have to be in direct sunlight.


Crystal said...

I hate flies. My Jessie mare really hates flies and the spoiled pony she is gets a fly mask and fly sheet with neck and belly. It really helps keep the flies away. I've debated on the boots but I'm not sure they are worth it yet. I have a large shed and they stay in there all day and the bugs don't go in there as much.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Crystal - I've tried fly sheets a few times, but they were shredded within a couple of hours.

Breathe said...

Go get those buggers!

I tried a new fly spray with lanolin. It seems to work better. It's a tiny bit oily, but I think that helps it stick.

Thanks for the review, by the way! Glad you enjoyed it! I'm ordering I's right now. :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Breathe - You are welcome. Thanks for buying my book. I'm doing a major revision right now that should vastly improve it, so if you aren't in a rush to read it, I'd hold off until the new version is published. I read my reviews and talked with a few people who read it and got some good input on what needs to be changed.

achieve1dream said...

Wow that is such a great idea!!!! I'm glad it's working so well. :-)

That's really cute about the lady on the horse. It's nice to actually meet friendly people huh??