June 22, 2024

Fly Sprays

Fly Sprays

Fly sprays are essential tools in equine care, providing protection against a range of pests such as flies, mosquitoes, and ticks. These pests can cause significant discomfort, transmit diseases, and lead to severe health issues in horses. Effective fly control is crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of horses, especially during warmer months when these insects are most active.

Benefits of Using Fly Sprays

1. Prevention of Disease Transmission: Flies and other insects can carry diseases such as equine infectious anemia and West Nile virus. Regular use of fly sprays helps reduce the risk of these diseases.

2. Reduction of Irritation and Stress: Insect bites can cause itching, allergic reactions, and stress in horses. Fly sprays alleviate these problems, ensuring that horses remain comfortable and calm.

3. Protection of Skin and Coat: Continuous biting and scratching can damage a horse’s skin and coat. Fly sprays form a protective barrier, preserving the horse's skin integrity and promoting a healthy coat.

How to Apply Fly Sprays

Proper application of fly sprays ensures maximum effectiveness. Follow these steps for best results:

1. Preparation: Groom the horse thoroughly to remove dirt and sweat, which can reduce the spray's efficacy.

2. Spray Application: Hold the spray bottle about 12 inches away from the horse. Apply an even coat, ensuring coverage on the neck, body, legs, and underbelly. Avoid spraying directly on the face.

3. Face Protection: For the face, spray the product onto a cloth or sponge and gently wipe around the eyes, ears, and muzzle.

4. Reapplication: Reapply as directed by the product instructions, especially after the horse has been sweating heavily or after exposure to rain.

Helpful Tips for Using Fly Sprays

Test for Sensitivity: Before full application, test a small area of the horse's skin for any adverse reactions, especially when switching to a new fly spray.

Avoid Over-Spraying: Over-spraying can cause irritation. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct amount.

Storage: Store fly sprays in a cool, dry place to maintain their effectiveness.

Routine Application: Incorporate fly spray use into your regular grooming routine for consistent protection.

Popular Ingredients in Horse Fly Sprays

1. Pyrethrins

● Benefits: Derived from chrysanthemum flowers, pyrethrins are natural insecticides effective against a wide range of pests.

● Recommended For: General use on most horses due to their broad-spectrum efficacy.

● Comparison: Generally safe but can degrade quickly when exposed to sunlight.

Options With Pyrethrins:

This includes the popular Swat, original and clear, which are long lasting repellent ointments!

2. Permethrin

● Benefits: A synthetic version of pyrethrins, permethrin is more stable and offers long-lasting protection.

● Recommended For: Horses exposed to high insect activity or in environments where long-lasting protection is needed.

● Comparison: More potent and longer-lasting than pyrethrins, but care should be taken as it can be toxic to cats.

Options With Permethrin:

3. Citronella Oil

● Benefits: A natural repellent with a pleasant scent, citronella oil is effective against flies and mosquitoes.

● Recommended For: Horses with sensitive skin or those in need of a gentle, natural option.

● Comparison: Less potent than synthetic chemicals, requiring more frequent application.

Options With Citronella Oil:

4. Carboxylic Acid

● This is an effective natural option as an alternative to the Natural Oils, which is very effective. Carboxylic Acid is more recognized in forms of Phenol and Anoic Acid which is where it is derived from. This is a very potent repellent and an effective insecticide.

● These should be used on horses in well ventilated areas. Only apply to the legs due to the strength of the product.

Options With Carboxylic Acid:

5. Diflubenzuron

● Benefits: An effective ingredient that is made to be ingested and works by preventing the larvae from developing their cuticles and outer shells resulting in them dying in the larvae stage. This process typically happens in the manure and soil which is why this is such an effective way to treat the root cause of the flies! Recommended For: Horses

● This can be used in conjunction with a topical fly spray.

Options With Diflubenzuron:

Choosing the Right Fly Spray

Selecting the appropriate fly spray depends on the specific needs of your horse and the environment:

For Sensitive Horses: Opt for products with natural ingredients like citronella or eucalyptus oil.

For High Insect Activity: Use sprays containing permethrin for extended protection.

For Frequent Use: Natural options can be safer for daily application and around other animals.

Fly sprays are indispensable in equine care, providing crucial protection against pests and contributing to the overall health and comfort of horses. Understanding the different ingredients and their benefits allows horse owners to make informed choices, ensuring their animals receive the best possible care. Regular application and proper techniques will maximize the effectiveness of fly sprays, keeping horses happy and healthy throughout the year. Stop into the Monroe and Snohomish Co-op and choose from our great selection of fly sprays with all your favorite brands!

We’ll see you at the Co-op

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