The horse fly is one of the most common nuisance pests. Their bites are painful and dangerous since horse flies can transmit bacteria and blood pollutants. Here are some tips to help repel horse flies to keep you, your livestock and your pets safe, and make your experience outdoors more enjoyable.
1. Maintain Your Yard
The best strategy to deal with horse flies, as with other insects, is to prevent them from appearing in your areas. These flies are attracted to damp regions, and it is typical to encounter them in grasslands near water bodies in the summer.
They prefer weedy regions and long grass that may store moisture and reproduce the moist pasture habitat. Here are things you can do to maintain your yard.
a. Trim tall grasses
Many insects, including horse flies, prefer to reproduce in grasses and weeds, especially during the warmest times of the day. To repel horse flies, you should regularly trim the grasses and keep them neatly cut.
b. Use plants that repel horse flies
Planting flowers is one of the most effective ways to repel horse flies naturally. Flowers help to draw beneficial insects, such as bees, to your garden. Since horse flies dislike bees, this can greatly reduce the amount of horse flies on your property.
Growing scented plants like catnip, lavender, spearmint, basil, and lemon balm to surround your structures and garden. These pungent-smelling herbs will keep horseflies and other pests away from your property.
c. Keep your areas clean
To keep your areas clean, you should:
– Remove spilled food and dung regularly; this should be done at least twice a week.
– Place manure stack as far away from your barns as feasible. If this is impossible, you can apply pesticide on the dung pile and surrounding region to eliminate any growing larvae. Insecticides should also be sprayed around the stables.
– Set up a fan in the barn to repel horse flies as well as keep the barn and the animals cool.
– Put protective horse fly nets over crevices or whole windows to prevent horse flies from entering.
– If you have a dog or a cat, you will need to clean up your area more often. This is because horse flies and other pests are drawn to your pets’ excrement. If you don’t clean up frequently, you may end up with a horse fly infestation.
– The lids of outdoor trash cans should fit perfectly. If you keep your trash indoors, there will be fewer flies in your garden.
2. Remove Standing Water
Removing standing water is one of the best ways to repel horse flies. As we mentioned above, horse flies breed in damp conditions. As a result, draining standing water is an excellent approach to repel horse flies and keep their population in check in your areas.
If you have areas where water tends to gather, you’ll need to create suitable storm drains to divert that water away. You should also place fewer drinking spots for your horses to reduce standing water.
If you can’t eliminate any standing water spots, spray insecticides around them. This will help prevent horse flies from reproducing.
During peak horse fly season, remove any unused water containers and cover water bodies. If you have a pool in your yard, you can use light traps, such as lamps, nearby to repel horse flies around the pool. To prevent horse flies from reproducing near your pool, ensure they are well-chlorinated.
3. Use Mechanical Traps
Fly traps, whether purchased or homemade, are a quick and easy solution to repel horse flies in your areas.
– You can use lamps to draw horse flies in there and kill them with electricity. Because insects always follow the light, it’s an effective technique to repel horse flies. There is no way out after the flies have gotten into the lamp. This is one of the best ways to kill horse flies.
– Disposable fly traps
To get rid of horse flies in your yard and in your house, the disposable fly trap is one of the best solutions. The disposable fly tapes/papers have an attractant. For the best result, you should hand these traps from the ceiling or place them on surfaces throughout your home or near a source of light like lamps.
When the flies walk on the paper/tape, they become covered in glue and are unable to fly away. In a few weeks, each trap may catch around 20,000 flies.
You can also make these sticky fly paper traps by yourself. Just soak the papers in an attractant such as ammonia, cow urine, carbon, acetone, dioxide, or nail paint.
– Horse pal: This horse fly trap attracts pests and traps them in a metal container.
– Bug zappers use ultraviolet light to lure horse flies and then destroy them with electrical metal grids.
– Bottle traps that have meat
You can make this trap with some basic tools and some simple steps to get rid of horse flies around the house or in a horse barn.
First, take a plastic bottle and cut it in half. Next drill a hole in the bottle cap. Put rotten meat and water into the bottom part. Then, turn the top part upside down and place it on the bottom bottle part. Horse flies will be drawn by the smell of the rotten meat. It will be nearly out of the question for them to get away once they get into the trap.
4. Use Repellents
Horse fly repellents can be used directly on your horses, as well as on barn doors, walls, and dung piles. These repellents not only detect horse flies, but they can also kill them.
a. Commercial Repellents
Not all insect repellents can get rid of horse flies. To choose the best horse fly repellent, you need to find the one with packaging that has one of these chemicals: pyrethrin, pyrethroids, organochlorine, and organophosphates.
Pyrethrin is a naturally occurring insecticide generated from the chrysanthemum plant. It is non-toxic and widely utilized by farmers. You can spray this chemical on your animals once or twice a day. Or you can bathe them with shampoo containing pyrethrin. This protects them from horse flies and also keeps them cool in the hottest months of the year.
It’s important to remember that insects, like bacteria, can evolve tolerance to substances over time. So, you should vary the products regularly to maximize their efficiency.
Besides spraying or bathing repellents, you can also use insecticide-impregnated ear tags or collars to keep horse flies and other insects away from your cattle.
b. Homemade horse fly repellents
Instead of buying chemical repellents, you can create homemade fly sprays for horses. If done correctly, they can be quite efficient. Because they are all-natural components, you can safely use this DIY horse fly spray on your animals’ skin.
– White vinegar: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar, 5 cups of bath oils, 5 tablespoons of eucalyptus oil, and 5 cups of water together. After that, you can apply this repellent straight to the skin of your horses.
– Essential oils
To boost the repellent qualities, you can mix essential oils (or baby oil) with lemon dish soap. Citronella, light mineral oil, eucalyptus, peppermint oil, and tea tree are the most effective essential oils. To improve the effectiveness, add 0.25 cups of lemon juice and apply the repellant straight to your animals’ skin.
With lavender oil, you can combine one part lavender oil with one part of alcohol and one part of water. You can use this simple homemade fly spray on your skin and your animals’ skin.
– Soap spray: Combine a cup of warm water, two cups of white vinegar, and four teaspoons of dish soap. Shake the horse fly deterrent well and spray it on the flies.
5. Avoid rush Hours
This way will not eliminate horse flies, but it will protect you and your animals from horse flies’ attack. Some horse fly species are active during the day, whereas others are active at twilight and sunrise. You should research the most prevalent species in your area and arrange your day appropriately.
6. Keep horse flies away from you
Besides finding ways to get rid of horse flies, you should also protect yourself from these pests at the same time.
– Stay away and stay still
Horse flies are extremely territorial critters, so if you go out and see any of them, you’ve probably entered their zone. You should stay away from that area for about 10 or 15 feet.
If you accidentally come across these flies, just stay still. Horse flies are among the fastest flying insects in the world. So, if you begin moving, they’ll chase you. Besides, your motions will just draw their attention to you.
– Use insect protection spray
Using a good insect repellent before going outside can repel horse flies from humans. Commercial bug-repellent sprays can be used, but only if they are particularly intended for horse flies. You can also make your own horse fly repellent for humans by using essential oils as mentioned in 4b. Those homemade repellents for horse flies for humans are safe.
– Stay away from water
Horse flies begin their life as larvae in marshland areas, muddy pond edges, and stream banks. You should avoid ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, and other water bodies such as puddles.
– Wear clothes with light colors
Horse flies like dark colors, so you should wear light-colored clothes. These clothes also reflect heat away from your body, decreasing your general body temperature and thereby deterring horse flies.
– Cover yourself when going out
When going outside during horse fly season, the greatest defense is to cover all of your skin. You just need to wear long-sleeved clothes that have light colors.
Wearing a hat is an especially effective approach to keep horse flies and deer flies at bay. These insects seem to be drawn to the back of the head. They will actually try to bite your head by digging into your hair. You should use a hat with a brim to keep horse flies away from your face, ears, and neck.
– Burn candles and torches
If you’re having a backyard BBQ or other outdoor party, lighting citronella candles and torches can help to repel horse flies. The smoke and aroma produced by citronella oil can repel horse flies.
7. Talk to the Professionals
If you have an infestation, the best solution to get rid of them is to call your local pest control company. They are familiar with the area and can deal with these insects.
If pest control professionals discover a small pond from where the flies may have emerged, they can destroy the larvae before they mature. They may assist you with protecting cattle, and maintaining your stable and your home.
Overall, horse flies can be a nuisance. They attack animals and humans to take their blood. However, by using some of these tips and tricks, you can help repel horse flies. Some of these include using repellents, avoiding standing water, keeping horses clean and brushing them regularly, cutting down tall grasses, growing plants, and using fly traps.
By taking a few simple steps, you can help keep these pests away from you and your animals and enjoy your outdoor times.