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Say Goodbye to Pesky Flies: Effective Solutions for Horsefly and Fly Control

Flies and horseflies have been a common problem for both humans and animals for centuries. These pesky insects cause irritation, annoyance, and in some cases, transmit dangerous diseases.

In this article, we will explore the characteristics, habits, and effects of horseflies and flies, and the measures one can take to control their population.

Understanding Horseflies and Their Behavior

Horseflies are large, bloodsucking insects that can measure up to an inch in length. They are usually found near water sources such as rivers, ponds, and marshes.

Horseflies are diurnal, meaning that they are active during the day and rest at night.

Habit and Characteristics

Horseflies possess sharp mandibles that can puncture the skin and cause a painful bite. They have robust wings that allow them to fly at high speeds and move with agility.

Horseflies have compound eyes that enable them to detect movement from far and recognize specific colors.

Why Horseflies are Attracted to Horses

Horses are a favorite meal for horseflies because they produce carbon dioxide and attract them through their sweat and scent. Dark-colored horses are, therefore, more susceptible to horsefly bites than lighter-colored ones.

Effects of Horseflies on Horses and Humans

Horseflies cause significant damage to horses and can transmit a host of diseases, including anemia and tularemia. Symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, and skin irritation are common in horses that have been bitten excessively by horseflies.

Despite being less vulnerable, humans can also become victims of horsefly bites, which can result in pain, itching, and swelling.

Diseases Transmitted by Horseflies

Horseflies are notorious for transmitting diseases such as African Horse Sickness, which can result in high mortality rates in horses. Other diseases transmitted include Equine Infectious Anemia and Trypanosomiasis, which can be lethal to both horses and humans.

Preventive Measures for Horseflies

Preventing horseflies from accessing a horse’s habitat is the most effective control method. Clearing vegetation, keeping horses in screened stalls, applying insecticides, and using fly masks and sheets are viable approaches to control the population of horseflies.

Flies and Moisture

Flies thrive in warm and humid environments and, like horseflies, are common across water bodies and damp conditions. Understanding their favorite habitats, behaviors, and solutions to control their population is vital.

Influence of Moisture and Humidity on Flies

Flies breed in areas with high humidity, as it is essential for egg development. They are attracted to damp environments such as manure piles, compost, and garbage dumps, where the organic matter provides an ideal ground for breeding.

Flies’ Favorite Habitats

Flies are opportunistic and will inhabit any location with breeding sources. Their preferred habitats include horse stables, garbage cans, and outdoor bars and restaurants.

They are mobile insects and can quickly move from habitats that provide low breeding opportunities to those that offer better breeding grounds.

Connection between Flies and Horses

Flies are a nuisance to horses and can cause various health problems. Their activities may trigger allergies and respiratory problems in horses, leading to coughing, nasal discharge, and wheezing.

Flies can lay eggs on horse wounds, leading to secondary infections and delayed recovery.

Annoyance and Irritation Caused by Flies

Flies are known to cause significant irritation and annoyance to humans. They buzz around faces and land on food and dishes, interrupting meals and spreading pathogens.

Swarms of flies can also impede outdoor activities, such as barbeques, picnics, and swimming.

Solutions for Flies Control

Control measures for flies include eliminating breeding sources such as manure piles and filthy environments. Screening windows and doors, using insecticide baits and sprays, and employing biological control using predators such as parasitic wasps and nematodes can help manage the fly population.


Horseflies and flies are insects that can cause annoyance and irritation to both animals and humans. Understanding their behavior, habitats, and breeding patterns can help control their populations and prevent the spread of diseases.

Employing preventive measures such as sanitation, screening, and use of insecticides is essential in managing horseflies and flies to improve the environment’s health and maintain a better quality of life.

Manure Management

Manure can be a source of nutrients for plants, but when not properly managed, it can become a breeding ground for flies. Proper disposal of manure is essential in controlling fly populations and maintaining a healthy environment.

Importance of Manure Management for Fly Control

Flies are attracted to manure because it provides an ideal environment for larvae to develop and mature. A lack of proper manure management can lead to the rapid multiplication of flies, which can pose a threat to both human and animal health.

Proper manure management, which includes removal and disposal of manure from horse stables regularly, can help prevent fly infestations.

Proper Disposal of Manure

Disposing of manure is critical for both hygiene and environmental reasons. For horses in stalls, daily spot cleaning and removing feces are essential.

Horse manure can be composted, which can be a valuable source of fertilizer for plants. However, composting requires a well-managed system, and the composting pile should reach an internal temperature of at least 140F to kill pathogens and weed seeds.

For larger amounts of manure, it is necessary to arrange a professional disposal service. These services can collect and transport the manure to disposal sites such as agricultural land, composting facilities, or landfills.

Frequency of Manure Disposal

The frequency of manure disposal depends on the number of horses and the size of the stable. For horses in a stall, daily or twice daily removal of manure is necessary to prevent the build-up of pathogens and flies.

In larger stables, where manure piles are collected, removal can be done periodically, depending on the size of the pile. Regular removal of manure prevents flies from breeding and spreading disease.

Fly Traps

Fly traps are a common method for controlling fly populations. There are several types of fly traps, and each has its unique way of reducing the number of flies.

Different Types of Fly Traps

There are several types of flytraps, including sticky traps, baited traps, and zappers. Sticky traps use a sticky substance to trap flies, while baited traps use food as a lure to attract and catch flies.

Zappers use an electric grid to electrocute flies that are drawn to the UV light.

DIY Fly Traps

DIY fly traps are an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to commercial fly traps.

They can be made using simple household materials, including vinegar, sugar, and paper. One popular DIY fly trap is the bottle trap, which is easily made by using a plastic bottle, cutting it in half, and inverting the top half with the spout to create a funnel.

The funnel edges can be sealed with tape, and a sugar and vinegar solution placed in the bottom half. The flies will be attracted to the solution and then be unable to escape.

Commercial Fly Traps

Commercial fly traps are more extensive and offer varying levels of effectiveness, depending on the type of trap. Sticky traps, baited traps, and zappers are all available in commercial versions.

Electric zappers can be more effective but may present a safety issue for pets and children. Sticky traps and baited traps are a safer and effective option that can be placed near horse stables and outdoor areas where flies are present.


Proper manure management is essential in controlling fly populations, and disposing of manure correctly can reduce their reproduction. Employing fly traps can further reduce the number of flies and maintain a healthy environment.

DIY fly traps are an economical and environmentally friendly option while commercial traps offer varying levels of effectiveness. By implementing proper manure management, fly traps, and frequent removal of manure, controlling fly populations can be achieved, reducing the dangers of fly-borne disease transmission.

Horse Protection Tools

Horses are prone to insect bites and annoying flies. These bites can cause significant distress in horses, leading to irritation, discomfort, and skin-related issues.

Horses face multiple problems, including pain, infection, and disease transmission, resulting from pest infestations.

Protection Tools for Horses

Proper measures should be taken to protect horses from the effects of fly infestation. Fly protection tools such as fly masks, fly sheets, and fly boots are common ways to protect horses from fly bites.

In addition, keeping horse stables clean and free from manure piles is an excellent way to stop flies from proliferating.

Fly Masks

Fly masks are an essential protective tool for horses. The masks help protect the horse’s sensitive ears, eyes, and face from different types of flies.

They can also prevent sun damage and skin irritation around the head and neck. Fly masks are usually made of mesh materials that are designed to keep the flies at bay while allowing air to circulate, thus reducing the chances of overheating.

Fly Sheets and Boots

Fly sheets and boots are another effective means of protecting horses from fly bites. Fly sheets cover the horse’s body entirely, except for the legs and neck region.

The sheets’ mesh material reduces the likelihood of flies landing on the horse, thereby preventing bites and reducing stress. Fly boots cover the horse’s legs, which is the area most susceptible to fly bites.

The boots can be made of mesh material or rubber, and they are designed to stay in place even during a horse’s movements.

Fly Predators

Fly predators are tiny insects that naturally inhibit the development of biting flies. They are an alternative to insecticide applications that can have negative environmental effects.

Fly predators are released in the horse’s habitat, where they prey upon the developing pupae of flies, preventing the insects from reaching the adult stage and reproducing.

Fly Predators

Fly predators are a natural, safe, and effective means of controlling fly populations. They are biological control agents that prey upon fly pupae, reducing the number of adult flies that emerge and reducing the overall population.

Fly predators are extremely tiny insects that are harmless to both humans and animals.

How Fly Predators Help in Fly Control

Fly predators feed on fly pupae before they hatch, which significantly reduces the number of adult flies that emerge.

This means that fewer flies will be present to lay eggs and continue the lifecycle. Fly predators target the pupae of different types of flies, including house flies, stable flies, and horn flies.

Commercial Fly Predators

Commercial fly predators are available for purchase. The predators can be ordered in different quantities, depending on the size of the livestock, and the horse owner’s preferred release schedule.

The predators are delivered in a pre-packaged format that can be easily dispersed in the stable. The number of predators required varies depending on the geographic region and the length of the fly season.


Protecting horses from fly bites is essential for their comfort and well-being. Fly protection tools such as fly masks, fly sheets, and fly boots are both practical and effective in inhibiting fly bites.

Fly predators are a natural means of controlling fly populations and reducing the need for insecticides, which can have a harmful environmental impact. By implementing these protective measures, horse owners can ensure their animals’ safety and comfort while reducing the risk of fly-borne disease transmission.

Solitude IGR

Solitude IGR is an insect growth regulator used to disrupt the life cycle of biting and nuisance flies in horse stables and farms. By targeting the reproduction cycle of flies, Solitude IGR provides long-lasting fly control and helps prevent the spread of fly-borne illnesses.

Overview of Solitude IGR

Solitude IGR is a feed-through fly control that works by preventing fly larvae from developing into adults. The active ingredient, cyromazine, interrupts the metamorphosis of the larvae, preventing them from becoming breeding adults.

Solitude IGR is typically administered through daily feedings over a three-week period, which allows the insecticide to be distributed evenly throughout the horse’s system.

How Solitude IGR Works

Solitude IGR is a growth regulator that affects fly larvae exclusively. The active ingredient inhibits the development of flies by interrupting the transformation from the larval stage to the adult.

When a gravid female fly lays eggs in horse manure, the larvae that hatch are exposed to the cyromazine in the horse’s feed. As these larvae receive cyromazine, they are unable to develop into the next stage and, eventually, become unable to breed.

Customers’ Experience with Solitude IGR

Solitude IGR has received positive feedback from customers who have used it as part of a fly control program. It is an effective, long-term solution for controlling fly populations in farms and horse stables.

Customers have reported a noticeable decrease in fly populations after using Solitude IGR, resulting in less stress and discomfort for both horses and humans.


Fly sprays and repellent are a common method of fly control and help to prevent fly bites.

The Use of Sprays/Repellents for Fly Control

Sprays and repellents are accessible and convenient, and there are a variety of products available on the market. They are designed to repel flies and other insects by emitting a scent or spray that keeps the insect deterred.

Fly sprays can be applied to horses, riders, and surfaces around the stables. Repellents are available in a range of forms, including creams, lotions, and sprays, and can be used to repel flies from humans.

Popular Brands of Fly Sprays

There are numerous brands of fly sprays available, and determining which product is best can be overwhelming. Some popular brands of fly sprays include Absorbine, Farnam, and Pyranha.

These brands offer a range of products targeted at different types of flies and insecticides with varying effectiveness.

Precautions When Using Fly Sprays

Precautions should be taken when using fly sprays, as chemicals in these products can have harmful effects on horses, riders, and the environment. Most fly sprays contain pyrethrin, which can cause skin irritation, respiratory distress, and allergic reactions in humans and horses.

It is essential to read and follow all instructions provided on the product label. Protecting the face, eyes, and nose of horses during application is also essential to prevent the chemicals from entering their respiratory system.

Furthermore, spraying the stable during windy conditions should be avoided as the spray can accumulate and cause respiratory issues.


Controlling fly populations is essential in maintaining the health and well-being of horses, humans, and the environment. Insect growth regulators such as Solitude IGR can be employed to prevent the development of fly larvae and reduce the fly population.

Fly sprays and repellents offer a convenient method for deterring flies from both horses and humans. When using these products, precautions should be taken to avoid harmful effects on horses, riders, and the environment.

By using a combination of these methods, fly control can be achieved, preventing the spread of diseases and promoting a comfortable environment for horses.

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