OK, well it’s not full on us yet, but we have started seeing those nasty flies on occasion here in our area. Nobody likes flies, but they do serve a purpose in decomposing things and provide a food source for other insects as well as birds. That said, managing them can be a full-time job. Casey Bazay on Horse Network had a great article on managing flies naturally called “15 Ways to Ward Off Flies (Naturally)“.
Bazay writes that we have myriad ways of dealing with flies and as we (hopefully) want to do so with the least impact on our horses and on the earth, we should find natural solutions whenever possible. Here are some of her suggestions.
- Use a natural fly-spray (or make your own). We happen to like cedar oil but some people have an issue with cedar oil so make sure you aren’t allergic. Dr. Bonner’s eucalyptus soap also works wonders in keeping lots of bugs at bay but might be expensive for horse needs. Lavender, peppermint, and lemongrass along with citronella also work exceptionally well.
- Use plants (just make sure they aren’t toxic to your animals).
- Use your mower (seriously, shorter grass keeps insects at bay).
- Use fly-traps.
- Use fans.
- Use chickens. Chickens eat the fly larvae and if you have ticks, they do a great job keeping the tick population at bay as well. What is even better are guinea fowl if you can stand the noise. They are known to clear ticks out in a 24 hour period. Chickens have the added bonus of providing eggs and food.
- Use fly masks and sheets.
What are the ways you keep flies at bay? Have a secret recipe for warding the nasty bugs off? If so, we would love to hear it!