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Managing biting flies

  • Stable during early morning and late evening when many flies are at their most active (sunrise and sunset for midges)
  • Place screens across stable windows and doors to keep flies out
  • Use insect-proof rugs and sheets, of which there are very many on the market
  • Avoid standing water as this is where flies and midges breed
  • Keep stable yard clean and make sure the manure heap and any rotting vegetation is cleared regularly
  • Use insect repellents, especially permethrin-based ones
  • Use overhead fans in stables as midges are too weak to fly in breezes
  • Use fly hoods and head nets — again, there is a wide choice available
  • Try feed supplements containing antioxidants and garlic. There is plenty of anecdotal support of their efficacy, but very little scientific evidence.

H&H readers share their home-made fly spray recipes in the forum.

Read H&H full veterinary clinic feature on the parasites and flies that prove troublesome to horses during the summer months in today’s magazine, on sale 24 July ’08

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