Did you know that a University of Kentucky study found that biting flies drink four cups of your horse’s blood every 10 days? Your first line of defence from the summer onslaught of deer flies, horse flies, stable flies, horn flies, black flies, gnats and mosquitos is a premium repellant product ‒ and UltraShield® EX Insecticide & Repellent is what you should be reaching for.
The weatherproof, sweat-resistant formula provides up to 17 days of protection to knock down and repel nuisance flies, with the added bonus of multiple sunscreens, aloe and lanolin coat conditioners, and a pleasant citronella scent. And the redesigned bottle allows you to conveniently apply the spray horizontally, vertically and even upside-down!
The active bug-blasting ingredients in UltraShield® EX include generous, effective percentages of permethrin, pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide. This is what they are, and how they work:
Permethrin is an insecticide of the pyrethroid family, which are synthetic chemicals which imitate natural chrysanthemum flower extracts. Permethrin affects the nervous system of insects if they consume or touch it, causing paralysis and death.
Pyrethrins are pesticides also found naturally in chrysanthemum flowers, comprised of six chemicals that are toxic to insects. Similar to permethrin, touching or eating it quickly leads to paralysis and death of the insects.
Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is a man-made pesticide synergist (an agent that increases the effectiveness of another substance). PBO doesn’t harm insects on its own, but rather works with insecticides to increase their effectiveness, blocking enzymes in bugs’ bodies that break down insecticides to give them more time to work.
Use as Directed for Best Results
- Shake well before using
- Ruffle your horse’s coat and spray against the hair growth
- Apply your fly spray after grooming so it sticks to your horse, not to dirt
- Don’t store it in the sun, extremely hot spaces, or anywhere the temperature drops below 0ºC
- Don’t spray your horse directly in the face; spray on a cloth or mitt first, then wipe on
Other fly control tips
Manure Management: Keep your stalls clean and dry by removing manure and wet bedding every day (or twice a day if horses are housed inside a lot), which discourages flies from laying their eggs and removes a food source. Paddocks should be ‘mucked out’ regularly as well.
Turnout: Turning out your horses at night can help beat the oppressive heat and pesky bugs during the hottest stretches of summer.
Fly Parasites: Consider using fly parasites, which are tiny burrowing insects that are a natural enemy of a many types of nuisance flies. They work by killing flies in the maggot and pupa stages of their life cycle.
Spray Away: Whole-premises sprays provide a quick knockdown of flies and other insects in the barn and also help deter new ones from entering. Some systems use a reservoir, tubing and misting heads to release a controlled amount of insecticide on regular intervals; smaller battery-operated units use individual canisters to release a controlled amount of mist.
Feed-Through: Feed-through fly-control products are mixed into the horse’s feed and work by preventing fly eggs from hatching.
Mask Up: Fly masks and fly sheets provide good protection, especially out in the field. They should be checked often to make sure they are not chafing, and washed regularly.
Tidy Up: Make sure to clean up garbage, human food waste, spilled grain etc. in and around the barn.
Air Flow: Large agricultural ceiling-mounted fans or stable-designed floor fans can create a nice breeze to deter flies from landing on horses.
Summer’s coming, and so are the bugs ‒ but you’ll be ready. Bring it!