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horsefly nightmare

 
Bert de Weert
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Hello,

We have a pasture with tree horses in it. but each summer, there is a long-term horsefly plaque.
we HAVE tried probably every spray on the market, but the stable is the only cure since these nasties dont go there.
with summer coming up, have any of you got a non-toxic remedy against these horrible insects?

Bert
 
Will Scoggins
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What keeps them out of the stable?
 
Alder Burns
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Try turkeys! Years ago we put some turkeys in a pasture with a dairy cow and some goats, just to use the space better. When the turkeys got about chicken sized and bigger, they would follow the cow around and pick off the flies that would land on her if they were within reach. After a while the cow learned to lie down if the flies were bad and let the turkeys walk all over her to get the flies! Another benefit is that the birds would scratch the cowdung completely away into the grass looking for bugs and worms in it. I suspect that guineas might do as well, and they are a bit hardier and easier to raise.
 
Renate Howard
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Free range chickens or guinea hens will scratch apart the manure looking for the horsefly maggots to eat and really cut down the population. I've heard muscovy ducks do the same (but ours stayed in the pond all day). There are eye covers you can get for them to at least keep the flies out of their eyes.

For the chickens, look for game breeds or easter eggers - those two seem to have a lot more survival skills than most and just don't get eaten. If you can provide some safe places for them to brood eggs/chicks they'll reproduce to replace what does get eaten.
 
Bert de Weert
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thanks for your reply's.

I think natural predating is a good idea. we DO have freerange chickens but on of our cattle horses chases them out of the paddock, where the stable is.
we have been keeping fish in the biggest bodies of water. because horsefly maggots develop in and or around water surfaces. we will see what the horseflies do this year.
 
wayne stephen
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The horsefly does not grow in manure like the bot fly larva . They live in and around water or muddy areas . The larva are voracious little predators . The females draw blood in order to reproduce but meet their food needs eating nectar as do the males . I see them biting my horses on the back and upper body thus staying out of reach of turkeys and chickens . Horse flies are nasty - If you have any solutions please post . We were tormented by them last year - a very wet year . Bot flies bother the horses swarming around their faces and eyes but the horseflies hurt and will trigger them to buck and bolt when you least want them to . I was bitten numerous times too - they hurt bad . I'm with Bert , out of ideas !
 
Renate Howard
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Maybe muscovy ducks then. They'll stay in/near the water and eat lots of insects (unlike most other ducks who prefer vegetation).
 
nathan luedtke
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The Horse Guard Wasp is a natural predator of the horse fly. In a few minutes of googling, I wasn't able to find a source for purchase of larva, but maybe there are things you could do to attract HGWs- wikipedia says they are sand wasps, so do you have sand on your property anywhere?
 
Natalie McVander
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I had a horrible problem with horse flies and my horses. I never could figure out a way to get rid of them.

I tried everything, both chemical and natural, at one time spraying/wiping them 3 times a day AND applying drops at all top points for supposedly long-term protection.

Nothing worked. They all had blood running down their inner thighs all summer long, stamping and scratching at themselves. It was awful.

I wish I knew the answer.

We were surrounded by cattle pastures and had ponds around us, so there was ample breeding grounds for them.
 
Bert de Weert
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the wasp would be the greatest thing ever!
however, how do we get these wasps from the US to the Netherlands (where i live)?
we also have mostly wet meadow /marsh and the only sand around is in the outdoor horse arena and in the paddock...
 
wayne stephen
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So , this thread has me searching harder now that I know we are not alone as horsefly sufferers . I found this device on youtube. I wonder if anyone has tried it . It goes for $300 and it looks promising { a little reverse engineering and.....} :



There are other designs similar in principle . Any one with experience ?
 
wayne stephen
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Here is another design :


 
Natalie McVander
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I heard of these after my horses were given to the therapeutic riding center.
They work off the fact that horse flies are attracted to the underside of dark objects.

If they are costly, it would be easy to make one.
I wonder what percentage of flies they get out of an area?
 
Bert de Weert
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We have a horsefly trap, but these nasty critters prefer a good old horse it seems...
 
wayne stephen
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What type of trap do you use Bert ?
 
Bert de Weert
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this type.
dazenval.jpg
[Thumbnail for dazenval.jpg]
 
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