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remedies for mosquitos and biting flies on dairy goats?

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Ok, I hope someone already knows all about this. I can't find a thread on it. If there is one, can you direct me there? Otherwise.....

There are about a dozen varieties of blood sucking insects here, this time of year, plus a lot of flies. I was at the feed store getting a dosing syringe, in case someone bloats by eating too many fallen apricots, and I looked for fly wipe type products, and did not find anything I could have any confidence in.

Does anyone have any ideas or experience how to keep the biting insects off the dairy goats.

Does anyone have a recipe for a citronella fly spray recipe?

Many thanks

Thekla
 
Mike Feddersen
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THekla, I found some links to different solutions.

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/quick-and-easy-to-make-highly-effective-fly-trap/

I have used a variation of this, back in my cigarette smoking days I would drink 4-6 2Liter bottles of diet Coke a day, no shortage of 2 liter plastic bottles. I would put banana peel and a 1/2 cup of sugar in a quart of water. I never cut the bottles to invert them. I would tie the bottles in the branches of the trees around our yard, every two weeks I needed to mow, sometimes more often. The two liter bottles would be full of bugs, flies, gnats, mosquitos and those damn black beetles that bite the heck out of you. The one video mentions using holes in plastic and black plastic, I never used anything. I did learn that flies are attracted by the movement of other flies so it is no wonder the traps fill so fast. I would tell you if traps in certain areas fill faster put in more traps.







http://tinyurl.com/natural-fly-control

http://tinyurl.com/organic-fly-control

I remember reading of a trap made with baking soda, it released CO2 gas that made mosquitos seek it out.
http://tinyurl.com/mosquitos-be-gone
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Mike,
Thanks for those. I do have flies in the milk room, and mosquitos in the chicken water bucket, so I can definitely use them. Probably could put them in my orchard with the right kind of lure and keep the moths off my apples (next year).

I am looking for something to put right on the goats to keep the biting flies off them. Deer flies, horse flies, no see 'ems. After I looked at a few of the bottle traps I found a link to an insect repellant: tinctured yarrow, but it takes 6 weeks for the tincture. Then I found a site that has a basic recipe for biting fly repellant. choose your base: water or vinegar, choose your binder/emulsifier, witch hazel, alcohol, glycerine, then add essential oils, huge list of suggested essential oils.

What are the guidelines for posting a link to the site, or putting the "cheat sheet" up? And I guess if it's OK with permies, to put it here, I should also check with the author if it's ok with her to post it.

I'll email her now.

But still, has anyone tried the repellants or yarrow tincture on goats? Any suggestions which might be the most effective essential oils?

Thanks

Thekla
 
John Elliott
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:

But still, has anyone tried the repellants or yarrow tincture on goats? Any suggestions which might be the most effective essential oils?


After doing some reading of the chemical literature, I found that lemongrass, thyme, and coleus have been studied for insect repellant qualities. I make up a tincture by soaking leaves of all three together in 50:50 rubbing alcohol and water. I don't have a goat to test it on, but I spray it on myself when I go outside and I notice that the flying pests are less annoying.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Thank you kind sir. I guess I better get a coleus plant!
T
 
David Livingston
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Swallows and Fly catchers . Last year we were plagued by flies of all types but we but up nest boxes and tried not to disturb nests and this year our swallow and spotted fly catcher population has rocketed and our fly population plummeted last evening I counted thirty swallows in the telephone wires next to the house - each one must eat at least a 200 flies a day x seven days a week = lots
David
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Now why did I not think of that? Every area has swallows. I'll ask my friend the ornithologist about fly catchers, purple martins, and who else lives around here. More birds would be wonderful.

Merci bien

thekla
 
Kelly Smith
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http://www.permies.com/t/36829/cattle/biting-flies-beef-dairy-cows
 
Shane McClellan
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We are learning so much from this post here at our nano pharm. any who, you should check out a product called em1. It's worked as a spray to reduce fly larva and the fly hate it so I imagine it would work excellent at keeping them off goats and since it's harmless and food grade it's safe in any situation not to mention easy and cheap to make yourself once you have a starter. Did I mention it's great in compost piles, barns and stalls as well as any other smelly situation you get into? This stuff is akin to apple cider vinigar which would work great too I imagine but more expensive and harder to produce.
 
Kelly Smith
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Now why did I not think of that? Every area has swallows. I'll ask my friend the ornithologist about fly catchers, purple martins, and who else lives around here. More birds would be wonderful.

Merci bien

thekla


my only problem with this solution is, like you, my fly problem is extremely seasonal. part of the is we are both living in an irrigated desert, thus providing great fly habitat during our hot months.
if you were able to attach swallows and they ate the flies in Jun/Jul/Aug, what would they eat the rest of the year?


we have tried essential oils and we have not found a recipe that works worth a hoot - anyone have one that actually works?



anyone know what organic dairies use for fly control?
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Kelly,

Aren't swallows migratory? I don't know if all of them are, but some species are. I guess more research is needed. If we provide housing for their nesting, we just need to provide them with food for THEIR breeding season. It COULD work.

I haven't had any great luck with what I've tried on my goats. I got some ideas from Prairie Homestead, for an essential oil blend with emulsifier and water, and it only works OK. Which is what she said it would do. I've been considering putting the essential oils in something and painting it on the inside of the milk room, but what would I put it in? I've considered whey, but think that would act as an attractant, and once the essential oils volatilized, I'd be left with the whey, which might be yummy to the flies. I wonder if something like lime would be uncomfortable for them to land on. Is that what white wash is? More research needed.

I could make some kind of essential oil wipe to put right on them, but again, what would I dilute the essential oils with that would not later be food for the flies when the essential oils evaporated?

I know that flies have sensory feet. Important because that's how they tell whether what they landed on is food. If I could get something on the walls that made them find it uncomfortable, they would not have a place to wait, rest, sleep. They'd have to leave the barn...

I also know it is time for me to get ready for work

T
 
Socrates Raramuri
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i only found things against mosquitoes. There's this link, but it applies more to people.
GreenPowerScience has some awesome vids on how to control mosquito populations.
 
David Livingston
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I dont know about the USA but most insect eating birds in tempret zones here in europe are migrators . So there are no swallows or fly catchers in winter here but then we have no flies either Talk to you local bird watcher I am sure they would love to help How about this chap and his family http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Purple_Martin/lifehistory
Another thought I had was dust baths . The cows next door regularly go and kick up the dust to deter flies are goats able to do similar ? Have you given them the opertunity .

David
 
David Livingston
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This chap might be worth cultivating http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-tailed_Gnatcatcher/id
 
Kelly Smith
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Hi Kelly,

Aren't swallows migratory? I don't know if all of them are, but some species are. I guess more research is needed. If we provide housing for their nesting, we just need to provide them with food for THEIR breeding season. It COULD work.



looks like i will have to make a few more houses then

 
Thekla McDaniels
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The http://www.allaboutbirds.org site is great. It's a searchable data base, and then you can check range, and food and so on.

The swallows eat flying insects, and so would be good for mosquitos and the biting flies, but I wonder if they would help with the flies in the barn. When I see swallows dipping and swerving, they are higher above the ground than I expect those biting flies to be, and I don't know how high mosquitos fly, but I heard once that they stay low, whether 10 feet or 30 feet I can't remember.

But all in all, I don't think we can go wrong with encouraging summer breeding birds on our places.

Thekla
 
David Livingston
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my swallows live in the barn

David
 
Aj Kopec
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Along the same lines as swallows, bats and frogs (homes for both are relatively easy to install)! And then of course, finding the places where large populations of the insects are breeding and making them less hospitable.

geoff lawton has netting of some sort wrapped up around a rope that his animals have to walk under, to get to their milking stations. The netting is soaked with a solution that contains an oil that repels flys! The animals instinctively understand that the oil-soaked netting is beneficial for them, and rub up against it.

I'm sorry I can't find it right now, but he shows it in one of the two Zaytuna Institute tour videos available on youtube.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hey, Aj, I'll look for that. A self service method for the goats. That Geoff, he's clever, and has been figuring things out and collecting ideas from others for many decades now.

Lucky me I have thousands of toads, don't know about bats, though. I'm not aware of many. Maybe bat houses/ roosts as well as bird houses.

It's a nice idea to decrease breeding and incubation habitat, but impractical in my situation. Habitat destruction (barn fly) is already maximized, and my neighbors, pursuing conventional methods keep the place well stocked when ever I have a fly deficit. Barn flies and biting flies are worst in the corner of my property closest to their animal sheds...

Thanks

Thekla
 
Kelly Smith
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my not be the answer, but it could be part of the answer:

saw this while browsing the premier catalog:

http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=67&species_id=ALL&criteria=pine+tar

Topical repellent for flies and insects. Effective for several days after application.


 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Kelly,

I took a look at the stuff. It is worth a try, but one could use any pine tar. It is sticky messy smelly stuff, too. We used it when I was in 4H in the 60s on the wounds from docking and castrating, and it did keep the flies off. If I were to try it on my goats, I would just put a line down their backs perhaps. The biting flies we called horse flies do bother them.

If I try it, I'll let you know how it worked.

Hoeggers supply also sells fly predators, and offer a fly season subscription, a new shipment of fly predators every month. For now, I took a fan out to the milk room, and keep the air moving. That helps keep the flies off me as well.

Thanks for the idea

Thekla
 
Kelly Smith
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we use the arbico organics fly predators (http://www.arbico-organics.com/category/fly-control-program)
we get a quart sized bag every 3 weeks from mid April - late Aug/early Sep.

its tough to tell how much they are helping. part of our problem is we free range chickens, and the fly predator larvae at like little snacks to chickens - so you have to strategically place them where they will do some good - but cant be eating.

seems the worse of the flies in our area are in July - August. they are 'manageable' the rest of the time.

hope to hear of your success stories
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Yeah, I'd like to hear of my own success story. For now, the worst of the season is over, when miling I have a fan that blows air over me and my girls, each in their turn.

An idea for your chicken situation might be to release them under a chicken tractor sort of thing, that keeps the chooks out for a day or two rotate your inoculation sites. Is there any chance the predatory imports will establish a reproductive population?
Thekla
 
Kelly Smith
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Thekla McDaniels wrote: Is there any chance the predatory imports will establish a reproductive population?
Thekla


as i understand it, no.
these are tropical fly eating insects and wont live their full life here. they also outpace the fly/food population, so in theory they should eat themselves out of food.

i believe this is partly why we are sent a package of bugs every 3 weeks or so.
im sure it is possible to breed and keep these bugs in a greenhouse if you wanted - the ones we get are grown in southern AZ, so it is possible.
 
Shane McClellan
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Bokashi seems to work better than all the remedies people on here have recommended. Soaked in water and applied to, well everything, it eliminates smell and fly larva. Living with birds and bats is all well and great at zones 3 and greater and for sure we use plenty of home made bat and bird houses but for outbreaks of flys and Mosquitos look no further than anerobic kombucha for your plants. Easy to make, easy to use. Good for you and your land. You would be hard pressed to find a better solution!
 
meganjoy ostermann
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catnip oil!!! studies have shown it to be 10x more effective than deet!! I've experienced its magic in essential oil blends with lemongrass etc. vitamin e and vanilla extract are nice additions also. I'd put catnip in a less expensive carrier oil (olive oil or something, canola is from rapeseed, def not good to ingest, probably bad topically also) and soak it in something like Lawton's rig as discussed above (just saw that vid last week myself. brilliant)
hope this helps! catnip oil is expensive, might be worthwhile to invest in some rig to extract it yourself since catnip can grow like crazy, in the Midwest at least, my grandma's was thick and almost 8' tall!
 
Raven Sutherland
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mosquitoes hate the taste of vitamin B1 found plentifully in brewer's yeast
which also totally deters fleas and is absolutely helpful for skin for any animal
that eats any.

mosquitoes send out a taste sensor before they bite you
and when detecting B1 they fly away

flies hate all members of the mint family of which catnip is a member
 
L. Hayes
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Yes, Raven Sutherland is spot on! If goats are fed the real authentic brewer's yeast, thereby supplying B1, it is in the smell of their skin in 30 minutes. This works on humans, too, of course! My mother took a B1 tablet 30 minutes before going out to the garden, and the gnats and mosquitoes didn't touch her. This would help tremendously to incorporate brewer's yeast in the goat feed twice a day when they eat. PS: Our cats LOVE brewer's yeast.
 
alexander kingsbury
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I can't speak to how well this product works with mosquitoes, but it's VERY effective for vinegar flies. http://skeeterbag.com/. (I'm not in any way affiliated with this company). It's just a cone of netting that attaches to a box fan. The fan pulls in flying insects and traps them in the bag where they die from dehydration. No chemicals, just a little electricity.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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This idea sounds like something I could manage to do. But I wonder if the goats will eat the brewers yeast. If they did not like it, I could mix it with molasses, they are suckers for molasses.

But, what do you think it would do to the flavor of the milk? It obviously gets in the blood stream, and I wonder, if the insects can smell it on the goat, won't we also smell and taste it in the milk and cheese?


Does anyone know how often a person or goat needs to be dosed to have continuous protection? That would be good to know. B vitamins are water soluble, so they get flushed through our (and other mammals) kidneys.

I could make that work if it was a transient thing. I would just give them their vitamins right after I finish milking, and hopefully, the concentration would diminish over the next 24 hours, and I would milk them before refreshing their vitamins, so I would not have vit B scented milk. Or, if they needed to be dosed every 8 or 12 hours, I could still coordinate milking and dosing.

I guess the thing to do is get some brewers yeast and go visit the girls.

Thekla
 
Ganado Mage
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I am one of those people who mosquito's love. And i have tried everything, B-vitamins, oils, etc. The only thing that works long term is catching the mosquitos and decreasing the egg laying population. Its the same for Horse flies etc but not sure this method will get the horse flies because of their size.
Mosquito Trap

Need 4 basic things (this is from the link above, I didnt invent this but I do use it)
Step 1: The Fan

Step 2: Screen

Step 3: Capturing & Exterminating

Step 4: Power Supply


 
L. Hayes
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To Thekla McDaniels.... decades ago, Brewer's Yeast was the true by-product of brewing beer. The brewer's yeast available today is produced in molasses. Hopefully, to the keener sense of smell of goats, they can still smell the molasses! Experiment with it, taste the milk; if the brewer's yeast is put in their grain with a drizzle of molasses, maybe the milk won't pick up a B Vitamin taste. I'll ask my daughter about this. She did most of the milking for 6 years while I sterilized glass jars and made goat cheese. The biggest change in taste of milk was always from being around a buck. (hormones!) We'd like to have goats (American Nubians) again, but need a goat dairy cooperative to handle everything.
 
L. Hayes
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(Thekla McDaniels) On the length of time B Vitamins work... in humans, about 5 to 6 hours effective as bug repellent (VB1). I would put Brewer's Yeast in AM and PM feedings to try to cover day and night 24 hours during the buggiest time of the year. Hopefully, it does not change the taste of the milk!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Thanks for your input, L. Hayes. What I know about brewers yeast is that the line has been blurred between brewers yeast, a brewing by product, and "nutritional yeast" which has been tinkered with. At one point, I think a precursor to MSG was in there, or glutamic acid or something. I was sure enough of what ever it was, that it concerned me that my daughter ate large amounts of it. One of the dangers of MSG is that it is an "excitotoxin" and stimulates the ?nervous system? in a way that makes an organism want to eat more. It would be interesting to find out what I can about this at present, as many things that seem so urgent turn out to be someone else's misconception that gets magnified by the enthusiasm of a large number of believers, aka early adopters. So, I need to look at where modern "brewers yeast/ nutritional yeast" comes from, and if it really shares something dangerous with MSG metabolism.

Thekla
 
Matt Baker
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Do the goats have dusty areas to wallow in? Dust deters some insects.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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My girls have dust baths in every paddock. They make sure of it.
 
L. Hayes
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Thekla, you are wise to research thoroughly what is brewer's yeast today. I notice our Co-op has brewer's yeast that says it is the better, healthy sort, but so many products I used to get are made by companies that have been bought up by Nestles, Kellogg's, et al. The ingredients have changed, too, so I don't trust them anymore. I'll be researching, too.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Many hands make light work, lets post here what we find.
Thekla
 
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