Several years ago I went to a session on flies put on by the University of Mn for horse owners to learn about these pesky insects and how they affect our horses. There are about 17,000 species of flies in North America, north of Mexico, so it is no wonder that flies bother both humans and horses! As we all know, flies are more of an issue in rural areas around animals. House flies are dirty and annoying but don’t bite. Stable flies are the biting flies! Blow flies are sometimes called blue or green bottle flies because of their color. Face flies are the flies that sit on and around our horses eyes. Bot flies are probably the most harmful and cause us to have to deworm our horses in the fall with ivermectin.
As you can tell, I and Tez (Mr. Sensitive) do not like flies but there are things that we can do to keep our horses comfortable. First of all we clean our stalls everyday. We do not have a manure pile on our property for flies to lay their eggs in. We actually haul the manure off site every day! We are located on a hill and the breeze helps keep flies off our horses and there is very little stagnant water around our property which helps keep gnats and mosquitoes down. We mow the pastures when the weeds and grass grow up and that helps too. Our chickens definitely help by eating the larvae and they also eat ticks!
Yes, we do have flies but we recognize the problem and have procedures in place to help keep both horses and humans comfortable and able to enjoy the beautiful warm summer days!