Our two ponies (‘rescued’ for €50 each from a local who was totally neglecting them) were plagued by horseflies this summer. Do you happen to know if the proprietary horsefly traps work (they are expensive and I don’t want to waste money unnecessarily) and, if not, have you any other ideas? Jackie Hawkins
Horseflies are a problem to any livestock; their bites, made by the insects’ cutting and tearing mouth part action, can be painful to both humans and livestock alike. In warm, moist conditions (when horseflies are at their worst), the bites can easily become infected.
I have to admit that I’ve no personal experience with the horsefly traps available to buy. There is, though, as you’ve probably seen, quite a selection available online and at quite high prices too. From looking online, it seems that it’s possible to make your own traps and there are clips on Youtube to show you how to go about it.
Have you tried any of the sprays available for use on horses? Some owners swear by those that are Deet-based, but others think they can be harmful if used carelessly. I’ve long known that Avon’s Skin So Soft oil-based spray will deter midges and mosquitoes from biting humans but until recently, had never heard of it being used on horses. The person who told me assured me that it’s very effective… but he was talking about midges and ordinary flies rather than horse flies. It might be worth a try though.
Horseflies can become a real problem for equines during the summer months