EQUUS - - Inbrief -

Any steps you take to re­duce your horse’s ex­po­sure to mosquitoes will help to re­duce the threat of EEE and WEE.

• Re­duce or elim­i­nate stand­ing wa­ter. Dis­pose of old tires and other trash or de­bris that col­lects rain­wa­ter. Keep garbage cans cov­ered, and take un­used buck­ets in­side. Over­turn wheel­bar­rows or prop them against walls when not in use. If you place tarps over un­used trail­ers, boats or other ve­hi­cles, make sure wa­ter is not col­lect­ing in their folds. Also keep your gut­ters and drainage ditches un­clogged and flow­ing freely, and make sure per­sis­tent pud­dles are not form­ing un­der down­spouts or drip­ping faucets.

• Change your an­i­mals’ drink­ing wa­ter reg­u­larly. Empty and pro­vide

fresh, clean wa­ter in buck­ets as well as bird­baths and drink­ing bowls for dogs and cats ev­ery few days. Chang­ing wa­ter in larger troughs at least once a week will pre­vent any hatched mos­quito lar­vae from reach­ing ma­tu­rity.

• Use lar­vi­ci­dal prod­ucts. If stand­ing wa­ter is dif­fi­cult to change or re­move, con­sider us­ing lar­vi­ci­dal prod­ucts. Many con­tain Bti--- Bacil­lus thuringien­sis sub­species is­rae­len­sis, a bac­terium that pro­duces tox­ins that kill mos­quito lar­vae in wa­ter. These prod­ucts are not toxic to peo­ple or other an­i­mals, but check with your vet­eri­nar­ian for rec­om­men­da­tions on spe­cific prod­ucts that are safe for use in wa­ter your horse will drink.

• En­cour­age preda­tors. Fish, drag­on­flies, birds and other preda­tors will feed on both lar­vae and adult mosquitoes in and around healthy nat­u­ral ponds and streams. If nat­u­ral wa­ter sources on your prop­erty are pro­duc­ing too many mosquitoes, talk to your lo­cal ex­ten­sion agent for ad­vice on how to re­duce stag­na­tion and boost the num­bers of ben­e­fi­cial species.

• Ap­ply re­pel­lents and pro­tec­tive gar­ments. Read the la­bel to make sure your fly spray also works against mosquitoes, then be dili­gent in ap­ply­ing re­pel­lents and us­ing other mea­sures, such as fly sheets, to pro­tect your horse, es­pe­cially if his pas­ture lies close to prime mos­quito habi­tat. Although some more ro­bust mos­quito species may dis­perse as far as seven miles, most fly no more than two or three miles from their point of hatch­ing. Also ap­ply re­pel­lents be­fore trail rides, es­pe­cially if you’re head­ing into the woods or near wet­lands.

• Keep horses in­side at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most ac­tive. In­stall fine screens over barn win­dows to help keep mosquitoes out, and place fans where they will keep the air mov­ing through stalls. Mosquitoes are weak fliers, and even a mild breeze will keep them grounded.

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