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 How too Fight Flies and Mosquitoes on the Horse Farm
Fighting flies and Mosquitoes around Horses

There’s nothing like a warm spring day to bring out the flying insects. It starts with those little gnats and flying midges and before you know it, the entire eco-system is humming with biting insects. They are more than irritating; pound for pound flies and mosquitoes are the most dangerous critters on earth.
Article by Karen Elizabeth Baril


As bridge-vectors, mosquitoes  transmit equine diseases like EEE (eastern equine encephalomyelitis), WEE (western equine encephalomyelitis), and WNV (West Nile virus.) Mortality rates for horses that contract EEE are a whopping 90 percent and 30 to 50 percent for horses that test positive for WEE or WNV. Other health risks include contact dermatitis, bacterial, and viral diseases. All good reasons to do everything you can to control their numbers.
Spring is an ideal time to get a jump on fly and mosquito control. Here are 7 of the most effective ways to fight back:

1. Mosquitoes require standing water in order to lay their eggs. Snow melt and spring rains make for ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes and flies. To eliminate standing water, look for hidden water collectors like drain pipes, gutters, wheelbarrows, tarps, and feed pans. Be sure to empty and scrub troughs or invest in post hole waterers for pastures. A 4-6 stall barn sheds up to 600 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall. Re-direct all that runoff  with gutter pipes and underground drains.
Fans help to remove flies and mosquitos around horses.

2. Install barn fans or ceiling fans. Mosquitoes are pretty athletic, but they find it hard to fly in a stiff breeze. Fans deter mosquitos and flies from landing on your horses and they disperse carbon dioxide, ( a powerful attractant to mosquitoes), exhaled by horses and humans. Never use store-bought box fans in the barn environment. They are fire hazards! Instead, choose wall or ceiling mounted fans with fully enclosed motors and sealed ball bearings; fans that are specifically made for wet or dusty environments.

3. Keep the barn whistle clean. Flies love things that smell bad so those half-decayed apple treats, dirty brushes, uncovered grain bins, or empty soft drink cans are like putting out bait for flies. Never leave uncovered food in a dish for the barn cat.
Automatic bug control at horse properties.

4. Consider installing an automatic fly and mosquito control system. Automatic Fly and Mosquito Control system kills flies, mosquitoes, and other flying pests in 60 seconds or less. Additionally, these systems also interrupt the breeding cycle. Insects do not develop resistance to this safe, biodegradable, and natural formula.  RAMM’s Automatic Fly and Mosquito Control System works well for up to 8-stalls, but the system is easily expanded with additional nozzle kits.

5. Forget the bug zapper. Studies show that only 1 percent of bugs killed by zappers are mosquitoes! Many of the bugs killed by zappers are beneficial predator bugs that might have preyed on the mosquitoes in your barn. Worse yet, all those exploding bug parts are harmful to both horse and human respiratory health.

6. Limit your horse’s exposure. Keep your horses in the barn at dawn and dusk- peak mosquito biting hours. Use fly sheets and natural sprays to keep mosquitoes off  your horses. Always do skin tests before applying sprays; even natural products can cause reactions in sensitive horses.

7. Resolve your muddy spots once and for all. It cannot be stressed enough; mosquitoes and flies love mud. You know mud as a nuisance, but mud is also a health hazard. How many years have you waged a losing battle on mud? A new product, the Lighthoof Mud Management Panel, turns the tables in your favor. 
Lighthoof Mud Management Panel dry mud areas on horse properties.

The Lighthoof Mud Management Panel is a lightweight, flexible plastic grid that conforms to any area.  Field tested, the Lighthoof Mud Management Panel solves the challenge of uneven or sloped areas. They’re easy to install on hilly areas, around tree roots, in shallow ditches, and on any uneven terrain. They are especially effective for solving mud around gates.
Lighthoof Mud Management Panels have an innovative, flexible design that prevents mud and erosion caused by hoof traffic.  They offer a permanent solution for any sized farm and works for other livestock such as cattle, pigs, goats, and more. The panels are constructed of a flexible high density polyethylene, the same material used in backpacking frames, conduit, and boat construction. High density polyethylene doesn’t absorb water and is extremely corrosion resistant. 

One consumer writes of her previously boggy gate area; “it remained blissfully dry throughout our wet winter into the soggy spring. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a safe, affordable, and easy to maintain solution to mud problems.”
The Lighthoof system is easy to install and requires no excavation. You prepare the site by laying down landscape cloth or geotextile barrier fabric. Then you’ll stretch the flexible mud panel over the cloth, anchoring it to the ground. Pour the recommended gravel (angular crushed rock with fines works great) into the cells. Rounded gravel, pea stone, drain rock, washed gravel, and straight river or beach sand will not set up in this product.
Each panel expands  6 feet x 12 feet. You’ll connect your Lighthoof Mud Management Panels with Envirolock™ ties, a strong and durable product used in construction.

Lighthoof Mud Management Panels offer a permanent solution to muddy areas and are super easy for one or two people to install. Check out this video on how to install. Controlling mud and water is one of the most important things we can do to protect our investment in buildings, fences, and, of course, our horses.

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