Horses are attacked by flying and crawling insects, some of which can bite. No one likes to see their horses suffer, even more so from those pesky pests. Although managing insects is challenging, you can take steps to protect your lovely equine buddies.
Here are six top tips to get you started.
1. Proper Hay Management
When using hay to feed your horses, you must be careful how you store the hay. Hay attracts insects, particularly ants that use them as nesting places.
You can keep the grass on a raised platform where ants and insects can’t reach them easily. Ants can also be found in your horse’s pasture. In that case, you can read a blog about ant keeping to learn more about how to protect your horses against harmful ants.
2. Proper Manure Management
Manure attracts insects. We all know it is impossible to eliminate insects in your stable, but proper manure management can go a long way in reducing the number of insects in the stable.
So, you must ensure that your horse’s pasture and the stable are manure-free. You can clean the areas regularly, ensuring you pick up any manure as soon as possible. Removing manure is a good way of controlling both internal and external parasites.
3. Use Clean Water
Dirty water is a darling to insects. So, using clean water on your farm is a great way to control these unwanted creatures. It’s best to use water from a trusted source, particularly from the municipal supply, which provides treated water.
If you have to use water from any other source, treat it properly using chlorine. Mosquitoes, in particular, like breeding in stagnant water. So, as you work on getting clean water, ensure you eliminate stagnant water from your farm.
4. Use Protective Gear
Although it may feel uncomfortable for your horse to walk in protective gear all the time, the benefits of using protective gear on the horse outweigh this little discomfort. The protective gear normally protects your animals against flying insects and is an excellent option if other insect control methods do not work.
A fly sheet, for example, will not only protect your horses against insects but will also protect them against the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Apart from a fly sheet, you can also use fly masks on your horses to protect their ears, eyes, and faces. The fly sheets and masks must be clean to ensure the protective gear does not infect your horses.
5. Use Insect Repellents
An insect repellent can be the next best option if you don’t prefer using protective gear. Applying insect repellent to your horses before saddling them is a great way to protect them against flies and other insects.
When you choose this option, make sure the repellent you use is safe for the horse and the environment. There are numerous organic insect repellents available on the market today. Just make sure you source them from a trusted vendor.
6. Rearing Natural Predators
Using natural predators to control insects is one method many horse-owners overlook. It may surprise you, but raising bats is an excellent way to control flying insects on your farm. With bats around, you’ll see the population of mosquitoes go down on your farm.
Horses need more tender care than most animals. One way of caring for them is to keep insects away from them to keep them healthy. The above six tips can help you achieve just that. You can also talk to an expert who can suggest ways to keep your horses healthy and happy.