Flies are probably the most annoying pests in the world to any horse owner or rider.
Flies are notorious for feeding off all sorts of substances like sweat, blood, proud flesh and faeces, which unfortunately makes horses a prime target. Due to the nature of their feeding habits, they become carriers for numerous infectious diseases
Some flies feed off bodily secretions, however many of them wield a very painful bite which can be highly irritating for horses and can often lead to horses kicking, bucking and sometimes even injuring themselves. As well as that, these bites leave primary sites for infection.
Also, some horses, like humans, have a severe reaction to midge bits, leading to the irritating skin condition called Sweet Itch.
There are 4 common types of fly found in Ireland and the UK, each with their own distinct method of terrorising our horses.
Common types of flies
The House Fly
The House Fly is characterised by its black/grey body and red eyes. Their mouthpieces are designed for a liquid diet, which means they feed on the residues around the horse’s eyes and nose, sweat and any cuts or wounds your horse may have.
The Stable Fly
The Stable Fly looks very similar to a House Fly, but unlike the House Fly, they feed on the blood of animals. They are most frequently spotted in areas densely populated by livestock, hence the name.
Unlike the House Fly, they have mouthpieces that have needle like biting structures to penetrate your horse’s skin and can produce quite a painful bite!
The Horse Fly (Cleg)
Horse flies are among the largest flies that we encounter in the equestrian world, and these guys are not fun. They are large, brown flies with an extremely painful bite and horses absolutely hate them!
Not only that, they are responsible for the transmission of some infectious diseases such as Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) and West Nile Virus.
Yes, the dreadful midges (or midgies). Although they are tiny in structure, their bites are responsible for the most frustrating issue among the equine community, Sweet Itch!
Anyone who has experience with a horse that suffered from Sweet Itch will tell you that they would do anything to prevent it.
Click here to find out more about Sweet Itch.
Ultimate Fly Control
We at Carr & Day & Martin have developed a scientifically formulated range of insect repellents to give you exactly what you need for Ultimate Fly Control.
We offer a complete range to cater for all types of horses as well as their owners/riders, but it is important to be able to identify which fly repellent is the best fit for you!