Flying and crawling pests are not only a nuisance, they can carry deadly diseases to you and your animals. In this special issue of Stable Management, we have teamed up with UltraShield® to create a great reference on some of the most common problems that flies, mosquitoes, gnats and ticks bring to your horses. We discuss what you can do to control exposure to those pests while offering management techniques to reduce the incidence of bugs around your farm, barn and horses.
In our cover story on page 3, you will find information on more than 25 specific diseases that flies, mosquitoes, gnats and ticks can spread to horses. There are a myriad of potential disease risks from the vast array of insects that cohabit a horse’s environment, so this information is important in the horse owner’s and manager’s fight to protect his or her animals.
Knowing what ingredients are in your insect sprays, wipes and roll-ons will help you decide which product is best to use in which situation. The article on page 9 enables you to read product labels and understand what ingredients are at work on and around your horses.
Continuing on the theme of understanding what is in the product you are using, you should understand that how a fly product is made will determine how efficient it is when used on a horse that will be sweating. On page 14, learn about the chemical bases for different types of products and what those mean to the products’ effectiveness on your horse during exercise.
Did you know that you are responsible for using pesticides safely? On page 18, learn how to read a product label so you’ll understand how to use that product, and just as importantly, what precautions to take.
Building on that foundation of pest disease education is an article on page 25 that helps you understand the life cycles of pests—how and where insects breed and live—which can help you protect yourself and your horses. For example, did you know horse flies are the ultimate equine vampires? A USDA bulletin pointed out that each horse fly ingests 1 cc of blood at each feeding. If 20-30 flies feed for six hours, the horse loses 20 teaspoons, which over 10 days translates to a quart of blood!
The average 1,000-pound horse will produce approximately 50 pounds of manure each day. That totals to about 8.5 tons per year of material that flies just love!
And did you know that mosquitoes can reproduce in as little as two tablespoons of water? Under ideal breeding conditions, that small amount of water only needs to exist for a mere five days for adult mosquitoes to develop. Management of your property will go a long way toward keeping pests from reproducing and gaining access to your animals. As we discuss on page 29, this includes managing manure, eliminating standing water and more.
And how many of us have been fly-spraying the horse and given a quick squirt or two to the dog? Some products work well on equines and canines, but some ingredients should not be used on dogs. Learn more on page 32.
We are happy to team up with UltraShield® to bring you this information in a format that can be kept and used for years to come.