Flies, midges and lice are not only a nuisance to horses, they can also have adverse effects on horse health.
Fly and midge control
The aim of control is to minimise exposure to fly and midge bites and it is advisable to start this early in the season, before your horse starts itching. Below are a few tips to help achieve this.
- Stable your horse during dawn and dusk when midge activity is greatest.
- Turn horses out in fields with lower midge burdens such as breezy pastures, higher ground and away from woodland.
- Prevent horses from grazing areas that have open water nearby as this attracts flies and midges.
- Use an effective fly rug to prevent midge and fly contact with your horse’s skin
- Use an effective product that will both kill and repel flies and midges.
Lice are a common problem in horses but fortunately they are relatively easy to control. Treatment involves the use of an appropriate insecticidal medicine, as recommended by your vet. Treatment should be repeated 14 days after the initial treatment as it will only kill the adult lice. When a lice infestation is diagnosed in an individual then all horses in a group should be treated.
Lice and eggs can also survive on, and be spread by, equipment and therefore in the event of an outbreak all equipment, including rugs and brushes, should be washed with the insecticidal solution or with boiling water.
All bedding should be removed from the stable, which should be disinfected and ideally kept horse-free for a number of days.