Natural Fly Control - No Harmful Insecticides
Natural Fly Control - No Harmful Insecticides
We practice integrated pest management to control the types of flies that bother horses.
This includes removing the areas where flies breed, releasing fly parasites to lay their eggs in fly larvae, chickens that eat fly larvae and flies, and traps for the adult flies that can fly in from locations several miles away that do not use fly predators.
Equipment available to protect your horse from biting insects include fly masks, Shoo-Fly Leggins to protect legs against biting Stable Flies, and fly sheets. Stabling during the day with a fan is also an option if your horse is sensitive to fly bites.
We are proud to report that we have been told by farriers and veterinarians,
"you have less flies than farms with automatic fly control systems."
The warmer the climate where your horse is retired, the longer fly season...
In 2005 we launched our Integrated Pest Management Program with assistance from Spalding Labs.
Fly Larvae are targeted by our flock of chickens and Guinea Fowl who patrol the farm looking for insects and their larvae that become the birds' meal.
In addition to our hard working birds we receive 20- 25,000 fly predators depending on the number of animals on our farm.
We distribute these fly predators around our entire property in locations where flies lay their eggs. Stable Flies lay their eggs in moist rotting organic matter.
We clean up after our dogs immediately - flies love dog feces-remove urine soaked bedding, wasted hay, and garden waste. Rotting leaves in wooded areas or in neighbors yards are examples of ideal breeding locations beyond our control.
Fly predators work by laying their eggs inside fly pupae thus destroying the fly larvae.
Our chickens and Guinea Fowl patrol the pastures, paddocks, and sheds constantly scratching apart manure piles looking for fly larvae. They also work our gardens and the outside of our compost pile in search of fly larvae. Our neighbors even welcome a few of our flock due to their insatiable appetite for insects.
There are no chemicals to harm your horse and the fly predators are not a pest to horse or human, only flies!
Different Traps for Different Flies
Stable Flies - Stable Flies have been documented 139 miles off the coast of Florida, demonstrating the ability of these flies to travel far from their breeding grounds.
We use the high performing StarBar Bite Free Trap outside paddocks and pastures for Stable Flies, the flies that bite your horse's legs and flanks.
According to the USDA Stable Flies,
"are serious pests to humans and companion animals, especially dogs and horses due to their painful bites and tenacious behavior."
Stable Flies, known as "filth flies" make-up approximately 20% of the the fly population.
House Flies - Most common fly is the on biting House Flies often seen near your horse's eyes or any moist area.
We utilize yellow sticky traps and fly tape inside the barns & sheds to trap these flies.
We use Odor Traps located away from the buildings and at property boundaries to trap these flies that breed in rotting organic matter.
Black Flies -Black Flies are the reason for fly masks in early Spring with ears as these flies feed inside horse's ears, necks, chests, and bellies. Swat and stabling during the day are only defense against Black Flies which fly miles from their breeding grounds in streams.
Face Flies & Horn Flies - breed only in fresh cow manure. Face Flies can fly several miles. Face Flies do not enter barns or shady areas so run in sheds and stalls offer protection. Face Flies overwinter in houses and attics and can be seen on South facing windows on warm days.
Horse Flies, Deer Flies and Green Heads -Tabanids-
Fly Predators do not control these flies. In 2018 we are investing in our first trap designed to trap these flies. Research proven, Tabanid Traps cost $300 and cover 5 horses in a 2.5 paddock.
Truly Free Range
Our free range chickens are always hard at work scratching apart manure piles and other moist areas where flies lay their eggs. Our chickens & Guinea Fowl love nothing better than to eat something that is moving in the ground. That includes ticks too. Unlike Fly Predators the birds will eat all types of fly larvae.
Our compost pile, made up of manure and bedding is not a breeding ground for flies. Internally the pile reaches temperatures of 175 degrees and higher, far too hot for parasites to breed.
Frequent turning, as often as once per day, introduces oxygen which keeps the aerobic bacteria digesting and heating up the pile. Any parasites that lay their eggs on the outside of the pile, well, that's why the chickens are hard at work on the pile!
For more information on flies and their control visit Spalding Labs website.
"Thank you seems like a paltry word for so many years of the most excellent care of my beloved girls, but it is the only word I know to use and express so many years of knowing my girls received the same level of care I would have given them!"
Nova, Foxy, & JB
Reserve Your Horse's Retirement Today
Peace of Mind is Priceless.
At Orchard Equine Retirement we have been providing Full Care Horse Retirement since 1988. We know that retiring horses is so much more than turning a horse out in a pasture.
Much more. We understand and respect the special relationship owners have with their horses. We understand how difficult it is to separate from your partner and friend.
We've been there. Lying awake at night wondering if they are being fed properly. If they are standing out in the weather, or are they comfortable inside their box stall or run in shed with their buddies.
It is that very relationship with a horse named Prince and the failed search for a horse retirement farm where he could safely retire, that inspires us to this day.
We look forward to discussing the retirement you want for your horse. Please include your horse's name in your message!
We offer flat rate and itemized billing. Clients choose which method best suits their horse's needs and their preferences. Call or send a message to reserve your horse's retirement at the farm that continues to set the standard in horse retirement.
Christine, Jack, and Sarah
Orchard Equine Retirement