Equine Fly Control Webinar
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Equine Fly Control Webinar

September 4, 2019

Hi I am Abby Neu. I’m an Extension educator and I will be moderating the webinar today and I would like to introduce you to our presenters today. First we have Rachel Mottet. Wave Rachel, say hi. She earned her bachelor’s from animal science from University of Wisconsin River Falls and Masters in animal science from North Dakota State University, and she’s currently pursuing her PhD here at the University of Minnesota. Some of you may know her as a Purina equine specialist. She also likes to do three-day eventing with her horse, Titan, who you can see there. We also have with us today Roger Moon. Let me get his information up here. Roger retired last year from the University of Minnesota as a professor of Entomology after 36 years of research, teaching, and outreach. He earned his PhD in entomology from the University of California Davis and has studied the biology, ecology, and management of filth flies, mosquitoes, lice, bedbugs, and mice that occur around livestock and people. Roger and his colleagues have published more than 130 articles, reviews, and book chapters including papers on stable flies, swine mange, hence the fly born spread of the PIRs virus which affects the swine industry. Roger has taught or c- taught courses in veterinary, entomology, medical entomology, veterinary parasitology, and other courses for undergraduate and graduate students here at the University of Minnesota. Roger consult regularly with researchers and educators and practitioners involved with livestock pest management throughout the nation. We’re happy to have him here. You made the bike ride down the hill to join us in Hacker Hall today. So we’re going to go ahead and get started with our presentation. So Rachel, I will pass that along to you. Alrighty. Thank You, Abby. So today Roger and I are going to be giving you some information on how to control flies on your property and also how to improve the comfort of your horses during fly season, which we are about to enter. So the first question we need to ask ourselves is “Are flies actually bothering my horse?” So we have a little video to show you. Okay So what we’re seeing in this horse are behaviors pretty typical of fly annoyance in the horse and in livestock. So we view this horse is doing behaviors- stomping its legs or stamping. We see the forces swishing its tail. Also, the horse will bring its head to its side and its forelimb indicating it might be bitten or just annoyed by flies. And you also see a lot of muscular twitching going on. So for us, as horse owners, we need to think about, you know, if it’s a problem and why. Well something to think about for us horse owners is that flies can transmit and spread diseases and viruses, including things such as equine infectious anemia. Horses can damage the integrity of their hooves by doing this stomping. So it’s something that during this season we want to pay attention to so we can keep our horses comfortable and provide a more hygienic type of environment for them to live in. So our next question, and I’m going to turn it over to you Roger, we’re going to talk about “is it a fly?” and “what kind of fly is bothering our horse?” My understanding is our audience is in Minnesota and Wisconsin largely. There might be a few easy droppers. I’m going to pretend that everybody is in this part of the country, but beware if you were in the Southwest desert or somewhere else, the problems might be different. Horses respond to biting insects with all the behaviors we just saw. Leg stopping is pretty much a dead giveaway for a certain kind of flying, but yet other biting flies can stimulate the twitching, the swishing, the head batting, all of which from the cab of the truck says something bothering them. Something’s biting them. Question is, what is it? I’ve given a list here of the five or so principle villains that we see up in this part of the country. And it is easy to think of them in two groups because of where they come from. What I call the aquatic biting flies (I’m not the only one) include several different groups of insects that all make a living by biting mammals and sucking their blood. And that process is painful. Some of you see gnats around the heads and the necks of horses – call them biting gnats. They’re really black flies. Horse flies and deer flies are the second big group. They’re larger insects. I’ll show you them in a moment, and Mosquitoes of course. Don’t forget they’re not only biting people. They’re biting everything else that has blood on the landscape. All of those things together can bother horses.What makes them a group is that they all develop as Immatures, I’ll illustrate that in a minute, in aquatic habitats. Swamps, streams, rivers, and so forth. Here’s a little bit of bugs 101. All flies have a complex life cycle, we call it. All start as eggs. What’s shown here is there are maggots and they get progressively larger by shedding their skin. They turn into a pupa, just like a butterfly turns into a chrysalis, and then we have the adult form. It’s the adults that bother the horses, but wherever the adults are, you know, the earlier life stages were present. With the aquatic biting flies, those all came out of white wet ground of some kind. Can you read the next one? Yeah, I’m curious, Roger, I’ve got a question for you. As flies go through this life cycle far, how far do they stray from where they were eggs? Well the eggs to the pupa don’t go anywhere. They’re stuck where they were they grew up, for the most part, or are growing up. It’s the adults that have wings and depending on the kind of insect. They can travel a couple of hundred yards. Maybe the length of a football field. I guess that’s 120 or so. Or they can go a half of a mile. The main thing we’re going to get around is we’re showing this insect is an example of a house fly. It and stable fly are the two main filth flies, and they can travel a half a mile easily. Okay, so, you know that they’re breeding pretty close to your property if you’ve got a lot of them there. Yeah, that’s the first place to look. Okay, I like that. Okay. So the aquatic biters come from wetlands and the problem that the whole group has is that the source reduction is not practical. We’re not going to dam up streams to starve out black flies. We’re not going to fill in swamps to get rid of horse flies and deer flies. You may do a little bit of water container control around your your stable to control mosquitoes, but they’re still coming over the fence from the neighbors places. Probably the surrounding Township. It’s just not practical to manage them in source reduction. Filth flies on the other hand come from moist organic debris accumulates where livestock were housed. I’m talking about rotting feed, soil bedding, piled manure, those kinds of things that are basically the food for the maggots. The two flies that are most common around horses stables and other livestock premises in the Upper Midwest, are the stable fly and the house fly. Okay. On the left here you can see some images convey the general appearance of aquatic biting flies. They’re not to scale. The biting gnats, are the black flies, are tiny little things. They’re going to be on the order of a quarter of an inch long or smaller. Those things come from rivers, streams and creeks. They need moving water. The second group are the horse flies or the deer flies. They’re cousins if you will. They’re big. They can be an inch and a half long. I’ve seen some around here that are an inch and a half long. Great big black ones. I am an entomologist. I can’t help myself, really exciting insects to watch. You horse people will say “what the heck is going on?” These are biting biting flies. They’re all the females. They’re after blood. Those insects develop in marshes, swampy ground. Not moving water. not standing water. But they’re maggots.Their larvae are actually feeding on other insects into those wetland habitats. And horse people, you’ve probably seen those. We lovingly refer to those horse flies as big black bombers. Yep. They irritate the horses more than anything. The deer flies, which Rogers is mentioning, do to. Typically when I see those when I trail ride my horse, and I go by a pond or a swamp or a marshy area, those are the ones that flocked my horses ears to a side. Sometimes even to me, and their bite stings pretty severely. Big-time. The smallest of them, or the faintest of them I guess, is the mosquitoes. There are species that feed in the daytime, but the bulk of the ones around are Minnesota/Wisconsin area actually feed at night. They develop as larvae in still, shallow water. Maybe a foot and a half deep – not much more. They don’t come out of lakes except right around the margins if they are gently sloped. They can develop in tires and other containers that collect water. But these insects are largely out at night. If your your horses are stabled in open areas, they’re feeding probably a very large number of mosquitoes every night, for the months of May through September. Okay. These are all in the group called the aquatic biting flies. They all come from aquatic habitats, and they come from distances away that you really can’t manage. What we can do to deal with these guys is exploit their behavioral differences. Black flies and horse flies and deer flies don’t like deep shade. They’re inactive at night. They’re only active during the day, and if a horse can get into the deep shaded place like a barn, those insects will not go in after them. And so my recommendation is to give your horses choices, rather than pen them them out in the middle of nowhere and let all these insects attack them. If they can get into shaded area, deep woods or into a barn, that that will allow them to manage their misery a little bit. On the other hand, the mosquitoes will come into dark areas. And so if they’re a problem and you’re trying to solve them without repellents of any kind , you should be approaching that by giving them screened indoor habitats. Close off the windows. Close off the doors. The mosquitoes will try to get in after them, and a few will, which will exclude most of them. Keep them outdoors. Just like we do when it’s some down and time for the picnic to move indoors, right? We’re going to do the same thing. We need to give them screens to keep the mosquitoes out. So those are the aquatic biting flies. On your premise. again, it doesn’t hurt to do wetland management, to the extent that you can. Often it’s impractical because these insects are coming from places outside your your fence lines. And in some places it’s unacceptable to get rid of wetlands for a variety of legal and ethical reasons. Other options are to try to fog the area, and I’ve seen very high high price stables in Florida and Louisiana actually hire helicopters to come in and fog the areas. Otherwise people could spray vegetation around them. But it’s very difficult to keep up with nature’s production. So really source reduction and area wide control is difficult control. To make your horses comfortable from aquatic biting finance is best done like things closer to the horses – their housing. Ok Alrighty. Abby do we have any questions coming in on these? Not yet. Good. Let’s now move to the main focus of what a Rachel and I are going to present today. That concerns the filth flies. Again, what makes them a group is that they come from moist organic debris. Usually connected with with feed, feces, urine. Those kinds of problems. What’s neat about that is that these injects because they come from there, you can eliminate them by better managing the things that they develop in. Source rate actually would call, it otherwise sanitation. But we’re not talking about vaccines for against viruses. We’re talking about pitchfork kind of sanitation. Stable fly is likely to be the most fly everybody around here encounters. I would say from the middle of May easily into early October, the insect that bites on the legs and I apologize to you equestrians. This is actually a skier, but you see the second Illustration, there’s little black spots on the leg. Those are stable flies. So the right you’ll see that there’s a each one has a proboscis. It’s like a bayonet coming out from underneath its head. To the left you can see it in side view. Or sorry, to my right and you see this bulbous, red abdomen. That’s a fly that just got dinner. Just fed on an animal, and as soon as they feed they go perching the surrounding environment. So really we see less than five percent of the flies that are present actually on the horse at any instant. You need to realize that the environment is full of these things and they’re stacking up like planes coming into LaGuardia trying to get lunch each day. You’ll see the fed ones perching around in the environment, and that makes it really easy to identify them. This one bites – piercing sucking – and it’s the one that’s causing the bulk of the behaviors that we saw in the video that Rachel showed moments ago. So how long did it take for them to secure that blood meal? They can feed in a couple of minutes. Within a couple minutes, okay. They’re flying in landing, if the horses isn’t dislodging them, they’ll start probing and get a blood meal. They’ll be gone you move a couple of minutes easily. Horses are particularly irritated. It doesn’t take many of these insects to cause horses to go ballistic. And the dead giveaway for these guys for stabilized biting, watch for those legs stomps. The other aquatic biters are going to be concentrated up on the body, but stable flies could be on the legs. Okay, the other one of the filthl flies is more of an issue or nuisance to us. This is called the house fly. And they have sponging mouth parts. They really can’t bite. It’s not possible, but they are will ride on animals cause them to twitch their ears and back their heads. They’re feeding on sources of sugar and carbs in the environment like that bucket of grain up there. These things are a nuisance to people. But they’re not causing misery anywhere near the magnitude of that that’s caused by stable fly. Again what makes the filth flies a group, is that those maggots, the larvae labeled L1, L2, and L3, those guys are occurring in moist, organic debris, feeding much like whales do on krill in the ocean. They’re filter feeding nutrients from the gravy that’s in that material, and in turn if we can get it really were, they can’t get the oxygen they need. Or if we get it really dry they can’t stop the gravy that they need. Those are the basics of managing your organic debris that produces these guys. And if we minimize the sources we can minimize the number of adults that are bothering horses. Think about your premise and where organic debris can accumulate. Think on the feed end of things, where’s feed stored? Where is it fed? If it gets wet during summer months it’s highly likely to produce stable flies and maybe house flies, if there’s enough grain in the in the medium. Think about where animals are penned -indoors or outdoors. If you provide bedding of any kind, the animals are naturally going to soil it. If you pick your stable every day, no problem. But if you let it accumulate then flies will colonize them. If you pick the stable and haul the feces outside and put it in a pile, you’ve just concentrated all the breeding material for all the flies, and made it really easy is to find it. They will blow up in numbers and become overwhelming. Also think about waterers, that’s a source of moisture especially in dry times of the year. If water is filled from waterer and or feces or other feed debris accumulates around those waters, that too can be a little hot spot for producing these flies. A couple of examples here. If you’re looking carefully, you’ll see this is after corn harvest, so it’s not quite the proper illustration, but open mangers with hay falling on the ground. I know there’s many reasons not to allow this to happen. Another one is that that green material is going to produce stable flies, big-time. I call it maggot heaven. But if you think of organic matter that’s got the right moisture in the right temperature flies will find it during the summer and in turn the numbers will blow up around your premise. Try to prevent that from happening. These spots are so common on farms I visit, so do you think about placement of your feeders. You know, where the water is running to in your pastures and keeping that material out of those areas. That would be likely breeding grounds. Yep. Take it in pilot somewhere. Well, you see there’s always a little bit of gravy spot around the edge, and it’s the summer when we get rainfall here, these kinds of piles, certainly the stable flies, probably houseflies. Hauling it into the back forty may reduce the numbers a little bit around your place ,depending on how far that back 40 really is. But pity the neighbors, this is actually somebody filed as manure next to a development, and in turn the flies are coming out. They don’t know where the horses are. They’re spreading out and bothering people in all directions. Got one more, here we go. I’ve been on maybe fifty equine premises and twice as many dairies and so forth, and every place is different. The way people manage their feeds and their bedding and so forth they’re not the variety of the way you guys do stuff. And I understand why. What this means though, is that if you’re going to do you tune your sanitation program at your place, you really need to know where the larvae are breeding. Get to know it. Look periodically. This is a shot over my left shoulder in my world gloves are boots are optional. Ha Ha. But what I’ve done in my in my right hand, is I’ve got a garden trowel. This is all the equipment you need to do this. Just peck around and stuff. In any sort of piled organic debris and look for fly larvae and pupae. They’re big enough to see without a microscope. Can you do the next one? I will say to you that Roger is an expert trawler. I would guess if you offered him enough money, he would come to your property and do this for you because he really enjoys it, and he’s very good at it. I’ll actually settle for a free lunch. Free lunch? Or free beer. Okay, well later today we can get started. Here’s the point. Okay. Um, you see in the top shooter there’s this kind of chestnut colored thing. That’s actually a fly pupa. Just below it you can see the butt ends, pardon my french, of maggots. And then below that are two pictures. One of them on the left of the left image, that’s actually not a smiley face, that’s behind end of a maggot. Oh, you have a pointer? We have a pointer. Okay, there’s the pupa and then down to like seven o’clock you see those two little black spots? Those are their breathing ports. They breathe through those things. We call them spiracles. Then to the right is a side view of a maggot. The head actually has tapered end and the butt is the brown is the is a is a blunt end. There’s nothing else that moves like that. Nothing else in these breeding habitats. If you find this insect incidentally this is stable fly. House fly will look a lot like this except their posterior spiracles will be a little different. You don’t need to know the difference there. If you find maggots breeding an organic matter you know that organic matter is suitable habitat at the time, and you can do something to be to prevent it from accumulating or dispose of it in a way that prevents flies from breeding in it. That’s kind of my bottom sermon from Reverend moon today. Thank you Reverend Moon. We’ll continue. The way you manage your premise, again heinz fifty-seven variety of options, ideally, this would be perfect for an indoor pen. Using shavings. First off we know shavings versus straw, straw if you get it moist it breeds a lot more flies than shavings. So if I can get you guys to stay away from shavings at least during the summer months or stay away from straw during the summer months, the fly breeding season, you can naturally minimize the amount of soil bedding that’s more suitable for flies. Keep it dry. See the water is in the in this dead center corner. Yeah. Yeah. Well i”ll just wing it. Keep it dry and pick it regularly. I’m sorry. I call them road apples but animal horse species, if you muck the stable and haul them outdoors, that’s minimizing the material that’s indoors. But be careful how you manage it next because you can be just concentrating the problem elsewhere. Thank You. So Roger I do have a question about the use of straw, many of the people who breed and have fouls, are using straw and if they are smaller breeders, meaning like they may only have one or two horses a year, they’re going to be fouling later into the year as opposed to January or February, How can they manage that? If you can’t get them to go to coarser grains of shavings from straw, then beware the straws liability and be careful to spread it fast as you keep it dry, especially Canada. And actually when I work in England all we use is straw. You can turn over a whole straw bed, I recommend using a metal or an iron pitchfork to do that, it’s easier then using a plastic pitchfork because it’s the coarser material and a bit harder just to scoop feces and urine. but I would just recommend if you have to use straw, try and turn it over the whole bed on a daily basis if you can. There’s always somebody willing to part you from your money for their equipment. And there’s always somebody around to give those to drive it like a like a four-wheeler in the summer. This is an ad for some outfit, but what I really want to say is if, you said turn it daily, it’s really not necessary. If you do it twice a week. In the stall you’re referring to it, you’re talking about.. either way. I’m saying if you let it sit for very long, I mean, the reason we have our garbage emptied about once a week is that that’s the time it takes for an egg to turn into a pupa. So if you disturb your stuff. My preference is to spread it and small particles out in available ground. If you haven’t because that material will dry and erode quickly in nature. It will not produce flies. So you really want to convert the piled accumulated matter – straw, shavings, feces and so forth that come out of stables or pens either way spread that out. If you do it as scheduled price per week in the summer, that’s sufficient to keep flies from grading that material. All right. So sanitation, bunch of ways to do it. No place works for everybody, but it’s not going to be perfect. Eventually, you can start thinking about other options that you can provide. Something you can do inside your facility. There are a number of strips traps, I asked Roger to identify the liquid material in this trap and toss, and you’ve got a term for that material. What was that Roger? I call them stink juice. Thank you. So essentially what that’s doing is mimicking the stench of rotting debris or material in an effort to attract more flies and get them to get trapped and subsequently died in those traps. That is an option to varying levels of effectiveness, but it is an option. Another option you have that I see some of in Minnesota, would be these fly nets, that you can see in that middle picture. You can put these up in doorways with window waves. You know, what we’re looking at here is a stall door you know that a horse can often put its head out but this is going to to keep those flies from coming in your property. On the right what we have is what we refer to as a fly predator. These will be native otherwise you can actually order them and introduce them to your property. Yes, go back with Reverend moon, you’ve got it. Anything you want. The containers – this is a particular brand. There’s many others on the market. Those things do not attract stable flies. They attract house flies and other kinds of insects that really aren’t pestiferous. Like glow flies and such. If your problem is stable fly, it comes back to my initial point, know your enemy. Who are you trying to control? If it’s stable fly these things are useless. Got it. So those other flies hanging out, these might help? What do you think in terms of effectiveness? Of which? Well a lot of people will like to use strips? Oh, yeah. Yeah, they’ll catch a few. My experiences most people set them up. They feel good they walk away and they don’t maintain them. Okay These things will fill up and get putrid, but once they’re full they’re not going to catch any more. It’s often a game if you’re not, if you don’t have adequate sanitation, you’re losing the battle because you’re catching a few flies and a whole lot aren’t getting track. Okay. So when we talked about those fly predators species, here’s how they work. And if you remember Roger talked to us about the fly life cycle and stages, so what we’re doing with these is trying to interrupt that life cycle. So essentially that beneficial, is an example of that, they will drill their eggs into the pupa, what would be a fly eventually, that egg turns into grub that’ll eat and kill that fly pupa. And so that grub eventually turns into the wasp and turns into an adult which continues that life cycle. Anything you want to add there Roger? Just don’t get preoccupied by the word wasp. These are small insects. They could care less about people, they’re not stinging like like Yellowjackets and so forth, these are a few little ant like insects that you their way around, searching for the pupae that managed to survive your your sanitation program. These are not harmful to horses or people. In certain circumstances, I think they’re beneficial, in other cases, though they are overwhelmed. If you have way too many flies coming out developing the material. If you don’t have good sanitation at the first point, you did. This is included in fly predators? There are other brands too. You can run into problems with effectiveness as well. If the neighboring farms by you have a fly problem and they’re not managing it these might not be very effective for you and your facility. So we of course at the U of M are unbiased but these are a couple main brands that you’ll see in terms of fly spray. Ronco ultra shield. On the right what I have, there are a lot of flash play recipes out there online and a little bit later, I’ll talk about an experiment we did testing the one the most popular common one is going to be your Avon Skin So Soft with white vinegar, citronella oil. You’ll see some call for eucalyptus oil as well. But with these fly sprays there’s a pretty common theme or common ingredients. Typically pyrethrum and permethrin are going to be your top ingredients and the reason they’re so popular, fill us in Reverend. Okay Because they work! If the dose is high enough, they work as repellents. So stable flies and other insects coming to get that blood meal, basically the receptors get jammed and they get confused and they can’t find the host. Pyrethrins are botanical products. These are materials that come from chrysanthemum like species mostly in East Africa. Permethrin is a synthetic analogue to pyrethrins. It lasts longer. Citronella is an extract from lemongrass, I believe, and pepper mill butoxide is actually a synergist. It makes the other active ingredients work better. And there are other actives in effective ingredients in over-the-counter or fly control products. These are the main ones. The deal there is to have the dose high enough and long enough when you need it, so that you’ve got a barrier if you will. Like a force field around your horse that prevents those insects from landing and feeding. I would recommend too with these different sprays, take a look at the manufacturers recommendations because they are going to vary a bit. We’ll chat more about that in just a few minutes – Okay These are just a couple other examples that are out there in common in the market. Beyond sprays you can find ointments, roll-ons, typically, those are going to have to some degree pyrethroids like we just mentioned- pyrethrin, permethrin. What we’re looking at here on the left would be leg bands. These are citronella scented bands that go on all four limbs of the horse, to attempt to reduce the amount of stomping. There’s also spot control that recommends being applied once every couple weeks. The efficacy of these products is not well known or understood, but they are available for you to try, and they’ve been tested on horses, and some people have a great amount of success with those. Roger you added this picture and I don’t know if Rogers poking fun at horse people, but this is a little out of control. But this is what we do. We love our horses. They want to keep them comfortable. Yeah and that’s that’s an asset for horse people because they’re willing to do more to make your animals comfort. Then say dairy or beef cattle managers. They’re dealing with the same problems, but horse people have a few more options. Yeah, this is a little over the top. Well, they can’t look in the mirror so they don’t get embarrassed we think and their friends don’t make fun of them. But you have options and the point that we’re trying to drill home here is there are some measures you can take, for instance, looking at the next slide, fly masks are going to be incredibly common this time of year covering the eyes, covering the ears. Some will even extend a bit lower down the nose. What we’re looking at in that middle image are leggings. These we’ll talk about in more detail in just a little bit as well but these are meant to protect the lower limbs, and that is the preferred feeding site for these stable flies. So that’s an effort to keep that clear fly. Then we’ve got a mesh fly sheet here which is also pretty common. If your horse can keep them on, and they keep them comfortable, and keep them from overheating, by all means these can be a great way to give them at least a little release in the summer. So that leaves me actually to a very exciting research update. A while back we did a project at the University of Minnesota, and our question, because there is not a lot of data out there on how affected these stable fly protecting are. So we wanted to look at them and compare them a bit more. So our objective was to investigate the effectiveness between two commercially produced fly sprays – the citronella based fly spray, which is the homemade spray that I mentioned, a physical barrier, and a citronella scented leg band. We hypothesized that the fly sprays would provide the strongest barrier against flies. And so now you might be wondering. Well, how did we measure this? So we took, over the course of six weeks, six horses. We individually penned them. We applied our fly free treatments, and we sat in those lawn chairs and we observed behaviors that tell us that they’re annoyed by the flies. Those behaviors we had to define in some way. So we were watching how many times they stomp their feet or stamp their feet. So this was identified by them raising a limb, at least one inch off the ground, and it coming back to the ground with some degree of force. So we’re not counting the steps that they’re walking, just that they’re actually stomping or stamping. We looked at tail swishes which is a common occurrence when they’re trying to slap them off them if they’re around the back. And so anytime the tail crossed the centerline, we counted that as a motion. Also, we counted up and down movement. Then we look at twitches. At first We tried to observe and count twitches all over the body which proved to be impossible. So we localized this to the M. deltoidius muscle region, which is right over your horses shoulder. And then we also look at head back. So a head back was defined as anytime your horse brought their head down to a front limb or if they brought it to the side. I had some time to do this to try and bite or lick away flies that are causing them to itch or biting and causing them discomfort. So again, we looked at those behaviors after applying our treatment. Here’s what we used as treatments. We use a permethrin spray, and I’ve added some price information just for the sake of comparison. If you haven’t purchased these recently, typically a 0.5% permethrin spray is going to be about 20 dollars per bottle. You can get it for cheaper. You can find it for five to ten dollars per bottle. Kind of like shopping at the grocery store though sometimes you know you pay a little more for these, you’re going to get a stronger formulation. You may get a bit better protection or more stability out of that chemical. Another treatment we did was at pyrethrin spray. So around $17.99 per bottle, but again a lot of variation depending on brand. This is the formula for the homemade spray we made, and when I calculated my ingredient costs that came to $12.76 for a 32 ounce bottle. Again, we use white vinegar. We found our Avon rep and got a bottle of the Skin So Soft. We did water and then one ounce of citronella oil. That citronella oil we found at GNC. Sometimes you can find them at supermarkets too. But that’s where we found ours, and we mix those together and use them as a spray. We also use shoofly leggins and yes that is spelled correctly, they are called leggings and that’s trademark product. It’s $55 for a 4-pack of those. So we did those on each of the four limbs. As you can see they start around the Coronet band and extend upward towards the knee our hawk. And we also did the leg bands. Those are the citronella scented bands that you put around each of the four limbs. They come typically just above the fetlock and those are going to be about twenty dollars for a four pack. So again, our objective was to look at the effectiveness between these five different treatments. We also had what we’d refer to as a control horse. That was untreated or didn’t have any type of fly comfort treatment put on. I realize that this is a lot to look at if you can follow me and stay with me on this table I will talk you through what we found. So if we’re looking at the top here again, we were looking at four behaviors really highly associated with fly annoyance. The tail swish, the hoof stomp, the head back, and the shoulder twitch. We calculated averages on a permanent basis over that two hour time period that we were measuring the behaviors. Over here on the left-hand side, you see the different treatments that we use. The legging, the shoofly fly leggings, the citronella spray, the leg bands, the permethrin, the pyrethrin and the control. If you’re looking at this, something important to note, something that you might notice, these numbers have these little superscript next to them. An A, B and a C. All numbers with an A next to them are statistically the same. So even though this number is 36 and this number is 37 because they both have an A next to them, we consider those to not be different. Same thing if we look at B, all the numbers with B would be statistically the same. Same with C. So where you see differences, this 36 right here was, in terms of tail swishing with horses that received the citronella spray, that resulted in the lowest amount of tail swishing. That is different from any treatment that has a B or C. So when we look at these as a column, we see the citronella spray and the leggings resulted in the lowest number numerically, with the permethrin, pyrethrin and bands, and also our control horse that was untreated, being higher in terms of how it reduced or resulted in tail swishes. The next one that I would assume most of us horse people are pretty interested in, would be the amount of hoof stops based on treatment. Again, no hoofs no horse, and when horses stomp excessively it’s true Roger. I know. No hoof no horse and when horses stop in the summer this can be really damaging to the hoof wall and potentially to the riding plans we have to do in the short summer we get. So what we found that was really interesting here, the leggings, the shoofly leggings, and the citronella bands both resulted in statistically less amount of hoof stomps on a permanent basis than all other treatments. So even though sometimes people look at those leggings and are like “well you know flies can still fly into them, they’re not snug on the skin”, we were pretty surprised to find that those worked really well in terms of reducing the number of hoof stomps per minute. When we look at those head motions, while it might not make complete sense to us, the leggings are actually the most effective, also, at reducing the horse, the number of times that they brought the head to the side. It makes sense why it would be less for the lower limbs, but again, the leggings proved to be the most effective in reducing that fly annoyance behavior. And that would be followed by the citronella bands, shortly followed by the citronella fly spray. What we did see that was kind of interesting is our commercial products weren’t as effective as we thought they would be or as we hoped they would be. As you can see again these superscript C indicate that these are highest frequency of behaviors and they’re higher, like I said them the leggings and the band. When we looked at the shoulder twitch, we saw that the citronella spray resulted in the lowest number of shoulder twitches and with our sprays, again, being on the upper end in terms of that behavior. So when we look at this as a whole, this next slide is a little bit wordy, but you can take a look that if you’d like. The take-home message of this, no one treatment reduced all behaviors. However, what we saw is that the hoof stomps were reduced the greatest buy the legging and the bands when we compared it to other treatments. The sprays were among treatments, I’m sorry, the citronella spray and pyrethrin sprays, helped reduce tail squishes when compared to others. Head-backs for decreased by leggings when compared to others, and the citronella fare is most effective at reducing shoulder twitches among leggings and bands. Again take-home message not one of these reduced all behaviors, but there was some good effects seem especially by the citronella spray and the leggings. So a future area of research that we feel if people are going to continue researching fly sprays, you know, there’s different levels of active ingredients and you out there who have tried flies sprays have probably at times had more success than we did in our trials. So not all fly phrase aren’t as efficacious as ours were, but there does need to be further work looking at how we can improve that to benefit our horse. Something we’re seeing now, too, if fly resistance to some of these ingredients, so that could have come into play. It’s not something we looked at in our study, but it’s something for manufacturers to think about. Also, you know, we applied it, the same amount, by the same person every day, and it may be different from how you apply it at home. We went based on manufacturer recommendation, so that could be due to why we didn’t see as much effectiveness as we wanted to. But these are areas that could be looked into in the future. So for our overarching take-home message before we take some questions from you guys, hopefully we provided you some information on the lifecycle of the fly, how to maybe do some cleanup or management around your facility, how to take some steps to improve comfort with your horses. Anything else Roger? Oh, but don’t expect sanitation to be perfect. An option to make your horse comfortable is to apply something directly to them. We’ve explored some possibilities, but the, then no one is perfect. So just expect part of nature to have some biting flies. Interpret it. Help your horse survive as best as possible. Your compassion is great, but maybe don’t be looking for miracles. Good point. Thank you, and we’d be happy to take any questions that you have. Well, thank you both. I think this is very educational, definitely entertaining, and we do have one question so far. And for those of you who are with us online, please feel free to use the chat box on your lower right hand corner. Click on that little arrow to open up the chat and go ahead and type your questions in the chat box. Debbie asks, “did any horses who wore the leg bands have any negative skin reactions in the area?” Good question, Debbie, because I as a horse owner have heard that from owners in the past. We did not see any of that. Something important to note though, we only applied that as a treatment for two hours each day. So beyond that, I can’t say for sure whether it would or not have a reaction to the skin, butt in our trial, we didn’t see any reactions. So maybe some best practices for using leggings or bands would be daily removal or cleaning of any mud or debris or what? Yep, where would you go with that for other? Absolutely, I would recommend checking those on a daily basis, you know, bacteria infections like to thrive and dark, moist, open areas, you know. So if you’ve got a band, you’re not supposed to put them super tight, you want to have a few fingers that can go between them, but I would say check the surrounding area. Check the skin. Horses are all different some are more sensitive to materials than others. You know your horse. Keep an eye on them and check. Robin says “I have a manure pile about 10 acres away from the barn and pastures, will it help to fly spray around the edges of this pile?” I’ll take that one. It depends on what other piles are in the neighborhood, first off. It depends on what you spray with. Most of the materials that I’m familiar with you have trouble getting penetration. You really need 40 psi and 100 gallons to treat a stables worth of bedding debris. It’s hard to get good control that way. I think you’d be better off if you could possibly avoid having to pile it, that it’s spreaded directly when it comes out during the summer or alternative you could turn it up. Rachel was talking about turning the straw in inside the stables, same works outdoors. What you’re trying to do is encourage composting and get it good and hot. If you get it steaming magnitude killed. That’s great. But that may not be practical in operations. Some people have been champions for tarping – getting big chunks of say landscape tarpaulins and laying it over the piles, again to heat it and prevent flies from getting at it. Those are options you might consider if you take you have a stockpile. But first what was the name of the person here? I think it was Robin. Robin says “there are no neighbors”. Robin I taught o you. Okay fair enough. I taught you how to trowel for maggots, right? Go buy yourself a garden trowel. I’d send you one if you sent me a note. And go picking around the pile and see if you can find maggots. That’s necessary to justify any other actions. If you can’t find maggots in there, look into moist places then don’t worry about it. Again no premise is the same and month to month things change. So best practices for composting, shameless plug, we will have some information coming hopefully this winter about manure management, and composting would be a part of that. So proper composting would be a way to manage that. The trick is to turn maggot heaven into maggot hell. Okay, okay. Which means you get it really hot. If it’s hot enough for you to stick your hand in, maybe halfway up to your elbow, and you want to pull it back, that’s hot enough to kill maggots. 140 degrees Fantastic. Hope that helps, Robin. Cold stacking would be useless. Julie says, “it’s my understanding from from fly predator,s that I should pile the manure, so to, so that it will create heat and kills the fly pupae. That’s, that is composting. The problem is around the edges it isn’t going to get so hot. So you need to keep turning things, agitating it to get it through like six weeks of cooking. These fly predators will search in the habitat wherever you release them, and if they find pupae, they’ll stay and kill them. So it’s sort of a mopping up exercise with with the fly predators, but bear in mind if you turn at manure to get it cooking, you’ve cooked the five predators, too. Maybe those two aren’t really compatible if composting is done well. But if you have parts of places you can’t clean well, fly predators might be useful there. The bulk of the stuff composting it will remove it from the landscape for the neighbor side. Okay. um Julie asks, “what are your thoughts on the feed through sly products?” So let me make sure I’m clear on what a feed through fly product is. Like a supplement that they wouldn’t ingest, I believe garlic. Yeah, so, the interesting thing, they actually do make these products for cattle. Specifically because there are such huge economic losses in the cattle industry due to pressure of flies. Right now in terms of things that we use for horses, I feel like maybe a bit more anecdotal, people do like to use garlic as an ingredient. You can always smell in your barn if you are at a burning facility, smells like Italian dinners in one aisle, then you’re getting garlic. Right now I would say this you know, I probably have to do a good literature review, but I don’t believe the science supports a strong, you know, correlation between effectiveness against flies and feeding garlic in the diet. Do you know any different, Rogers? No, that is the research base, like Minnesota, I commend you Rachel for your PhD program. Your research on the efficacy of these horse protectants. To my knowledge, nothing’s been done similarly looking at the efficacy of feedthroughs. The idea is that you feed an insect, sorry feed an insecticide, in the feeds of the horse, and it passes through sort of like oats for sparrows. Well, this is insecticides against flies. But bear in mind that the feed that’s rotting around doesn’t have that insects idea, right? So there’s a fly source that is outside of the domain. Also, we don’t really know how long the residues last in soil bedding and piled debris, so at this point, I would rather people spend their effort trying to clean up the place better to minimize the supply of fly breeding materials. We know that will work. Whether it’s worth it to feed it insecticide to try to kill the maggots that are developing a subset of those possible sources. What about, I think sometimes people do it because the scent is pretty strong. Will it have any effect on deterring flies from coming close to the horse if they’ve got a garlicky smell to them? Well garlic. Okay, garlic is not insecticidal generally at the doses that we normally think of. So, I don’t know that anybody’s looked at the effects of odors. I mean I prefer mint myself I think you horse people should feed mint to yours horses to make the barn smell. We do all the time. Okay! We sure do. Great, I am a little skeptical. Sorry. But there’s a need for research which keeps the question that nobody’s really addressed yet. We don’t have a better answer right now. Sorry, but um, I would say if you feel like it’s helping your horses certainly, you know, not necessarily hurting unless you’re overdoing it. But probably a pretty limited effect of them. We’ve got, Mary asks, “I may have missed it but is the Equaspot effective?” Ao we did not test the Equaspot in our research trial, and like I mentioned previously, if you guys weren’t on, we try and be as unbiased as possible and just put out some examples of what you can use. Because we haven’t tested that one, it’s hard for me to provide a testimonial on whether or not it’s effective. What do you think about the spot treatments, Roger? No experience. Those ones, too, I’m a little skeptical. I mean, it’s the same active ingredient as you would find in the sprays, and they do call for like two weeks between application periods. You know when we found that when we trade some of those substances on them, they didn’t they weren’t beneficial even right after we sprayed them. So I guess, you know, not sure at this point. I don’t know if there’s any data out there and that one either. There’s an old adage, the dose makes the poison. Same goes for repellents. If we have low doses, you aren’t going to get as much repellency as possibly higher doses. At some point you get over to it. But I think the Equaspot is permethrin. Is that correct? Yep, the active ingredient. Okay. The idea is you put a dob on the withers or the tail head, either one, it spreads in the horse hair’s oil, and in turn if there’s any benefit to be had, it’s going to be by diffusion from the point of application. I’d have to do some experiments to actually see if it’s repellent at the original dose at the withers. Whether it spreads down to the legs. Honestly, I’m a bit skeptical, but then I’m retired. Oh. We just got a nice testimonial. There’s a few of them. Yeah. Jeanne says, “Thank you, now I know why fly traps are not working.” Robin would like to see some research on feed through garlic. She’s been using one of the supplements through smart pass which I believe we’re all probably familiar with. Yep. The fresh piles from that horse doesn’t have very many flies buzzing around it when she picks. But it’s expensive. Okay and then Julie says, “I’m using solitude insect growth feedthrough with Bureaumazine? cyromnzine. at two hundred and seventy dollars for twenty pounds.” So those are some some investments. Tell us about cyromazine, thank you. There’s a class of insecticides that weren’t on your list. They’re called insect growth inhibitors. They monkey with the hormone system that controls that metamorphosis going from larva to pupa, basically. Insects that are exposed to cyromazine as larvae, have enough of it that they, their patient process, that transformation, is interfered with, that’s basically die as pupae. They can’t make it on out again. Twice, dose makes the makes the poison, and you need to have the active ingredient high enough in concentration where the maggots are, and have it where the maggots are if it’s going to work. So again, like feedthrough, the same limitations are there whether you’re killing them with organophosphates, which Raybon does, or with cyromazine, this product. There are other trade names, too. It’s a matter of exposure. Again, go back to your troweling. Go figure out where your supplies are actually coming from, and then build your program from there. If you’re finding them in hot, fresh feces, then feedthrough would make sense. If you’re finding them elsewhere, then it doesn’t make much sense to me. That makes me curious about the feedthrough products on how it would go through that hydrochloric bath through their stomach. Oh. and just through the hundreds of feet of their GI track. I hasn’t been solved. Trust me we know that if its intake at the right dose, which is a constant amount of material per kilogram of horse, that’s the measure, then the concentration will be high enough in the fresh feces to be objectifiable. Question to stay elsewhere. Great, okay. Fantastic. This is your last call for any questions that you would like Roger and Rachel to address. Enter them into the chat box. For now, I would like to give you a heads up on our next webinar, which will actually be in October. We take the summer off because we’re all enjoying our horse activities. Roger will be troweling for maggots and fishing because that’s what you do when you’re retired. So we have a webinar coming up on care of your senior horse. So I know many of us have geriatric center barn I refuse to admit minor geriatric, but that will be a very good webinar coming up in October. I am seeing no further questions in our chat box, so I would like to thank Rachel and Rodger for joining us this afternoon. Thank you to all of you that joined us online, and the webinar, the recorded webinar ,will be available in a few weeks online. So go ahead and share and spread the word and have fun troweling for maggots. Thanks everybody. Thanks for tuning in. Bye all.

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