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Fly Repellents & Fly Control

fly control in horses

Keep the Flies At Bay - Fly Control in Horses


Whether at a show or enjoying a summer hack, the annual menace of flies and irritating insects seem to be ever present. An effective fly repellent is a must through the summer to keep you and your horse comfortable, but how do you choose the right one?

All fly repellents on sale in the UK have to be registered, by law, and carry a HSE number, so look out for this on packaging. The HSE number ensures that the product is using one or more of the recognised fly repellents proven to be both safe and effective. The inclusion rate is also closely controlled, to ensure it’s at a safe level for application to the horse. There are only a small number of repellents approved for horses, and these include DEET (diethyl-m-toluamide) and Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate as found working together in NAF OFF Deet Power. If you prefer a natural approach look for PMD (p-menthane-diol) which is derived from flowers and found in NAF OFF Extra Effect.

The choice of which repellent is right for you and your horse is partly personal preference, but also which works on your horse. In our experience different repellents work better for different horses. So if you find one is not effective for you choose a different one, but make sure it has a different active ingredient to maximise your chance of finding the one that works for you and your horse.

It’s worth remembering that these repellents do just that, they repel, so you may still see flies around your horse, just not landing or getting too close to annoy. What repellents do not do is kill the insect on contact; that takes an insecticide. The issue with insecticides is obviously the potential risk to other animals, and the risk to you. Remember if your horse is on a yard that benefits from cat controlling pests like rats and mice, then permethrin based products are highly poisonous to cats and a common cause for feline veterinary visits over the summer.

For years many of us have relied on a more traditional approach to fly control using essential oils such as citronella or teatree oil. However you will not now find these products marketed as fly repellents as they are not approved repellents under EU law. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them. Neither does it mean that they are banned for competition, as is sometimes mistakenly thought. The restriction applies only to marketing them as fly repellents. However you may still choose to use them in any other way. Many horses will appreciate a cooling after-work wash using the fresh aroma of citronella, such as in NAF OFF Citronella Wash; or maybe carry that summer smell with you on hacks with NAF OFF Citronella Summer Spray and Tag?

Whatever your approach to fly control, NAF OFF for summer will keep you and your horse protected throughout the season.

By Kate Hore, a representative of NAF




Source Details

Kate Hore, NAF

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