Pests can cause discomfort to your animals at home, especially your horses. Just to give you a rough idea of what a pest is:
A pest is any animal detrimental to humans and their concerns, including crops, livestock, and forestry.
Pests include animals which carry disease-causing microorganisms and parasites, for example, mosquitoes, bed bugs, and ticks; which transmit viruses to humans and animals.
Pests may also cause damage to farm produce by attacking and eating cereals before maturity.
Sadly, some pests such as the feral dogs can cause the death in animals, especially for the animals with fur.
Possible Signs Your Horse is Infested with Pests
Pests may affect your horse either positively or negatively.
Bothersome pests may turn as a nuisance because they make horses nervous, which interrupts their performance. You may notice frequent stomps and swap of tails on your horse as a sign that pests are causing discomfort to your horse..
Even though these positive effects may not be intense, they may still impact the health of your horse, especially if the stress increases. So, be weary of these signs before invade your compound to cause discomfort to your lively horse.
Pests may also transmit disease-causing organisms to your animal. Serious attacks can cause death of animals; that’s why you’re advised to take action as soon as you notice unusual behaviors in your horse.
Different Types of Pests and How to Identify them on Your Horse
Blister Beetles – these insects attack horses indirectly. In most cases, you’ll find them in hays produced in the western and south western state. Extensive inspection for blister beetles needs to be performed if you ship your hay from these regions.
Face Flies and House Flies – they don’t bite but are a nuisance to the animal because they persistently cling on them. They feed on open wounds and cuts on the animal’s body. Besides, they can breed faster on animal’s fresh manure.
Stable Flies – they are small, black-grayish insects and have a painful bite. Stable flies depend on the animal’s blood for survival by piercing through the skin. They lay their eggs in piles of decaying matter such as manure and urine, wet feed, and contaminated hay.
Horn Flies – Horn flies are tiny in size and irritant to horses pasturing with cattle. You’ll find them on the sides of the legs of cattle and horses. They feed while facing downwards and breed rapidly on manures.
Horse Fly and Deer Fly – these are also stubborn pests because their bites are extremely painful and cause flow of blood attracting insects. They may cause anemia to your horse due to loss of blood.
How to Control these Pests in Your Horses
Environmental sanitation is the key to controlling pests in your horses. Proper management of manure will help control several horse pests such as the face flies.
Occasionally spread the manure to prevent the accumulation of other wastes, which will help in eliminating flies’ breeding grounds. Application of pesticides on piles of manure will significantly help in eradicating maggots during decaying.
Develop proper drainage systems to prevent stagnant water from irrigation systems, which are a breeding place for mosquitoes and horse flies. You can also eliminate containers that hold water for long periods around the paddocks. Cleaning rain gutters occasionally will help prevent roof pests by allowing free flow of water during rainy seasons.
On a hot sunny day, most flying pests will rest under the shade to cool their bodies. So you are advised to mow grasses and other weeds that might provide shaded resting sites to these pests. In case of bushes and shrubs, burning them is the best solution to getting rid of ticks once and for all.
Finally, use of other animals as a biological control can also work, though it’ll take a little bit longer. The principle behind these control measures is to reduce the pests’ population. In most cases, it’s not practical as animals will continue to suffer from infestation.
If you’re still facing difficulties in controlling or managing stagnant water near the pastures, you can use biological insecticides to eradicate mosquitoes, flies and other pests that may harbor in standing waters.
Chemical control pesticides are the most effective, especially in controlling their population. You can read more reviews and guides on how to control pests. However, you need to understand the chemical you intend to use before applying it. This is to enable you to identify the targeted species because not all pests will die by spraying chemicals.
Spraying horse’ premises, screening stable areas, applying horse repellents, management of manures and vegetation can be of great help in managing most horse pests.
Eradicating pests from your horses can be costly, but, you can always save yourself that hassle by controlling them as they tend to multiply quickly.
With the above guidelines on pests management, you should be thinking about how to implement them early enough.
Don’t wait for the worse because all your efforts will be dead in the water.