Natural Equine Insect Control + Green Horse Organics Giveaway
Most of us horse lovers look forward to warmer weather because it means we can spend more time with our horses, but with warmer weather comes all the pesky insects, which can not only be annoying, but can also carry the risk of serious illnesses for our horses.
Several of these little predators are known to transmit diseases such as West Nile virus, Equine Infectious Anemia, and Equine Encephalitis. Ticks (which are technically arachnids) can also be vectors for several nasty diseases including Lyme disease and Equine Piroplasmosis. Sweet Itch (Summer Eczema), is caused by allergic reaction to tiny Culicoide midges and can also be quite serious for some horses.
While it might seem nearly impossible to keep all biting insects away from our horses, there are a number of things we can do to help control their numbers. Here are a few methods of natural equine insect control that you can implement in your barn and pasture:
- Clean manure from stalls daily;
- Keep pasture grass mowed short;
- Feed hay and concentrates in a feeder off the ground;
- Eliminate standing water (such as in unused buckets and areas around feeding troughs) that can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and some flies;
- Use fans in your barn and stalls to keep air moving;
- Install bat and bird houses around your barn (they eat insects!);
- Turn off insect-attracting barn lights at night; and
- Use natural insect traps and deterrents such as ones found on this website.
For individual horses, here are some insect protection tips:
- Use fly masks and possibly fly sheets;
- Use natural fly sprays;
- Don’t trim hair around the fetlock, muzzle, and ears as hair is part of the horse’s natural method of insect control;
- Don’t braid or keep your horse’s tail in a bag–this will greatly diminish its effectiveness as a ‘fly swatter’; and
- Allow your horse to be a horse and roll in the dirt or mud–this, too, is a natural method of insect control.
And now, onto the giveaway! Green Horse Organics, owned by Nancy Lamb, sells all-natural, organic products for horses (and people.) They only use the very best natural ingredients in their products, which include fly spray, liniment, healing cream, and bug & sun block.
The giveaway this week will be for a jar of Baby Face-Sun & Bug Block–a thick, creamy formula made for delicate skin on your horse’s face, nose, ears, or anywhere you may want to apply it. It’s “superb insect protection and sunscreen in one!”
The super-sensitive formula includes organic lemon grass, neem oil, geranium, palmarosa and lavender with a base of wild-crafted shea butter. It can also be used on scratches, bites and abrasions to keep bugs away. Nancy says you can use it on yourself as well!
Here is the Green Horse Organics Facebook page, if you’d like to become a fan.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment under this post telling about which type of insect causes the most problems for your horse(s) (flies, gnats, horse flies, mosquitoes, etc.) A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, June 14th. You must be a U.S. resident to be eligible.
Ta-ta and good luck!