Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Word About Flies

Fly control...
one of the great challenges of life on the farm.

But before we delve into that icky subject.
I have to show you what became of yesterday's beautiful strawberries.

I also harvested some rhubarb for this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.

Now back to flies....

A few months ago I mentioned that I was feeding my horses garlic for fly control.
I also promised some feedback on the subject.

It was suggested to me that I try a company called Springtime
for horse supplements....
in particular a product called "Bug Off".

A bit of a skeptic, I decided it was worth a try.
After all, flies are the bane of a horse's existence,
and fly masks are almost as much of a pain, it seems;
as I am always finding them lying in the pasture.

As you can see, the garlic powder is dosed according to size,
and added to their feed each day.

After 2 months of use I have to say...
we have not had to use fly masks yet this summer.
And don't get me wrong, there have been a ton of flies.

But it seems that none of these flies are interested in the horses' faces...
a place where flies are always found.

I am inclined to say this supplement really works.
And you would not believe my horses' breath!

Now around the farm, because we are committed to organic practices,
we swear by this fly trap...

Nothing we have found works any better than this Solar Fly Trap by Arbico Organics.
Beneath the fly trap is a dish of the smelliest preparation ever!
(It needs to be changed after rainfall to keep the trap effective.)
You can buy refill mixes for the smelly stuff, or you can mix raw eggs and beer and let it sit...
the end result is the same.... the most awful stench that only a fly could love!

After filling up on smelly bait, the fly takes flight... getting trapped in the metal container above,
where it desiccates in the heat of the sun.
As you can see, this trap is loaded with dead flies which will eventually be added to our compost pile.

This fly trap is a little pricey, but worth its weight in gold!
We have several located around the farm and swear by them.
(there is a link to Arbico's website on the sidebar of my blog, if you are interested.)


  1. Although we don't seem to have fly problems around our farm, if we ever do, I will certainly keep this info in mind. I'm glad your horses are free of the flies now.

  2. This year the flies are horrible. I usually don't have much trouble. It must be our crazy weather changes that have brought them out and I don't live on a farm! I may have to check out your fly trap on the side bar. I'm happy that all the animals love their garlic and it is working. Contented animals make happy Mom!

  3. This looks like a great contraption! Does the smell travel very far? We have a small porch and I love to eat outside on a cool morning but so many flies keeps it unappealing. I wonder if this would work. Thanks for any info.

  4. Strawberry jam...Yum...Garlic is in most pest deterrents..Voles, rabbits, etc...We used to give our dogs garlic to prevent fleas...Enjoy this beautiful day...

  5. We use fly predators. They seem to work pretty good. But we don't have as many farm animals as you, just 2 horses and 6 chickens. The ones that I can't seem to get rid of are the little gnats. They're so bothersome. Does the garlic work on those? I might have to try garlic for the horses.

  6. Wow, that fly trap is truly a gem!!! I would love to know your jam recipe!!!

  7. These are GREAT tips! I will try the garlic for sure and see if I can mix up some stinky eggs and beer.
    We find that a few muscovys walking around the place help out too ;)


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