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Using Diatomaceous Earth to Control Flies in the Barn

I Am Ranch Miniature Horses is sharing with you what we do to maintain the health of our horses. This is not intended to direct you on how to care for your horse. The intent of this is only to share what we do, and raise questions for you. We advise you to consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your horse's health care. The information found on our website is not to supersede the advice of your veterinarian. I AM Ranch Miniature Horses cannot be held liable for the care of your horse(s).

Here in Arizona, flies are about present year around. Years ago, I read about feeding Diatomaceous Earth to mammals for fly control in The Horse Connection which is an idea that we have used ever since.

"Diatomaceous (die-uh-toe-may-shus) Earth, isn't dirt or earth, not even colored like it.
Another name for DE is crystalline silica. It consists of the broken up shells of tiny critters, called diatoms, that lived long ago and died in groups so massive that they can, today, be mined and bull-dozed. "DE" , as diatomaceous earth is abbreviated, has the neat quality of killing insects. It's perfect for natural insect control.  It is 100% ecologically safe to the environment and non-poisonous to man and beast. In fact, if you've eaten anything made with flour (like Bisquick), you've eaten DE. It's used in commercial grain storage as a means of natural, poison-free, insect control. So, how does it control insects, or kill insects?


Fresh Water Diatomaceous Earth works by slicing open the exoskeleton (outer, hard covering) of insects, causing them to "bleed" to death. (Actually, their insides leak out, they dehydrate and die.) When D.E. is sprinkled on the ground, on an ant mound, or mixed with grains, legumes, etc., it slices and dices the insects that walk through it. Here in AZ, where scorpions roam freely, I use it liberally to surround areas I want protected. I have even sprinkled a line of DE completely surrounding my house. I do surround dog runs, the tack room and our feed areas every few weeks with DE. It slices up the underside of the scorpions as they walk through it.

I mix D.E, in with our treat of Strategy GX and feed it directly to all of our horses. Our minis get about 1/3 cup per day. They don't digest it and it all ends up in their poop. The D.E. in the animal feces kills the fly maggots that invariably appear in the poop.

Here are other uses for D.E.: When canning (or bucketizing) your own food, mix in a cup of Fresh Water Diatomaceous Earth to help keep it pest-free. And it won't hurt YOU when you ingest it, because the 'sharp pieces' are too small to cut you. (In fact, many farmers deliberately mix DE with animal feed to kill internal parasites in farm animals.  Powder the landing places (like pee spots) that flies use for fly control. You do need to be cautious with your use of DE. It can cause lung problems. High-level exposure to the very fine dust from DE has been implicated in some forms of lung cancer. It's OK to eat, but don't breathe it. Use a mask when applying DE. (I think the FDA has now approved it for large-scale eating.) Use DE in your poultry's dust bath to eliminate fleas and mites. Add 2% to their feed (or to any animal's feed) to reduce or eliminate internal parasites and worms. We have fed it to our dogs and cows, too.I surround aviaries with it to keep out critters!

Here are a couple of websites that have some good information.  The first one is very educational and has lots of information about how they use it for themselves and their animals and the other ones have information and different application methods.

http://www.earthworkshealth.com/How-Diatomaceous-Earth-Works.php

When my daughters were little and learning to ride, it seemed that we had 4 older Arabians donated to our cause. They are a breed more likely to form enteroliths than any other. At that time, we added Apple Cider Vinegar to our horse's daily treats to help keep enteroliths from forming in their guts. An added benefit is that ACV helps repel flies. We also make our own fly spray with ACV in it. QuickBayt

QuickBayt is a fly bait that is very effective too. You need to keep it away from any other creature that may eat it, but it kills flies within seconds of them landing on it. You can cut out the side of a milk jug and hang this to aid in fly control.

 

Here are a few homemade and holistic fly repellent or mosquito repellent recipes

Recipe 1:

4 oz. Avon Skin so Soft

2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar

2 oz, Citronella Oil

2 cups Water

We also love our chickens that roam freely in our barn. Their picking through the manure piles aids in keeping our fly population down.

Cleaning your barn twice daily also goes a long way in deterring flies. It sure makes it so mucking out the stalls is not thought of as an overwhelming job. I have personally seen the benefit of it on any skin fungus present or hot spots.

 

Recipe 2:

Combine in a 16 oz bottle:
15 drops lavender oil
3-4 Tbsp of vanilla extract
10 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil
1/4 Cup lemon juice. 
Fill bottle with water. 
Shake & it's ready to use.
Spray on yourself.
  Make some extra to give to neighbors!

 

And, instructions on making a homemade mosquito trap!!!

Supplies:

  • 1 2 liter soda bottle
  • a sharp knife
  • black paper
  • tape
  • candy thermometer

Take a 2 liter soda bottle. Cut off the top right below where it starts to narrow for the top, invert and place inside the lower half.

Make a simple sugar syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cool water
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast

Directions:

Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil.

Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water.

Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 2 cups cool water, stir well.

Check the temperature of the syrup to make sure it is no hotter than 90 degrees F, if hotter, let cool to 90 degrees F, add 1 tsp. active dry yeast, no need to mix. Put syrup in the bottom part of the bottle, using the cut off neck piece, leave in place.

Be sure to seal the two parts of the bottle with the tape. The fermenting yeast will release carbon dioxide. Put black paper around the bottle since mosquitoes like dark places and carbon dioxide. This mosquito trap will then start working.

TIPS: Put the trap in a dark and humid place for 2 weeks, you'll see the effect. You'll have to replace the sugar water + yeast solution every 2 weeks.

 
Fungus on your Miniature Horse

Lisa Barnes mentioned this Sporicidin on facebook one day. It has worked wonders on fungus on our horses and hot spots on a dog. I just put it in a spray bottle and use full strength. Do not get in eyes.

I Am Ranch Miniature Horses is sharing with you what we do to maintain the health of our horses. This is not intended to direct you on how to care for your horse. The intent of this is only to share what we do, and raise questions for you. We advise you to consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your horse's health care. The information found on our website is not to supersede the advice of your veterinarian. I AM Ranch Miniature Horses cannot be held liable for the care of your horse(s).

 
 

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