Here in the UK we have many different flying insects. For us as horse owners, the horse fly receives the most attention and us as owners spend a lot of time trying to determine whether to use a fly rug, cover in fly spray before you ride or turnout, or simply do nothing each year.

No one wants their horse to be pestered by flies...

The truth is no one wants to see their horse or pony being annoyed by flies and insects whilst turned out in their paddocks, or when you are riding, carrying the buzz of insects that hover above their head or your hat and join you on your ride.

It is not just horse flies that find our horses an attractive opportunity. The black fly finds a home inside their ears as they need an area with less hair to be able to suck blood from the skin; these are around throughout the warmer months along with midges. With fly activity increasing at the break of dawn or dusk, irritation for horses can become apparent as the flies bite releases saliva into the skin; it is this that can cause the itching sensation. The crab fly tends to remain between the hindlegs but they have no wings, they have to be brushed away. Then you have the stable fly, these breed in our muckheaps and usually gather around the face and the eyes and appear around the same time as the horse fly. The horse fly receives the most attention as it's sharp teeth can bite through the skin, creating a larger lesion and likely resulting in a skin reaction.

Banish the Buzz - Flies

It is a legal requirement that all fly repellents come under Biocide and Pesticide regulations. They must be registered and display a registered number to ensure the product you are using contains active ingredients proven to be both safe and effective, therefore look for the approval number on repellents to ensure the product you choose is legal. Beware of essential oils and home remedies, they can be very potent, causing severe reactions on some horses.

Banish the Buzz - Irritated

Research the best formulas for your needs...

NAF has taken its learnings from nature itself, some plants have the natural ability to mask scents that are attractive to insects, while others can confuse the insect’s odour receptors and create an unappealing environment for them to land on. Then there is of course the well-known synthetic repellent, DEET which combines what nature has taught us into one product. DEET was formulated by US soldiers upon testing times in the jungle during 1946. Generally, the higher the rate of DEET the more effective the repellent will be. However, safe levels for use on horses and in our environment, are capped, so avoid using DEET repellents designed for use on people, as these are likely to be too high for your horse. As with any topical application it is always worth doing a patch test for 48 hours prior to use.

Should you have a Fly Repellent to hand? Fly repellents have been used for generations to help repel flies and biting insects from irritating our horses. Using a fly spray can help avoid contact with these blood thirsty feeders and in turn can help to prevent the many diseases that flies may transmit which can lead to extreme discomfort. When picking a repellent, think about the type of fly you are seeing and even horses who wear a fly rug will benefit from a repellent.

NAF Off Deet Power Performance offers a 6-8 hour repellency time, which should account for the time in the field before it is re-applied or the horse is brought in. The powerful formula provides effective protection against flies and insect menace.

Shop NAF OFF fly repellents now at Supplement Solutions and save £5 when you buy any 2 x 750ml NAF OFF sprays.

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