Those small, pesky bugs such as mosquitoes and ticks can cause some serious issues in your horse's health. Pests that feed on blood can affect horses directly or indirectly. Direct effects are due to the pest's presence and physical nuisance. Indirectly, these bothersome insects can also cause the animal to become nervous and interrupt their performance. So how can bugs harm your horse, and how can you keep them away?
Types of Bugs That Bother Your Horse
While many small insects can be bothering your horse, some species will not only annoy them but also harm them. The first insect being flies. Any type of fly that bites (which includes, Horn, Horse, Deer, Blackflies and more) can leave bite marks on your equine that will cause not only severe itching and pain but be an annoyance as well. Some even draw blood from your horse which can lead to many disorders including anemia.
Another type of bug that can harm your horse is the gnat. They have a painful bite that may cause hypersensitivity along the mane, tail and over the withers, chest and facial areas. These bites can also cause self-inflicted hair loss and even some crusting and dry spots on your horse.
The next pest is the Mosquito. These annoying insects feed on horses' blood and can produce a significant disturbance to your animal. Mosquitos can leave big, itchy welts all over your horse's body. Not only are these bites uncomfortably itchy to your horse, but they can also be very dangerous. Mosquitoes transmit a long list of diseases and infections, some of which are treatable by vaccine while others are not.
The last critter that can be feeding on your horse are ticks. Heavy tick burdens can result in general unthriftiness, anemia, and susceptibility to disease. Ticks carry diseases such as Lyme disease found in many Eastern states across the United States.
How Can You Protect Your Horse From These Pests?
Now that you can identify the insects and their disturbances, you must be wondering how you can prevent these bugs from hurting your horse? Well, there are a few different options to consider.
First, you will want to ensure that you are managing any manure. Insects are drawn to manure, therefore the more manure found around your pasture and barn, the more you are welcoming these pests to feed on your horse.
The next option is to opt for protective gear for your horse. During the spring and summer months opt for fly sheets. Fly sheets can protect from the sun (which can damage a haircoat), while also providing relief from the heat as well as guarding against biting insects. In addition to a flysheet, some horses may benefit from wearing a fly mask to protect their face, eyes, and ears. It’s extremely important to remove sheets and fly masks daily to check for any cuts or scrapes and be sure there’s nothing trapped between the horse’s face and the mask.
The last step is to opt for topical spray repellents, such as our RK Topical Spray. RK Topical Spray gives professional long-lasting protection to stop ticks, mosquitoes, gnats, and flies. This spray combines natural oils with Pyrethrin/Pyrethroids to give real-world 8-hour protection. RK Topical Spray will also help avoid skin damage due to summer eczema and hives, and decrease the risk of tick diseases and blood loss from bites. RK Topical Spray allows your horse to stomp less in the field so that they keep their shoes on and do not crack up their hoof walls.
RK Topical Spray has a special sprayer attachment that covers four times the area of regular bottles. This allows you to easily, quickly, and completely cover your horse paying special attention to the inside and outside of the legs, the pasterns, belly, groin, and tail. It only takes approximately seven sprays per side to cover the average horse body. Wondering where you can get yours along with other supplements to protect your horse? Click here to check out our Rk Topical Spray.