Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mosquito Bites, Tiger Balm and Fly Spray

Went to ride after work today. We had heavy rain late last night into the morning and everything is soggy. When it rains heavily, the mosquitoes get really bad at the new barn. They owners have two huge fans blowing through the barn to move the air and keep the bugs away and it does help but today was buggy even with the fans.

Poor Joey, he was miserable. Stomping flies as I tried to groom him, then to add insult to injury, the girl came to feed dinner as I saddled up. I kept stuffing handfulls of hay in his mouth since I felt sorry for him but I finished tacking up and out we went.

I planned on a short half hour ride, just walking and trotting because the bugs were so annoying. I swear at this time of year the critters just huff the fly spray and party on. I mounted up and once we were moving Joey seemed to get a little relief.

I kept my promise, 30 uneventful minutes later I dismounted and brought Joey back to the barn. I felt so bad for my hungry pony that I untacked him and then let him into his stall to start eating his hay as I finished up brushing him and adding another coat of fly spray. Once I finished brushing him down then he got his grain. I swear he sighed in relief.

Fly Spray - okay, here's where I need opinions from some of you folks in the steamy south, what brand of fly spray do you find really works to keep the flys and especially the skeeters away from your horse? I tried Mosquito Halt and it worked a little better than the Bronco stuff I normally use but how toxic do I need to get before my horse gets some relief?

And as for the Tiger Balm, well, I figured I'd spread the news that Tiger Balm works great to stop the itch from mosquito bites. I read it somewhere in some forum online and when I woke up at 2AM last night with 3 nasty, aggravatingly itchy bites on my leg I tried it.
You use a Q-tip and rub the Tiger Balm into the welt for about a minute. Then the itch is just gone! I was so happy it worked! Thank you internet!


Anonymous said...

Mosquito Halt is the only thing I've found that does anything to keep mosquitos at bay - works well for other biting critters too. I try not to use it all season as it's so toxic and nasty, but at this time of year when nothing else works . . . I've tried lots of fly sprays, and mostly use Bronco, but at the end of the season most things seem to stop working.

We've been having a plague of biting flies the last several days - poor horses were asking to come back in just hours after they were turned out to pasture.

Jennifer said...

Our Tractor Supply store here carries some "horse and pony fly spray"... white bottle, yellow and red print.. It's oily and greasy, but that stuff works here in South Texas.

Good luck.

Jean said...

I use Mosquito Halt for rides out. Endure of Bronco for basic fly spray. When I was showing, Flysect was my spray of choice. Supposedly the new spray from Absorbine, Ultrashield Sport, lasts through a ride...never tried it.

My Boys wear flysheets and that helps. I also use fly predators at my barn and Equitrol feed through to keep the breeding flies down.

Can't do much about the mosquitoes as I live right at the edge of the Pigeon Swamp State Park, so we have plenty of breeding grounds. There are garlic supplements you can feed that many people claim really help.

Another idea for the barn is to get some bat houses. Those guys eat a lot of mosquitoes.

My friend said her vet told her to use Deep Woods Off, as it was the only thing that would really keep the biting critters away. I think Mosquito Halt is very similar and less expensive.

Anyone tried the Fly Armor products? They make browbands, tags for the mane, leg bands, etc. I think they are infused with citronella.

Jean said...

Oh meant to add...when the bugs are bad I ride in Cashel Bug Armor with an added face mask. I can school my horses or trail ride in the woods in relative comfort...provided I use repellent on myself as well.

SolitaireMare said...

I guess my choice of Mosquito Halt was the right one then, since it has been mentioned in the comments more than once. I just hate using something that I know is awfully toxic when I drift into it's venomous cloud as I spray my horse, blecchh! LOL!

And Jean - there are lots of bats around this barn! as it starts to get dark they are swooping all over the sky when you look out the doorways of the barn. I was actually very happy the first time I noticed them!!

RiderWriter said...

I don't have a horse but my friend who does uses Pyranha. She kind of a crunchy/Parelli type, so I'm surprised she reaches for such a big gun, but her boys seem to appreciate the relief. I've read some scary things about human reactions to the stuff so I do my best to hold my breath when she's hosing them down!

Tiger balm for human bites? WOW, I may just have to try that. I am mosquito-bait par excellence - I get bites when nobody else around is being bitten. If I slap hydrocortizone cream on them immediately I'm fine, but if I miss them and the itching starts... it's bad news. I will scratch myself raw and then the sores leave scars that last for weeks. Might have grab some of that TB stuff and give it a try!

Merri said...

I'll have to try some of the Mosquito Halt - we have a ridiculous number of mosquitoes for a desert that hasn't seen a drop of rain in months!!
and thanks for the Tiger Balm tip, i will try that! and a tip, which you all know I'm sure: don't rub your eyes if you touch the Tiger Balm!!!
- The Equestrian Vagabond