How to Get Rid of Flies Naturally

by Sarah Macey

How to Get Rid of Flies Naturally

Summer is well on its way and the weather is slowly getting warmer. There are so many wonderful things about summer, especially when you like to ride! When the sun’s out there is more time to spend time outside with your horse. Unfortunately, there are many things about summertime that are problematic when it comes to horse care and one of these is flies. These pests appear in force during the summer time and can be extremely bothersome to you and your horse. The following methods are our suggestions for fighting the fly problem naturally so that you can keep the fly populations in your stables and fields under control. Read on to find out more.

Manure Management

Managing the manure in your horse stables, fields and yards is the single most important way of controlling flies in your stable areas. Stable flies are the most annoying species of biting flies that bother your horses and they breed in manure. Therefore, the best way to keep these fly numbers down is to remove manure and clean down your horse’s stable as often as possible. We would recommend cleaning out manure from the stables, yards and fields as often as you can. Once the manure is collected, we recommend placing it as far away from your horses’ as possible.

Top Tip: Horse manure is a good source of nutrients and is an extremely popular addition to many home gardens. If you find you have too much of the stuff, bag it up and give it away or sell it to local garden centres or friends and family. Their gardens will thank you for it!

Moisture Control

Flies love areas that are moist and they seek out damp or wet areas to breed. Search your horse’s stable and around your property for any leaks or areas of pooling moisture. Be sure to look out for areas where rain water gathers, too, as this can be a great breeding ground for flies. Once again, it comes down to regularly cleaning out your horse’s stall. You can reduce the amount of moisture in your horse’s stall by putting down moisture-soaking materials, frequently cleaning or by using highly absorbent bedding. Here at Prime Stables, we would highly recommend using rubber matting, this form of stable bedding is extremely useful for reducing stable moisture.

Fly Traps

Fly traps are an effective way of ridding your stables of these annoying pests. This method uses sticky fly traps so that, once the fly enters the trap, it can’t escape and eventually dies. Sticky fly traps can be hung anywhere. We would suggest hanging a couple in your horse’s stall as this area will naturally attract more flies to the area before the area before the insects become trapped.

Food and Garbage Storage

The environment and cleanliness of your stables can have a big effect on the number of flies in your facility. By practicing good barn keeping and ensuring your barn is kept cleanly and dry will help keep flies to a minimum. Be sure to securely cover any open garbage cans. Flies are attracted to garbage and will swarm an open garbage can. So, seal your garbage well to reduce the attraction of flies. We would also recommend keeping all storage and feed containers well-covered since some of the sweet feeds for horses can attract flies.

Most importantly, be sure to dispose of any rotting hay as this is a breeding ground for flies and other pests. Avoid using straw bedding as this soaks up the moisture and will remain in the stalls as a damp breeding haven for flies. Instead, we would highly recommend replacing straw bedding with rubber matting. Rubber matting is an excellent alternative and there are numerous benefits to this product. Click here to find out more.

Top Tip: Always clean up any spilled feed or hay right away, especially if it is wet.

Fly Sprays

Fly sprays are something most of us are familiar with. Both insecticidal sprays and fly repellents discourage flies from landing on your horse. Oil-based fly sprays have better staying power than water-based products. When applying fly sprays, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Fly sprays, when applied correctly, are an effective way of keeping flies off your horse. When applying any kind of product around the eyes, ears and muzzle of your horse, be sure to spray the product onto a washcloth first before gently applying it. You can also use roll-on insecticides for these delicate areas.


No matter how clean you keep your stables or how well you apply fly repellent to your horse, it is impossible to get rid of every single fly. Our final suggestion for protecting your horse from these pests is to use cover-ups. Fly masks are the most effective way to directly protect your horse from flies. Flies are notorious for landing on the face of your horse and feeding on the mucus in and around the eyes, causing irritation and potentially spreading some nasty diseases. Fly masks protect your horse from this problem and attach ear covers can also keep biting gnats out of the ears of your horse.

It’s not just the face of your horse that needs covering, the rest of the horse’s body can also be bothered by flies. Lightweight mesh blankets are a great solution as they protect your horse’s exposed body from biting flies and general pest irritation. By using these cover-up methods, you can make a big impact on the happiness and comfort of your horse.


If you own a horse, you will know that flies can be one of the most frustrating pests in the stable. We hope that the above methods will work for you and help keep your fly problem under control. Here at Prime Stables, we know how important it is that your horse feels safe and comfortable in his stable so that he can get the proper rest he needs. By reducing the number of flies buzzing around, you will drastically improve your horse’s quality of life. For more information, give us a call, our team at Prime Stables would be more than happy to advise you further.

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