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DIY: 4 remedies against insects

DIY: Remedies agains flies
Remedies against flies. Photo: Archive

Are you tired of buzzing insects in the stable and on the paddock? Or has your horse already ruined or lost the season's first fly mask? Don't despair, as there are plenty of options for making your own repellents. We've gathered the best do-it-yourself tips for the stable and the horse - so you can get rid of the pests.


You need: A pair of old jeans, thread, needle, scissors, ruler, and a pen.

How to do it: Cut out a square from the fabric, measuring 40×30 cm. Cut long strips of fabric, about 1 cm wide and approximately 35 cm long. Stop about 5 cm before the edge of the fabric. Fold the fabric and sew the edge across. Attach the velcro at each end so the fly mask can be attached to the halter.

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You need: A piece of fine mesh netting measuring 1×1 meter, a black ball or barrel (you can purchase a soccer ball and spray-paint it black if needed), wooden slats or bamboo sticks (at least 1.5 meters long), a string to attach the ball, and an empty jam jar.

How to do it: Set up your trap in a sunny spot in the field. Ensure the poles are firmly stuck deep into the ground in a teepee shape so they stand steadily. Hang the black ball in the middle about 1 meter above the ground. Attach the net all the way around on top, like you would with a trap. On top of the trap, place a jar of jam with the bottom facing upwards.

The essential aspect of a fly trap is to have a large heat-attracting element, such as a black ball, barrel, or similar object. This is because fly vision is infrared and they can only detect warm areas. When a female fly needs to prepare for egg production, she requires blood. Upon seeing a large warm object, such as a cow, horse, human, or similar, she flies over and bites the prey to suck blood. If she realizes the prey isn't very juicy, she instinctively flies upward. Hence, one places the netting over the ball and positions an inverted jar on top. Here, it will meet its demise, as it cannot fly out again. It's advisable to regularly empty the jar of insects.

A homemade fly trap. Photo:
A homemade fly trap. Photo:


If you've been to Mexico, you might have seen strange bags of water hanging everywhere. It's the Mexican fly deterrent trick, which is extremely cheap and easy. Its purpose is to confuse the flies so they fly elsewhere.

You need: A transparent plastic bag, some string, and a few coins.

How to do it: Fill the bag with water and toss in the coins. Hang the bag up in the barn or wherever you want to get rid of flies. The method might seem strange, but there's a method to the madness. The water bags exploit the fact that flies don't have pupils to regulate the light that hits their eyes. Therefore, they become confused by what they perceive as a large amount of flickering water. Additionally, the flies are perplexed by the reflections of sunlight hitting the coins in the bags and fly away.

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Basil and other natural products found in the kitchen cabinet are good at deterring insects. Especially flies loathe basil, but lavender also has some good deterrent properties. This strongly scented flower is an archenemy for mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and moths. Pick a bouquet and hang it upside down in the stable until it's dry; it will scare the insects away.

Last but not least, it's important to mention preventive measures. It makes good sense to ensure that the paddock is kept clean of horse droppings since flies lay eggs in them. One fly can turn into 25 million in one season.


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