Fly control for horse stables and barns

Fly control for horse stables and barns

House flies, midges, stable flies all need breeding material, moisture, and warmth to develop.  A successful fly control program must rely on timely elimination of breeding sites and moisture control.

Insecticides can help to provide some temporary reduction of house fly and stable fly populations but cannot be the basis of effective fly management. 

Elimination of breeding site is the key to a successful fly control program.  Barns and corrals should be cleaned once a week to break fly life cycles.  Removed manure and other fly breeding materials should be spread thinly over an appropriate area or composted, if practical. 

Maintain good drainage to eliminate wet manure, spilled feed, and hay or straw. Check for and correct wet areas around animal waterers (throw some Bi-Fly). Dry manure and accumulated organic matter are not good breeding sites.

Mechanical & Biological Control

  • Screening is an excellent way to keep flies out of feed and tack rooms and box stalls.
  • Fans that direct a downward and outward air flow will keep flies from entering.
  • Fly traps and sticky paper will capture flies. They may be most useful as a means of documenting fly numbers over time. A significant increase in catch from one week to the next can be a warning to check on sanitation and to increase your fly control measures.
  • Several commercial firms offer a fly parasite (predator) release program that can be used to supplement fly control.

Insecticides as Supplements to Fly Control

Insecticides are used to kill adult flies after a problem has developed.  While they can help to reduce fly numbers, they do not address their source – moist breeding materials.There are many alternatives for fly control but they should be viewed as a temporary solution until the root cause of the problem can be corrected.Large numbers of flies mean lots of breeding sites and a situation that cannot be corrected by insecticides alone. 

Residual insecticides are applied to walls, ceilings, and rafters of barns and sheds where flies rest.General observations and accumulations of fly specks (waste drops) will help to identify these spots. Be sure to protect water and feed when making applications.  In order to minimize control failures due to insecticide resistance, do not apply the same insecticide or insecticide within the same chemical class repeatedly throughout an entire season.

Space sprays, fogs, and mists can provide a quick knockdown of flies, especially in enclosed areas. Systems vary from foggers to timed release aerosols.Usually, these are pyrethrins with very short residues so treatments have to be repeated. 

Pyrethrins – many ready-to-use and concentrate formulations 

Fly baits can be placed in bait stations. They are most effective when there are few competing food sources in an area. Baits attract and kill house flies but are not effective against blood-feeding flies/Insects. Your animals must not have access to these materials.


Bi-Fly being non toxic has none of the worries associated with traditional fly control products. No worries about your dogs or cats rolling or even eating the stuff!

Bi-Fly gets to both the route of the problem, wet/damp areas and attacks both the adult and larval fly rapidly decimating your local fly population.

So what does a holistic fly/insect control program look like?

  • First and foremost keep your place clean; regular (every 4 to 6 weeks) washing down walls and floors with suitable antibacterial broad spectrum cleaners.
  • Use Bi-Fly as directed.
  • Run fans within the stable.
  • Eradicate wet areas.
  • Plant fly repelling vegetation around your stables.
  • Supplementary activities can include:
    • Use of insecticides.
    • Fly traps & tapes. Bear in mind these things are designed to attract the very things you want rid of! Place them strategically away from your horses.
    • Biting insects are generally attracted to carbon dioxide, place CO2 producers (something with yeast and water mixed) well away from your yard.