Aaargh horseflies!

(14 Posts)
bandito Tue 26-Jul-16 17:38:31

These are driving me mad, they love me and each bite comes up the next day in a massive red patch with blistering in the middle and takes about 10 days to disappear completely. When I'm not riding, I'm sat at home or work, covered in icepacks to ease the itching. I spray myself with human DEET and DHorse with horse DEET, I've tried the NAF extra strength stuff and nothing stops them, not even long sleeves. I've currently got one on the palm of my hand where the skin is tough FGS. I've decided to stop bothering buying the stuff as it's expensive and I've not found it any use. Has anyone got any recipes / advice? It's driving me up the wall. Thanks in advance!

Mrsraypurchase Tue 26-Jul-16 19:19:18

I spray my clothes with horse Deet. It lasts about an hour before they start biting again.

Gabilan Tue 26-Jul-16 21:15:44

They don't bite me often but I do find them a nuisance for my horse. I find it best to ride before 8am. Also horse flies don't travel far and tend to stay near water so if you avoid certain spots you can often avoid them. My horse has got pretty good at all-but pointing to where they are on me and asking me to swat them, bless him.

Now if I can just work out how to stop the mozzies eating me, I'll be happy.

Gabilan Tue 26-Jul-16 21:17:04

On him, not on me

RatherBeRiding Thu 28-Jul-16 17:00:27

I honestly don't think there is anything repels horse-flies. I get bitten and always get a nasty reaction. The only thing that helps is antihistamine.

Mozzies - Avon Skin So Soft!

Ticktacktock Thu 28-Jul-16 20:21:27

Dh gets bitten to death if he's not careful. He eats Marmite and takes a vitamin b supplement. The body excretes them and the smell or taste puts them off or something.

By contrast I never ever get bitten. I heard a report the other day that said body temperature and how much carbon dioxide you emit is a factor.

bandito Fri 29-Jul-16 21:13:59

That's interesting - DH doesn't get bitten the amount that I do. I used to like Marmite, so might try eating a lot of it and see what happens. It has to be better than the amount of DEET I've been using - heaven knows what that does.

StayAtHomeNotMum Sun 31-Jul-16 15:42:49

Best thing for horse flies is Power Phaser Gel - you can see the flies hovering but not landing where the gel has been applied. The spray is less effective.

Mosquitoes - Avon Skin So Soft - I virtually took baths in the stuff when we lived in the Scottish Highlands

StayAtHomeNotMum Sun 31-Jul-16 15:42:50

Best thing for horse flies is Power Phaser Gel - you can see the flies hovering but not landing where the gel has been applied. The spray is less effective.

Mosquitoes - Avon Skin So Soft - I virtually took baths in the stuff when we lived in the Scottish Highlands

Shizzlestix Mon 01-Aug-16 19:57:13

Horseflies hunt by sight and aren't repelled by sprays. They prefer dark colours, so go for light ones. They're bastards for biting through clothes, but at least they're slow and easy to squash. My horse has got used to me flattening them on him.

bandito Mon 01-Aug-16 21:21:02

They hunt by sight? Who knew? Dhorse is grey and I am usually in black/navy - is this why I cop it every time and he is relatively unscathed. I've learnt stuff this afternoon.

Shizzlestix Tue 02-Aug-16 19:28:32

Mine's a coloured and they're always on his black bits. I noticed his lookalike in the field also had them only on his black bits. I'm seeing horses come in with huge welts from them. Don't think it helps that there's a lake by the side of the field.

SnakesandKnives Fri 05-Aug-16 18:23:47

I spent ten years working on and developing biting insect repellent stuff.....id like to think I know as much or more as anyone else going.

All biting insects use the same methods of finding you or your horse - thy follow CO2 and lactic acid trails to get close, then heat to find best area to bite (usually greatest heat = thinnest skin). That's why horse flies are usually on black bits of coloured horses because it's warmer. And annoyingly they have long and tough enough biting bits to get through horse skin

They are much trickier to combat than mossies etc because there is a sight element to their hunting....but they still use CO2 trails to vector in and you can disrupt this same way as others

ALL the sprays - whether natural (citronella etc) or Manmade (DEET) work in the same way - they disrupt those trails and stop the biters finding you. They aren't actually repelling them. In order to disrupt the trails, the stuff that you've sprayed on you has to be in the air and therefore evaporating off you/horse. Only a small proportion of citronella actually does the work so a good spray will be lucky if it lasts 20mins on a person before all the active has gone. DEET is a much higher percentage of active chemical, but you still only get an hour or maybe 2 if you really layer it on. Worth noting that DEET is a systemic toxin, is banned in numerous countries (especially to under twelves) and eats manmade fabrics. Not nice stuff and I personally won't ever use it.

What you need is something which continues to give off active for a longer period. We actually developed a fabric which works exactly like that by binding millions of micro capsules of the active bit of citronella to the cloth so when it moves some break and release. Seems to last for ages (for people clothes we reckon you can wash it 20 times at least and it'll still work). Sadly....due to unusual reasons...said business no longer exists, but I do have rather a lot of the fabric. We recently made this (yes our horse stands like a fool). And feedback so far seems to be very positive in terms of keeping horse flies away. Problem with a horse is it's such a big and warm target it's much harder to disguise and I'm not convinced this will work as well as it does against mosquitoes and midges but seems good so far.

We made a pattern but our horse is gigantic......if you'd like some fabric to try though, you're more than welcome. I have about 6 bolts of it (that exciting blue a white patterned thing which would get filthy almost instantly and a brown/khaki pattern type thing). Guess I could take some pics if anyone does want some.

ProseccoBitch Mon 15-Aug-16 17:17:33

Another vote for Power Phaser, it's the only thing I've ever found that repels horse flies. I don't like the consistency of the gel, I use the spray but spray it on a cloth then wipe it onto the horse as he won't tolerate being sprayed. You can spray it an inch from him but if spray touches his skin he goes nuts.

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