Mosquito control for horses


Many moons ago, I associated mosquitos with summer. Long days, warm nights, and bug bites. As an almost-grown-up, I still associate mosquitos with summer, but also with diseases, allergies, and gross standing water. Ugh.


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At the barn, it’s important to remember that mosquitos transmit diseases to humans and horses.


  • Most of the mosquito-borne diseases that affect horses attack the central nervous system and can be deadly.


  • Luckily, there are a few things we can do to prevent these diseases (like West Nile and Equine Encephalomyelitis). Vaccinate regularly for your particular region and take matters into your own hands by discouraging mosquitos in your area. For more awesome info on mosquito diseases, read this jewel of an article.

mosquito biting a human


We know that mosquitos like to grow up in standing water.


  • The larvae can take four to 14 days to mature in water, which means if you have continual standing water (like a water trough), you should be cleaning it every four days. You can always check with your local agricultural extension service to find out what mosquitoes live in your area and what their life cycle is like.


standing water in a pasture

Mosquito Central.


Here’s a list of some areas of standing water that you will need to empty at the farm:


  • Ditches
  • Creekbeds
  • Drains
  • Gutters
  • Containers
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Tree holes/tree stumps
  • Tarps
  • Bird baths
  • Troughs and the “spill zone” around them
  • Septic system field
  • Wash rack area


  • Leaky faucets




  • You will need to get creative to manage some of these areas. You may need to re-organize some covered shelter or inside storage, clean troughs and birdbaths more frequently, and create ditches for drainage or unclog some existing drains.


horse drinking from clean water trough

Clean the water troughs often!


How to get the mosquitos eaten


  • Install bat boxes around the farm. Bats love bugs! These super sleek boxes give your neighborhood bats a place to hang out (get it?) and take care of the bugs on your farm. And, they are amazing to watch at dusk.



  • You can also add pellets or tablets of Bti or Bs bacteria to your surroundings. This is also a case in which working closely with your neighbors will help, too.


For your horses, you can do a few things to help them become less “tasty” to mosquitos.


  • Try and avoid dawn and dusk turnouts if you can, this is when mosquitos like to feed.


  • Consider using fly sheets and masks, and maybe even screen in your stalls. It seems extreme, but this will also keep other bugs at bay.


  • Fans will help, too, as will a mosquito control spray for horses at your local tack shop.


bat houses for insect control

Bat boxes! Hello, Dracula!



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Kensington Protective Fly Boots (Pair)

Banish the stomping!

07/24/2024 01:48 pm GMT
Fly Whisk

For *mostly* bug free riding

07/24/2024 06:53 pm GMT
Farnam Equi-Spot, Horse Fly and Tick Control, 12-Week Supply for One Horse

This spot-on product kills and repels ticks and helps with mosquito control.

06/27/2024 12:28 am GMT
Cashel Quiet Ride Horse Fly Mask with Long Nose and Ears
$32.99 $29.99

This style is great for riding!

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Plughz Horse Sound Off Ear Net

If your horse can't hear it, it won't eat them.

07/25/2024 12:06 am GMT
Derby House Elite Sweet Itch Combo Neck Fly Sheet

Sweet itch is best battled by not letting those annoying midges bite your horse.

07/24/2024 04:58 pm GMT
Schneiders Adjusta-Fit Mosquito Mesh Hybrid

For horses with sweet itch and other insect allergies, more coverage is better.

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LeMieux Classic Ear Bonnet Hunter Green

LeMieux has more colors than the paint section of a hardware store. I promise they have one you like!

07/24/2024 11:58 pm GMT
Rub Protector Lycra Fly Mask – GG Equine

These fly masks are fantastic for protecting ears and eyes, and do great under halters and grazing muzzles to stop rubs and hairless patches.

Use code 15PROEQUINE for a sitewide discount on muzzles, halters, accessories, and slow feeders.


Thank you!

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