But that is changing now, as the days and nights become consistently warmer. Our fly season basically lasts from about May through late September to mid October, or until we get our first hard freeze in the fall. Some of you probably have longer fly seasons, and some may have constant battles with flies. I'm sure we all have solutions, or are looking for solutions, so feel free to comment on your success stories so we all may share the information.
Here's what I use:
I love the ecologically sound use of fly raptors (or fly predators - depending on which company you use.) These tiny insects are ordered and shipped inside fly pupae. You get a shipment every 3 weeks or so, and you order the amount you need depending on how many animals you have. As they begin to hatch you sprinkle them around your property near manure sources. The tiny little insects (smaller than gnats) don't bother anyone - except the flies. They burrow into fly pupae and lay their eggs, and the newly hatched insects destroy the flies before they hatch.
These work great as long as you are careful with pesticide use, and don't have close neighbors with an out-of-control fly problem.
Here are a couple of sources I have used for these fly-killing insects:
The Source Ecological Fly Control: http://www.sourceecofly.com/
Spalding Labs: http://www.spalding-labs.com/
Sometimes in late summer, I need a bit of additional fly control on my animals. I know a lot of people use fly masks. But for me, it seems like a lot of effort to put them on in the morning and take them off each night. (Plus for some reason, I just don't think I'd like to look through mesh all day long.)
What has worked for me is a product called Swat, a paste you apply around the horse's eyes and on the tender spots under their bellies. (And plain vaseline sometimes works just as well, also, but makes a bit of a mess.) And right before I ride, I might wipe the horses down with flyspray sprayed on a mitt, so that it doesn't drift off and kill the beneficial insects working to kill your flies.
These are the products that work for me. Are flies a huge problem where you live? What do you use to keep your horses comfortable? Please comment and let us know.