Telling your storiesfrom the stables to the fields

Hay Bale
01 October,2017

Battle of the Bots!

There are some summers where the bot flies stay away or there are summers where they make their presence laying bright yellow eggs on your horses legs. It tends to be the late summer months from mid July onwards that you may notice these horrid bright little sticky eggs on your horses when they come in from grazing.


What are bot eggs?

First immediate signs of bot eggs is the yellow dots that are on your horse’s legs or on their underside. It may look like grass seeds at first glance, but they do not brush away with ease. Some horses find the eggs very itchy on their legs and will nuzzle and lick at the eggs, which means the likelihood they will ingest them. However, if they are not ingested they can still hatch and crawl inside the skin sometimes causing infection and irritation.


Ingested eggs will turn into larvae and pass through your horse’s droppings but robbing your horse of essential nutrients. They can also cause stomach ulcers and in more severe cases colic.


How to prevent bot flies from laying eggs on your horse

Make sure you use an equine insect repellent making sure their lower legs are covered. Using a fly sheet helps although not protecting their legs but will deter eggs being laid on their underbelly.


A good remedy to prevent eggs being laid on the horses legs is to use an oil on them which makes it difficult for the flies eggs to get a grip on the horses coat.


Remove the eggs daily with a bot knife or a with a lava stone grooming block. There are also various sprays on the equine market which are used for removing eggs and keeping them free of these horrid little yellow eggs.


Worming Routine

Ensure you horses worming schedule is up to date. All horses should be wormed in the autumn and spring months after the fly season has ended using a worming paste that ensures that the larvae are killed in the early stages of the cycle. If you have found bot eggs on your horse this summer, chemically worming them is essential in the autumn and spring to ensure they are free from the larvae causing internal damage and illness to your horse.


So take a careful look at your horses legs these next few weeks and make sure that those yellow bot eggs are swiftly removed!

Written by Samantha Hobden


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