Is there any product that will kill the Culicoid Gnats in my horse pasture/stable area without killing the horses & the stables dogs/cats too? The gnats make the horse’s lives awful from spring to fall and nothing we spray on horses repels them so we keep fly masks and fly sheets and fly boots covering every inch we can. But a couple of the horses are so allergic to the bites that it becomes a huge health issue. It would have to be a chemical/substance that would be safe for the horses to graze/eat the grass after dry or a reasonable period of time. Thanks for your input.
In fact we have several options. The good news is culicoid gnats are easy to control. The bad news is they reproduce rapidly and can nest anywhere as long as there is some moisture. Barns, stables and basically any place around cattle and horses are prime real estate for these gnats which does limit the product selection but fortunately you do have some choices.
The first is a product that uses nothing pyrethrin as it’s active. Known as a “botanical”, EVERGREEN PYRETHRUM is a 5% Pyrethrin that’s labeled for use on a wide range of food crops including fruits and vegetables. It’s also labeled for use on animals so it’s safe enough to be applied directly on your horses as well as their food. The only limitation is that treatments won’t last long. One of the trade offs of using something so safe is that it will only be active for an hour or two. But during that time it will kill off any flying pest including culicoid gnats. So this is what we’d recommend for the “food areas” where your horses are kept and the gnats are active.
Now for the other areas where the food won’t be consumed for 7 or more days, you can use a stronger product known as VEGETABLES PLUS. This uses Permethrin as the active and like the Evergreen, it’s labeled for use on fruits and vegetables. But it’s a bit stronger so it has what we call “days to harvest” before the treated food can be consumed. This is basically the time period you should wait before eating (or your horses eat) the food crop which was sprayed. This time period is about 7 days so if you have food storage bins or some stock of hay that needs to be sprayed, you can do so as long as you don’t feed them the treated supply for at least 7 days.
And for the larger areas where they’ll be walking around but not feeding, the Vegetables Plus would again be a fine choice because they can come back over the treated surfaces within just a few hours of the treatment being made. This makes Vegetables Plus good for training pens, holding stables and visit stations.
As for the equipment needed for applying these products; any traditional pump sprayer can be used. But the best way to spray either is with a “misting” machine. The use of mist will enable you to get better coverage, use less product and work a lot faster. Good electric machines include the FOGMASTER 6309 and a good independent unit is the BACK PACK FOGGER.
In summary, no doubt you must take care when treating where horses live and play. But there are some products that work well at minimizing pests like gnats and biting flies so your horses can be happier and healthier. Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Vegetables Plus Perm: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/veg-plus-10-perm
Back Pack Mister: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/foggers/solo-mistblower-backpack