Biting Insect Control
So mosquitos are driving everyone and our four legged beasts mad at the moment!
What can we do to help?
- Removed free standing water and wet areas from around your property. This includes:
- emptying all tyres filled with water and drilling holes in them to allow drainage
- emptying flower pot saucers or filling in with sand
- fixing damp areas so they are no longer damp- remove leaf litter, laying down sand etc
- using a mozzie mesh on rain water tanks to make certain mozzies can’t breed there
- fixing all leaking taps etc
- Mow your lawns and keep your stables tidy to reduce adult mozzie shelter.
- If you have a pond, try stocking with fish that eat mosquito larvae.
- If you cannot prevent access to tanks or water is collecting, then using a small amount of paraffin oil or domestic kerosene can help to kill the larvae.
Specific steps that help horses include:
- Stabling your horses under fans during the times the mozzies are active can help- mozzies don’t fly well.
- Using fly sheets or rugs on horses can help prevent bites.
- Insect Control:There are lots of different insect repellent sprays available on the market that are registered to be used in horses. Look for products that contain pyrethroid/ synthetic pyrethrins in the highest concentrations. These are safe to use on horses. Permethrin based products are also available- SWAT, Permetrol; be careful if you have cats in the stables with these ones, however they are safe on dogs. Cattle fly repellent tags, or ShooTags can be plaited into the horses mane and help repel biting insects.Other classes of drugs (including organophosphates like Maldison) are also available but can be more toxic. Avoid products that contain DEET (eg Bushmans brand) as this can cause sweating and skin reactions.
For your dogs, repellent creams like Fly Replla can help, otherwise using a product containing permethrin such as Advantix will repel mosquitos. If your dog is coming up in welts, then please contact your vet for advice to help settle the welts down.
The natural oils such as Citronella Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Lavender Oil and Tea Tree Oil can all be used diluted down on dogs and horses. And home-made mozzie traps involving light bulbs, water and detergent can be found online.
Cats are a difficult case, as their grooming habits mean that use of topical repellants won’t be as effective and could cause your cat to get sick. Be particularly careful to not use permethrin based controls on your cats as it can cause seizures. The new flea and tick control collar Seresto, may be of assistance for them.
Mosquito control around the home- Victorian State Government Webpage https://www2.health.vic.gov.au