Thursday, July 7, 2011
Defy the Fly: A Review
The county I live in has unofficially declared the fly the state bird. November through February are about the only months we have off from constantly dealing with flies. I have tried every spray, feed through, covering, etc that gives a hint of fly relief for my horses. This year, with no real frost and lots of rain has brought the bugs out in record number, which means when the 747s come out in summer, fly control will be my second biggest horse expense.
I recently visited my favorite horse rescue. With so many to care for and donations being down, they've had to get really creative with fly control. All the horses have a fly mask. Those worst plagued by flies have sheets, and I've seen the donkeys wearing brightly colored dollar store knee socks on their legs (way cheaper than fly boots). Then a package is thrust in my hand and "OMFG, you have to try these things, they work!" It was a package of Defy the Fly leg bands. Some generous supporter sent the rescue some of these, and the horses that have the worst fly problems were wearing them.
I got online and ordered a couple of packages. I gave one to my in laws for their little horse whose legs are eaten alive every summer, and kept a package for my guys. There are 4 of these bands in the package. The flies love Princess Pout's front legs, so I put a pair on him. I resealed the bag according to the directions, when these no longer work, I'll have another pair. The colt eats everything so I haven't even tried putting the bands on him.
Defy the Fly leg bands are plastic with air holes on one side like a band-aid and material that is saturated with Geraniol. Geraniol is a natural alternative to DEET. There are two sets of snaps to adjust the fit. They go on the cannon bone above the fetlock in the front and the ankle in the back. There is definitely a strong scent when you open them and for the first week or so.
It is very important to check these regularly. Some animals are sensitive to the ingredients and the bands can cause skin irritation, which is stated on the label. In this case, they should be taken off immediately. I was especially concerned because PP has white socks, which can be more sensitive. But he and my in laws horse are having no problems with them.
Do using these mean I can stop all other fly control and quit making fly spray? No. But for horses that are plagued by flies on their legs (I'm talking Alfred Hitchcock movie here). But it is so nice to see him be able to stand without constantly stomping, not see his leg black with flies or pebbled in fly poop. Considering I can get up to 4 months out of a package (they retail for about $18-$22 for the leg bands) they're definitely being added to my arsenal.
Defy The Fly also makes neck bands (good for face flies) and dog and cat collars, which are supposed to repel fleas, etc. I did buy a neck band but haven't tried it yet.
These are sold at most online vet supplies.