With the warmth and comfort of summer comes a lot of sunshine, and that unfortunately brings rodents and insects looking to make a home to breed within your stables. Being able to control pest problems can be a real nuisance, but there are a number of steps that can be followed to help deal with this common issue.
Unfortunately, pest and insect infestations can cause plenty of problems including food contamination meant for livestock. You do not want your horse food being wasted or having your feed contaminated through urination, feces, and hair, so it’s a good idea to keep them well away from your stables.
Within this article, we discuss ways to help prevent this common problem for horse owners.
Many people may not even be aware that they have a rodent issue. There are warning signs that you may notice such as chewed wires, droppings, gnawed wood and the sounds of feet scurrying through the walls of your stalls. Follow these 10 suggestions below to treat pest problems as described:
1. Remove Manure Daily
The very first rule for eliminating unwanted pests and rodents is to clean manure from your stables daily. Manure is a breeding ground for insects and rodents. You can easily help control the population of insects and reduce the risk of disease to your livestock by cleaning manure on a daily basis.
2. Clear Up Spilled Feed
Rodents love nothing more than a free meal from spilled horse feed. Rodents will chew through bags, wood, and paper to get at your livestock food and preventing this can be a major pest control solution. We suggest storing your food in metal-based containers and to clean up all food spills and water daily from the stalls and stables.
3. Maintain Good Drainage & Ventilation
Having an adequate ventilation and drainage system in your stalls and stables is also very important. Preventing things like stale air and build up of fungus and mold will help prevent the build-up of contamination. Be sure that your stalls and stables are correctly built and maintained with these thoughts in mind.
4. Seal & Repair All Timber Frame Holes
A common way that insects and rodents travel throughout your stalls is by chewing holes into the timber framing. You do not want rodents traveling through the interior of your stable walls. They will further contaminate your livestock area and will cause even further damage. Be sure to repair all holes and damage caused by rodents as soon as you find them.
5. Clear All Areas of Debris & Trash
Maintaining a clean environment for your livestock is important and cleanliness will also help prevent any infestations of insects or rodents. Do not leave rubbish or debris in your stalls or stables. Be sure to clean up after yourself every single time you are in there, as anything left behind will attract unwanted visitors.
6. Clean Feed Containers
It is important to clean all barrows and feed containers after they have been used. This will ensure better health for your horses and will eliminate any issues that may encourage pests and insects from flowing into your stables. Maintaining the health of your livestock is important and that is why you should always clean your feed containers after every use.
7. Store Blankets Properly
Rodents enjoy bedding such as stable blankets and use the material as a great source to build their nests. It is important that you keep all blankets, leg wraps, pads and bandages in sealed containers. This will prevent rodent infestation and will ensure that they are clean and dry and not contaminated with any faeces.
8. Set Traps
Although some consider it to be inhumane, setting traps is the most effective way to remove rodents. Poisons on the other hand are not an ideal option, as they can infect livestock and pose a serious health risk to animals. When poison is used, rats will typically hide in walls and crevices to die. They then rot and cause terrible odours and distress to everyone.
9. Larvicides & Sprays
Another option for stable owners dealing with fly infestations during the summer months is to try animal-safe pesticides. Excessive moisture can be a cause of flies and pests entering your stables. If your stable is clean and dry you may wish to try different options including larvicides, space sprays, animal sprays, and residual premise sprays.
10. Natural Remedies
There are also other options to help prevent pests. This includes spraying the vinegar-water solution on horses to deter flies and insects, or feeding horses apple cider vinegar and crushed garlic which will change their breath odour and natural repel flies.
Follow this advice for a healthier stable
There is no 100% proven method for dealing with insects and rodents but these top ten suggestions will most certainly help you to significantly reduce the problem. Be sure to try these techniques to help eradicate summertime rodents and insects.