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First Posted Mar 23, 2008
Jul 30, 2010

Garlic for Fly, Insect and Tick Control in Horses

Spring and summer have arrived and it is time for the ticks, flies, and insects to emerge in force. Your horse is a favorite target for these pests and so are you! Many of us worry about Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus, Potomac Horse Fever, and other insect and tick vectored diseases. Over the years I have used spray on products for flies and insects, but they do not last long. We check our horses for ticks morning and evening, but there are no guarantees that we find them. Some are so small such as the nymph Deer Tick. Often horses get eye infections from all the flies that suck moisture from the horse's eyes. In the past I have also used products that you put on the horse once every 3 weeks or so and the liquid is absorbed into the horse's body. It is suppose to cut down on biting and stinging pests as well as ticks. However, I really don't like the idea of putting something that strong on my horses.

This year we are going to try something different. Kate, Bill and I are going to use "Bug Off Garlic" in our horse's feed. Garlic has been used as a condiment for food, and actually to eat as well, and as a medicine for over 5,000 years. From ancient writings and from passed down remedies by word-of-mouth, garlic's use can be traced to Egypt, Sumeria, India, China, and Persia. In biblical times, Jewish tribes used garlic for themselves, their donkeys, and other animals as a potent parasite control and health tonic. It should also be noted that garlic has antibiotic qualities that perk up your horse's immune system, helps to fight fungi, bacteria and virus Scientific studies have been done on the use of garlic on horses and it is deemed safe for your horse.

"All animal feed products in the United States are regulated by a national organization called the   American Feed Control Officians, Inc. (AFCO). AFCO, composed of each state's agriculture department officials, is responsible for monitoring safety issues regarding feeds and supplements. AFCO prohibits substances that may harm and lists approved ingredients with a proven safety history. Such items are called GRAS (generally recognized as safe), and are listed in AFCO's Official Publict) Bug Off Garlic for Horses

Note: I would like to report that we did not see any great changes in the number of ticks. We use fly predators so that particular insect problem is covered. It is hard to know if the horses were less bothered by other insects when they were in the pasture. While riding on the trail we did not see any significant change. I can say that my horse, A Patchy, did have very bad breath! The continual use of garlic can cause stomach upsets or even gastric ulcers insome horses. We will not use this particular product next year.


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