For those of us who know the frustration of biting flies, the situation can seem incredibly difficult to solve. Today we will give you some simple strategies that really do work to get rid of those pesky flies for good.
FLIES LIKE POO
The simple truth is that flies are attracted to poo and will happily lay their eggs in any uncollected piles of dog faeces, compost or mulch around your home. In warm weather the fly breeding cycle is so short that you may need to pick up the poo twice daily (or more!). Ideally train your dog to toilet in just one are of the yard to make the poo patrol easier.
THEY ALSO LOVE FOOD
Avoid leaving your dog’s food out during the day, as this will also attract flies and encourage more of them to breed and set up home at your place. Also avoid leaving old bones around. This is also an important food safety issue, as any food left at room temperature for more than 4 hours is likely to breed dangerous bacteria.
WHY DO SOME DOGS SEEM TO BE BITTEN MORE?
Certain breeds such as Labradors and German Shepherds seem to be more affected by biting flies than others. Those dogs with longer ears are certainly more at risk, mainly because the hair is thinner in this area and the blood vessels are close to the skin.
If your dog has access to a kennel or shed, place some plastic strips across the doorway, like we used to have in the old corner deli. These hanging strips help to brush off the flies as your pet enters and hopefully provide.
CLEAN THOSE EARS
If your dog is constantly getting bitten by flies those ears tend to get ulcerated, which then attracts more flies. Use saline or chlorhexidine to clean those ears and remove any crusts. You can then apply an antiseptic cream and fly repellent to keep those flies away.
KEEP THOSE FLIES AWAY
As well as a topical cream, you can use Permoxin spray as a flea, tick and biting insect repellent. You often need to reapply it daily during the warmer weather, but it is incredibly cost effective as you only need to use 10ml in a standard 400ml spray bottle of water. If you want to make your own homemade potion to apply to the ear tips, add 1ml of permoxin concentrate to a 40ml tub of Vaseline and apply to those ear tips.
If the ears are very sore and infected, clean them and apply a non-adherent dressing first or use the Buzz Off antiseptic cream instead. Being a pyrethrin based product, you need to keep it away from cats.
Advantix is the only topspot flea, tick and fly repellent product available. The active ingredient stored in the skin helps to repel those biting flies just as effectively as products applied to the ears themselves. In most cases when you start using Advantix monthly (or fortnightly if you are using it for paralysis ticks) the problem is magically solved. Like pyrethrum products, just don’t use it if your dog has cat friends.
So while it can take a little bit of work, the problem of biting flies is actually fairly simple to solve. Remove what the flies are attracted to (the bleeding ears and faeces), then keep them away with Advantix of a fly repellent cream. Just watch out for those dangerous and ineffective remedies involving human skincare products, essential oils and garlic (very toxic to pets!). Not everything you read on the internet is true. Except for this of course!