5 Must Haves to beat Sweet Itch in 2020
At this time of year many horse owners will be looking for the best products to help them beat or manage the upsetting condition of Sweet Itch. This condition, that affects many horses and ponies, is caused by an allergic reaction, most likely to the bite of the Culicoides midge. These little blighters are most active in February/March and then again in September/October.
There are a great range of products available to help you manage this condition. What you need to do is build up layers of protection from the inside out. Whilst horse owners have been using fly repellents for a number of years, this alone isn’t enough to keep the midges off of your horse. It takes an entire system to protect a horse with Sweet Itch. Read on to find out more…
Get a Sweet Itch rug
You may be wondering why you need a Sweet Itch rug and why you simply can’t just use an ordinary fly rug. Well. A Sweet Itch rug is specially designed to protect your horse against biting insects. For this to happen it needs to cover the whole body including the elbow and sheath.
Last year some ground-breaking research caught, pretty much, the whole equestrian market's attention about how to reduce the number of flies landing on a horse. Researchers filmed horse flies as they tried to bite zebras and horses at a farm in North Somerset, England. Stripes did not stop flies from a distance as they circled horses and zebras at a similar rate. However, the flies were 25% less likely to land on zebras as they were dazzled and confused by the array of black and white stripes. This research has been applied to Sweet Itch rugs and they now come in a zebra print.
Use fly repellent
When it comes to fly repellents, there are a huge number of different types, brands and applications available. A traditional spray or cream application is always a good option. Look for products with pyrethroid or permethrin-based ingredients as these are often the most effective.
DEET is effective but can cause soreness in some horses. Shop our range of fly repellents that contain Deet here.
Spray his coat with the fly repellent before you put it on. Then spray the rug as well.
Use a dedicated shampoo
An anti-itch shampoos can be effective to help reduce itching. Look out for key ingredients that soothe like oatmeal and lavender. Another option to offer short term relief is bathing with cold water to cool the affected areas.
Get a topical solution
As with fly repellents, there are many lotions and potions on the market. Using one of these will add another layer of protection. Our favourite is Nettex Summer Freedom Salve Complete. Not only does it have soothing and repellent properties it also acts as a barrier that midges aren’t able to bite through.
Feed a supplement
Did you know that in addition to sprays, you can protect your horse from the inside out with a supplement!? You may ask how a supplement helps keeps bugs away from your horse. Have you heard that saying, “you are what you eat?” Supplements aimed at fly protection contain ingredients that add another layer of protection to your horse against bugs.