Thursday, June 14, 2012
We’re back in fly season. Our horses' tails are swishing overtime. Lovely.
There are all kinds of strategies for dealing with bugs, ticks, and flies. Most of us seem to like and use fly spray on our horses. And then there’s fly masks, feeding garlic, hanging traps, and setting out carbon dioxide emitters.
We’ve all got our convictions and our favorites.
I’m terribly adamant about fly strips. I NEVER use them.
It's illogical, I know. It has nothing to do with their effectiveness. If anything, those strips are too effective. This is not evidence-based. Rather, it’s emotion-based.
I hung them in my barn one summer and a baby bird, just fledged from a nearby nest, flew into it. It was stuck and spinning helplessly when I arrived on the scene.
I scrambled to take down the strip and spent several heart-wrenching moments trying to peel its delicate new wings away from the yellow goo. All the while, Mama Bird chipped and fretted, flying from rail to stall door and back, trying to answer the sounds of her struggling baby.
I freed it, but its feathers were too damaged to fly. It died that afternoon.
Birds, even poop-on-everything swallows, are welcome at my place. Bats, too. The more the merrier. Heck, we got plenty of flies for them to eat.