How to Keep Flies Off Donkeys (7 Simple Tips)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Ever wondered how to keep flies off donkeys? Then you need to read this article to the end.

Flies. Donkey owners’ worst enemies, they are. They itch, crawl, buzz, and bite. They are a nuisance.

After a long summer, donkey owners everywhere are finally experiencing some relief now that it’s over.

When it comes to fly control, everyone would be utilizing it if someone had the right solution.

Many items are available, such as slaves, lotions, sprays, and coverings, which might be a little daunting.

Flies disturb and hurt donkeys much more than they do horses. There’s something about them that makes their skin seem thinner and their blood taste better.

When flies attack donkeys, they tend to focus on the lower legs where they cause the greatest damage and infection.

Although there is no way to completely prevent flies from falling on your donkeys or inhabiting the area where they live, there are measures that may be utilized to reduce the number of flies in the area.

However, while there is no way to completely prevent flies from falling on your donkeys or inhabiting the area where they are housed, there are ways that can be done to reduce both their numbers and the potential damage they might wreck on them.

Ways to Keep Flies Off Donkeys

How to Keep Flies Off Donkeys

1. Environmental Control

If you’re trying to control the fly population, it’s crucial to know what you’re dealing with.

Donkey excrement, feed, rotting organic materials, or garbage in the stable, field, or corral attracts flies.

  • Regularly clean grazing paddocks and the barn of manure.
  • Stabilize the ecosystem by keeping it clean Stable walls should be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and feed and water troughs should be kept clean.
  • It’s important to have a field shelter to protect during turnout, as well as for rest and shade from the heat.
  • Place shelters in shady, breezy areas.
  • As far as feasible, muck heaps should be placed away from stables.

It is possible to use fans to blow air downward and outward to keep flies out of stables or barns.

Flyscreens can be used in box stalls, tack rooms, and feed storage areas to keep flies away from breeding areas.

You should hang and change sticky fly strips regularly so that you can see if the fly population is rising.

Flies can irritate a donkey’s coat when they land on the summer sheets or fly rugs.

This could be a hint that housekeeping requires attention.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on can donkeys eat watermelon

2. Use a Fly Spray

Another mode of keeping flies off donkeys is through INSECTICIDE REPELLENTS  Spray

As long as they’re used properly, insecticides are appropriate tools. Pyrethrin-based pesticides are safe to use near animals if used according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.

While Pyrethroids are generally allowed in the majority of states, you should verify with your local authorities to make sure they are legal in your area.

Spray-on fly repellents: Insect repellents for horses and donkeys can be applied to the legs, where most flies bite.

Roll-on repellents: Repellents that come in a roll can be applied to the donkey’s ears and eyes, but be careful not to get any in the donkey’s nostrils or mouth.

According to the instructions of the manufacturer, apply. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has not yet certified any natural fly repellents for use.

Chemical and natural fly repellents are available in large quantities. Consult your veterinarian before using these repellents, and always read and follow the directions.

An allergy test should be performed before using the product to verify there isn’t a reaction.

Chemical repellents typically contain DEET or pyrethroids.

Flies can be effectively deterred by the use of these products, which have been scientifically proven effective.

There is no current scientific proof that herbal repellents function to repel insects.

Because of its strong smell, garlic is often recommended as a fly repellent. However this claim is not backed up by science, and recent research suggests that feeding garlic to horses regularly may be harmful.

As opposed to a cream, most repellents come in spray form.

As an alternative, creams or sponges can be used to apply the spray instead of directly to the donkey if he or she is afraid of it

Morning and evening are the worst periods of the day for pest problems, thus chemical preparations will need to be administered.

When using these products, they should be applied at frequent times throughout the day to retain their efficacy.

Before fly/midge season begins, start using preventative repellents (chemical or herbal), as prevention is better than cure.

It’s not uncommon for fly repellents to cause a negative or allergic reaction.

Test a product on a 5 cm piece of your donkey’s skin for 24 hours before applying it.

This product should be safe to use if your donkey’s skin does not react.

3. Use SWAT technique

With the use of SWAT, existing wounds are well-protected by SWAT.

Alternatively, you can coat the inside of the ear to keep it free from irritation. Summer sores can be prevented by running a strip of it down the midline of the belly and the genitals.

I’d rather not use it unless absolutely necessary! After a while, it becomes goopy and must be rinsed off when dirt and accumulation are mixed in.

Because of this, it isn’t one of my favorites, but I think it’s vital to have in the fly control/wound toolkit.

Also check out this article I wrote on donkeys and keeping their teeth floated.

4. Make use of Fly Traps

Fly Traps are good but because they do catch flies, you may want to keep them away from your shelters.

You can’t get rid of the flies with them, and depending on the sort of fly you have, they may have an extremely bad stench.

The strips aren’t very successful because they don’t catch nearly enough fish to make a difference.

5. Use Fly Predator

Natural enemies of manure-breeding pest flies are the fly parasites, predators.

By eliminating flies in their larval and pupal stages, these small insect predators serve as an important check on fly populations in nature.

Only flies are targeted by Fly Parasite Predators, and nothing else.

Do donkeys need fly masks?

Your donkey or mule needs a fly protection mask while riding, in the pasture, and even while being stalled.

Flies can make your donkey or mule nervous and jumpy, causing them to become agitated and frightened.

Put a fly mask on your donkey or mule to prevent this.

Fly masks for donkeys can be used to cover the animal’s entire face, including the ears.

The masks do not impair vision, and most donkeys rapidly adapt to them.

When used in conjunction with fly repellent sprays gently applied to regions not covered by the mask, these non-chemical solutions are successful for most animals.

Before purchasing and applying any chemical, herbal repellent, or treatment to affected animals you should see your veterinarian first.

While the donkey is grazing, use fly fringes or masks that can be worn. The masks can also be used to protect pale-skinned donkeys from sunburn.

Do Donkeys Need Fly Socks

That’s right, they do. If your donkey is at risk of skin damage from stable flies, you should consider applying for leg protection.

Every day you have to pull up your fly socks.

To keep the socks on your donkey, you can use some vet wrap (as long as you check and change it every three days or so, as vet wrap will tighten with time and cut off blood flow to your donkey’s legs, and even cut them!

Tube-like socks that are tight, flexible, and slippery work best. You may slip it over the hoof by slipping a plastic bag from the grocery over it.

If you don’t want your donkey’s legs to be eaten, you have to wear socks.

They must be tight enough not to just slip off, so if your donkey’s legs are small, it might be more challenging to find something that works.

Since a lot of donkeys are prone to pressure sores on their knees, fetlocks, or hocks, socks on those areas will prevent those sores from happening and attracting flies in the first place


So far, these are the best ideas we’ve come up with. Let us know in the comments if there is anything that has worked particularly well for you and your area.

I do believe that the success of certain methods of fly control is heavily influenced by the environment in which they are used.

Older photographs show people in Europe tearing apart a pair of pants and placing them over the wither and hips while putting the legs through!

As a result, let your imagination run wild. No solution is too insane.

Photo of author

About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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