Flys Off Review
One of the bad things about summer around the dog yard is the flies. We are situated between cows to the West, and horses to the east. That means there is no shortage of stable flies around the dog yard in the hot months of summer. In the average year, they show up sometime in late June, and stick around until late August. They seem to enjoy the hot temperatures of summer.
They are harder to control than your regular house fly. House flies are attracted to decaying material, and there are plenty of very effective attactants on the market that make them easy to capture. Stable flies are attracted to large, dark shapes and carbon dioxide. There are contraptions that simulate the size and shape of cows that emit low levels of carbon dioxide and rely on knocking the flies out of the air and drowning them in water. They are a little pricey and take up a fair amount of space, so we opt to deter the existing flies from getting on the dogs.
The stable flies are blood suckers, and the easiest place for them to suck the blood from a dog in on the ears. Left untreated, the flies will continue to feed from the ears, large amounts of crusty blood will accumulate on the dogs' ears, and scar tissue can even form. The best way we have found to keep the flies off is Flys-Off Fly Repellent Ointment
The ointment comes in a plastic jar, and is thick like a paste. To apply, I use latex gloves, scoop a little ointment onto my index finger, dab the ointment onto each ear, then massage it in real good. The dogs are pretty good about letting me do it. Some try to rub it off right away by rolling in the dirt, but it sticks to the ears well.
The ointment makes their ears sticky, and it attracts dirt, so the white dogs have brown or black ears, but this is a minor side effect. Flys Off also makes an aerosol spray and a mist, but I think the ointment is the best. It lasts upwards of ten days on the dogs' ears (as long as it doesn't rain), so you don't have to apply as often. I've used the aerosol spray, and that had to be applied every couple days. It also makes the aerosol spray sound, which scares some of the dogs, so ends up taking longer to get everyone done. On the other hand, if you only have a dog or two, the spray and mist may be more appropriate, because there is no sticky residue, and the time it takes to spray a single dog is trivial compared to eighty.
Overall I highly recommend Flys-Off Fly Repellent Ointment . I have used it for years and have been very satisfied. Just a note of disclosure, if you do purchase any of these products using the links on this page, we do receive a small referral fee.