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Fly Control for Horses

As fly season gets underway across the country, veterinarians and horse owners are using Solitude IGR™, a feed-through fly preventive available from Pfizer Animal Health, to help control fly infestations. With up to 100% efficacy against house and stable flies, Solitude IGR greatly reduces the need for fly sprays and other fly control methods when administered during prime fly development months.

Many veterinarians and barn managers have tried Solitude IGR and recommend the product to others based on the obvious decrease in flies they observed. Veterinarian Jim Schulze, DVM, was so impressed by the results seen by his clients that he started using Solitude IGR in his own clinic.

“Some of our clients have facilities with 60 to 100 horses. They’ve seen a large reduction in fly populations,” said Schulze, owner of Equine Veterinary Associates in Conroe, TX. “As a veterinarian, you can really see the difference when visiting barns that don’t use Solitude IGR.”

Buck Grass, owner of Buck Grass Stables in Magnolia, TX, is one of Schultz’s clients. Grass decided to try Solitude IGR in his stable, which houses 85 horses, in the spring of 2006 when weather conditions seemed to result in a booming fly population.

“We have a fly spray system but it wasn’t making any difference against the flies, even though we were spraying up to six times a day,” said Grass. “We started using Solitude IGR and within eight weeks, the flies just went away. We cut our fly spray system back to just one spray per day. That’s not normal for summer—it’s about average for winter!”

To achieve these results, horse owners need only top dress their horses’ feed with one-half ounce of Solitude IGR daily. The active ingredient, cyromazine, is described as an insect growth regulator, or IGR, because it inhibits the production of chitin in house and stable fly larvae. Chitin makes up the exoskeleton, or hard outer shell, of many insects. Horses do not produce chitin, so cyromazine passes harmlessly through their system and into manure. Fly eggs laid in treated manure hatch into larvae but are unable to properly produce chitin and die before emerging as adult flies.

As adult populations decline, Solitude IGR users may experience noticeable results within two weeks, with full results realized in four to six weeks. Though some use of fly repellants or bait systems may be necessary to control flies that migrate from untreated areas, many farms report dramatic reductions in fly populations. For best results, horse owners should start feeding Solitude IGR before flies start laying eggs each spring. Owners should consult with their veterinarians to determine the ideal treatment program for their location.

“I’ve only been using Solitude IGR for three months on my horses, and I stopped putting out fly traps soon after starting on the product,” said DeeDee Hatch, who works as an equine veterinary technician at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Los Olivos, CA. “I’d definitely recommend Solitude IGR to other horse owners.”

“Solitude IGR offers some advantages over fly sprays and other methods,” said Jim Waldsmith, DVM, practice owner of The Equine Center in San Luis Obispo, CA. “At the clinic we recommend Solitude IGR as an option for farms looking to do all they can to reduce flies.”

Cyromazine has been used safely for more than 20 years in the poultry industry, and will not harm mammals and other sensitive pollution indicator species, such as fish. Once excreted in manure, cyromazine breaks down into a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer.

“Solitude IGR has an extensive safety record that horse owners can trust to help reduce house and stable fly populations without creating any toxicity issues,” said John Donecker, VMD, MS, Senior Veterinarian at Pfizer Animal Health. “By effectively breaking the fly life cycle, Solitude IGR provides significant relief from these pests.”

Solitude IGR is an integral part of a sound pest management program, which should include basic barn hygiene, such as mucking out stalls and properly removing manure. For more information on Solitude IGR, visit

For more information on Pfizer Animal Health’s complete line of equine health care products, visit Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines for humans and animals.