In October, the Equine Disease Communication Center reported that Oklahoma confirmed its third case of West Nile Virus in a horse for 2017. Transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes, West Nile Virus causes flu-like symptoms, as well as signs of depression, changes in mental state, drowsiness, and more.
In some areas of North America, the threat of mosquitoes disappears in the winter as cold weather moves in. Those in southern regions, however, are advised to continue taking precautionary measures to protect their horses from West Nile Virus. While there are no specific treatments for the disease, there are a few natural ways you can reduce the mosquito population on your farm:
- Reduce stagnant water by overturning unused buckets, barrels and other vessels where rainwater can collect. Cleaning your troughs regularly is also crucial.
- Add a small dose of garlic to your horse’s feed each day. This natural insect repellent boosts the body’s natural defense against insects, and repulses bugs by changing the smell and taste of your horse’s blood.
- Make a natural bug spray using essential oils. A simple solution of neem extract mixed with water works wonders to deter mosquitoes.
Visit equinewellnessmagazine.com/naturally-repel-flies-fleas-mosquitoes/ for more bug-busting solutions.