The Dos and Don’ts of Horse Fly Masks

Anyone that has ever been around horses can attest to one thing - where there are horses, there are flies. Flies are certainly an annoyance; they can also carry potential dangers, from painful bites to the transmission of diseases. Whether you are dealing with face flies, stable flies, horse flies, or even deer flies, you will need to apply methods to protect your horses from these nuisances.

One easy way to provide your horse with ample fly and insect protection is with fly masks. These essential equine items are specifically made to protect horses from insect bites, dust, and other tiny hazards. Fly masks can drastically reduce the impact pests have on your horse’s overall well-being.

Before you fit your horse for a fly mask, consider the following tips.


  • Remove fly masks at night, unless there is a medical reason to keep them on.
  • Create a schedule for cleaning your fly masks, and stick to it. Fly masks can become grimy over time, which can lead to skin infections. Dirt and debris that has accumulated in the mask can also fall into your horse’s eyes.
  • Check that the ear coverings fit properly. They should provide ample room for the horse to flip and move its ears without any type of hindrance. A little bit of space in the ear coverings also helps prevent skin irritations on the ears from excessive rubbing.


  • Leave fly masks on for extended periods. It is better for the health of the horse when the fly mask is taken off a few times a day.
  • Put a poorly fitting mask on your horse. The wrong size mask can scratch your horse’s eyes, and also lead to corneal ulcers. Choose a well-fitting style that features eye darts or rounded inserts. A good test is this: if the horse can blink freely through the mask, the mask is a good fit.
  • Use a mask that is too tight or too loose. Make sure it’s made of a non-abrasive material with soft linings. Otherwise, the mask can cause irritations for the horse, and do more harm than good.
  • Put a dirty fly mask on your horse. Keep an extra mask (or more) on hand for each horse, so one mask can be worn while the other is being washed.

Diligence is key when it comes to fly control. With the help of effective pest control tools, you can spend less time worrying about flies, and more time enjoying the company of your horse.

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  • Published:
  • Updated: 9/9/2018: 6:04:59 PM ET
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