Looking for quick blood meal flies target parts of the animal body where the skin is thinnest, and blood vessels are closest to the surface, such as the tips of the ears and the nose. Fly bites irritate animal skin and can cause inflammation and infection. Serious maggot infestation can follow.
What to Look for
Flies leave tell-tale signs that they are feasting upon your pet.
painful bumps bloody spots small scabs raw skin areas with fur rubbed off biting and scratching
Your vet may prescribe full-strength antibiotics and anti-itch medication for your pet once the fly bite has incurred an infection. Self-care remedies, such as keeping the area clean and dry, applying an over-the-counter antibiotic, may be ineffective once your pet has entered the itch-scratch-itch cycle. He will not allow the affected area to heal. Permanent damage, like thickened skin and even ear amputation, can occur if left untreated.
Tips to Keeping Flies Away from Your Pet
Keep your pet indoors during the heat of the day. Clean up feces immediately and dispose of it far away from pet areas. Clean feeding dishes after your pet is finished eating. Eliminate any bare dirt spaces in the yard with grass or other plant ground cover. Wash your pet with deodorizing shampoo with eucalyptus oils as often as your vet recommends. If your pet must be outdoors, keep him in areas where there is air-flow and is shaded. Turn on a fan to keep air-flowing and cool in pet areas. Flies prefer heat. Use fly guards for ears, legs, and bellies of horses to keep flies from landing and biting. Use natural predators to keep the fly population in stables and yards under control. Natural predators include birds, frogs, chickens, carnivorous plants, and tiny insects that feed on fly larvae. Natural predator insects may be purchased in bags and sprinkled around fly-prone areas.
Rub the inside of your pet’s ears with some of these products:
Noxema facial cream contains fragrances that repel flies. Vaseline. Flies can’t bite through the layer of gel, which moisturizes the skin. Natural fly repellents contain eucalyptus or citronella oils. But do not apply either of these oils in their pure form directly onto the skin. Chemical fly repellents use effective ingredients like permethrin and resmethrin to repel flies. Some homemade remedies rely on garlic, but have negligible results and end up repelling humans, too.
If your pet is being pestered by biting flies, keep him safe with these tips. Check him often for hot spots and take him to the vet for immediate treatment.