By nature, horse stables tend to be quite dusty and musty places. However, on some occasions you may find that the dust isn’t actually dust at all, but rather small insects and pests flying through the air. While not all insects are cause for great concern, they can become quite problematic if they find their way into your horse’s feed. Pests in your feed storage can increase the likelihood of sickness in your horse and can even cause an allergic reaction in some cases. As such, it’s important that you take every precaution to keep your horse’s feed safe and pest-free. This guide explores three crucial tips for how to keep pests out of your horse feed successfully.
Store feed in a cool, dry place
The most common type of pest found in horse feed is grain mites. Though quite small, they can reproduce at rapid rates and can cause significant digestive issues if ingested by your horse. As with most pests, grain mites thrive in a warm and moist habitat. One of the best tips for how to keep pests out of your horse feed is to store feed in a cool, dry place. Ideally, feed should be stored in a sealed container that is resistant to temperature changes and moisture. Storing your feed according to these conditions will not only protect against grain mites, but also against other pests who enjoy a warm and moist habitat. This may include spiders and even mice or rats. When it comes to pests, it’s best to nip things in the bud as soon as possible, and storing feed in a cool, dry location where it will not be affected by weather changes is the best way to do just that.
Keep storage containers clean
As we’ve stated, feed should not only be kept in a safe location but ideally should also be kept in a sealed container. These containers should be cleaned regularly, as an unclean container can breed bacteria and mold, which may attract additional pests. Bagged hay for horses is also ideal, as it ensures that no pests or bacteria could have entered the feed at any point during the manufacturing process. Bagged feed also helps ensure the freshness of the feed itself, although feed should not be stored for longer than 3 weeks. The longer feed is kept, the more time pests have to nest and reproduce. Utilizing bagged feed ensures that you always have the correct amount of feed for your horses, without the need to store feed for an extended period of time.
Maintain a regular cleaning schedule
Cleanliness is crucial to keeping pests at bay. However, in outdoor stables and barns, this is not always an easy task. In order to avoid your own Herculean task of cleaning out the Augean stables, it’s important to set a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Your stables should be mucked out at least once a day, though more frequent cleaning may be necessary if you keep multiple horses. Remove soiled bedding, muck out dung, and clean down all tack after each use. This is a horse stable, after all, not a pig sty. Cleaning your stables on a daily basis will not only ensure that pests don’t make a breeding ground out of your stalls, but it will also help keep your horses in better physical condition.