How To Watch World Cup 2022 In Usa Whats the Buzz About Bots?

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Whats the Buzz About Bots?

It reminds you of the waltz of the wasps, but this is not a waltz and this is not a wasp.

One of the signs of summer is the arrival of one of nature’s great tricksters. Their appearance signals the beginning of a new season, the time of the Bot Fly. Similar to big brown wasps, bot flies herald the start of your horse’s summer torture.

These large flies hover and buzz around livestock hosts preparing to lay their eggs and begin a new cycle for the fly. Horses in particular are favorites, and the flies aggressively lay several hundred eggs along the hairs on the legs and chest of the horse’s coat. The buzzing sound announces the approach of the fly, and the subsequent touch of the horse’s skin by the fly often drives the horses wild. Jumping, waving and running to avoid these buzzing invaders is often fruitless as the flies will continue until they are able to lay their eggs.

In order for flies to spread, their eggs must be ingested by the animal, and sometimes human, host where they grow and develop. Safely lodged in the host’s stomach, the eggs attach to the stomach wall and persist for 10 months. Here they are fed by the host and fed until they hatch into larvae which pass through the intestinal tract via manure.

The resulting infected dung provides the next stage in the Fly Bot life cycle and the larvae now pupate. This stage takes about two months to complete and like a butterfly, the Bot Fly emerges to complete the next step in its long life cycle.

The adult fly, which resembles a hairy brown wasp, flies out to search for a suitable host for the next generation… once mating is complete and eggs are laid, the fly then dies and the cycle ends.

It’s amazing how life evolves to perpetuate itself, but doing so can harm the host. The damage is usually minimal and more studies are needed to effectively assess the long-term effects, but slight damage is done to the stomach wall. Necropsies reveal a pitted area in the stomach wall where Bot eggs were attached. The stomach usually heals itself, but in cases of severe infections it can cause abdominal pain, stomach ulcers and even death if the stomach ruptures. Infested horses often look bad as the bugs feed on them, draining nutrients and blood from the horse’s system. The horse’s immune system is weaker when infected and has greater difficulty with disease and winter hardiness.

So how do you stop the Bot fly from infesting your horse? It can only be done by breaking the cycle.

In the past horsemen and women used toxic worming agents to kill the stomach eggs and special combs or knives to scrape the eggs from the horses’ bodies.

A greener and more earth (and animal) friendly product is now used. Diatomaceous Earth is an easier all natural way to break the Bot Fly cycle. Diatomaceous earth, often called DE, is bad for bots but good for horses. Feeding your horse DE on a daily basis will kill the eggs, kill the larvae and kill the pupae in the resulting manure and improve your horse’s health as well.

Diatomaceous earth is the skeletal remains of a microscopic creature. These creatures, called diatoms, were tiny algae from millions of years ago and left large skeletal deposits on ancient sea floors. Today it is mined and used in many ways for a greener world.

DE works in Bot Flies in several ways. It first kills the eggs and any larvae in the stomach by dehydration and then flushes them out of the system. Once passed the DE will kill any pupae that hatch in the manure and the eggs and larvae of any other flies as well. Using DE will reduce Bot Fly populations in addition to common house fly and deer fly populations as well.

DE then supplies additional minerals to the horse’s system. DE is itself a mineral (silicon dioxide for bone and hair growth), but it also includes 13 other trace minerals, all of which are essential for overall good health. Trace minerals are calcium, magnesium, titanium dioxide, gallium, vanadium, strontium, sodium, boron, iron, potassium, manganese, copper and zirconium. This mineral supplement boosts the horse’s immune system and supports general good health.

DE also cleans the system. Dead eggs and larvae are flushed out of the horse’s digestive system with DE and in addition it cleans out sand or other unpassed debris as well. DE will also kill parasites and other internal worms and flush them out as well. A horse with a clean gut is a healthy and happy horse.

Horses should be fed about ½ cup to 1 cup of DE per day. This will depend on the size of the horse, but adjust accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to feed 2% DE per animal body weight. Always start small and work your way up. This prevents a large die-off from parasites that can cause discomfort to the animal. Start gently and in 7-10 days gradually increase to the full amount.

A WORD OF CAUTIONnot all DEs are equal. DE food grade is the only one safe for use with animals. Commercial grade or “pool” DE is actually dangerous for use with humans or livestock. USE ONLY FOOD GRADE DIATOME EARTH.

DE can be fed during the fly and parasite season or it can be fed year-round. It is gentle on the horse’s system and the mineral benefits make it a barn staple. Once you start using DE, you’ll never miss this particular wasp trickster or his waltz again… in fact, the silence Diatomaceous Earth creates may be the only music you want to hear.

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