Keeping flies off pets

Winnie, a walker hound, checks out a fountain.

Winnie, a walker hound, checks out a fountain. (Aug. 12, 2011) (Credit: AP)

Fleas and ticks are always thought of as summertime parasites that bother pets, but there are a few others in that category, and those that really bother me are flies. It drives me crazy when I see flies biting the ears of my dogs, horses and rabbits, even the featherless wattles of my chickens.

In the past, when I used commercial sprays for these pests on my pets, the application would only work as long as it was wet. As soon as it dried, the flies came right back. So what I ended up doing was to get some fly spray or flea spray that has pyrethrum as the active ingredient. This is harmless to pets. Then I would spray some of it onto a wad of petroleum jelly and mix it all up and spread the jelly on my pets' ears. The petroleum jelly kept the insecticide from drying off; it lasts for hours on my pets' ears.

Whenever I watch nature shows on TV and see those poor lions in Africa bothered by those wretched flies, I just feel like reaching into the TV and spreading some of my mixture all over their pathetic, fly-bitten ears.