Cover Story

Bots Anyone?

Who's having trouble with bot flies this year?

by Deb M. Eldredge, DVM
Bots Anyone? Credit: Thinkstock Normally at this time of year I would be doing the final “bot check” of my horses’ legs. I would be prepared to use my bot knife or sand paper to scrape them off or I might wipe the legs with warm water to force the eggs to open prematurely and die. This year – basically no bots!   I will assume it was our weather. It was a fairly cool summer here in upstate New York with many days in the low 70s and nights in the 50s. My favorite kind of summer though I know many lamented the scarcity of warmer days.   Back to bots. While in vet school, it was actually debated as to whether bots really caused horses any problems. Yes, post mortems with a stomach full of bots looked impressive but did they actually drain nutrients and cause horses discomfort? I know – that seems a bit amazing to us now!   Bots are actually flies (Gasterophilus species) that resemble bees a bit but they don’t sting or really... Continue Reading

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