...and take all your other fly friends with you. Seems like they all descend in fall for one last buzzing, biting frenzy. Bestie and I are Done With Them.
But - all these years with horses, and this was my first bot fly egg removal!
I don't even remember an instance that my daughters had to do it when they were riding. Maybe not such a problem in Vermont? In general, based on daily spider web removal, stink bug seasonal invasions, and other bug appearances in my life, I'm finding Virginia to be a lot more buggy than VT.
Anyway, after I grazed Bestie today and put her on the cross ties to groom her, I noticed the little yellowy-white specks stuck to the insides of her knees. Maybe 25-35 on each leg. I knew enough to identify them and realize they needed to be scraped off. The photo below of the inside of her left knee was taken after I had been at it for several minutes; there were only a few eggs left.
Below, the tools of the trade ... well, sort of. For years, our bot knife has languished in a box of little used horsey stuff (location unknown after the move ... garage?), so until a kind person at the barn today lent me hers, I used the grooming scissors to scrape the eggs off. A bot fly egg removal hack, you might say. The little flashlight was indispensable as without it, I wouldn't have been able to make sure all the eggs were removed. Especially because I didn't have my glasses. But aside from that, in my experience, barn lighting is typically not the best for doing anything tightly focused - braiding, bug removal, inspection of boo boos. You need the big guns for that stuff - flashlights or small plug-in spotlights.
After getting home I did some random searching to see if there was anything else I should be doing or anything else I need to know about bot flies and their yucky practices. Found this great overview about bot flies (yikes, THREE kinds??) from Freedom Health LLC, which makes gastrointestinal support products for horses.