How To Keep The Bugs Off Your Llamas
I’ve tried everything! I’ve tried spray-on mosquito and fly repellent (good stuff except for the awful price and having to spray it on about every two hours), I’ve tried smudges (good stuff except for all the bother, not being able to breathe in my own yard, and the chances of setting the llamas on fire), I’ve tried flycatchers (good things except they don’t work on mosquitoes, the paper ones look gross, and the bottles and bags smell like something large died in the barn two weeks ago). What a relief to find this Bugtussle Recipe!
1 cup pine tar
3 cups oil (feed oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, what-have-you)
That’s it. Put it in a microwaveable container and heat it GENTLY (you really don’t want hot pine tar all over the inside of your microwave) until it’s WARM, not hot. Stir it up and put a lid on it. It’ll keep like that all summer.
To put it on the llamas, I bought some foam paint brushes (something like 3 for a buck). Once a week or so, I bring all the llamas in and check them for the beginnings of fly strike This shows up as a meandering line of very short hair, particularly on the dark llamas, and progresses to meandering lines of naked skin and nasty scabs. I paint the bugtussle on the llamas wherever I see a line starting, and on the inside and outside of their ears, and usually on the topline of the muzzle as well. They don’t like it much when I’m doing it, but when they go out in the pasture they can actually eat and sleep without that frantic earflicking and nose-plowing that goes on without it.
Don’t get this stuff on your clothes, but it wears off the llamas very nicely. Unless, of course, like I did last year, you forget the recipe and mix it 1 to 1. THAT mixture stayed on all winter and had to be cut out of the fibre with scissors in the spring!