A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

July 1, 2008

Cria Fly Masks

I had a comment posted to the blog the other day from Dothia asking if there was such as thing as a fly mask for crias and if so where to purchase them.


We usually don’t put fly masks on our crias, as crias tend to get up to all sorts of mischief during the day putting their little faces in all sorts of places that could lead to the masks coming off.  Additionally crias grow at such a fast rate that any cria fly mask would have to be very adjustable to be able to fit well.  However when you are experiencing a bad fly season the crias do get bothered by the flies just as much as the adults.


We try and prevent the fly situation in the first place by top dressing our alpaca feed with diatomaceous earth every day.  We make sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth and have it in a plastic shaker (you could use a washed out parmesan cheese container, the sort with the lid that has holes in the top, or a small plastic jar with holes drilled in the lid works well too).  We then sprinkle a teaspoon or so on top of the feed.  


So far since we have been using the diatomaceous earth our fly population does seem to be less, but August is typically our worst month for flies so we will see how things are this August.  You can read more about diatomaceous earth in my blog post of May 21, 2007


With crias you have to be so careful about what you can use on them.  Just like young children they can be more sensitive to products than adults and so products such as fly spray may not be safe to use on them.  I have heard of people using herbal preparations usually containing lavender and/or citronella but again you would need to be careful about the strength of the product.  Scented dryer sheets are another remedy I have heard of for fly control, some people say that if you rub them over an animal they repel flies, but when we have tried them we have found that it only lasts a little while and then you need to rub the animal again – something that is time consuming if you have a large herd.  Feeding your alpacas garlic is also said to be effective, but I am still researching that subject as to how much garlic to feed and whether it causes the fiber to smell.  Of course as crias are nursing and not typically eating feed anything that you put on top of feed for alpacas to eat will most likely not be effective for crias.


So back to the original question of cria fly masks.  I do remember that some clients of ours needed a cria fly mask a few years ago and I think they got theirs from Quality Llama Products, Inc.  Quality Llama Products have a “XS” size fly mask for young alpacas, but it does not say that size is for crias.   It would be worth giving them a call and asking them about the sizing.  I have dealt with Quality Llama Products in the past and they were very friendly and helpful.


If anyone else reading this posts knows of a source for cria fly masks perhaps they could post a comment and share that information.





  1. Thankyou so much Rose ! The site is very helpful and I will be giving them a call. A formula that has worked well for me, is half Skin So Soft, and half White Vinegar. The Skin So Soft can be purchased through an Avon representative. The White Vinegar can be bought at Walmart or the local grocerey store, though Walmart sells it for cheaper and in larger quantities. This formula has worked wonders for my doe who has very, very sensitive pink skin.

    Comment by Dothia — July 1, 2008 @ 9:52 pm

  2. Also a giant barnfan works very well.

    Comment by Dothia — July 1, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

  3. Thanks for the tips Dothia! We do use barn fans but have not tried the Skin So Soft and white
    vinegar mix. We’ll give it a try if the flies get bad this year.


    Comment by alpacalady — July 3, 2008 @ 4:54 am

  4. If you do use then Skin So Soft and White vinegar , the oil in the Skin So Soft can cause the skin to burn when exsposed to entense sunlight. You should’nt have problems where the fiber is long, or if they are shaded , or the sun isn’t very intense.

    Comment by Dothia — July 3, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

  5. The Skin So Soft will make the fiber have a floral smell, greasy, and shiney. When washed out it won’t be greacy anymore, but it will leave the fiber soft and shiney.

    Comment by Dothia — July 3, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  6. Good points Dothia, especially for those of us who live in an area where the sun is intense and our alpacas are newly shorn. I guess we could rub a little on thier top knots being careful not to get it in their eyes. The point about the smell and greasy feel is also a good one, for those planning on showing their alpacas or fleeces that might be an issue.


    Comment by alpacalady — July 4, 2008 @ 3:22 am

  7. I can custom make cria fly mask and fly blankets if anyone would be interested.

    Comment by Dothia — July 6, 2008 @ 4:36 am

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