Here are some letters from kind folks around the Country, regarding this most serious of problems to the horses in Australia.

I was reading about queries regarding Queensland Itch and thought I'd put in my two bobs worth.
I live in the same place where old Gazette is currently residing (further south than Adelaide) so you know what sort of climate that is and I have horses who suffer the condition.
It is caused by midges and they are the same sort that are in Queensland.
I must say it is an absolute pain in the you know what if your horse suffers from it for you and the horse and no products I have tried seem to really work effectively. I have recently started to sew extra pieces into my rugs to cover the areas mostly affected.
There seems to be a genetic predisposition to susceptibility as I have three foals out of one particular mare all with different sires, two have the condition, one has not yet although he is only 14mths and it usually takes time to build up an allergy. The dam of these foals is not affected herself though.
Ponies also seem to be more susceptible.
I think that I must have a particularly large midge population as the horse paddock is near a creek and sheltered from wind. The horses of mine that have this condition usually end up at my sisters place where the symptoms usually subside.
Cheers BB

For the lady with the Queensland itch, try this website www.animalitch.com.au/Large.htm It worked on my horses rain scald and it says it is for Queensland itch as well.

Dear HP
To the lady with the horse with Queensland Itch. My gelding suffers from Qld Itch. He rubs out most of his mane and the top of his tail during the warmer months. The skin is flakey and appears like a chronic case of dandruff. The product I find the best on my horse is called Brute. You buy it in a bottle and comes with a woolly type mitt. You put about 30 mls on the glove and rub onto the affected areas. You apply this every 7 days. If it rains heavily I apply it twice a week just in case. You can buy it from most good produce shops and costs around $50-$60 a bottle. The bottle should last around 6 months.
Best of luck,

There are 2 popular long term pour on type treatments, Swift and Brute.

Both have permethrin as the active ingredient, but in different forms. Brute has permethrin 25:75 and Swift has permethrin 80:20. The numbers refer to the ratio of cis to trans isomers, and the cis isomer is 10 times more toxic than the trans isomer. Swift can cause blistering on the skin of the horses where it is poured on.

Brute is the better option, but I still reckon Aeroguard works better.


Qld itch is frustrating, because what works on one horse may not work on another. All itch treatments work but only on some horses.

My mini horse had it bad, she would rub until she was bleeding. I tried many things. Rugging doesn't work, I think it makes it worse because they sweat. I took a two pronged approach, I used an insect repellent to keep mozzies and midges away, and I used 1 teaspoon of copper sulphate and 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar in a litre of warm water and applied it daily to the affected areas. My theory is that they scratch because of the midges, damage their skin, get a topical infection which makes them even more itchy, scratch more etc etc etc.

The most effective repellent I have found is Tropical Strength Aeroguard. It is much cheaper than any of the horse ones that contain DEET. My girls weren't impressed with the aerosol at first but I made them put up with it and now they are fine.

I have heard great things from a reputable source that feeding salt bush leaves works wonders. A breeder of performance bred Paint Horses reckons he completely cured 3 horses with salt bush leaves.


In reply to Ingrid, unless you have a pally or a white horse like mine, you probably won't see midges. They are only about half a millimeter or so. If you have them, stand out side just on dusk and you will feel the itching on your legs and arms. I got shot down in flames on a popular forum once when I dared to question the cause of itch. Midges are one cause, but surely they aren't the only thing horses react allergic ally to. Apply the chosen insect repellant about an hour before sunset. That is when they attack.

Dried salt bush leaves are available from Mrs Janet Eykamp, Quirindi, NSW 0427 667 876



Hi John,

So sorry to hear about your Dad and I lost my very best horsey mate on new years to a car crash myself.

For the readers currently battling with rain scald I have found what I can only describe as a wonder treatment for it....

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - you can get it from majority of health food stores for around $10-11. The good stuff will be in solid state under 21deg.
Just pour on and work into skin gently over the top of the scabs, no need to pick at them, do this once a day over all affected areas... within 2-3 days the scabs will literally fall off at the slightest touch and within 7 days your horse will have a new covering of hair like it never happened...
Its like magic, no fuss, the horse love the taste lol and it is cheap and easy to apply.

I kid you not this stuff is awesome!

I find it also works to heal the lesions and leatghery skin of QLD itch sufferers as well.

Kind Regards,

Thanks to all. Most kind of you.



Mail: horseproblems@horseproblems.com.au