Homemade Fly Spray for Horses

Ingredients P1040957 P1040951

Flies pose problems for animals and people during summer months. Johnn eliminates flies in the barn starting in April by using a product called Fly Predators. Basically, the tiny insects feed on flies and fly larvae. Since the Fly Predators have a 30 day lifespan, each month Johnn adds new insects to replenish the ones which died. The system works really well. There are never more than one or two flies in the barn; however, in the pasture or trail riding it’s a different story.

To discourage flies from alighting on Pepper or CJ while riding, I used fly spray. Not a fan of toxic chemicals or insecticides, I decided to make my own fly spray when Connie suggested a homemade recipe given to her by her vet Robin. The ingredients were simple: water, vinegar and a little soap. I read that flies don’t like peppermint and added some to the mixture. The peppermint gave the fly spray a fresh, pleasant smell.

The summer days turned hot and sticky with temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s, I began braiding the horse’s manes. First I covered the mane with fly spray, until the hair was wet, and then I began to braid. The braids helped cool the horse and held the fly spray besides looking nice. As I braided, I noticed Pepper and CJ relaxed, nodding off to sleep with eyes half closed. To my surprise, they loved having their manes braided!

The fly spray made the horse’s coat shiny. At the end of the ride when I gave the horse a bath, the spray acted as a cleaning agent. All I did was spray water on the horse and brush. I found the homemade fly spray worked as well as commercial pesticides; nothing worked on the big horse and deer flies. For the big, bad flies I carried my little net to catch and squash.

The Northern New Mexico Horsemen’s Association’s website lists several other recipes for homemade fly spray. I have listed a few homemade recipes below:

Fly Repellent 1:
18 oz white vinegar
2 oz water
2 Tbsp dish washing soap.
*(I added) 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Mix in a 20 oz spray bottle and shake gently. You may add water to dilute. Spray liberally on your horse.

Fly Repellent 2:
2 cups mineral oil
½ cup lemon juice
2 tsp. Citronella oil
2 teaspoon eucalyptus oil
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle.

Fly Repellent 3:
1 cup vinegar
1 cup baby oil
1/4 cup original Pinesol
1 tbs dish soap
1 tbs Skin So Soft
1 cup water
Combine ingredients and use in spray bottle.

Internal Fly Repellents: Add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to your horses grain or mix 1 ½ cups white vinegar for every 75 gallons of water in your horses water tub. Start one of these procedures about a week before fly season begins and continue throughout the season.

For my fly spray, I used a discount dishwashing soap which worked fine. Many people on-line recommend Dawn. I have not tried but heard that the following oils help repel insects: Tansy, peppermint, lemongrass, lemon, cedarwood, thyme, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, and cloves. The other two ingredients which people swear by are Citronella oil and Avon’s Skin So Soft. Although, I don’t have firsthand experience with these ingredients, if you’re adventuresome, they’re worth a try. I’m sure there are many other formulas for homemade fly control. If you have a good one please leave a comment; that way we will spread the word and control the pests. Happy trails and stay safe.

Sources:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/706667/; http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/homemade-fly-spray.html; http://www.nnmha.com/FlySpray.html

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *