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DIY Fly Sprays for Horses: Natural Protection Without the Chemicals

Homemade Fly Sprays for Horses: Effective and Affordable Solutions

Flies buzzing around your horse can be irritating and harmful. Commercial fly sprays may seem like the only solution, but they often come with a hefty price tag and a long list of chemicals.

Thankfully, there’s a natural alternative: homemade fly sprays for horses. In this article, we will explore the benefits of DIY recipes and introduce you to some easy-to-follow tutorials.

So, let’s dive in and discover a cost-effective and chemical-free way to keep your horse fly-free!

DIY Recipes

Homemade horsefly spray recipes offer a simple and affordable solution to combat the persistent pests. Here are a few tried-and-tested recipes you can try:

Vinegar and Water Spray:

  • Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • Shake well and apply to your horse’s coat.
  • The acidic nature of vinegar deters flies, leaving your horse protected.

Essential Oil Blend:

  • Combine 10 drops each of eucalyptus and lavender essential oils with 4 ounces of water.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, such as almond or coconut oil.
  • Shake well and apply to your horse’s coat or a cloth to rub it onto sensitive areas like the face and ears.
  • The aromatic oils repel flies and leave a pleasant scent behind.

Benefits of Homemade Fly Sprays

Using homemade fly sprays offers several advantages over their commercial counterparts. Here are some key benefits:

Cheaper Option:

  • Commercial fly sprays can be expensive, especially when purchased frequently throughout the summer months.
  • Homemade alternatives save you money without compromising effectiveness.


  • Unlike commercial products that may contain potentially harmful chemicals, homemade fly sprays are made from natural ingredients.
  • This reduces the risk of allergic reactions or skin irritations for both you and your horse.

Gentler on Horse’s Skin:

  • Homemade fly sprays often include soothing ingredients like aloe vera or coconut oil, which can help moisturize and nourish your horse’s skin.
  • This is especially beneficial for horses with sensitive or dry skin.


  • By using natural ingredients, you eliminate the fear of exposing your horse to toxins that may affect their health in the long run.
  • Homemade fly sprays give you peace of mind knowing that you’re not subjecting your horse to unnecessary chemical exposure.

Homemade Horsefly Spray Videos

YouTube Tutorials

For visual learners, YouTube tutorials provide step-by-step guidance on creating your homemade horsefly spray. Here are some popular channels to explore:

  • Natural Horsemanship: Search for “DIY horsefly spray tutorial” on the Natural Horsemanship channel. Follow their expert instructions to create an effective natural spray.
  • Happy Horse Supply: Visit the Happy Horse Supply channel and search for “natural horsefly spray.” Learn from their detailed video tutorial to make your homemade fly spray.

Different Ingredients in Homemade Sprays

Homemade fly sprays for horses incorporate various ingredients to repel flies and protect your horse. Some commonly used ingredients include:

Essential Oils:

  • Eucalyptus, lavender, citronella, and lemongrass are popular essential oils with strong fly-repelling properties.
  • These oils not only keep flies at bay but also add a pleasant fragrance to the spray.


  • The acidic nature of vinegar repels flies effectively.
  • Apple cider vinegar is a popular choice due to its natural odor and added health benefits for horses.

Dish Soap:

  • Dish soap acts as an adhesive, helping the spray stick to the horse’s coat.
  • It also adds a level of suffocation to the flies, further deterring them.

Tea and Garlic:

  • Some homemade recipes call for steeping tea bags or using garlic water to create a strong repellent.
  • While effective, these ingredients may leave a residual scent that some horses find unappealing.

In conclusion, homemade fly sprays for horses are affordable, natural alternatives to commercial products.

By following simple recipes or watching informative tutorials, you can create effective and safe solutions to keep your horse fly-free. Embrace the cost-saving benefits, enjoy the peace of mind that comes with using chemical-free options, and bond with your horse as you protect them from pesky flies.

Give these homemade recipes a try and make fly season a breeze for you and your equine friend!

Tested and Effective DIY Recipes

Tried and True Recipes

When it comes to creating a homemade horsefly spray, you want to ensure that it is effective in repelling flies and providing long-lasting protection for your equine companion. Here are a couple of tried and true recipes that have received rave reviews from horse owners:

Cider Vinegar and Essential Oil Spray:

  • In a spray bottle, combine one cup of apple cider vinegar, one cup of water, and 20 drops each of citronella and eucalyptus essential oils.
  • Shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Apply the spray generously to your horse’s coat, focusing on the areas prone to fly irritation such as the mane and tail.
  • Repeat the application every few hours or as needed.

Neem Oil Spray:

  • Neem oil is known for its insect-repellent properties and can effectively deter flies.
  • In a spray bottle, mix one part neem oil with 10 parts water.
  • Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil for fragrance, if desired.
  • Shake the bottle well before every use to ensure proper blending of the ingredients.
  • Apply the spray to your horse’s coat, making sure to cover all areas thoroughly.
  • Reapply every few hours or as needed for optimal results.

Reader Suggestions

In addition to the tested recipes mentioned above, many horse owners have shared their own homemade fly spray suggestions, which have proven to be effective. Here are a few reader-submitted ideas:

Rosemary and Peppermint Spray:

  • In a spray bottle, combine two cups of water, two tablespoons of dried rosemary, and twenty drops of peppermint essential oil.
  • Let the mixture sit for a few hours to allow the rosemary to infuse into the water.
  • After straining out the rosemary, spray the solution onto your horse’s coat, paying attention to the areas where flies tend to gather.

Lemongrass and Lavender Spray:

  • Combine one cup of water, one cup of white vinegar, ten drops of lemongrass essential oil, and ten drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle.
  • Shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Apply the spray generously to your horse’s coat, focusing on the head, neck, and legs where flies often bother horses the most.

Remember, every horse is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s essential to experiment with different recipes and observe how your horse responds to find the perfect homemade fly spray for them.

Large Quantity DIY Spray

Making 5 Gallons of Homemade Spray

If you are caring for multiple horses or prefer to make a large quantity of homemade horsefly spray, here’s a recipe that yields five gallons:


  • 2 cups of citronella oil
  • 1 cup of eucalyptus oil
  • 1 cup of tea tree oil
  • 2 cups of cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of baby oil
  • 1 cup of dish soap
  • 5 gallons of water


  1. In a large container, mix the citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, cider vinegar, baby oil, and dish soap.
  2. Add the water gradually, stirring the mixture well after each addition.
  3. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, transfer the solution into five separate gallon-sized containers.
  4. Label each container clearly, and store them in a cool, dark place until ready for use.

Easy-to-Follow Instructions

Creating a large quantity of homemade horsefly spray is a cost-effective way to always have a ready supply on hand. Here are detailed instructions for making the five-gallon spray:

  1. Begin by gathering your ingredients. Ensure that you have enough space to accommodate the five gallons of spray and all the necessary containers.
  2. In a large container, such as a clean bucket or bin, combine the citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, cider vinegar, baby oil, and dish soap. Stir the mixture thoroughly to incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Gradually add the water to the mixture. Stir well after each addition, ensuring that the solution is well-blended.
  4. Once all the ingredients are effectively mixed, transfer the solution evenly into five separate gallon-sized containers. This division ensures the spray is easily manageable and can be distributed to different areas or shared with fellow horse owners.
  5. Clearly label each container with the contents and date of preparation. This step helps you keep track of the spray’s potency and freshness.
  6. Store the containers in a cool, dark place, such as a storage shed or tack room. This will help maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the spray until you are ready to use it.

By following these easy-to-follow instructions, you can efficiently create a large quantity of homemade fly spray to last you throughout the fly season while saving money and reducing your reliance on commercial products.

In summary, homemade horsefly sprays offer a cost-effective and natural solution to combat pesky flies. Tried and true recipes, along with reader suggestions, provide a variety of options to cater to your horse’s specific needs. Additionally, for those requiring a larger quantity of spray, a detailed recipe with easy-to-follow instructions allows you to make and store five gallons of homemade spray. Embrace the simplicity and effectiveness of these DIY solutions, ensuring a comfortable and fly-free experience for both you and your beloved equine companion.

Cautionary Advice and Alternatives

What Not to Include in Homemade Spray

While homemade fly sprays offer a natural and safe alternative to commercially available options, it is essential to be aware of certain ingredients that should not be included in your homemade horsefly sprays. Here are some substances to avoid:

Toxic Chemicals:

  • It is crucial to steer clear of toxic chemicals such as permethrin, pyrethroids, or any other insecticides meant for external use only on animals.
  • These chemicals can be harmful to both your horse and the environment and should be avoided in homemade fly sprays.


  • While avocado is generally safe for horses to consume, it can be toxic when applied topically or ingested in large amounts.
  • Avoid including avocado or avocado oil as an ingredient in your homemade fly spray.

Citrus Oils:

  • Citrus essential oils are known for their acidic nature, which can cause skin irritations or sensitivities in some horses.
  • While small amounts of diluted citrus oils may be safe, it’s best to test a small area of your horse’s skin before applying it all over.

Always prioritize your horse’s well-being when creating a homemade fly spray. Carefully research the ingredients you plan to use and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns or doubts.

Alternatives to Store-Bought Sprays

Apart from creating homemade fly sprays, there are other natural alternatives to consider as well. These options provide effective fly protection without the use of chemical-based commercial sprays.

Here are a few alternatives worth exploring:

Fly Masks and Sheets:

  • Fly masks and sheets provide physical protection for your horse’s face and body, acting as a barrier against flies.
  • These items are available in various designs, providing not only fly protection but also UV protection and breathability for your horse.

Fly Traps:

  • Installing fly traps around your horse’s stable or pasture can help reduce the population of flies.
  • Sticky traps or traps containing attractants luring flies towards them can be effective alternatives to sprays.

Fans and Air Circulation:

  • Flies dislike air movement, so installing fans in your horse’s stall or creating good ventilation in the barn can deter them.
  • A well-ventilated environment with flowing air helps make it less appealing for flies to settle and annoy your horse.

Manure Management:

  • Flies are attracted to manure, so proper manure management is crucial in controlling their population.
  • Regularly remove manure from your horse’s living areas and consider composting it away from the stables to minimize fly breeding areas.

By incorporating these alternatives into your fly control routine, you can enhance the effectiveness of homemade fly sprays or even reduce the need for them altogether. It is important to remember that every horse’s situation is unique, so experimenting with different methods will help you determine what works best for your horse.

In conclusion, while creating homemade fly sprays for your horse is a cost-effective and safer option compared to store-bought sprays, caution must be exercised. Avoid including toxic chemicals, avocado, or citrus oils in your homemade sprays to protect your horse’s health. Additionally, consider using alternative methods such as fly masks, traps, fans, and proper manure management to enhance fly control. By combining homemade sprays with these natural alternatives, you can create a comprehensive fly prevention plan that ensures a comfortable and enjoyable environment for your horse throughout fly season.

In conclusion, homemade fly sprays for horses offer a cost-effective, chemical-free, and customizable solution to combat pesky flies. By utilizing tried and true recipes and reader suggestions, as well as exploring alternative methods such as fly masks and proper manure management, horse owners can effectively protect their equine companions during fly season. However, it is important to avoid harmful ingredients and exercise caution when creating homemade sprays. Investing the time and effort into creating a personalized fly prevention plan not only ensures your horse’s comfort but also strengthens the bond between you and your equine friend. Embrace the power of DIY solutions and natural alternatives, and bid farewell to the unwanted annoyance of flies.

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