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DIY Fly Sprays: Safe Cost-Effective and Pleasant for Your Horse

Benefits of Homemade Fly Repellents

For many horse owners, dealing with flies and other pesky insects is part and parcel of the summer season. Not only do they cause irritation and discomfort to our four-legged friends, but they can also lead to infection if not addressed promptly.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend among horse owners to shift towards more natural alternatives when it comes to fly control. In this article, we will explore the benefits of homemade fly sprays, different recipes, and the importance of testing to ensure the safety of your horse.

Benefits of Homemade Fly Repellents:

While commercially available fly sprays may be effective, they can also contain harsh chemicals that may not be suitable for horses with sensitive skin. Homemade fly sprays offer a natural alternative that is easy to make with ingredients that are readily available.

Using essential oils, vinegar, and dish soap, you can create a fly spray that is not only effective but also affordable. The best part is that you can make a spray that is tailored to your horse’s specific needs.

Ingredients for Homemade Fly Spray:

There are many different ingredients that you can use to create a homemade fly spray. Essential oils such as eucalyptus, citronella, and lavender, have insect-repelling properties and can be mixed with carrier oils such as almond or coconut oil.

Vinegar and dish soap can also be used as a base for a fly spray. When combined, these ingredients can create a potent and effective homemade fly spray.

Recipes for Homemade Fly Sprays:

Basic DIY Fly Spray Recipe:

One of the most straightforward and effective fly spray recipes is the Dawn dish soap and apple cider vinegar recipe. To make this spray, you will need a spray bottle, Dawn dish soap, and apple cider vinegar.

Mix equal parts of dish soap and vinegar in the spray bottle and shake well before use. This fly spray is easy to make and is suitable for use on horses with sensitive skin.

U.S. Forest Service Bug Spray Recipe:

The U.S. Forest Service Bug Spray recipe is another popular homemade fly spray recipe that is safe for use on horses. This spray is made from a combination of Skin So Soft by Avon, eucalyptus, and citronella essential oils, which may be found at your local health food store.

Mix equal parts of Skin So Soft and water in a spray bottle, then add a few drops of eucalyptus and citronella oil. Shake the bottle well before use.

Refreshing Fly Blend by Nan Martin:

Nan Martin’s Refreshing Fly Blend is an excellent fly spray recipe that is practical for horses and has a refreshing scent. This recipe calls for essential oils such as lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint.

Mix a few drops of each essential oil in a spray bottle with water and shake well. This spray is safe for use on horses, and the essential oils give it a light and refreshing scent.

Lavender Horse Fly Spray:

Lavender oil has many beneficial properties, one of which is its insect-repelling properties. Lavender Horse Fly Spray is a simple recipe that is effective in repelling pesky flies.

All you need is a spray bottle, water, and a few drops of lavender oil. Mix the ingredients in the bottle, shake well, and apply to your horse as needed.

This spray not only repels flies but also has a calming effect on your horse.

Citrus Insect Repellent Recipe:

The Citrus Insect Repellent is an excellent recipe for horse owners because it is safe to use, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.

This recipe is made from light mineral oil, lemon juice, citronella oil, and eucalyptus essential oil. Add 1 cup of light mineral oil to a spray bottle, then add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 10 drops of citronella oil, and 10 drops of eucalyptus oil.

Shake the bottle well before use.

Importance of Testing:

It’s essential to test any fly spray before applying it to your horse.

Horses can suffer from skin irritation, allergic reactions, or other adverse effects to certain ingredients. Testing helps to prevent any adverse reactions on your horse.

How to Test Fly Repellent on Horse:

Testing fly repellent is a straightforward process that can be done with a spray bottle. Begin by spraying a small section of your horse’s skin with the fly spray and wait 24 hours.

Observe the area for signs of irritation, redness, or a rash. If there are no adverse reactions, you can then increase the area of application.

Remember to always test a fly spray before using it on your horse.


In conclusion, homemade fly sprays are a natural and safe alternative to commercially available fly sprays. They are easy to make, and the ingredients are readily available. With different recipes available, you can customize your fly spray to your horse’s specific needs. It’s essential to test any fly spray before applying it to your horse and to observe them for any signs of irritation or adverse reactions. With a little bit of effort, you can make a homemade fly spray that keeps pesky flies at bay and is gentle on your horse’s skin.

Reasons to Make Homemade Fly Spray:

Homemade fly sprays are affordable, safe, and offer a pleasing scent, making them the best choice for horse owners.

Creating your own fly spray, allows you to customize the scent of the fly spray and the concentration of the mixture to meet your horse’s needs. Additionally, it is comforting to know that all the ingredients that make up a homemade fly spray are natural and are a safer alternative to the harsh chemicals found in commercial fly sprays.

Importance of Using Effective Fly Repellent:

Flies can be irritating for horses, and their bites can cause itching, swelling, or even infection. Effective fly repellent protects your horse from these pesky insects, allowing it to graze comfortably and enjoy its time outdoors without being tormented by flies.

Additionally, effective fly repellent helps to combat the risk of diseases such as West Nile Virus, which can be transmitted through mosquito bites. Keeping your horse safe is essential for its well-being, and applying effective fly spray is one way you can achieve this.


Homemade fly sprays offer a cost-effective and safer option than commercially available fly sprays. By using natural ingredients, you can create a fly spray that is gentle on your horse’s skin with a pleasing scent.

However, it’s always vital that you test your fly spray mixture before applying it to your horse and check for any signs of irritation, redness, or swelling. Using effective fly repellent not only protects your horse from irritating bites but also helps to reduce the risk of diseases during peak fly season. As a result, making homemade fly spray is a reliable approach to keeping your horse comfortable and healthy.

In conclusion, homemade fly sprays are an affordable, safe, and pleasing alternative to commercial fly sprays. These sprays are constructed from natural ingredients such as essential oils, dish soap, and vinegar, providing an effective yet gentle solution against pesky insects. It is crucial to follow best practices for homemade fly repellents, such as testing the mixture before applying it to your horse’s skin and observing for any redness, swelling, or irritation.

The key takeaway is that homemade fly sprays offer a safe and effective approach to pest control for horse owners while also being affordable and environmentally friendly.


  1. Can homemade fly sprays repel other insects besides flies?
  2. Yes, homemade fly sprays can repel other insects like mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks, depending on the essential oils used.

  3. Is it safe to use homemade fly sprays on all horses?
  4. While homemade fly sprays are generally safe, it is important to consider any allergies your horse may have and test the spray before applying it on their entire body.

  5. How frequently should homemade fly sprays be applied to horses?
  6. It is best to apply homemade fly sprays daily, especially during peak fly season.

  7. How long do homemade fly sprays last?
  8. Homemade fly sprays last to varying degrees depending on the recipe and concentration used. It is important to apply them regularly and as directed on the label.

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