It seems like everyone knows at least one homemade horse fly spray recipe that uses natural ingredients. The folks at CowboyWay.com took three homemade horse fly spray recipes, and one semi-homemade recipe, and put them to the test. They wanted to know if the homemade fly sprays with natural ingredients would actually keep flies from biting their horses, and if so, for how long. They chose the recipes based on simplicity, ease of finding the ingredients, and a lack of ingredients (like Pine-Sol) that might be irritating to the horse.
CAUTION - Use the recipes in this article at your own risk. We are NOT claiming any of the recipes below are safe for you or your horse.
Homemade Horse Fly Sprays - How They Were Tested
CowboyWay.com’s testing conditions were consistent while trying out the three different fly sprays.
Conditions for Testing Homemade Horse Fly Sprays
Homemade Horse Fly Spray Recipe #1
· 2 Cups White Vinegar
· 1 Tablespoon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
· 1 Cup Water
Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake well before every use and spray the horse.
The Results according
“For house flies and stable flies this recipe worked very well. In our opinion it worked better than several store-bought fly sprays we had recently used. It wasn't perfect - the house and stable flies still landed on the horse but the actual bites he experienced were definitely less.
However, it was a different story with deer flies. When we rode the horse away from the barn and house and out into the pasture the deer flies swarmed to him like he was a free, all-you-can-eat buffet. The fly spray seemed to be of little or no help as the deer flies bit him constantly, all over, and in large numbers.”
How Long It Lasted
This fly spray lasted between 45 minutes and an hour. It did work well for house and stable flies during that time.
“For house and stable flies we liked this fly spray recipe. It only has three easy-to-mix ingredients, and the ingredients are all natural (remember, as we stated above we're defining "natural" as an ingredient that is not a man-made insecticide). However, it did not work at all for deer flies.”
Homemade Horse Fly Spray Recipe #2
· 1/2 Cup Hair Conditioner (the kind you leave on for a minute or two then rinse out with a mild scent)
· 3 Tablespoons Eucalyptus oil
· 1/2 Cup Baby Oil
· Enough water to fill the remainder of a 32 ounce spray bottle
Mix the ingredients in a 32 ounce spray bottle. Shake well before every use and spray the horse.
The Results according
“Like recipe #1, above, this homemade horse fly spray worked well around the barn and house, but was of no help in the pasture for deer flies.”
How Long It Lasted
Like recipe #1, above, this fly spray lasted between 45 minutes and an hour.
“While this recipe worked about the same as recipe #1 it has more ingredients to purchase and mix, so is therefore slightly more complicated to make. We also didn't like trying to get 1/2 cup of thick hair conditioner out of a measuring cup and into the top of the spray bottle. The conditioner kept plugging up the top of the bottle and using a kitchen funnel wasn't much help. Since this recipe worked about the same as recipe #1, we prefer recipe #1 because it has fewer ingredients and is easier to mix.”
Homemade Horse Fly Spray Recipe #3
This is actually a semi-homemade fly spray recipe that is NOT all natural since one of the two ingredients is store-bought horse fly spray.
· 1 Part White Vinegar
· 1 Part Horse Fly Spray (store-bought with permethrin .25% as its active ingredient)
Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and store-bought fly spray in a spray bottle. Shake well before every use and spray the horse.
The Results according
“We feel like this semi-homemade fly spray recipe worked just as well to keep house and stable flies from biting our horse as when the store-bought fly spray was used alone. In fact, though it was hard to tell for sure, we thought it may even have worked slightly better. Although flies still landed on the horse the actual bites were greatly reduced.
When it came to deer flies, the mixture of vinegar and store-bought fly spray was helpful to keep them from biting the horse, but not as helpful as we had hoped. However, when the store-bought fly spray was used alone the results were only marginally better. In both cases deer flies still bit the horse in noticeable numbers, but slightly less than when no fly spray was used at all.”
How Long It Lasted
This semi-homemade fly spray lasted about an hour, perhaps a little less. This is about the same amount of time the store-bought fly spray lasted when it was used by itself.
“In our opinion the mixture of white vinegar and store-bought fly spray worked just as well for house, stable, and deer flies as when the store-bought fly spray was used alone. The mixture also lasted about the same amount of time, and since vinegar costs quite a bit less than store-bought fly spray using the mixture cut our costs significantly.”
For House and Stable
Each of the homemade or semi-homemade horse fly spray recipes worked well for house and stable flies. None of them were perfect – there were still flies landing on the horse but the actual bites the horse received were greatly reduced. The homemade recipes worked as well as the inexpensive brands of store-bought fly sprays and lasted about the same amount of time. They also have the advantage of being less expensive to use than higher priced store-bought sprays.
For Deer Flies
None of the homemade or semi-homemade horse fly recipes tested got a passing grade for deer flies. Recipe #1 and #2 were an out-an-out failure for deer flies, and while recipe #3 worked better than nothing, it still felt it left a lot to be desired.
Good Information on Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Two of the natural Homemade Horse Fly Spray recipes above call for eucalyptus oil as an ingredient. So, just what is eucalyptus oil? Eucalyptus oil is an "essential oil," which means it is a concentrated liquid derived from a plant, and that the liquid possesses the odor or flavor of the plant it comes from. In other words, essential oils contain the "essence" of the plants they are made from. Essential oils are sometimes called "volatile" or "ethereal" oils, or they might be called the "oil of" followed by the name of the plant they were made from.
The eucalyptus essential oil used in the recipes on this page was the oil of eucalyptus globulus. Of the different species of eucalyptus trees, Eucalyptus globulus is the kind most commonly used for the production of Eucalyptus oil.Article Source: http://www.cowboyway.com/HowTo/HomemadeHorseFlySpray.
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Editor’s Note/Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Diffuser World, Inc.; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.