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365 Days in Horse Country - Natural Homemade Fly Spray for Your Horse

Blog by Michael Stuart Webb | July 2nd, 2014

365 Days in Horse Country – Natural Homemade Fly Spray for Your Horse

Much to our chagrin, and the dismay of our horses, fly season is once again upon us.  At this time of year, many of us douse our beloved equine companions with ready-made, chemically based potions we pick-up at the tack shop.  While many of these may work, they also introduce our horses to a myriad of toxic constituents that are oftentimes ingested and stockpiled in the soft tissues; awaiting opportunity to wreak havoc on our horse’s immune systems at a later date.

Fret not my fellow horse lovers!  Available to us are easy-to-make, safe, non-toxic, homemade tinctures that work just as well and are cheaper!  Below are some recipes you might want to try:

Citrus Insect Repellant

    • 2 cups light mineral oil
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice
    • 2 tsp. pure citronella oil
    • 2 tsp. eucalyptus essential oil
    • 2 tsp. lemon dish soap

The Quick and Easy Fly Spray

    • 4-7 parts water
    • 1 part citronella essential oil

Apple Cider Tinture

    • 1 quart raw apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon citronella essential oil

Eucalyptus Oil Fly Spray

    • 2 cups white vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon eucalyptus essential oil
    • 1 cup water

Dr. Mary Brennan’s Fly Spray Recipe

    • 1/2 teaspoon oil of myrrh
    • 2 cups water
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon of pure citronella essential oil

* An important note about the citronella oil!  Never buy citronella oil from the hardware store for these applications.  These are meant for use in devices that burn the product and so they are oftentimes petroleum based and highly flammable.  Buy all of your essential oils from your local, and trusted, health food store.

When applying these remedies, I use a small pump-style sprayer similar to those used to spray plants and trees with.  Always exercise extreme caution when spraying these, or any products, on your horses so as to avoid getting any overspray into their eyes.  When applying products to your horse’s head, it is always best to apply it first to your hands and then gentle wipe the product off onto your horse.  Just like people, some horses display allergic reactions to some compounds, natural or not.  If you should notice any irritation to your horse’s skin, immediately discontinue use and bathe your horse to remove any remaining product.