Home Made Fly Remedies
If you’re fed up of standard shop-bought fly sprays keeping flies off for approximately 6 minutes, or you simply can’t face the high price tags any longer, it might be time to start experimenting with your own homemade fly sprays and remedies.
Keeping your horse as fly-free as possible will keep him happy and healthy during the summer months, but with a bottle of fly spray costing upwards of £7, it’s by no means a budget-friendly way to keep your horse happy!
Using a homemade fly spray and other natural remedies is much cheaper, and allows you to properly experiment to see what works. We recommend using a small patch test on your horse to check they don’t react badly to your concoction, and it’s always best to make it too dilute to begin with, as opposed to too strong.
Here’s a few of our favourite homemade ways to beat the flies.
While garlic is renowned for keeping vampires at bay, not many people know it can actually control flies too. Owners have been feeding their horses garlic for years, and many swear by its anti-fly properties – maybe flies don’t like garlic breath either!
While garlic is believed to be unhealthy in large quantities, putting a small scoop of powdered garlic in your horse’s evening feed may help keep the flies away.
Citronella & Vinegar
Citronella and vinegar are particularly effective at repelling flies, and can be used in homemade fly sprays. Suggestions for homemade remedies include 3tbsp citronella, 4tbsp methylated spirit, a small amount of washing up liquid, 8tbsp malt vinegar, a mug of strong tea and around 2 litres of water. You can play around with these quantities to see what works best for your horse.
Others swear by essential oils and herbs when it comes to keeping the flies off. As we’ve already mentioned, citronella can be extremely effective, while lavender oil and eucalyptus also seem to have good results. These are available in health food stores and although expensive, they will last a long time.
Make a lavender oil spray by mixing 4 parts vodka (or for a less expensive spray, water also works well) with one part lavender oil. This will keep the flies off for a small amount of time, and it also smells pretty good!
Mineral Oil Spray
Make your own homemade fly spray using mineral oil, which is great for keeping away the face flies. Use 2 cups of mineral oil, ½ a cup of lemon juice, 2 tsp of citronella and eucalyptus oil, as well as a small amount of washing up liquid. Mix together and and moisten a cloth with the mixture, then apply it to your horse’s face.
Use a Zebra Fly Sheet
If you’ve tried and tested all the homemade fly remedies and still your horse is getting hot and bothered by the flies, go for a Zebra Fly Sheet. While the bright pattern will make your horse the laughing stock of the field, they work brilliantly in the summer, with the zebra print design proven to deter flies.
If your horse has sweet itch, the rug will prevent them from excessively itching and damaging their skin, while stopping nasty midges from reaching the extra sensitive bits. A Zebra Fly Sheet, plus a homemade fly spray your horse’s exposed bits will work wonders when it comes to deterring flies. Pair with a Zebra fly mask to complete the look!