Horse Care Riding

FLY FREE: 14 Best Horse Fly Sprays (Brand Name & Homemade)

best-horse-fly-spray-homemade
mm
Written by Ali S.

Fly season means war. Protect your horse with the best brand name fly sprays and DIY fly spray recipes for horses.

Flies can be a horse’s worst nightmare. They are pesky, can leave irritating bites, and can carry diseases. It is important to protect both horse (and rider) from these vile pests. But, with so many fly spray options available, it can be hard to know which one is best for your horse. (In a hurry? You can’t go wrong with a bottle of Absorbine Ultrashield.)

Depending on your horse, certain fly sprays may work better than others. Our top five horse fly sprays are listed below, but read on to see all 14 issue-specific options (e.g. best horse fly spray for ticks).

Summary: Best Horse Fly Sprays

Fly Spray (Amazon) Category Summary
Pyranha Wipe N Spray Best fly spray for horse flies
  • Works well to repel and kill flies.
  • Long lasting.
  • Is consistent in keeping flies away.
Farnam Endure Best fly spray for midges
  • Long lasting.
  • Sweat repellent.
  • Works well to repel midges.
Farnam Repel- X Best fly spray for your money
  • Works well to repel flies.
  • Comes in a concentrated form, so it saves money.
  • Works well in the heat.
Absorbine UltraShield EX Best fly spray for ticks
  • Works well to repel flies and ticks.
  • Has a pleasant smell.
  • Can be sprayed around the barn.
Farnam Tri Tec 14 Best fly spray for gnats
  • Works well to repel flies, gnats, mosquitos, and midges.
  • Long lasting.
  • Formulated for horses with sensitive skin.

Some things to consider when buying fly spray for your horse include:

  • Environment: Some geographic area have higher risks of ticks, mosquitoes, and gnats. There are certain fly sprays that are formulated to keep these nasty bugs away.
  • Sweat: Horses that are active and/or tend to sweat significantly may benefit from sweat proof sprays.
  • Sensitive Skin: Some of the most popular fly spray brands may have ingredients that are too harsh on a sensitive horse’s skin, so natural or DIY fly sprays may be a better option.

Fly spray is a great start, but there’s more you can do. Wage war on flies with our 14 Best Horse Fly Sheets.

Best Brand Name Horse Fly Sprays

Best horse fly spray for the money

Farnam Repel-X comes as a concentrated formula, which allows for one bottle to go a long way. One quart of concentrate make eight quarts of fly spray when mixed with water.

It repels against six types of flies, mosquitoes, fleas, chiggers, gnats, lice, and ticks. The non-oily formula makes for a smooth application.

This fly spray works great at keeping flies and other insects off your horse.

Click to get this fly spray on Amazon

PROS:

  • This spray works great to repel flies and other insects.
  • The concentrated formula is a money saver.
  • It stays on even when your horse sweats.

CONS:

  • This spray can be harmful to people if it is swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.
  • It is toxic to fish and should be kept away from water.

Best horse fly spray for horse flies

Pyranha Wipe N Spray fends off and can kill biting flies, mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, and ticks. It is a popular choice amongst show barns because it gives horses a nice sheen to their coats when brushed out.

It contains lanolin, which helps condition coats. It even works to keep those pesky horse flies away. This fly spray is a top choice for horse owners.

Click to get this fly spray on Amazon

PROS:

  • This fly spray is a great for repelling and even killing horse flies and other insects.
  • It is long lasting.
  • Stays on even when horses sweat.

CONS:

  • It can be harmful to people and domestic animals if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.
  • It is toxic to fish and should be kept away from water.
online horse courses

Best horse fly spray for midges

Farnam Endure works against biting and nuisance flies, gnats, deer ticks, and lice. It works great to keep bothersome midges at bay. It is an excellent fly spray to use for show horses as it will not come off from sweat.

It is the Official Fly Control Product of USEF and AQHA. This spray is a great option for performance horses.

Click to get this fly spray on Amazon

PROS:

  • This fly spray keeps away pesky flies, gnats, ticks, and even midges.
  • It is sweat resistant.
  • It is long lasting.

CONS:

  • It can be harmful to people if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.
  • It is toxic to fish and should be kept away from water.

Best horse fly spray for ticks

Absorbine UltraShield EX repels and kills flies, ticks, and mosquitoes. It is formulated to resist sweat and includes two sunscreens. It contains permethrin, which is great for fighting off ticks.

It is also safe to use on dogs, stalls, and bedding. It is weather resistant and has long lasting abilities. This a great fly spray that can be used all around the barn.

Click to get this fly spray on Amazon

PROS:

  • This fly spray combats ticks, along with flies, and mosquitoes.
  • It can last against sweat and protect against UV rays.
  • It can be used on dogs and around the barn.

CONS:

  • It can be harmful to people if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.
  • It is toxic to fish and should be kept away from water.

Best horse fly spray for gnats

Farnam Tri Tec 14 protects against six types of flies, gnats, mosquitoes, lice, and deer ticks. It is a great choice to use in areas with lots of gnats.

It contains sunscreen that protects against both types of UV rays. Its water-based formula is designed to be gentle enough for horses with sensitive skin.

Click to get this fly spray on Amazon

The spray is also made to help condition the coat and to stay on even when the horse sweats. This fly spray is highly praised for its effectiveness at keeping several types of bugs away.

PROS:

  • This fly spray repels gnats and many other insects.
  • It includes a sunscreen.
  • It is long lasting.
  • It is formulated for horses with sensitive skin.

CONS:

  • It can be harmful to people and domestic animals if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
  • It is toxic to fish and should be kept away from water.

Best all natural fly spray for horses

Farnam Natures Defense works against five types of flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. It is an all-natural formula and contains no harmful chemicals.

It is a great choice for horses with sensitive skin since it is an alcohol-free spray. It comes in ready to spray and concentrate options. It is safe for the environment and people. This fly spray is a great choice as a chemical free alternative.

natures-defense-fly-spray

Click to get this fly spray on StateLineTack.com

PROS:

  • This fly spray works to keep away flies, gnats, and mosquitoes.
  • It can be used on horses with sensitive skin.
  • It is free of harsh chemicals.

CONS:

  • This fly spray needs to be reapplied more often than some chemical based fly sprays.
  • It can cause irritation if it gets in people’s eyes.

Best horse fly spray for mosquitoes

Farnam Mosquito Halt Fly Spray is specifically made to kill and repel mosquitoes, along with biting flies. It also contains PABA sunscreen.

This is a great fly spray to use if you live in an area with a high mosquito population, as West Nile Virus may be a threat. This spray should be applied in a well-ventilated area.

Click to get this fly spray on Amazon

If your horse is pregnant, nursing, older, medicated, or debilitated, make sure to consult your veterinarian before use. It should not be used on foals under six weeks old. This is an ideal choice to use if your horse is constantly bothered by mosquitoes.

PROS:

  • This fly sprat kills and repels mosquitoes, as well as flies.
  • It contains a sunscreen.
  • It is long lasting.

CONS:

  • It can cause irritation if it gets in people’s eyes.
  • It is toxic to fish and should be kept away from water.
online horse courses

Best horse fly spray for sensitive skin

UltraShield Green keeps away biting flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. It is an all-natural fly spray that does not contain any harsh chemicals. Its formula is gentle enough to be used on horses with sensitive skin. It can even be used on dogs.

This fly spray is eco-friendly and safe to use around the family. It is a great alternative to fly sprays that contain harmful chemicals.

Click to get this fly spray on Amazon

PROS:

  • This fly spray fends off flies, gnats, and mosquitoes.
  • It is great for horses with sensitive skin.
  • It is free of harsh chemicals.

CONS:

  • This fly spray doesn’t last as long, compared to some chemical based sprays.
  • It can cause irritation if it comes on contact with people’s eyes.

Best fly repellent for horse stalls

Country Vet Metered Fly Spray is designed to repel and kill flies, gnats, and small flying moths. It is designed to be sprayed around barns and in stalls. It can be used manually or set up in an automated dispenser.

This product contains chemicals that can be harmful to humans and should not be sprayed near food and water sources. It should be used in areas that are ventilated.

Click to get this fly spray on Amazon

PROS:

  • This spray works great to keep flies, gnats, and small flying moths out of stalls.
  • It can be used with an automated dispenser.
  • It can be used throughout barns and outdoors.

CONS:

  • It can be harmful to people if ingested or inhaled.
  • It should be kept away from food and water sources.

Fly spray is a great start, but there’s more you can do. Wage war on flies with our 14 Best Horse Fly Sheets.

DIY Fly Spray Recipes for Horses

For some horses with sensitive skin, DIY fly sprays can be a great alternative from store bought. They are generally easy to make and can be very cost efficient, saving you money (which leaves more money to spend on your horse!).

There are several different base products you can use for DIY horse fly sprays.

Note: Quality fly sheets are also a no-chemical solution to pest issues. Read about our favorites here.

Easy homemade horse fly spray with vinegar

Vinegar can be a great fly spray base. It is a natural repellent that flies hate. Vinegar is very cheap, which makes it an affordable fly spray option.

Click to get this ingredient at Amazon

Here is an easy recipe for vinegar fly spray:

Vinegar Horse Fly Spray Recipe

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup baby oil
  • ¼ cup Original Pinesol
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon Skin So Soft
  • 1 cup water

Mix all the ingredients together and spray on horse as needed.

PROS:

  • This fly spray is easy to make.
  • It is cheap.
  • Vinegar is a great natural fly deterrent.

CONS:

  • It may need to be applied often in order to work.
  • It doesn’t have the most pleasant smell.

Easy homemade horse fly spray with tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has many benefits and can be used in treating bacterial and fungal infections in horses, as well as keeping bugs away. It can be a great additive to a homemade fly spray.

Click to get this ingredient at Amazon

Here is a recipe for tea tree fly spray:

Tea Tree Fly Spray

  • Water
  • 10 drops Tea Tree oil
  • 15 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 20 drops Vegetable Glycerin
  • Cider Vinegar (enough to fill ¾ of a spray bottle)

Fill spray bottle ¾ full of cider vinegar and add oils and glycerin. Add water till the bottle is full and mix all the ingredients together.

PROS:

  • Tea Tree oil is a natural fly repellent.
  • It is safe to use on dogs and people as well.
  • It has a pleasant smell.

CONS:

  • It may need to be applied often in order to work.
  • Tea Tree oil may be harmful if ingested.
online horse courses

Easy homemade horse fly spray with listerine

Listerine’s powers can be used to make an effective fly spray. Listerine is cheap and is sold in many places, making it a convenient choice for a DIY fly spray.

Click to get this ingredient at Amazon

Here is a very simple recipe for a listerine fly spray:

Listerine Fly Spray

  • 3 parts listerine
  • 1 part baby oil

Mix ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Shake well and use as needed.

PROS:

  • This spray is effective against flies.
  • It is very easy to make.
  • It is affordable and the ingredients are easy to find.

CONS:

  • This fly spray may need to be applied often to work effectively.
  • Listerine may irritate your horse’s skin, so try it on a small area first.

Easy homemade horse fly spray with permethrin

Permethrin is an ingredient found in many store-bought fly sprays. It is used to repel flies, mosquitoes, and ticks. Adding permethrin to your homemade fly spray can be very beneficial for fighting off nasty bugs. It can be found online and in some superstores.

Here is a DIY recipe for permethrin fly spray:

Permethrin Fly Spray

  • 1 teaspoon Cedar Wood Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Eucalyptus Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Dish Soap
  • 30 ml Permethrin Concentrate
  • 2 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and shake, apply as needed.

PROS:

  • This spray is effective at keeping flies, mosquitoes, and ticks away.
  • It is easy to make.
  • Using permethrin can make a more powerful fly spray.

CONS:

  • Permethrin can be harmful in excessive exposure.
  • This fly spray is not as cheap as other DIY ones.

Easy homemade horse fly spray with essential oils

Essentials oils can be used for many different things, including fly sprays. They are eco-friendly and non-toxic to horses. Some people use essential oils to help ease pain in horses, calm them down, and help them stay focused.

Essentials oils are a safe and natural way to keep pesky bugs away. Some horses may have sensitivities to essential oils, so it is best to try a small area first.

Click to get these ingredients at Amazon

Here is a DIY recipe for essential oil fly spray:

Refreshing Fly Blend by Nan Martin

  • 5-10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Tea Tree or Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Idaho Tansy Essential Oil (not included in the set, but you can buy it separately at Amazon here)
  • 5-10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Mix all the ingredients together and add to 32 oz spray bottle. Add water to the mix and use when needed.

PROS:

  • This spray has several natural oils that keep flies and other bugs away.
  • It has a pleasant smell to it.
  • It only contains natural ingredients.

CONS:

  • Some of the ingredients may be hard to find.
  • Tea tree oil can be harmful if ingested.

Fly Repellent Strategies for Horse Riding

The best days to ride outside often coincide with the worst days for bugs. Luckily there are some options for protecting you and your horse from insects while enjoying the outdoors.

Click to get this mask on Amazon

Cashel Quiet Ride Fly Mask with Ears (Amazon)

Some horses shake their heads when they are bothered by flies, which can interfere with riding. The Quiet Ride Fly Mask is designed to let your horse see without impairment with its translucent material. It can be worn over or under the bridle and is available in three different sizes.

Note: Cashel also makes a version of this mask with nose coverage.

Amigo Flyrider (Amazon)

The Amigo Flyrider sheet is made to protect the horse from flies while riding. It fits around the saddle, allowing the riders leg to move comfortably. It is easy to use with Velcro straps and it has reflective safety strips. It is available in four different sizes.

Click to get this fly sheet on Amazon

 

Mosquito Repellent Bracelets (Amazon)

If you are prone to getting bug bites, a simple solution is to wear insect repellent bracelets. There are bracelets designed to keep mosquitoes, midges, and flies away. These are DEET free and 100% natural.

bug bracelet

Click to see them at Amazon

Flies may be a horses arch-nemesis in the summer season, but luckily there are several options to keep our beloved equine companions protected from them and other unpleasant bugs.

Fly spray is a great start, but there’s more you can do. Wage war on flies with our 14 Best Horse Fly Sheets.

Shoo Flies!

Flies and other insect pests are an unfortunate reality for horse owners (and, even more unfortunately, for horses!). Protecting them with the best horse fly sprays available can bring them much-needed relief and help them concentrate on their work.

By choosing the best spray for your specific needs and your horse’s preferences, you’ll be able to enjoy your time together infinitely more.

Shop Horse Rookie Riding Essentials

P.S. If you enjoyed this article, trot on over to:

Further Reading & References

https://ecoequine.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/using-essentials-oils-with-your-horse/
https://www.doctorramey.com/ticks/
https://equimed.com/health-centers/general-care/articles/do-homemade-equine-fly-sprays-really-work
https://lizzylanefarm.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/natural-fly-repellent/
http://www.stonelakemorgans.com/horseyhomereceipes.htm
http://myhorseforum.com/threads/please-share-your-homemade-fly-spray-recipes.333452/

Love it? Share it!

About the author

mm

Ali S.

When I'm not taking equine science and nutrition courses or researching articles about rider fitness, you'll find me riding, driving, and showing my two Morgan horses. I also write for the Missouri Horse Shows Association and have earned a Saddleseat Road Hack National Championship!