When boarding your horses, it’s common to have trouble controlling the annoyingly persistent insects that follow your horses everywhere.
The annoying flies can also carry disease-causing germs that affect humans and horses. When flies settle on your beast’s legs, they often stomp violently, which might injure their legs or feet.
Finding the best horse fly sprays and repellents for horses from a maze of products requires a great deal of trial and error. While you may already have a fly repellent strategy in place, we’ve compiled this guide to help you make an informed choice.
Before we dive into detailed reviews of horse repellents, let’s take a quick look at our top picks.
Best Overall: Farnam Broncoe Equine Fly Spray
Every stable needs a Broncoe Equine Fly Spray on hand. It is effective against six types of flies: gnats, ticks, deer ticks, fleas, chiggers, and lice. While it is a bit pricey to bag, it is a definite keeper when using a ready-to-use scented formula.
Best Budget Option: Farnam Bronco Gold Equine Fly Spray
Farnam’s Bronco Gold version is a low-cost solution that offers a protective hair coating infused with insect repellents. To top it up, it lives true to its name by giving your horse’s coat a golden gloss. To sum it up, it is your go-to product if you are seeking an effective and reasonably priced Farnam fly spray.
Best Horse Fly Sprays and Repellents
Summers are a feast for fly swarms that are looking to settle around stables. After much deliberation, we found the following to be the best fly repellents for horses.
Ideally, you will need a horse fly spray that works well with horses in summers. In contrast with heavy cream-based formulas, Farnam Broncoe grasps the first position on our list because of its light water-based mixture. One of the most significant benefits of a water-based spray is that it will work against accumulating dirt and debris in your horse’s coat.
On top of that, the Farnam Bronoce’s equine fly spray comes with a pleasant scent of citronella. For ages, citronella has been known as an antifungal agent that can fight off parasitic infections. Hence, it is a widely recommended fly spray that promotes wound healing.
As far as its chemical formula goes, Farnam Broncoe has an appropriate amount of pyrethrin. Pyrethrin is a competent fly repellant that attacks the nervous system of an insect. It can kill around seven to ten types of insects, all guilty for spreading toxins and diseases.
Easy on the wallet, Farnal Bronco Gold is our affordable favorite spray for multiple reasons. Surprisingly, it can also be used both as a grooming aid and a coat conditioner. Packed with numerous benefits, this bottle is potent enough to kill a swarm of flies that get too close.
Similar to our top Broncoe pick, it comes with an added scent of citronella that helps in uplifting your horse’s mood amidst the hot weather. It also has a similar non-oily consistency and can kill some of the most common fly species. To name a few, it is lethal against horns, stable, face, deer, and horse flies. The chemical formula used in its making is safe to apply, but some horses can have an allergic reaction to its mix.
All things considered, if it doesn’t irritate your horse’s coat, it can be one of the best horsefly repellents that you can use as a grooming tool.
The potency of the horse repellents dramatically depends on your geographical region and stable condition. For some stables, an average fly spray will do an excellent job of keeping the swarms at bay. On the contrary, you will need something as potent as the Farnam Tri-Tec repellent for stables that attract all kinds of fly insects.
As the name goes, it is a powerful fly spray against at least fourteen types of biting flies. Apart from a quick knockdown, it also gives your horse long-lasting protection. If you are looking for a bottle that doesn’t end in an instant, you will find the Tri-tec formula to be effective for as long as fourteen days to no end. Its 360-degree continuous nozzle spray makes it easy for you to spray on all sides and with all angles seamlessly.
Flies are stubborn insects that can bug your horse even when they are galloping or training. Thankfully, bugs don’t fly with the Sweat-Resistant version of the Farnam Endure Fly Spray. It is a beast of a weapon when it comes to challenging conditions involving biting flies.
The horses on your stable can be of different ages, and if you have a foal or an old horse, it is best to be cautious about the products you use on them. Rest assured, Farnam’s Endure fly spray is a great option to use on horses of all ages and sizes. It is best for sensitive or old horses to cover their eyes and nose with a mask before spraying on them.
Besides excelling at swatting flies, Farnam Endure also creates a small mask to protect your horse against any dirt or debris when running.
Absorbine UltraShield is a powerpack insecticide repellent. Ideal for young running horses, it can beat up to 70 different species of flies. If you are in search of an ultimate weatherproof formula, then look no further.
The UltraShield has been reviewed to protect your horse from bad weather, including rainy days for around 17 days. Its two-in-one formula makes for both a great sunscreen and a moisturizing conditioner. Scented with aloe and lanolin, it can soothe a dry coat, all while fighting off the fly bacteria.
Additionally, Absorbine is potent enough to work as a premise fly spray as well. If your primary application target is the swarm of flies, you can spray the bottle around a stall wall to prevent any flies from afar. Similarly, you can also apply this concentrated formula and a stiff grooming brush to provide your horse with the ultimate protection against flies.
Hypersensitivity to even the best mosquito repellent for horses can occur in both horses and horse owners. If it is tough for you to be around pesticide sprays, you should get the Ecovet formula. It is a clinically proven non-allergenic organic solution if you plan to go all safe.
Although most of our products so far have been insect repellents that are strong enough to kill a fly, Ecovet is an environment-friendly option that does quite the opposite. Its chemical formula is suited to confuse an insect’s directional ability and challenges its path in flying close to your horse’s coat.
If your horse is prone to developing rashes or itches, you can try this light water-based product to soothe their skin. Ecovet needs to be applied after every two or three days. Hence, it doesn’t offer long-lasting protection like our other top picks, but it is undoubtedly one of the safest fly repellents on our list.
Most horse repellents suit a horse’s coat and skin. While they come with numerous benefits like more extended protection, sunscreen blocks, and moisturizing conditioners – they are only made to be used on your horses and not around the stables. But, fly swarms can make swarm homes close to your horse’s stable.
You will need an additional insecticide spray to counteract or kill a bunch of swarms for the most part. Luckily for you, the Farnam 10330 X is designed with valleys of the fly swarm in mind. It not only acts as a coat repellent but also as a powerful insecticide.
Consistent with the theme of our product list, this is yet another water-based fly spray that can do wonders for your horse’s coat. Once you apply it on their coat, spray it around the stall to create an invisible physical barrier for swarms to keep at bay.
Wounded horses attract the enormous swarm of flies. Farnam Swat is your go-to barn staple for your stable’s first aid box. Scratches and abrasions can be hypersensitive to the potent formulas of fly repellents and insecticides. Hence, to counter the flies while at the same time protecting the wound, this ointment goes the extra mile to offer you complete protection.
For some horses, flies are likely to attack their ears, eyes, and nose. Most fly repellents are also harmful to apply anywhere near the face region. Thereby, the Farnam Swat ointment offers an immediate blockage barrier from biting insects and flies.
One of the best features of the swat ointment is its pink formula, which intentionally has a tint. Its pink color will help you locate the wounds quickly. Additionally, it also comes in a colorless formula if you need to be discreet.
The Pyranha fly spray has a vigorous formula. You can use it to deter all types of gnats, mosquitos, horse flies, face flies, deer flies, and other insects. It also has organic elements like its pyrethrum basis and citronella fragrance. With the use of lanolin, the spray has been so designed that it conditions the coat of your horse. As a result, it serves a dual purpose of protecting the horses from flies, and also makes them look and feel nice.
Because of its revolutionary water-based recipe, it can be directly sprayed on your horse’s coat, without the need of adding any water to dilute the mixture. A small quantity of the Pyranha Wipe N Spray is strong enough to kill the bugs on contact. The effect of this spray lasts longer, deterring flies that might want to hang out in your space or bother your horse.
Most horse owners have difficulty narrowing down a suitable conditioner, sunscreen spray, and an effective fly repellent in the summers. Fortunately for you, the Espree Aloe is a herbal spray bottle that can offer you all three solutions in one bottle.
Unlike the rest of the products on our list, Espree stands out because of its organic mix of eucalyptus, cedarwood and citronella oil as active ingredients. By far, it makes for a chemical-free horse spray that is tough on pests and promotes a healthy coat.
Its gentle blend of botanical oils works without irritating your horse’s skin. If your horse is allergic to the chemicals of an insecticide spray, you should get this natural formula to save them from the summer flies. If you have asthma or are allergic to fly sprays yourself, this will make for a great option to keep for both you and your horse.
Horse Fly Repellents Buying Guide
While some sprays may be helpful on some horses, they may be ineffective on others. It can vary depending on the strain of the fly, how the spray is delivered, and other things. Some of the most crucial variables to consider when purchasing horse fly sprays are listed below.
Types of Sprays
Horse sprays have two categories based on their names and titles: fly killers and fly repellents.
- Fly Killers – As the name implies, this sort of spray’s primary goal is to kill any flies that come into contact with it. The toxins in chemicals are responsible for killing the fly. Hence, this form of spray is usually chemical-based. Some sprays, in addition to directly killing flies, maybe surface sprays. These are to kill flies that land on the coat. Fly killers can theoretically be 100 percent effective, at least until the spray wears off.
- Fly Repellents – The purpose of applying a repellent spray is to deter flies rather than kill them. The main idea is that the spray’s odor will prevent the fly from landing and settling. This type of spray is never 100 percent effective, and some flies will continue to land on and feed on your horse despite the spray.
Natural vs Chemical
To kill flies, most fly killers use chemicals. Manufacturers select chemicals that are harmful to flies while being safe for use on your horse and in the presence of humans and other animals. If the substances have not been evaluated and are not deemed safe, they should not be used.
Hence, to be on the safe side, natural alternatives make for a suitable spraying option. Natural deterrents, like citronella, are commonly used in most fly repellents. Citronella has a citrus scent and is used to make some sprays smell better.
Thanks to its powerful odor, it is also used to repel animals and flies. Additionally, natural sprays use fatty acids that help in confusing the flies. For the most part, it disorients the flies, leaving them confused about where the horse is.
Concentrate vs Spray
The majority of fly sprays are in ready-to-use containers. This means you may pump the bottle and spray the solution, or you can rinse your cloth and apply the solution directly.
Some sprays, on the other hand, are sold as concentrates. This indicates they are undiluted, and you will need to dilute the solution with water before using them. Some concentrations require five-part water to one-part concentrate solution. Others require a 10:1 water solution to spray. Undiluted liquids can be less expensive than ready-to-use sprays, but they need a little more labor and require separate and additional spray bottles.
Fly sprays come in both water-based and oil-based formulations. Oil-based solutions can irritate horses with delicate skin, but they are excellent for coat adherence and swiftly eliminate bugs that land on the product. On the flip side, oil-based products can attract dirt and dust like a magnet. If a spray container does not specify if the product is oil or water-based, the component list will say “petroleum distillate,” indicating an oil-based product.
As some horses may react to oil-based fly sprays, veterinarians advise horse owners to use new fly sprays to a “trial” area first. This will enable you to study the effects of the spray on your horse, and averse potential adverse reactions to the horse. Though most people don’t go through the directions to use the product, it is advisable to do so before applying. If your horse doesn’t react well to sprays, then you may consider using fly masks as well. Here’s our article on the best fly masks for horses.
FAQs Related to Horse Fly Sprays and Repellents
We have answered some of the most burning questions below to clear any confusion you have in between fly sprays and repellents.
A multi-zone approach is required to create an effective no-fly zone for mosquitos and flies. You can create a physical barrier to keep flies and other pests away from your horse’s face and ears. Or you can use fly and pest repellents on your horse as well as in his surroundings.
Additionally, if you’re searching for a quick fix, apple cider vinegar works well as a fly repellent. Plus, basil, bay leaves, and lavender have a strong scent that repels insects. These plants can be grown in pots and kept near your horses’ stalls or barns. Ultimately, if you’re searching for a long-lasting remedy, you can opt for one of the fly repellents on our list.
Along with a few other substances, water or mineral oil can be used to construct a simple fly repellent. Face flies are particularly susceptible to these treatments. Face flies, as you may know, can make a horse agitated and can also spread sickness. When dealing with more persistent insects such as deer flies or horse flies, look for a water-based fly spray to combat the swarm.
A water-based fly spray is a novel approach to pest control. It contains citronella and other botanicals to effectively repel five varieties of flies, mosquitoes, and gnats. There are no preservatives, additives, or artificial colors in this product. With a water-based spray, you can also feel good about using a natural substance in your fly-control strategy.
Depending on how potent the chemical mix is, most water-based fly sprays can last for as long as fourteen to seventeen days. Fly repellents that come in organic blends or as ointment creams will need a daily application.
For added protection, you can apply a horse fly spray every five to seven days or as needed. The timeline for how long the fly spray will last is in the product description for most products. The more long-lasting a horse fly spray is, the more potent chemicals are in its formula.
Apple cider and malt vinegar are two effective home remedies that can work as fly repellents for humans. While apple cider vinegar can trap and kill flies, you can use malt vinegar to repel them. On the burner, bring a tiny amount of malt vinegar to a boil. Remove the saucepan of hot vinegar from the fire and place it in the affected area. When the flies smell the vinegar, they’ll flee in the opposite direction.
Horse fly sprays reduce a swarm of flies, and they work like a charm. The acetylcholinesterase enzyme is used in fly sprays to relax an insect’s muscles. Once it can’t breathe because of the constant muscle contractions, it suffocates to death.
Horse fly spray can help horses who are constantly irritated by flies. Some products will kill any flies that are already on your horse, while others will prevent flies from settling on it in the first place. Other products combine the two approaches, and you can pick between chemical-based and natural-based products, as well as concentrated and ready-to-use solutions. Finding the best fly spray for your horse or horses can be a trial and error process, so start with those that have worked for other horse owners.