Summer time brings along the much-dreaded fly season. And that’s when every horse owner is found looking for the best home remedies to keep flies away from his horse. The sunny days bring along a large number of flies which, more often than not, carry infectious diseases and can cause irritation to the horses by constantly biting them.
Thus, in order to keep the horses safe and comfortable, the owners need to apply effective remedies to keep flies away from horses. There are quite a few ways through which owners can control and minimize the number of flies. We’ll discuss them in this guide. Let’s roll in.
9 Home Remedies to Keep Flies Away From Your Horse
Below we’ll explore the top home remedies to keep flies away from your horse:
Home-Made Fly Repellent Sprays
Although you can find countless fly sprays for your horse in the market but a do-it-yourself home spray with natural ingredients is a safe and cheap option. In particular if your horse is sensitive, you may need to consider one of the methods below to create a chemical-free spray at home.
1. Apple cider vinegar spray
Apple cider vinegar spray is an effective way to keep flies away from your horse. Here’s how to make this spray at home:
Step 1: Get a spray bottle and put two cups of apple cider vinegar in it.
Step 2: Put one tablespoon of Mineral oil followed by half a tablespoon of dish soap in the mixture.
Step 3: Add thirty to forty drops of any combination of oils (such as Eucalyptus, Lemon Grass, Lavender, Tea Tree, Basil, Peppermint and Cedar wood).
Step 4: Gently shake the mixture and spray it on your horse while protecting its eyes and nose.
There is a quicker fix for this recipe when you do not feel very experimental and want a quick solution:
Get natural apple cider vinegar, dilute it with water, add 1 tablespoon of eucalyptus oil and there you go!
2. Lemon and rosemary spray
This last recipe of homemade fly spray includes one big lemon, rosemary and water. Follow these steps to use lemon and rosemary spray to keep flies away from your horse:
Step 1: Slice the lemon in half and cover it with boiling water.
Step 2: Put some rosemary finely in the mixture.
Step 3: Leave it overnight and then strain the solution in the morning.
Step 4: Put the fragrant spray in a spray bottle and apply when required.
All the above recipes are budget friendly and easy to make at home and produce great results. So, go ahead and try one of them to keep the fly away from your horses!
Herbs that Keep Flies Away from Horses
Getting rid of flies is a tedious task. But luckily, there are many plants that flies hate.
Basil is one of the most favored herbs when it comes to repelling flies. Basil leaves release a very subtle fragrance that flies dislike so it keeps them away. You can use potted basil plants near your house barn and water their roots to release a stronger fragrance.
2. Bay leaves and lavender
Bay leaves and lavender are two more herbs that produce fragrances that repel flies. Another useful and cheap herb is mint that does a good job to keep pests at bay. You can keep crushed mint leaves near the horses to keep the flies away. Rue leaves in crushed form can also be quite effective but you need to be very careful while dealing with them because they can cause skin irritation.
Neem, a natural insect repellent, can also keep flies away from your home. Its bitter taste and odor repel flies, making it an effective yet non-toxic solution. You can either spray Neem around your horse or add it to your horse’s feed. It keeps the pesky insects at bay without harming your pets or the environment.
Peppermint not only keeps horses cool and reduces sweating but also works as a natural fly repellent. Its strong and refreshing scent is unbearable for flies, keeping them away from horses. By using peppermint, you can help your horse stay comfortable and fly-free in hot weather, without any harmful chemicals.
Horse Dietary Changes to Keep Flies Away
Horse owners can add natural supplements in their horse’s diet to make a fly repellent diet. One of the most popular ways is to add garlic in your horse’s feed.
Garlic, a natural fly repellent, is also beneficial for horses in small amounts. It contains sulfur, which promotes an alkaline pH in the horse’s body, while flies are attracted to acidic environments. By incorporating garlic into your horse’s diet, you can repel flies naturally while promoting a healthy digestive system. It’s a win-win situation for you and your horse!
Start by sprinkling one tablespoon of garlic powder and see how your horse reacts to it. Gradually increase the amount to 2 tablespoons each day, not exceeding this as a large dosage can have adverse effects on your horse. With a regular dose of garlic powder, you will start seeing noticeable results in one week.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Moreover, apple cider vinegar can be a convenient addition to your horse’s water trough. It can have a positive impact on the overall health of your horse as it reduces the chance of bacteria and increases digestion.
The vinegar drunk by the horse is mostly sweated out through its skin. It then acts as a natural protector for the horse. You can add one cup of apple cider vinegar to a few gallons of water to see effective results. Moreover, you can also include herbs like peppermint to lower the body temperature and reduce sweating.
3. Diatomaceous earth
Lastly, you can add diatomaceous earth in minute quantities in the feed. It is safe to eat but you should still treat it with caution. You should discuss with your vet about the safe quantities of diatomaceous earth for your horse. Diatomaceous earth works by drying out and dehydrating insects, including flies, making it an effective yet non-toxic solution for fly control.
Tips for Keeping Flies Away from Your Horse
We have discussed some natural home remedies that can help keep flies away from your horse, but there are still some other useful tips and techniques that can protect your horses from those nasty flies.
Use Fly Sprays
One of the most popular ways to keep flies away from your hoses is to use fly sprays. You can create your own do-it-yourself fly spray for horses at home as mentioned above or just purchase a fly repellent spray from one of our top picks in this article.
These sprays carry repellent fragrances that are spread throughout the barn. It is not a fool-proof solution of getting rid of the flies but is quick and effective.
A safe way to apply a fly spray on a horse is by putting it on a grooming mitt and then applying it carefully on its body and face. Make sure you do not spray or apply it on the eyes. If the spray accidentally comes in contact with the eyes, then quickly rinse them with water.
Buy a Fly Mask
In addition to fly repellent sprays, fly masks for horses can also be used which are made of see-through mesh and are a very effective means of keeping flies away.
Fly masks have many different styles and sizes that can help protect you horse’s eyes, nose, ears and face. You need to select the mask very carefully as the wrong fit can cause irritation to your horse and make him uncomfortable.
Make sure the edge of the mask reaches below the cheekbones of your horse. Also check if the horse can move around its ears in the mask and listen without rubbing on anything.
Finally, make sure there is enough space in the see-through mesh for the horse’s eyelashes. If you do not find the right fit of fly mask, it would not be very effective and might even harm your horse’s eyes.
Dispose of Manure
Many flies are attracted to horses due to their manure. Most of the flies are born near the horses and continue increasing in number.
A stable fly can use manure as its breeding spot and can produce eggs in it. By eliminating the larval stage, which requires fresh manure, we can break the life cycle of the fly which will result in a lesser number of flies.
You should establish a sanitation routine in which you clean the manure at least once a day from paddocks. Next, you should properly store it in sealed containers or cover it with clear plastic and composted appropriately to avoid hatching of the eggs.
Manure in pastures should be spread out widely so that it can dry off quickly and hatching can be prevented. The quicker you dispose the manure and clean the paddocks, the lesser the chance there is of fly breeding.
Groom and Clean Your Horse Regularly
Grooming your horse can also be really beneficial in reducing the number of flies hovering it. Wash and clean your horse regularly while making sure that the grooming equipment is also clean. Do not cut its hair, instead, let your horse’s mane and bangs grow. This can help it to whisk away flies and can also protect it against fly bites.
Similarly, do not braid the tail and keep it tangle-free and straight. The tail can act as a natural fly swatter and keep the flies at a distance. You should also let the protective hair on your horse’s locks, muzzle, eyes and ears grow longer as this can further act as a protection for its face.
FAQs About Keeping Flies Away from a Horse
Below are the answers to most frequent queries regarding home remedies for keeping flies away from a horse.
How to make a homemade fly spray for a horse?
You can make a homemade fly spray for your horse by taking an empty spray bottle and putting an equal amount of apple cider vinegar and water in it. Next, put one tablespoon of mineral oil followed by around forty drops of lavender or eucalyptus oil. Lastly, shake the mixture well and that’s it – your homemade fly spray is ready.
Does apple cider vinegar keep flies away from a horse?
Yes, apple cider vinegar keeps flies away from horses as it acts as an excellent repellent for flies. You can either apply it on your horse directly or add it to your horse’s diet. If you choose the latter, you’ll need to add one cup of apple cider vinegar in a few gallons of water. Note that the vinegar is not dangerous as it will be mostly sweated out of the horse’s body and acts as a natural repellent for flies.
Flies absolutely hate the smell of apple cider vinegar which is why most homemade fly sprays contain it. Just make sure you dilute it before applying to the horse’s body directly as it may cause irritation in its concentrated form. Moreover, be careful not to spray it in the horse’s eyes or nose. If it accidentally goes into your horse’s eye, quickly rinse it with ample water.
What is the best natural repellent for horses?
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural flies repellent for horses. However, many other herbs keep flies away from your horse too, including basil, bay leaves and lavender. Each of these produces a strong fragrance that flies hate. As a result, flies stay away from your horse.
You can water the root of the basil plants which will help them increase a stronger fragrance, keeping the flies at bay. Moreover, if you do not want to keep potted plants near your horses, you can also dry their leaves and crush them in a bowl. Just keep the bowl near the horses and that’s it.
What fly repellents can I use for my horse?
It’s best to use natural home fly repellents to keep flies away from your horse, particularly if your horse is sensitive. Following this approach, you can make a fly spray at home by using apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil. Flies hate the smell of apple cider vinegar and stay away from it.
You can also use natural herbs and plants like garlic, basil, rue leaves and lavender. These also produce strong fragrances that flies dislike. Moreover, you can also spray neem on horses.It has a bitter taste and acts as a good remedy to keep flies away from your horse.
So there you have it, folks! Keeping flies away from your home doesn’t have to involve harsh chemicals or expensive gadgets. With a little bit of effort and some simple ingredients, you can create your own natural fly repellent remedies that are both effective and safe for your family and pets.
Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping flies at bay. Keep your home clean and don’t leave food out. And if flies do manage to sneak their way into your home, try out some of these natural remedies to send them packing.
Whether you’re enjoying a backyard barbecue or just trying to relax indoors, these home remedies can help you keep flies away and make your home a more comfortable place to be. So give them a try and let us know how they work for you!