How to make fly spray for horses?

Introduction: Why Make Your Own Fly Spray?

Flies are not only pesky but also pose a health hazard to horses. They can transmit diseases and cause irritation and infection to the horse’s skin. Commercial fly sprays can be expensive and may contain harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to your horse’s health. Making your own fly spray is a cost-effective and safe alternative. You can customize the ingredients to suit your horse’s individual needs, and you’ll know exactly what goes into it.

Ingredients: What You’ll Need

Before you start making your fly spray, you’ll need to gather the necessary ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Base: Choose between water, apple cider vinegar, or witch hazel
  • Essential oils: Eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, or tea tree
  • Vinegar: White vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Citronella: Citronella essential oil or fresh citronella leaves
  • Other repellents: Neem oil, garlic, or lemongrass essential oil
  • Spray bottle: A clean, empty spray bottle

All of these ingredients are readily available at your local health food store or online.

Step 1: Choose Your Base

The base of your fly spray will determine its effectiveness and longevity. You can choose from three bases: water, apple cider vinegar, or witch hazel. Water is the simplest base, but it evaporates quickly, making it less effective. Apple cider vinegar is a popular base because it repels flies and other insects and has antibacterial properties. Witch hazel is another option and has astringent properties that help soothe and heal the skin.

Step 2: Adding Essential Oils

Essential oils are the heart of your fly spray. They not only repel flies but also have additional benefits for your horse’s skin and health. Eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, and tea tree oils are all excellent choices for repelling flies. They also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated skin. You can use one or a combination of these oils, depending on your horse’s needs.

Step 3: Mixing in Vinegar

If you choose to use vinegar as your base, you’ll need to mix it with water to dilute it. The ratio of vinegar to water can vary, but a good starting point is one part vinegar to three parts water. This mixture will repel flies and other insects and help soothe irritated skin. If you prefer a stronger mixture, you can adjust the ratio accordingly.

Step 4: Adding Citronella

Citronella is a natural insect repellent that is effective against flies, mosquitoes, and other insects. You can use citronella essential oil or fresh citronella leaves. If you’re using essential oil, add a few drops to your mixture. If you’re using fresh leaves, crush them and add them to your mixture.

Step 5: Adding Other Repellents

There are several other natural repellents you can add to your fly spray. Neem oil is a natural insecticide that repels flies and other insects. Garlic is another natural repellent that can be added to your spray. Lemongrass essential oil is also effective against flies and has a pleasant smell.

Step 6: Pouring Into a Spray Bottle

Once you’ve mixed all your ingredients, pour the mixture into a clean, empty spray bottle. Shake well before each use to ensure that the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Using Your Homemade Fly Spray

To use your fly spray, spray it directly onto your horse’s coat, avoiding the eyes and mouth. You can also spray it onto a brush or cloth and apply it to your horse’s coat. Reapply as needed, especially on hot days when flies are more prevalent.

Conclusion: Save Money & Protect Your Horse

Making your own fly spray is a cost-effective and safe way to protect your horse from flies and other insects. By using natural ingredients, you can avoid harmful chemicals and customize your spray to meet your horse’s individual needs. With a little effort, you can create a fly spray that will keep your horse comfortable and healthy all summer long.

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Dr. Joanna Woodnutt

Joanna is a seasoned veterinarian from the UK, blending her love for science and writing to educate pet owners. Her engaging articles on pet well-being adorn various websites, blogs, and pet magazines. Beyond her clinical work from 2016 to 2019, she now thrives as a locum/relief vet in the Channel Islands while running a successful freelance venture. Joanna's qualifications comprise Veterinary Science (BVMedSci) and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM BVS) degrees from the esteemed University of Nottingham. With a talent for teaching and public education, she excels in the fields of writing and pet health.

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