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DIY Homemade Fly Spray for Horses

DIY Homemade Fly Spray for Horses

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Though summer is a great time to spend riding outside, it is also the peak of fly season. Pesky flies can leave your horse with itchy, irritating bites that are not only annoying, but are potentially harmful.

Making your own homemade fly spray for horses is a good idea if your horse has sensitive skin or you simply want to avoid chemicals. In addition, it is a cheaper alternative in the long run than buying bottles from the store.

Many fly repellants include chemicals that are great for fighting off annoying flies, but can be harsh on a horse’s skin.

Essential oils, dish soaps, and vinegar are popular ingredients in homemade alternatives, as they can effectively and safely be used as bug repellents.

Homemade Fly Spray Recipes for Horses

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a scientist to whip up a batch of your own natural horse fly spray. There are recipes that range anywhere from simple to intricate that you can make on your own. Some can even be made with household ingredients.

It is important to keep in mind that before spraying all over, you should test the fly repellant on just a small section of your horse. This will let you see if your horse develops irritation or a reaction from any of the ingredients.

Basic DIY Fly Spray

This simple and effective recipe only requires three ingredients that you likely already have in your house. It’s a great solution if you are looking for a quick fly spray you can make at home.


  • A few drops of Dawn dish soap
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar

Mix together the water and the apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of Dawn dish soap and make sure the mix is thoroughly combined. Shake gently every time before spraying on your horse’s coat.

U.S. Forest Service Bug Spray Recipe

This natural bug spray recipe has become a popular choice among many horse lovers. It is safe and effective on horses and can even be used on people to keep annoying bugs away.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Skin So Soft by Avon
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Eucalyptus
  • 2-3 tablespoons citronella (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together until they are well combined. Add to a spray bottle and shake before applying the fly spray to your horse’s coat. Be sure to use only pure citronella oil and not the type found in hardware stores.

Refreshing Fly Blend by Nan Martin

This well-loved blend has become a favorite among many equestrians. Not only does it help keep bugs aways, but it also has a wonderful smell unlike many store bought options.


  • 5-10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Tea Tree or Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Idaho Tansy Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • 5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • Water

Add the essentials oils to a spray bottle. You can add anywhere from 5-10 drops of each oil, depending on what you desire. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and shake.

Lavender Horse Fly Spray

This natural fly repellent for horses only requires two simple ingredients and has a lovely smell. It may not be as long-lasting as name brand options, but it can work effectively to keep flies off your horse.


  • 4 parts water or vodka
  • 1 part lavender oil

Combine the water or alcohol in a bottle with lavender oil. Shake to combine and apply as needed. It is important to note that the alcohol version will dry faster after applying and will not have as strong of a lavender scent.

Citrus Insect Repellant

This DIY horse fly spray is not only refreshing smelling, but has been praised by many equestrians for its ability to protect horses from irritating insects.

It is great to use all summer long, especially when the flies start to get really bad. This insect repellent can attract dust, so be sure to keep that in mind if you are going to a show.


  • 2 cups light mineral oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons citronella oil
  • 2 teaspoons eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon dish soap

Add all of the ingredients to a spray bottle. Mix until all the ingredients have combined. Gently shake before every use.

Bye-Bye Flies

Making your own DIY fly spray for horses can be a great alternative to store-bought ones. It is a good idea if you want an affordable bug repellent free of harsh chemicals, or simply just want to make your own. Whatever the reason may be, there are some great recipes for keeping these dreadful pests at bay.