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Best Fly Spray for Horses

Best Fly Spray for Horses

Flies. Those tiny, winged nuisances that turn a peaceful pasture into a battleground. They buzz, they bite, and they drive your horse mad. 

You know the drill: your trusty steed swishes its tail, stomps its feet, and gives you that “do something” look. Well, fret not. We’re here to save the day—or at least save your horse from those pesky pests. 

Welcome to your ultimate guide on the best fly sprays for horses. We’ve got the lowdown on sprays that work so your horse can focus on grazing, and you can enjoy a fly-free ride. Let’s get started.

15 Best Fly Spray for Horses: Key Takeaway

  1. Best overall spray for horses – Fly Bye Plus, 100% bio-degradable; Non-Toxic
  2. Best bang for the buck – Farnam Equisect Botanical Fly Repellent for Horses
  3. The best convenient spray solution – Farnam Repel-X Ready-To-Use Fly Spray
  4. Best for active horses in hot climates – Farnam Endure Sweat-Resistant Horse Spray
  5. Best Citronella-based fly spray – EZI -GROOM CITRONELLA SPRAY
  6. Best multipurpose fly repellant – Farnam Broncoe Equine Fly Spray with Citronella Scent
  7. Best for persistent fly problems – Tri-Tec 14 Fly Spray – 32 oz
  8. Best heavy-duty fly spray – Absorbine UltraShield Red Fly Spray
  9. Best all-weather formulae – Absorbine UltraShield EX 32oz Sprayer
  10. Best for rapid knockdown – Pyranha Fly Spray for Horses
  11. Best for tough insect control – Manna Pro Pro-Force Fly Spray
  12. Best all-natural fly spray – Pyranha Zero-Bite All Natural Fly Spray
  13. Best for comprehensive fly care – Pyranha Nulli Fly- Fly Care for Horses
  14. Best green formulae fly spray – Absorbine UltraShield Green Insect Repellent
  15. Best peppermint oil fly spray – Mighty Mint 16 oz Peppermint Oil Insect & Pest Spray

What are Fly Sprays for Horses?

Fly sprays for horses are liquid solutions designed to keep flies and other biting insects away from your horse. You spray it on your horse’s coat, acting as a barrier, repelling those pesky bugs. 

They help prevent flies from biting and irritating your horse, making life more comfortable for them. There are different kinds. Some use chemicals for long-lasting protection, while others use natural ingredients for gentleness. 

Regardless of the type, the main job of fly spray is to protect your horse from the constant annoyance and discomfort of flies.

Key Ingredients of Fly Sprays for Horses

Fly sprays for horses use a mix of natural and synthetic ingredients to keep bugs away. Here are some common ones:

1. Pyrethrins: These are natural insecticides from chrysanthemum flowers. They quickly knock out flies and other pests, making them a staple in many sprays.

2. Permethrin: This is a synthetic version of pyrethrins. It’s designed for long-lasting protection and keeps flies off your horse for days.

3. Citronella oil: Known for its lemony scent, citronella is a popular natural fly repellent. It’s gentle yet effective, often found in sprays for a refreshing twist.

4. Neem oil: Neem is a natural repellent that also soothes the skin. It keeps flies away and helps with any bites or irritations your horse might have.

5. Geraniol: Extracted from plants like geraniums, geraniol offers a floral way to repel insects. It’s a natural choice in many eco-friendly sprays.

6. Eucalyptus oil: This oil adds a fresh, minty aroma and keeps insects at bay. It’s another natural option that’s easy on the environment and your horse.

7. Piperonyl Butoxide (PBO): PBO boosts the effectiveness of other ingredients like pyrethrins. It makes sure the spray does its job well, even in tough conditions.

8. Lemongrass oil: With its zesty citrus scent, lemongrass oil naturally repels flies. It’s a favorite in sprays that aim to be both effective and pleasantly fragrant.

9. Cedarwood oil: Cedarwood offers a warm, woody aroma and helps deter insects. It’s a natural addition that brings a rustic touch to fly sprays.

10. Lavender oil: Lavender provides a soothing scent and keeps flies away. It’s often used in sprays that aim to calm your horse while protecting it from pests.

Types of Fly Sprays

Chemical fly sprays. Use synthetic ingredients like permethrin for long-lasting protection against a wide range of flies and insects.

Natural fly sprays. Made with essential oils such as citronella and neem, offering a gentle and eco-friendly option.

Water-based fly sprays. Light and easy to apply, these sprays dry quickly and are less greasy, making them ideal for everyday use.

Oil-based fly sprays. Contain oils that help them stick to the coat, providing extended protection, especially in wet or sweaty conditions.

Concentrate fly sprays. Highly concentrated solutions that you dilute with water, making them cost-effective for large stables or frequent use.

Ready-to-use fly sprays. Pre-mixed and ready to apply straight from the bottle, offering convenience for quick and easy application.

Herbal fly sprays. Use herbal extracts and essential oils for a natural approach, often with a milder scent and less irritation.

Gel fly sprays. Thicker formulas that stay put, perfect for hard-to-reach areas like around the eyes and ears.

Roll-on fly repellents. Allow precise application with a roll-on applicator, great for targeted use on sensitive areas or spot treatments.

Best Fly Spray for Horses: Product Review

1. Best overall spray for horses – Fly Bye Plus, 100% bio-degradable; Non-Toxic

Fly Bye Plus is hands-down the best fly spray you can get for your horse. Yes, it’s on the pricey side, but it’s worth every penny. 

This spray uses advanced soybean technology to tackle flies at a molecular level. What’s cool? Flies sense it and fly away, or they die if they don’t. 

It’s a smart, effective way to keep flies, mosquitoes, and gnats off your horse. Plus, it’s non-toxic and 100% biodegradable. Safe for your horse, safe for you, and safe for the planet. 

Fly Bye Plus isn’t just a fly spray; it’s peace of mind in a bottle.

2. Best bang for the buck – Farnam Equisect Botanical Fly Repellent for Horses

Farnam Equisect is the best bang for your buck when it comes to fly sprays. It’s the cheapest option, but don’t let the price fool you—it works like a charm. 

This spray kills and repels five types of flies, plus gnats and mosquitoes. It’s versatile too, safe for horses, dogs, cats, and even around their spaces. It’s water-based, so no greasy mess, and it smells fresh with its herbal scent. 

The secret? A blend of pyrethrum, citronella, corn mint, thyme, and clove stem. You get strong, reliable protection without breaking the bank. Farnam Equisect delivers top-notch results at a wallet-friendly price.

3. The best convenient spray solution – Farnam Repel-X Ready-To-Use Fly Spray

Farnam Repel-X is the go-to for convenience in fly sprays. It’s ready to use right out of the bottle—no mixing, no fuss. This water-based spray repels and kills six types of flies, plus mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, and ticks. 

It’s practical for horses, donkeys and other pets. Use it on animals, around stalls, or on blankets. One spray does it all. It’s economical too, so it’s easy on the budget. 

Need more? Refills come in various sizes. If you want a hassle-free, all-around fly repellent, Farnam Repel-X is your best bet. Just spray and you’re done.

4. Best for active horses in hot climates – Farnam Endure Sweat-Resistant Horse Fly Spray

Farnam Endure is a lifesaver for active horses in hot climates. It’s sweat-resistant, so it powers through sweat and water, keeping flies, mosquitoes, and ticks away. 

Perfect for those muggy, hot days or even in heavy rain. It helps protect your horse from insects that can carry nasty bacteria and Lyme disease. 

Just spray it on, and it stays effective for up to 14 days, thanks to Repelock technology that binds it to your horse’s hair. Available in different sizes, including a handy roll-on for sensitive areas. 

For reliable protection that won’t wash away with sweat, Farnam Endure is the way to go.

5. Best Citronella-based fly spray – EZI -GROOM CITRONELLA SPRAY

EZI-GROOM Citronella Spray is the best citronella-based fly spray out there. It combines citronella, lavender, chrysanthemum, and tea tree oils for a natural and fresh approach to fly control. 

You can spray it directly onto your horse’s coat as often as needed. It’s perfect for those spring and summer months when flies are a real bother. 

The natural oils not only repel insects but also leave your horse smelling great. It’s simple, effective, and easy to use. For a natural, pleasant-smelling fly spray that gets the job done, EZI-GROOM Citronella is your top choice.

6. Best multipurpose fly repellant – Farnam Broncoe Equine Fly Spray with Citronella Scent

Farnam Broncoe is the best multipurpose fly repellent you can get. It kills and repels six types of flies, plus gnats, ticks, deer ticks, fleas, chiggers, lice, and mosquitoes. 

It’s perfect for horses, dogs, and even around your barn. The non-oily, water-based formula means it won’t leave a greasy mess, and the citronella scent keeps things fresh. 

Use it on doorways, surfaces, or just mist it in the air to cut down on flies around your barn. Available in ready-to-use 32 oz. spray and 128 oz. gallon refill, it’s convenient and versatile. 

For a do-it-all fly spray, Farnam Broncoe is a clear winner.

7. Best for persistent fly problems – Tri-Tec 14 Fly Spray – 32 oz

Tri-Tec 14 Fly Spray is your best bet for persistent fly problems. This triple-action spray protects against biting flies, gnats, mosquitoes, deer ticks, and lice. 

It combines natural pyrethrins with cypermethrin, which has double the killing power of permethrin, and a sunscreen agent to prolong its effectiveness. You get up to 14 days of repellency, keeping your horse protected longer. 

The water-based formula is ready to use and gentle on your horse’s skin. If you’re dealing with stubborn flies and need something strong yet safe, Tri-Tec 14 is the way to go. Spray it on and give those flies the boot.

8. Best heavy-duty fly spray – Absorbine UltraShield Red Fly Spray

Absorbine UltraShield Red is the best heavy-duty fly spray you can find. Packed with five active ingredients, it stops flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks before they even bite. 

It stays effective for up to 7 days, providing solid protection no matter the weather. This spray is great for turnout, training, and trail rides, keeping your horse comfortable and protected. 

Plus, it has non-greasy coat conditioners, so it won’t leave your horse feeling sticky. Use it on horses, ponies, llamas, and more—even around the barn. For tough, reliable fly protection, UltraShield Red has you covered.

9. Best all-weather formulae – Absorbine UltraShield EX 32oz Sprayer

Absorbine UltraShield EX is the best all-weather fly spray out there. This powerhouse formula tackles over 70 species of pests, including flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and gnats. 

It’s weatherproof, offering up to 17 days of protection with UltraBond Technology, so it keeps working even in the toughest conditions. The spray is ready to use—no mixing needed—and works on horses, ponies, dogs, and around the barn. 

Plus, it’s packed with sunscreens and coat conditioners, giving your horse added protection against bugs and the sun. Made in the USA, UltraShield EX is your go-to for dependable, all-weather insect defense.

10. Best for rapid knockdown – Pyranha Fly Spray for Horses

This spray acts fast, taking out flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and other pests on contact. It’s powerful and effective, giving your horse quick relief from biting insects. 

The formula is oil-based, so it sticks to the coat and stays active longer, making sure those bugs don’t stand a chance. It’s easy to apply—just spray it on and watch the flies drop. 

For swift action against annoying pests, Pyranha Fly Spray delivers results that you can see right away. If you need something that works instantly, Pyranha is the go-to spray.

11. Best for tough insect control – Manna Pro Pro-Force Fly Spray

Manna Pro Pro-Force Fly Spray is the best for tough insect control. This heavy-duty spray kills and repels over 70 types of pests, including biting flies, ticks, and mosquitoes. 

It’s a champ at rapid knockdown, getting rid of bugs quickly and effectively. Plus, it works on dogs too, taking care of fleas and ticks with ease. The protection lasts up to 14 days, so you don’t have to reapply constantly. 

Ready to use straight from the bottle, there’s no mixing required. Use it on horses, ponies, dogs, and around your barn for powerful and lasting insect control. If you’re facing a serious bug problem, Pro-Force has got you covered.

12. Best all-natural fly spray – Pyranha Zero-Bite All Natural Fly Spray

Pyranha Zero-Bite is the best all-natural fly spray you can find. It’s a safe, non-chemical alternative to traditional sprays, perfect for those who want something gentle but effective. 

This spray repels a wide range of pests, including stable flies, house flies, bot flies, horse flies, ticks, mosquitoes, and more. It’s safe to use on horses, dogs, cats, and even small animals. 

With Zero-Bite, you get solid protection without the harsh chemicals. Just spray it on and enjoy a bug-free environment. For a natural, reliable way to keep pests away, Pyranha Zero-Bite is a top pick.

13. Best for comprehensive fly care – Pyranha Nulli Fly- Fly Care for Horses

Pyranha Nulli Fly is your best bet for comprehensive fly care. This spray handles everything from flies and gnats to mosquitoes and ticks. 

It’s thorough, giving your horse complete protection against biting and nuisance insects. You’ll love how easy it is to apply—just spray it on and it works its magic. 

It’s designed to be effective and safe, keeping your horse comfortable without harsh chemicals. Whether you’re dealing with a few flies or a full-on swarm, Nulli Fly covers all the bases. 

For all-around, hassle-free fly protection, Pyranha Nulli Fly is the ultimate choice.

14. Best green formulae fly spray – Absorbine UltraShield Green Insect Repellent for Horses

Absorbine UltraShield Green is the best green formula fly spray you’ll find. It offers serious bug protection while being eco-safe and gentle for the whole family. 

This spray repels and controls flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and gnats with its blend of seven essential botanical oils. It leaves a pleasant, fresh scent and is water-based, making it safe for daily use on horses, ponies, and even dogs. 

You can feel good about using it every day, knowing it’s made in the USA and kind to the environment. For effective and eco-friendly insect control, UltraShield Green is a standout choice.

15. Best peppermint oil fly spray – Mighty Mint 16 oz Peppermint Oil Insect & Pest Spray

Mighty Mint is the best peppermint oil fly spray you’ll get your hands on. With powerful U.S. peppermint oil, it’s super effective and smells great. This spray is extra concentrated, giving you long-lasting protection against flies and other pests. 

It’s easy to apply and even easier to clean up—no mess, no fuss. Safe to use when applied as directed, it’s a natural and effective choice for keeping bugs at bay. 

Mighty Mint combines the power of peppermint with the convenience you need, making it a top pick for natural pest control. For fresh-scented, reliable fly protection, Mighty Mint is the clear winner.

Interesting read: Best horses for trail riding

How to Make Homemade Fly Spray for Horses

Tired of flies bugging your horse? Whip up your own homemade fly spray. It’s easy, natural, and as effective as store-bought sprays. 

Plus, you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen. Let’s get started and give those pesky flies the boot with a simple, DIY solution.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dawn dish soap (optional, for better sticking)

Step by step instructions

Step 1: Grab a clean spray bottle

Make sure it’s clean and empty. A 32 oz bottle works well.

Step 2: Add the apple cider vinegar

Pour 2 cups of apple cider vinegar into the bottle.

Step 3: Pour in the water

Add 1 cup of water to dilute the vinegar a bit.

Step 4: Add the essential oils

Drop in 10 drops each of eucalyptus, citronella, and tea tree essential oils. These oils help repel flies and other pests.

Step 5: Optional – add dish soap

If you want the spray to stick better to your horse’s coat, add 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap. It helps the spray cling to the hair.

Step 6: Shake it up

Screw the lid on the bottle and give it a good shake to mix everything together.

Step 7: Test it first

Spray a small amount on your horse’s coat to make sure there’s no skin reaction.

Step 8: Apply generously

Once you’re sure it’s safe, spray the mixture generously over your horse, avoiding the eyes and sensitive areas.

Step 9: Use as needed

Apply as needed, especially before heading out to the pasture or on a ride. Reapply if your horse gets wet or sweaty.

What is the Best Way to Keep Flies off Horses?

Keeping flies off your horse is about using a few simple tricks together. Start with a good fly spray. Pick one that works for your horse, whether it’s a strong chemical spray or a natural one if your horse has sensitive skin. 

Next, get some fly gear. Fly masks and sheets are great. They cover your horse’s face and body, stopping flies from getting to sensitive areas. Fly leg wraps can also help, protecting the lower legs where flies like to bite.

Remember the barn and paddock. Keep them clean. Manure attracts flies, so clean up regularly to prevent them from breeding. Setting up fly traps around the barn can catch and reduce the number of flies hanging around.

Use fans inside the stable. Flies hate strong breezes, so fans can help keep them away. Screens on doors and windows are another good idea, blocking flies from entering.

Natural repellents work, too. Essential oils like citronella or eucalyptus can be used in sprays or around the barn. They smell nice and help keep flies at bay. Planting herbs like lavender or mint around the stable can also deter flies naturally.

Finally, think about feed-through fly control. Adding special supplements to your horse’s feed can help reduce fly development in manure. This breaks the fly life cycle, cutting down their numbers.

Combine these steps, to allow your horse to stay fly-free and comfortable.

How to Use Fly Sprays for Horses

Using fly spray on your horse is pretty easy. Here’s how you do it:

Get your spray ready. Shake the bottle well before you start. You want the ingredients to mix up properly.

Test a small area. First, spray a little on a small part of your horse. This helps ensure that your horse doesn’t react to the spray.

Spray evenly. Stand back a bit and spray the fly spray evenly over your horse’s body. Make sure to cover all the areas where flies like to land—legs, belly, back, and neck. Avoid the eyes and open wounds.

Use your hands for sensitive spots. For places like the face, spray some fly spray on your hands first, then gently wipe it onto those areas. This keeps it out of the eyes and nostrils.

Reapply as needed. Depending on the spray you’re using, you might need to reapply it daily or every few days. Always check the instructions on the bottle.

Avoid spraying too close. Hold the spray bottle a few inches away from your horse’s coat. This helps you get an even coat without drenching one spot.

Stay safe. If you’re using a chemical spray, wash your hands afterward. It’s good to stay safe and clean.

Store properly. Keep the spray bottle in a cool, dry place when you’re done. This keeps the spray fresh and effective.

Are Fly Sprays for Horses Effective?

Yes, fly sprays for horses are effective. They work well to keep flies and other pests away from your horse. 

When you spray it on, the formula creates a barrier that repels or kills the bugs. This makes your horse more comfortable and less bothered by flies. 

Some sprays work instantly, giving quick relief, while others offer longer protection, sometimes up to a few days.

However, not all fly sprays are the same. Their effectiveness can depend on factors like the weather, how often you apply them, and how many flies are around. 

You might need to try a couple of different sprays to see which one works best for your horse. But overall, fly sprays are a handy tool for keeping your horse fly-free.

Are Fly Sprays for Horses Safe Around My Pets And Children?

Most fly sprays for horses are safe around pets and children if used properly. Always read the label for specific safety instructions. 

Apply the spray on your horse away from pets and kids, and let it dry before they come close. Store the bottle out of their reach to prevent accidental contact. 

If you prefer a safer option, consider using natural or organic fly sprays. They tend to be gentler and pose less risk. 

With careful use, fly sprays can keep your horse bug-free without putting your family at risk.

Tips for Picking a Fly Repellant

Choosing the right fly repellent for your horse can make a big difference in comfort and effectiveness. Here are some key tips to help you find the best one:

  • Check the ingredients
  • Consider your horse’s sensitivity
  • Choose between natural or chemical options
  • Look for long-lasting protection
  • Consider the type of application (spray, roll-on, gel)
  • Read reviews and recommendations
  • Check for water and sweat resistance
  • Evaluate ease of use
  • Consider the scent
  • Look at the price and value
  • Check compatibility with other animals
  • Consider environmental impact

Alternatives to Fly Sprays

Looking for ways to keep flies off your horse besides using fly sprays? Here are some effective alternatives:

  • Fly masks and sheets
  • Fans
  • Fly traps and baits
  • Feed-through fly control
  • Herbal fly repellents
  • Fly predators
  • Sticky fly strips
  • Manure management
  • Garlic supplements
  • Fly-free zones
  • Essential oils diffusers
  • UV light traps

Oil vs. Water vs. Alcohol: Which Fly Sprays is the Best?

Choosing between oil-based, water-based, and alcohol-based fly sprays depends on your horse’s needs and conditions. 

Oil-based sprays offer long-lasting protection and stick well through sweat and rain but can be greasy and attract dirt. 

Water-based sprays are light, dry quickly, and keep the coat clean, making them great for daily use. However, they may need more frequent application in wet or very hot weather. 

Alcohol-based sprays dry fast and provide a cooling effect but might be harsher on sensitive skin and require frequent reapplication. 

Pick the one that fits your horse’s routine and environment.

FAQs

How often should I apply fly spray?

Apply fly spray to your horse daily or as often as needed, depending on the product’s instructions. Some sprays offer protection for a few hours, while others last several days. If your horse sweats a lot or gets wet, you might need to reapply more frequently to maintain protection.

Can fly sprays cause skin irritation?

Yes, fly sprays can cause skin irritation, especially if your horse has sensitive skin or if the spray contains harsh chemicals. Always test a small area first and watch for any reactions like redness or itching. If you notice irritation, switch to a gentler formula or a natural fly spray.

Are natural fly sprays as effective as chemical ones?

Natural fly sprays can be effective, but they might not last as long as chemical ones. They are usually gentler and safer for sensitive horses but might need more frequent application. Chemical sprays often provide longer-lasting protection but can be harsher on the skin. Choose based on your horse’s needs and sensitivity.

Conclusion

Flies may be relentless, but now you’ve got the upper hand. With the right fly spray, your horse can enjoy the pasture without those pesky pests. 

Whether you choose the long-lasting punch of an oil-based spray, the quick comfort of a water-based one, or the cooling touch of an alcohol-based formula, you’ve got options. 

You’ve learned the best sprays for every need, from heavy-duty to eco-friendly. So, gear up with your favorite pick, spray away, and let your horse strut fly-free and happy. 

Remember, a comfortable horse is a happy horse. Keep those flies at bay and enjoy the ride.

Picture of Dr. Noman Tariq

Dr. Noman Tariq

Dr. Noman Tariq, a seasoned veterinarian with a DVM from ARID University and an MPhil in Animal Nutrition from UVAS, specializes in equine health. His deep passion for horse nutrition and well-being drives his work, offering invaluable advice for horse owners. Dr. Tariq's expertise ensures horses lead vibrant, healthy lives.
You can read my full bio here

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Best Fly Spray for Horses