This quick homemade fly spray for horses is so easy there’s no excuse NOT to try it! With just one ingredient it’s perfect for those “I’m late for a lesson, the tack store is 20 min away, and there’s flies the size of bats” kind of days (and we’ve all been there).
Thanks to my procrastination when it comes to buying fly spray, I’ve tested this out in many situations from horse shows to trail rides. While it doesn’t pack the same kind of punch as a heavy duty spray like Absorbine, it’s guaranteed to be better than nothing. Plus I’m always up for the challenge of a wallet friendly, DIY option.
Are you ready? Grab an empty spray bottle (here’s a cheap 3 pack) and fill it with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). That’s it! Now here’s the catch: Not all vinegar is created equal. While the regular store brand can work, it’s not nearly as effective as unpasteurised, organic ACV. I didn’t believe this myself until I tried it, and now that I use it at home as well, I REALLY notice. I order this Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar by Bragg (1 gallon) because it lasts forever, but some grocery and health stores carry it as well (for more ideas check out Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses – Top 10 Uses).
If you’re feeling ambitious you can add more easy-to-find-around-the-house ingredients to give you extra fly protection. Here’s what I’ve had success with so far:
Avon Skin so Soft – This stuff smells great and is a perfect DEET free bug deterrent for both horses and riders.
Liquid Dish Soap – A little of this goes a long way so use sparingly! I’ve only tried DAWN , but other brands should work.
Citronella Essential Oil – You can order this online or pick it up at a health store. A small 10ml bottle will last quite a while since you only need a few drops.
Lemon Juice – Bugs seem to have a strong dislike for this stuff.
Commercial Fly Spray – Don’t throw out those last few drops stuck in the bottle! Add it to this mix to stretch your budget.
If the smell of ACV happens to make you gag, or your equine partner is particularly sensitive I highly recommend diluting this mixture with water up to a 50/50 ratio. The less AVC, the more often you should reapply. Like all fly sprays, it shouldn’t be sprayed near the eyes or nose (I spray it into my hands and rub it onto their face). Works great for dogs too!
Looking for more fly spray options? Check out Natural Fly Spray for Horses + DIY Recipes.
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