3 Simple D.I.Y. Fly Spray Recipes


It’s Fly Season! Keep your ride fly-free with these DIY fly repellents.

Do you fight with flies whenever you visit your horse? Does it leave you frustrated - or even angry? Do you ever feel like you can’t win? We hear you. Try out these do-it-yourself fly sprays to keep those suckers far away from you and your equine friend. 

Before trying out these recipes, make sure to test each essential oil for your horse before using them and avoid or take precautions with certain essential oils.

DIY Fly Spray Recipes

This recipe requires a little more effort than the next two and is a wonderful option for anyone who grows their own herbs.

  • Gather your herbs. Gather enough rosemary to fill at least 4 tablespoons when cut up. Do the same with peppermint.

  • Cut the herbs up into smaller pieces. Don’t fully mince the herbs, just run a knife over them three or four times.

  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Not quite a rolling boil, remove the water from heat just before it reaches this point.

  • Add your herbs and cover the mixture with a lid to ensure the essential oils stay in the water, allow them to steep until the water is cool.

  • Strain the mixture into a mason jar. Cheesecloth works well for this.

  • Add two cups of witch hazel to the mixture.

  • Shake well and add to a spray bottle.

  • Shake well before each application.

  • 4 cups raw apple cider vinegar

  • 20 drops rosemary essential oil

  • 20 drops basil essential oil

  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil

  • 2 tablespoons liquid oil (olive oil, canola oil, or mineral oil will work)

  • 1 tablespoon dish soap

    Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and vigorously shake to mix them. Shake well before every use.

  • 2 cups white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon eucalyptus essential oil

  • 1 cup water

    Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and vigorously shake to mix them. Shake well before every use.

Test Before Use

Test each essential oil for your horse before using them.

  1. Let them smell the oil in a calm moment.
    It is critical to avoid introducing oils when your horse is stressed or fearful in any way. If a horse likes an oil, they may flare their nostrils, curl their lip, try to grab the bottle from you, or even nuzzle it from your hand.

    If the horse pins his ears back, starts panting, drooling, pacing, whining, sneezing or snorting, or turns away try something different.

  2. Test for allergic reactions.
    Put a small drop of diluted oil (at a 1:9 essential oil to carrier oil ratio) on an area of the body you can see well and watch if any reaction occurs for 24 hours.

    Make sure you choose an area that you would be able to see hives or bumps. If no reaction occurs, your horse is not allergic to that oil.

    If a reaction occurs, DO NOT USE THAT OIL.

Essential Oils to Avoid with Animals

Taken from Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell

The following table was taken from Kristen Leigh Bell’s book, Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals. Depending on who you ask about this, you’ll probably get a different answer. Some people use tansy for their horses, and some people use clove oil. However, I felt it was beneficial for you to be aware of the controversial state of these oils.

Essential oils List.jpg

If you do decide to use one or more of these oils for your horse, be sure to use them with particular caution. One useful resource for this is to check with your vet. And if you do utilize them, diluting them at a 10% dilution rate, or 1:9 ratio is an excellent place to start. This means mixing 1 drop of essential oil for every 9 drops of carrier oil (like almond, hazelnut, jojoba, or olive oil).

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