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Home made fly spray recipe

Home made fly spray recipe

This time of the year flies are the bane of many horses lives. Annoying little buggers! I have been using a homemade remedy for years that I have found quite effective for my horses. I’ve seen different variations of a similar thing around but this is what works for me.

Citronella Oil

½ - 1 teaspoon depending on the size of the spray bottle you are using. Not too much of this. As with any essential oil, too much can be harmful. You can get this from any pharmacy.

Baby Oil

This is to help the spray stick. A couple of squirts is all that is needed. Again, not to much of this. Baby Oil is a mineral based oil and will exacerbate the suns rays so using too much could mean a horse can get burnt easier. The ONLY reason you are using this is to help the spray stick and you are only using a wee bit which will not cause any issues.


Mix 1 part to 2 - 3 parts water. Flies don’t seem to like the scent of this much so combined with the citronella oil, it’s pretty effective. The amount to use will depend on how bad the flies are. If files are a real issue, mix 1 part to 2 parts water, or even half and half, not so much of an issue use mix 1 part to 3 parts water. 

Put all the above ingredients into your spray bottle and shake well before each use.

I will spray my horses in the morning and if the flies are super bad, again at lunch time. Otherwise I’ll just spray them again in the afternoon.  I spray all over their legs and bodies, then go back to the side I started on and do them again.

DO NOT spray around the eyes, face or head area. Given this contains an essential oil, I would not even be wiping it around the face. If flies are an issue for your horse’s face, find a repellent that is specifically able to used around the face or use a fly mask.

If you have a major issue with flies, you may need to use something stronger. Based on my experience, this recipe is suitable and effective for everyday fly issues. 

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