Shoo Flies Naturally! Time to Implement Natural Fly Control for Horses
The key to effective fly control is to not let them overpopulate in the first place. When you are in places that the population is already a concern, then starting with horse protection or detouring the flies from harassing your horse is beneficial. Most horse owners head to the tack or feed store and purchase a fly spray off the shelf. I prefer to make my own natural fly sprays. The warning labels on the store-bought ones are enough to tell me “no thank you!” Even the ones marketed “natural” are often unbearable in my opinion and contain synthetics or poor quality ingredients.
Essential Oil Fly Spray Options-
I like to use the Purification essential oil blend together with Geranium essential oil. If it is especially hot outside I add some Peppermint oil to the mix as well. I use a 32oz spray bottle and add 5-10 drops of each oil and fill with water. Feel free to play around with different oils and blends for fly spray recipes. The above are just the ones I like best. For more benefits and information on homemade fly spray recipes, you can check out Experience Essential Oils. Other popular oils for repelling flies are:
- Idaho Tansy Essential Oil
- Cedarwood Essential Oil
- Thyme Essential Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Please use only therapeutic grade essential oils, from a source you have researched and trust. Using essential oils that are adulterating or diluted will decrease and possibly void any benefit or effect of your homemade fly spray.
I do not recommend nor do I use the spray or essential oils on the horse’s face. I personally like to use fly masks to keep them off the horse’s eyes. It may not be “natural” but it is the route I like to take with my horses. You can also rub coconut oil around the eyes where you would apply a roll on, if you don’t like fly masks or your horse rips them up.
Adult Fly Control for Horses and the Barn
Now that the horse is more comfortable and protected it is time to focus on the adult flies that are driving you crazy! As you probably already guessed, I don’t reach for the barn sprays and pesticides. I do use the fly traps, again look for natural nontoxic options. Some of the attractant for these traps is toxic and dangerous for amphibians and fish. I have found nontoxic options with no warning labels or cautions. If you question the effectiveness, here is one of mine that was up for only two days (when we first moved to our new home the flies were out of control!! You can get the disposable traps if changing them out is just too gross for you.
A more enjoyable way of fly control for horses is to get planting. By having some geraniums and marigolds planted around your facility, you can help make the environment around your horses less appealing for flies. You can also talk to your local plant nursery specialist for other options of plants that may be beneficial for pest control.
Stop them before they start
Of coarse your, manure management is key for fly control! Cleaning pens and/or dragging them is a great way to control the fly breeding environment. Spreading fly predators at your main manure pile and the outline of your pens is a great natural way to help prevent the flies from hatching and makes managing and repelling adults much easier. Check out Spalding Labs for more information on fly predators.
Fly Control for Horses through Feeding…
The other tips listed above are the ones I plan on implementing or that I have implemented in the past. But when you research natural fly control for horses many recommend feeding your horse garlic or apple cider vinegar. I wanted to share it here in case that is an option you want to look into more. I have heard cautions on feeding garlic and personally my horses’ refuse apple cider vinegar.
Natural fly control is just one of the many steps you can take in your horse’s care routine to establish a firm foundation of health! Get started on supporting your horse to vibrant health right now, by grabbing your copy of my book Healthy as a Horse and discover the forgotten framework of care that can transform your horse’s health. Click here to reserve your copy now.
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Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!