Does anyone here use DEET (Off/Muskol, etc.) on their horse? The mosquitoes where I ride are terrible and horse bug spray doesn't help.
I was thinking of spraying some DEET on my horse's ears and under his belly.
What do you think?
I would not use DEET because I have read numerous things warning against it (I'm pretty sure Equus did a feature on this, but cannot for the life of me remember when.) This fly spray works really well against the pesky mosquitos: http://www.SmartPakEquine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=1042 .
I'm located in Chicago and we have horribly humid summers with lots of mosquitos. This is the only spray that I've tried that has worked against both flies and mosquitos at the same time, I highly recommend it. Otherwise I'd say it is safe to use a human mosquito spray without DEET as an active ingredient. Hope this helps. :)
I personally avoid commercial bug repellents, the majority of these products contain chemicals and if over used can cause skin irritations and dry skin.
An excellent alternative fly and mosquito repellent for horses that I've been using for many years is an Avon product called "Skin-So-Soft", this has been used by many horsemen and has proven to be very effective with added benefits such as being far cheaper than most commercial products, more natural with no harsh chemicals, a good conditioner for the skin and coat, in fact you may begin to notice a big difference in the sheen to your horse's coat. Use the Avon "Skin-So-Soft" Original formula. There are several mixtures that can be used, you can of course use it straight out of the bottle or you can mix it half and half with water which often is just as effective as using it straight out of the bottle and stretches the use of your Skin So Soft product.
Yes you can use DEET on your horse however do not apply normal horse fly spray within the same period of time (toxic results in the chemical interaction). I used DEET during Endurance rides in dense bush - seems to work best and longest for both me and the horse.
Don't use DEET on lactating mares as it will transfer into the bloodstream and affect the taste of milk for the foal.
Due to European legislation, here in the UK we're no longer allowed to purchase fly sprays containing citronella oil. The replacement is DEET, so now almost all comercially available fly repel products have DEET in them...we are left with little choice, yet I refuse to use DEET on my horses.
Modern scientific chemicals like DEET can be incredibly strong. Their side effects are known and have been assessed but are still there and still dangerous. It's not as much of an issue with external application or in the quantities used in equine fly repellents, but these chemicals by their very nature can have harming effects. They can damage the liver, the immune system or the lining of the gut. They're basically poisonous. Using them over time can cause a build up of toxins, so I won't use them...