I'm looking for a good natural bug spray for horses. The less I have to use insecticides the better....Anyone have a mixture that they'd like to recommend?

Tags: fly, grooming, homemade bug spray, horse care, horse health, mosquito, natural, spray

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A friend of mine used to swear by Avon Skin so Soft and vinegar. I'm not sure of the proportions, but maybe someone else here knows.

Anyway, it had the most terrible smell, but it seemed to work.
I use Avon Skin So Soft, white vinegar, a little dish soap, water, and a little citronella oil. I believe you use 8 ounces each of the SSS and water, with 4 ounces each of the vinegar and dish soap. I usually just guess! I use about 30 drops of citronella oil, but you can leave it out if you want....I think it's a good repellant. Be careful using this when competing...due to the oil, it can make reins slippery...I use regular fly spray when I compete. I like this mixture because it lasts and I don't have to apply it daily. I rub some inside my horse's ears once a week. Be sure to shake it gently before spraying, to combine the ingredients...the water and oils will separate when it sits a while. It's also safe to use on my dogs and myself!
Hi Shirley,

We live in bug country on the edge of a river, flies and mosquitoes by the millions. I use citronella oil that I buy by the litre from a health food store, clove oil ( for the flies), lavender and or peppermint depending on what I have on hand, and some mineral oil to stretch the other expensive oils, and water. Both clove and peppermint aren't suggested for direct-to-skin contact but diluted with the other ingredients and on haircoats I have not had trouble with this concoction in 20 years.

When the mosquitoes are terrible (about now as the river drops after flooding) I resort to some DEET with the above. Ann
I don't have a recipe for a spray but I use apple cider vinegar in their grain and white vinegar in their water to help with flies. Only use 1/4 cup of the apple cider vinegar and 3/4 cup white vinegar per 75 gallons of water. It works pretty good for my Gus.
weird as this sounds - I use a spray of listerine mouthwash around the stall (particularly in the corner where food buckets are) - horses love the smell, bugs not so much.
With regards the horses stamping at flies and the condition of hooves; the farrier says he notices the deterioration of feet, even shod ones, by the end of a summer of stamping. Our old Appie, 32 when he had to be put down for lack of teeth, was a bit arthritic, and stamping at flies used to make him lame in one day. Kept well sprayed he was sound for the summer.

My donkey jack, a skinny 'kid' of just two, and almost 15 hands, can kick as high as my head sideways or to the rear, at a large fly. I am careful to keep him sprayed when I work around him, or the farrier does or guests are scratching him. I mean, one is careful working around any jack or stallion, but as high as my head with no seeming effort at and as quick as a blink. Whew.
Oh my, your donkey jack better look out for the PETA group! LOL I know you are from Canada so you might not have seen all the commotion/upset/attention that was given to a fly and President Obama. I'll try to be brief for anyone that didn't see it. Amazing what will make the news these days.
The President was preparing for a one on one interview. A fly was buzzing around him.
The fly settled on his hand. He patiently aimed and grabbed the fly and killed it. The camera crew filmed this happening and then zoomed in on the dead fly laying on the floor. And all were kinda chuckling.
This amazing feat was shown a few times through-out the day. Before it was over PETA was upset about it!
Does your donkey jack hit his target often? How cute but I can see where you'd need lots of caution once he's focused on that enemy fly attacker. But they can be relentless, especially those big horse fly jet things.
This sounds like a good one for UTUbe!
one part water
half part mineral oil
1/2 part apple cider vinegar
25 drops citronella essential oil

bingo bango no more bugs!
Hi Michelle ! I love your BINGO BANGO---no more bugs recipe. That's a great marketing line~~~
I have ben hearing good results too with adding the original Listerine or generic of the original. Has to be the brownish stuff.
32 oz spray bottle:
2 eye droppers of pure citronella oil
2 eye droppers of pure neem oil
1/2 cider vinegar
1/2 publix liquid fabric softner

During the worst months I add 2 oz. of concentrated Repel X.
hehe. I should call it BUGS BE GONE! I've heard good stuff about the listerine as well, I use it as a sweet itch remedy, works great!
Read I believe in Horse & Rider that Pinesol and water 50% mix nad really seems to work well and smells good also.

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