Homemade Fly Spray Recipes

Last Updated on February 8, 2022

Are fly spray prices killing your bank account? Even if you live in a climate where fly-spray isn’t needed year-round, it can still be a large expense for lots of horse owners! Many horse owners have to deal with the problem of flies year-round, while others that live in colder climates only have to deal with it for part of the year. Lets talk about homemade fly spray for horses.

Whichever category you fall into, you know that fly spray can sometimes seem overly expensive for a liquid spray.  Even if it’s “affordable,” the money you spend on fly spray could be used to pay for other things or even other horse-related expenses.

What if I told you that you could save mountains of money on fly spray, AND make sure your horse is receiving an all-natural fly treatment?  It’s true! There are many fly-spray do-it-yourself recipes that will not only reduce your fly-spray expenses but also ensure that your horse’s fly-spray treatment is all-natural and healthy.

Not to mention that refraining from buying tons of plastics bottles of fly spray will help reduce plastic use and will aid in helping the environment!!

In this article, I will be discussing four different home-made do-it-yourself fly spray recipes.  These recipes have some shared ingredients, but have some ingredients unique to themselves! 

4 Best Homemade Fly Spray For Horses

Recipe 1: Easy to make natural fly repellent

The first recipe comes from SaavyHorseWoman.com, and it is surprisingly simple.  The ingredients include the following list:


All of these ingredients, except the dish soap, are completely natural.  And, there is a very small quantity of dish soap included. One common ingredient that you will notice across all four recipes is apple cider vinegar.

TheSaavyHorsewoman.com emphasizes the importance of selecting high-quality apple cider vinegar and recommends using one that is organic and unpasteurized.  In a pinch, this site says you could also use only apple cider vinegar, and it will still help. Though it may not be as effective as producing the full recipe.

Recipe 2: Water-based horse fly spray

The next two recipes come from The Spruce Pets, which offers both a water-based recipe and a mineral oil recipe.  They say that the water-based spray is especially helpful in defending your horse from flies that will attack his face.  This recipe has the following ingredients: 


Again, note the use of apple cider vinegar.  The only ingredient in this recipe that isn’t natural is the Skin So Soft bath oil.  And even so, Skin So Soft boasts of using many natural ingredients in their products.

The Skin So Soft ingredient is especially aimed at deterring black flies.  So, if you live in an area where black flies are a concern, this may be a good option for you and your horses.

Because of the apple cider vinegar, this is also a spray you will want to make sure stays out of your horse’s eyes.  If it gets in your horse’s eyes, it could sting and be quite painful.

Find The Best Fly Sheets For Horses

Recipe 3: Oil-based horse fly repellent

The third recipe also comes from The Spruce Pets and is their mineral oil recipe.  It has the following ingredients: 

4 Best Homemade Fly Spray For Horses

Although, they note that glycerine is optional.  Here, the only ingredient that is not natural is the lemon dish detergent.  You’ll also notice that many of these recipes use essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil.  But, this is one of the only recipes that does not use apple cider vinegar.

It is also noted that, while this spray is mostly natural and very effective, it is not recommended to use at horse shows.  This is because it attracts dust and will make your horse dirty.  So, if absolute cleanliness is a concern for you, this may not be your best option.

Recipe 4: White vinegar homemade fly spray for horses

The fourth and final recipe comes from Saddle Box.  Their recipe includes the following ingredients:

Recipe 4: White vinegar homemade fly spray for horses

Notice that this recipe does not include eucalyptus oil or apple cider vinegar.  The only two ingredients that are not natural are the spray-on sunscreen (which is arguably optional) and the liquid soap.


As you can see, there are many options to pick from outside of purchasing pre-packaged and pre-mixed fly spray.  There are really three benefits to doing this- 1) it will save you money, 2) you know exactly what ingredients are being used on your horse and can ensure they are mostly natural, and 3) you can reduce your carbon footprint by using less disposable plastic.

Now that you know the basics, you can also experiment with your own recipes! For example, now you know that many recipes use apple cider vinegar, and many recipes use eucalyptus oil.  Maybe you like this, maybe you don’t! Maybe you’ll come up with a recipe that works on some horses, but not others. It’s a fun process that could save you and your farm money in the long run.

There is proof to show that home-made do-it-yourself recipes like this really do work.  You may have to put a little bit more time into mixing it yourself, but the end result will be well worth it.  

I hope this article helped you learn about different ways to mix and create your own fly spray. If so, please share this article, and share with us the recipes you use for mixing your own fly spray!

How do you make homemade fly spray for horses?

Lemon juice is one of the most effective fly repellents that you can use. The citrus smell will repel the flies. Simply add lemon juice to a spray bottle and spray it on the outside walls of your barn. To make sure that the flies don’t come back, you need to apply it every week.
You can also use essential oils from herbs that are know as fly repellents. To make your own fly spray, simply mix equal parts of citronella oil and lemongrass oil. You can then spray it on the inside walls of your barn. The citronella and lemongrass oil together have a very powerful effect on flies. You can even combine essential oils with vinegar to make it more effective. However, if you are planning to use the repellent on horses directly, you should dilute it with water to avoid irritation of horse’s skin. 

How do I get rid of flies in my horse barn?

Horse flies are attracted to horse dung and manure. They will lay eggs in any warm, moist area so the first step in controlling the flies in and around your barn is to keep it clean and dry. Installing a fly screen for the barn doors and windows will prevent flies from entering the barn. You can also use some natural fly repellents to keep the flies out of your barn, such as citruses, lemon grass, and lavender. Flies simply don’t like a citrus smell. Lemon Grass and lavender are also natural insecticides that can be used as a repellent. They can even be added to your compost or to your horse’s bedding.

How do I get rid of flies in my horse pasture?

In addition to spraying fly control for your horse’s pasture, you can also use a product called fly spray.Fly spray is a combination of an insecticide and a carrier agent that helps the insecticide spread. It is usually applied to the ground in the area of your horse’s pasture. The carrier agent is typically water.
How does it work? The insecticide that’s in the fly spray gets on the fly larvae, and the larvae then die. The fly spray can also be applied to horses’ tack and equipment to help control flies. You can apply a fresh dose of fly spray every two weeks. The insecticide can be used as needed. 

How do you keep horse flies from biting horses?

Horse flies are common insects found throughout the United States and Canada. They are small insects that can cause a nuisance to horses and people. They are also a nuisance to other farm animals, such as cattle, goats, and sheep.
If you keep horses, you can protect them from horse flies by controlling the horse flies populations around the horse’s home and barn with baits and traps for adult flies. Fly sheets and fly boots are another popular option to protect your horse from fly bites. Another way to keep horse flies off your horse is by using a fly repellant that has an ingredient that is known to be effective at keeping horse flies off your horse and is at the same time safe to use on horses.