Horseflies, gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, and other types of flies carry diseases like swamp fever which, if left unchecked, can be fatal for your horse. Fly sprays are one of several tools that you can use to help combat this problem and keep your horse safe from bites and infection.
Ensure that the fly spray you choose is good for your horse and safe for use around other animals and humans. Also, ensure that it tackles the type of fly infestation that you’re dealing with, and if the spray isn’t enough to combat flies on its own, consider other solutions and seek veterinary assistance.
Choose between natural and chemical-based chemical-based ingredients, oil- or water-based sprays, and even the type of spray actuator that is used. With such a large selection of horse fly sprays available, choosing the right one can seem a daunting task. We have compiled a list of reviews of seven of the best horse fly sprays to help prevent and combat flies attacking your horse.
A Quick Comparison of our Favorites for 2022
|Best Overall||Ecovet Fly Repellent Horse Spray||
|Best Value||Farnam Bronco Gold Equine Fly Horse Spray||
|Premium Choice||Farnam Repel-X Emulsifiable Horse Fly Spray||
|Pyranha Wipe N' Spray Fly Protection Horse Spray||
The 7 Best Fly Sprays for Horses
1. Ecovet Fly Repellent Horse Spray – Best Overall
The Ecovet Fly Repellent Horse Spray is a repellent made from fatty acids. As a repellent, it doesn’t kill the flies directly. It has a smell that is unappealing to the flies, so they won’t come back. This also means that the spray is not made from chemicals or other poisons, and although it does have a really strong spray, it can safely be used around humans and, other animals., and obviously around horses.
The spray needs to be applied to a horse that isn’t sweaty, because the sweat can prevent the spray from sticking.
The spray does smell strong. It has sage and lavender added to the ingredients, so the smell isn’t necessarily bad, but it is pungent. The smell may also cause your horse to sneeze while putting it on. However, it is harmless to horses and, most importantly, while Ecovet Fly Repellent Horse Spray does not kill flies, it does a very good job of repelling them.
2. Farnam Bronco Gold Equine Fly Horse Spray – Best Value
Farnam Bronco Gold Equine Fly Horse Spray is a repellent spray. It contains pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide so that it works quickly and helps to deter a range of flying pests including horse, stable, horn, face, and deer flies. The bottle is easy to actuate and can be carried with you from home to the barn.
The spray has added citronella, so it doesn’t have as strong a smell as the Ecovet. Safe to use in barns and under cover, the Farnam Bronco Gold Equine Fly Horse Spray can be used on horses, foals, and ponies. and the non-oily spray can be applied as a wipe if it makes your horse more comfortable. These factors, combined with its price, make the spray the best horse fly spray for the money.
3. Farnam Repel-X Emulsifiable Horse Fly Spray – Premium Choice
Farnam Repel-X Emulsifiable Horse Fly Spray is an expensive repellent spray, but it can be watered down to make it go further and to reduce the overall price.
It is water-based so doesn’t have an oily residue and is easy to apply, although it may not stick to sweaty horses. Once the spray has been mixed with water, it can be applied via spray, sponge, or cloth. It works to repel horse flies as well as horn, house, stable, and deer flies. It should work with a twice-weekly application but can be sprayed up to daily. This concentrate can be mixed as an 8:1 ratio of water to spray, which does help reduce the price you pay for the spray.
4. Pyranha Wipe N’ Spray Fly Protection Horse Spray
Pyranha is a repellent formula. It will deter mosquitos, gnats, horse flies, deer flies, face flies, and more, and it includes natural ingredients like aits pyrethrum base and a its citronella scent. The spray has also been formulated to condition your horse’s coat, with the addition of lanolin, so it not only protects him from flies but can leave him looking good as well as feeling good.
Available in a spray bottle or a large gallon jug, the spray can also be applied via a cloth or a rub. Not all horses will appreciate the citronella spray, and it is a bit thicker and oilier than some other repellent sprays on the market.
5. Fiebing’s Flyspray
Fiebing’s Flyspray is an expensive fly spray repellent. However, it works initially by killing the flies on your horse, before repelling any from landing and infecting in the future. It works to protect against house, stable, horse, and horn flies, as well as mosquitos.
It is designed specifically for use on horses and contains citronella to give it a more appealing smell. It also has and lanolin to help condition your horse’s coat and leave him with a shiny finish.
However, Fiebing’s Flyspray is made from a petroleum base, which means that it is thick and sticky compared to a lot of other sprays. Although it may prove very effective, the petroleum base means that this spray is not only thick but has a pungent aroma that may put a lot of horses and owners off.
6. Absorbine UltraShield Fly Spray
Designed to kill and repel more than 40 different species of fly, Absorbine UltraShield Fly Spray is a premise spray, which means that it is not usually applied directly to the horse. Instead, you spray it on surfaces around the barn, including walls and floors. You can also spray it inside horse trailers before travelingtravelling or apply it to grooming brushes because it will not only protect but condition your horse’s coat, too. The spray ingredients then work to kill crawling species like deer ticks and carpenter ants.
The ingredients also contain sunscreen and coat conditioner. It’s weatherproof, so it can be used all year round, and it is a water-based formula that is safe for use on horses and also on dogs. Absorbine UltraShield Fly Spray offers 17 days of waterproof protection, thanks to its UltraBond Technology. The spray does have a strong smell and, despite claims, it doesn’t offer 17-day17 day protection and will need reapplying after a few days.
7. Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Repellent Horse Spray
Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Repellent Horse Spray comes as either a 5:1 concentrate or as a liquid spray. It also comes in a selection of bottle sizes, making it a convenient purchase option.
Ingredients include cedar oil, eucalyptus, citronella, mineral oil, conditioner, sunscreen, and water. Ensure your horse is cleaned before use, and then apply directly to the horse and apply to the face using a clean cloth and to get full coverage.
The spray is a natural fly repellent, and does not use chemicals, but it isn’t as effective as other harsher sprays and solutions. Also, if you buy the readymade spray, it works out twice as expensive as the concentrate, so we would suggest buying the concentrate and watering it down yourself.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Fly Spray for Horses
Flies can be a real nuisance for horses. Not only are they an annoyance but horse flies can transmit a variety of diseases including anthrax, anaplasmosis, and tularaemia. And horse flies are just one of a variety of strains that might try and feed on your horse. No amount of cleaning and drying will deter flies, and while some natural remedies might work, horse fly sprays are the most effective and efficient means of dealing with these pests.
But, like all products, some fly sprays are more effective than others. And, while some sprays might work on some horses, they may be less effective on others. It can depend on the strain of the fly, how the spray is applied, and other factors. Below are some of the most important factors to consider when buying and trying fly horse spray.
Types of Spray
Although they might include a baffling array of different names and titles, horse spray can be broken into two basic types: fly killers and fly repellents.
Natural vs Chemical
Most fly killers use chemicals to kill off flies. Manufacturers should choose chemicals that are toxic to flies but safe for use on your horse and around humans and other animals. If the chemicals have not been tested and are not considered safe, you should not use them.
Natural alternatives do exist. These use natural deterrents and usually include ingredients like citronella. Citronella has a citrus scent and is used to improve the smell of some sprays. It is also used to deter animals and flies because it has a strong scent. Some natural fly spray uses fatty acids and this ingredient confuses the flies. It disorientates the flies and leaves them unsure exactly where the horse is.
How to Apply Horse Fly Spray
There are several ways that you can apply fly spray to your horse, and it will depend on the type of spray that you buy.
Concentrate Vs Spray
Most fly sprays are sold ready to use. This means that you can simply pump the bottle and apply the spray or rinse your cloth and apply the solution directly.
However, some sprays are sold as concentrates. This means that they are undiluted, and you will need to add water before using the solution. Some concentrates require a solution of five 5-parts water to 1-one part concentrate. Others require a solution of 10:1 water to spray. Undiluted liquids can work out cheaper than the sprays that are ready to use but they do require a bit more work and you will need separate and additional spray bottles.
Why Are Flies Attracted Toto Horses?
Flies are scavengers. They live off other animals. Different types of flies may be attracted to eye secretions, the blood from open wounds, while some will essentially draw blood from their prey and prefer large animals that are easy to find and attach to. Other flies like manure and even your horse’s feed. Unfortunately, there’s a lot about your horse and their abode, that will attract flies.
Can You Use Human Fly Spray Onon Horses?
Human fly sprays are not rated for use on horses, although they may be considered safe. The higher concentration of flies on your horse means that you will likely need something stronger to be able to repel all the flies. Insects like horse flies and stable flies are not usually targeted by human fly sprays, which means that they will not be as effective for use on your horse.
Is Vinegar a Good Fly Repellent?
Vinegar is not considered an effective fly repellent. In fact, flies are attracted to the smell of vinegar, so spraying it on your horses or nearby surfaces may increase the problem, rather than fight the infestation. Some people create fly traps using vinegar, especially cider vinegar, as the bait, because flies love it so much. Spraying vinegar away from your horse may work to attract flies to a different location.
How Long Does Fly Spray Last On a Horse?
Different fly spray products last different periods of time, depending on the ingredients used to make the spray and its strength. ManufacturersManufacturer claim some sprays will last for a period of four 4 hours. Others claim 24 hours, and some sprays claim that they do not need to be applied for two 2 weeks or more. It is also worth noting that, despite what manufacturers claim, horse owners enjoy very different results from those claims.
Actual reapplication time can be affected by everything from pervading wind conditions to the simple tenacity of the flies that are attacking your horse.
Horse fly sprays can relieve the constant irritation that flies cause to horses. Some will work by killing any flies that are present, while others will deter flies from landing on your horse in the first place. Others combine these two methods, and you can also choose between chemical-based and those with natural ingredients, as well as concentrate and solutions that are ready to use. Finding the right fly spray for your horse, or horses, can be a case of trial and error, starting with those that have proven successful for other horse owners.
While writing our reviews, we found that the Ecovet Fly Repellent Horse Spray offered a good combination of effectiveness, sympathetic ingredients, and cost, while the Farnam Bronco Gold Equine Fly Horse Spray was the best value. Finding an inexpensive fly spray is important, especially if you live in an area that is prone to fly infestations.
For more on horses check out these other posts:
- 5 Best Winter Horse Blankets – Our Top Picks
- 7 Best Horse-Riding Gloves – Our Top Picks
- 8 Best Horse Grooming Kits – Our Top Picks
Featured image credit: IRINA ORLOVA, Shutterstock