• Sue Steiner

Homemade Fly Spray Recipes

Homemade Fly Recipes 

DIY Fly Spray Recipes for Your Horse

We are quickly moving from mud season to fly season!   So to assist you in choosing a good, easy DIY fly spray I have a collection of recipes here for you.  Happy Trails and Enjoy! 

Horse and Healing Blog’s personal Dual Fly Spray and Coat/Mane Conditioner Recipe:

I add to a 16 oz. spray bottle of water

1-2  tbsps. coconut oil – it softens and melts in warm weather

1-2 squirts of mane conditioner 

2-4 tsp of glycerin 

a couple drops of dawn dish soap (helps distribute the oils when shaken)*

several drops or more of a combination of essential oils of any of the following:



Lemon Grass




Tea Tree

I spray this on my horse and myself before I ride.  I use it also to detangle the mane and tail.  * You can leave out the essential oils to make it only a mane detangler.  You can adjust the ingredients according to the dryness of your horse’s mane and tail.   I have also used corn husker’s hand lotion in place of the glycerin.  The glycerin helps to make the hair shaft ‘slippery’ so is important to include.  It is what gives the hair a slick but not oily feel.  

Single Ingredient Fly Sprays

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar – diluted 50/50 with water to full strength, test on small area first if using full strength

  2. Avon Skin So Soft 

  3. Liquid Dish Soap- diluted in water, I’ve used Dawn which also works as a flea shampoo on dogs, I have heard Ivory works well too. 

  1. Citronella Essential Oil – add a few drops with a carrier oil to water

  2. Lemon Juice

The following recipes I have not tried personally but wanted to include them for you to consider.  Most are with similar ingredients with slight variations. 

Natural Fly Spray Recipe by Savvy Horse Woman

16 oz spray bottle 

1/2 cup Witch Hazel

1 tsp. vanilla extract

100-150 drops of a Bug Repelling Essential Oil Blend (I like this one, or this one if you use it around children)


10-15 drops of any combination of the following oils:



Lemon Grass




Tea Tree

Add all ingredients to the spray bottle, and fill with water. Shake well and spray on horses and riders as needed, being careful to avoid the eyes and nose. Store in a cool, dark place.

U.S. Forest Service Bug Spray Recipe

1 cup water

1 cup Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil

2 cups vinegar

1 tbs. Eucalyptus oil (found in health food stores)

Optional: few tablespoons of citronella oil

Shake spray bottle well before spraying on a horse, human or dog!

Made by Shaklee – BASIC H. from Brianne 

It works. You can use it to spray areas where flies breed or congregate; once they have been misted, they can’t fly anymore and die. They hate it, and will not bother or bite horses who have been sprayed with it. You can make a diluted spray with 5-7 parts water and one part Basic H. You can adjust the mixture to suit your area, but trust me, that concentration is plenty strong. You can also use to bathe your horses, yourself and your tack too. PH is in the range of human and horse skin, so it is great for sensitive skinned horses and people. No yucky smell either. Try it once and you will NEVER buy another fly repellent. 

You can purchase off the Shaklee website (www.shaklee.com), or from a member or distributor. The price is great too. Buy a gallon and imagine how far it goes – makes about 7 gallons of fly spray. Great price, great product. I began using it at the stables where I board, and the whole stable was using it within the month and continues to use it even after I brought my horses home.

Citrus Insect Repellant Spray

2 cups light mineral oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tsp. citronella oil

2 tsp. eucalyptus essential oil

2 tsp. lemon dish soap

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Label. To use gently shake and spray on your horse avoiding his eyes. NOTE: Do not use this spray before a show as it attracts dust.

Internal Fly Repellants

If your horse is allergic to fly bites, try 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar on their grain once a day. This raises the blood acid level just enough to bother the flies, but it is completely healthy for the horse. It takes about one week to start seeing the effects. Several old timers have told me that they always put vinegar in their horse’s drinking water during the summer to repel flies and mosquitoes.

For cheap fly repellent, mix about 1 1/2 cups of plain white vinegar into about every 75 gallons of water in your horse’s water tub. If you use this in the water about a week before flies start biting, it will have circulated in your horse and it helps keep flies from biting.


Other Types of Fly Relief

If anyone has problems with flies in the barn, try filling a quart jar with this mixture.

3 cups of water

¼ (one quarter) cup sugar

¼ (one quarter) cup white vinegar

Mix, punch holes in the lid, and set it where needed. It works great. —Toni Auen

Bounce fabric softener sheets — Next time you go riding tie one to your Horse’s headstall and stick one in your back pocket. It works better than ANY fly spray I’ve ever tried. The flies won’t even fly around you. —Susan Cafouras

Horse and Healing Blog’s fly and parasite management in and around the barn:  

I use food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) which is a fine powder and add it to free choice minerals for my horses.  It is said to help with internal parasites.  I also spread it around my paddock and barn in high traffic/ manure areas.  It helps kill fly larva.  I do this early spring, along with regular manure maintenance and it makes a huge difference in the number of flies in spite of having neighbors and farms all around me also with livestock.  

#naturalflyrepellentrecipes #DIYflysprayrecipes #parasitecontrol #horseandbarnmanagement #homemademaneandtaildetanglerrecipe #homemadeflyspray #flysprayrecipes



© Copyright 2023. No animals were harmed in the making

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