When you work around or own a horse, you’ll know that having the best fly spray for horses is essential. Flies that refuse to leave you and your horse alone can ruin even the most enjoyable routine bonding activities.
Flies are the biggest pests for most horses. They hover around the eyes and nostrils, swarm throughout the stable, and can even get into your horse’s feed.
That makes them the most annoying insect that we, as horse owners, have to deal with. No one wants to see their beloved horse put up with the frustration of flies. Watching them shaking their heads with twitching ears and stomping feet, unable to get a moment’s rest is unbearable.
Fortunately, there are sprays safe to use around horses, protecting you and your horse from being bothered by these insects. But before you go searching for the best fly spray for horses, it’s good to know more about them.
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We can’t hope to rid our world of flies completely. And with the vital role they play in our ecosystem, such as the disposal of feces, we wouldn’t want to. However, we do want to keep them away from our horses and us — preferably far away. And that’s why choosing a safe working fly spray is essential.
All bug sprays generally fall into two primary categories known as insecticides and repellents. While insecticides are meant to reduce numbers by killing the insects, repellents are designed to keep them away from us.
Some sprays can even confuse flies and prevent them from ever finding your horse.
Insecticides are usually not safe for skin but are distributed to treat large areas, such as crop fields on a farm. They are also not safe to use around most mammals and birds.
The best fly spray for horses acts as a safe repellent, which makes your horse less appealing to flies. Most sprays also assist in preventing other harmful insects like ticks and fleas from wanting to crawl onto your horse.
Natural isn’t always best
For those who are suspicious of chemicals, many horse owners like to go the alternative natural way. But don’t assume that all natural ingredients are better.
Even natural fly repellents can be unsafe for your horse, according to Equisearch. Most organic fly sprays are primarily formulated with essential oils from natural herbs and spices. However, your horse could still end up with an allergic reaction to these natural-based oils.
That said, natural oil sprays can excel above most chemical products if your horse has sensitive skin.
Another consideration when choosing natural over chemical is that the effect usually won’t last as long or be as strong. Chemical ingredients are designed to cover a more extended period, keeping exposure to a minimal.
That doesn’t mean that a chemical spray is better either.
With most fly sprays, chemical or natural, the ingredients pose little risk when used as directed on the label. So it’s important to take time and do a little research before you decide which is best for your horse.
When you’re choosing a fly repellent for your horse, the first thing you should consider is what form you need. That’s because fly repellents come in a variety of types and different sizes.
A spray is the most common form, and you can use it to mist your horse’s body. Most fly sprays come in a spray bottle or in a concentrate that you dilute with water. Roll-ons are an excellent way to apply repellent around more sensitive areas, like the face.
There are also several other concerns you may need to think of before choosing a fly spray for your horse.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options by choosing the right form for your situation, you’ll want to consider the following.
Learn the active ingredients
The ingredients are obviously what will make the fly spray work effectively, so it’s always smart to read the label. You’ll also want to avoid products that use potentially harmful chemicals like DEET.
Three of the standard safe ingredients you’ll find in the best fly spray for horses are pyrethrins, permethrin, and piperonyl butoxide.
Pyrethrins are botanical insecticides from chrysanthemum flowers most commonly found in Australia and Africa. In general, pyrethrins are low in toxicity to you, your horse, and other mammals. While they are non-lethal to us, they will kill insects we consider as pests and honey bees.
Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide whose structure adapted from the chemical structures of pyrethrins. They act similarly, sharing the same results in killing insects and remaining safe for humans and mammals.
Piperonyl butoxide is in insecticide formulations as an enhancement. By itself, PBO isn’t harmful to insects. Instead, it works with insect killers to increase their effectiveness. It’s the most common synergist used in conjunction with pyrethrin and permethrin.
Even though these common ingredients get labeled as safe, the use of chemicals can be questionable. So If you’re still concerned with chemicals or prefer a natural repellent, look for essential oils in the ingredients.
Know how much you’ll need and how long it will last
It’s best to check the ingredients, but it’s also smart to check how much it will take. The amount of spray you’ll need depends on the number of horses you plan to treat. The more horses you have, the more repellent you’ll need.
It’s also dependent on how often you have to apply the spray. While some fly sprays require a daily application, others may stay active for weeks at a time. So it’s good to know how many times you’ll need to apply.
Water-based sprays make reapplication more frequent, as it doesn’t stay on the coat quite as well. So, if you’re not able to spray your horse every day, look for a fly spray that’s designed to last.
Consider the needs of your horse
If your horse has known health problems or sensitive skin, consult your veterinarian before using a fly repellent spray. Even the very best fly spray for horses could cause harm to an unhealthy horse.
Horses with sensitive skin may require a more personal home-made formula.
To be safe, always test a small area of the coat before using to ensure that your horse isn’t allergic. It’s best to wait a full 24 hours to see if there’s a reaction. If you’re treating more than one horse, make sure that you consider the needs of each one.
To protect your horse from annoying flies, you need a horse fly spray that’s safe, reliable, and long-lasting. Even after you’ve gone over the essential questions, there are still many options available.
But, the question is, What is the best spray on the market?
To help you answer this question, we’ve included the highest rated, and top performing fly sprays below. Each fly spray we’ve covered is committed to the safety and comfort of your equine friend.
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The Absorbine UltraShield EX is a very effective fly spray, especially during the hot summer season when flies show in greater numbers.
Horses turned out in the field during the hot summer days get hot and begin to sweat more often, which is why it’s crucial to find a fly spray that is sweat-resistant like this one. The spray is not only sweat-proof but also weatherproof, ensuring that it will stay active through summer rainfalls.
In addition, the spray comes formulated with conditioners and sunscreens such as lanolin and aloe, which help to protect your horse’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
Although it claims to last up to 17 days, it’s good to note that it lasted for about 2 weeks before having to re-apply. But that is still an impressively long time without worrying about flies pestering your horse.
Customers agree that Absorbine UltraShield EX is one of their top choices when it comes to fly control. That’s a fantastic and effective, long-lasting spray and it’s rewarded with an incredible rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
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Pyranha has not one but two excellent options when it comes to the best fly spray for horses. Both are ready-to-use, citronella scented, and contain lanolin to condition the coat and leave it with a healthy sheen.
The only difference between the two products is that Pyranha’s Wipe N’ Spray is an oil-based formula and Pyranha’s Equine Spray & Wipe is water-based.
The water-based spray isn’t waterproof and can wash off in the rain, unlike oil-based sprays which can withstand the weather. On the other hand, water-based sprays don’t accumulate dirt and soil as easily, in contrast to the oil-based spray.
Both sprays claim to last up to a full month but seem only to last a couple of weeks.
Many horse owners claim that these ready to go sprays are two of the most effective horse fly sprays available. That’s proven by the outstanding rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars they both received on Amazon.
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We could honestly do an entire review based off of the many great economic products made by Farnam. The company offers several reliable and safe insect repellents for your horse.
TheRepel-X pe Emulsifiable Fly Spray is no exception to the company’s positive reputation. This ready-to-use, water-based spray effectively repels and kills many pests, including bothersome flies.
The spray consists of a unique water-resistant formula which contains a special conditioner that binds to the coat. That results in long-lasting staying protection through sweat and wet conditions.
Additionally, if you want to take a more hands-on approach, we’d also recommend trying out the Farnam SWAT Fly Ointment. This ointment is designed to treat and repel flies and other insects from wounds on your horse. But it can also work alongside Endure fly spray.
It’s also the ideal choice for applying around the ears and facial areas where flies attack the most.
Customers have nothing but positive things to say about Endure. It becomes quite apparent why it’s considered one of the best fly spray for horses on the market with an impressive 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
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This reasonably priced MannaPro spray comes ready to use with no need to dilute or mix. It’s durable and effective at killing flies and many other insect pests that could harm or annoy your horse.
For the price, it’s a good value product, but you may find it isn’t as potent as other expensive brands. However, most claim it to be the best fly spray for horses that they’ve ever used. We recommend you try it out and see how it works for you and your horse.
You can use this spray by applying it directly on your horse, or just spraying it around the infested area. It also doesn’t leave your canine friends out as it’s proven safe to use on dogs.
As with most fly repellents, the lasting time can vary, but it claims to work for up to 14 days.
Customers praise Pro-Force for being very effective and say they choose this over more expensive products giving it an outstanding rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
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For those looking for something a bit more natural for your horse, then this spray by espree is an excellent choice. It’s filled with all-natural ingredients, including aloe vera, citronella oil, cedar wood oil, & eucalyptus oil. And all of these are known to nourish the skin.
Unlike chemical sprays, it also has a charming fragrance for both you and your horse to enjoy. The coat conditioner and sunscreen contained promote a healthy coat and added protection from the sun.
You can use it more frequently than chemical-based sprays. However, it won’t last as long. You should expect this herbal best fly spray for horses to last up to three or four days before reapplying.
It’s also not as strong as it’s competitors, but it’s still one of the best natural alternative sprays on the market.
It is one of the safer and more economical fly repellents you can use on your horse, rewarding it an impressive 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
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Another natural best fly spray for horses is the beautifully scented Premier Equine Spray manufactured by EQyss.
This particular spray was explicitly developed to bind moisture to the coat for about 24 hours of guaranteed protection. It will shine and moisturize the coat, as well as enhance color. It also doesn’t attract dust or dirt, which makes it very good for white horses.
Other than repelling flies, this best fly spray for horses will help with sensitive skin conditions. But It’s advised to avoid spraying it on the mane and tail as it makes them sticky.
Unfortunately, this great marigold scented powerful repellent only lasts for up to four days. So it doesn’t last as long as it’s chemical competitor sprays, which means you’ll need to apply it more often.
As much as they love using it on their horses, several customers admit wanting a version to use on themselves! The apparent quality of EQyss Premier is noticed with its fantastic ratings of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
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If you are against using chemical sprays on your horses, Flicks Essential Oil Horse Spray is another natural way to go.
As the name suggests, this spray comes from all-natural oils. Some ingredients include lanolin, cedarwood oil, eucalyptus oil, lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, cajeput oil, and pennyroyal oil.
Although not as potent as chemical-based products, it’s highly effective in repelling the flies. It comes with a pleasant smell and does not irritate the skin.
A drawback to using this spray is that it’s not for use around the face. So you’ll need to get another repellent made for those areas of your horse. You’ll also need to re-apply regularly for full control because it only lasts for up to three to four days.
Flicks also offers a refill concentrate so that you can continue using the same spray bottle after you run out. Since this is a concentrated formula, it will need to be diluted before applying to your horse.
Customers have nothing but positive things to say when it comes to this spray. Many claim that it even helps keep the flies off better than some name brand products, awarding it a high 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
No one wants their horse to spend the entire day stomping, shaking, and swishing their tail. Applying a safe fly spray is a smart way to help give your horse the protection and relief from flies and other insects.
We based our fly spray picks on what we thought were the safest and most reliable options for most horses. But you should also know that many other options may work just as well.
It’s essential to keep in mind the tips we mentioned on what to look for and to consider before you make your purchase. We hope we’ve helped and are confident you’ll make a great decision on the best fly spray for horses!
Did we mention your favorite fly spray? We would love to hear about your own experiences so please, let us know by leaving a comment below!