Best home made Fly Repellant?

Jan 10, 2003
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I have decided that I would like to try a home made fly repellant and I thought that you guys out there would have some good recipes. I would be grateful if yo could share your tips and ideas with me as I am fed up at paying vast amounts for fly spray that I am sure I could make for virually nothing!

Thanks
Helen.
 

galadriel

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Feb 27, 2002
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I'm not sure where I picked this one up:

"Equal parts apple cider vinegar (do not use white vinegar) and Listerine mixed with baby oil (or Skin-so-Soft). Use 1/4 the amount of baby oil as vinegar and Listerine. It smells pretty badly, but it works for me and the horses I use it on, and I'd rather breath in that than the chemicals normally used in fly sprays. Before using it, give the bottle a good shake to mix the oil in with the other ingredients.

I was told that you can also use a sunscreen with this instead of baby oil (for sun sensitive horses), but I haven't. As always, before just going crazy and spraying this all over your horse, test it in an area to see how the skin reacts. I have heard of some horses break out in hives from this mixture, though I personally haven't had a problem, and I have used it on quite a few horses."
 

nix

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Jan 3, 2002
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Galadriel ... I was wondering ... wouldn't oil (baby or otherwise) cause problems in the sun? Heat + oil = cooking? I'm probably wrong, but seems logical.:rolleyes:
 

galadriel

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Originally posted by nix
Galadriel ... I was wondering ... wouldn't oil (baby or otherwise) cause problems in the sun? Heat + oil = cooking? I'm probably wrong, but seems logical.:rolleyes:

No, you're right, people on NR have complained about sun effects from using baby oil (usually as a detangler for mane & tail).

However, the flyspray I'm using now (Endure, made by Farnam I think) is oil based--and it doesn't wash off with sweat and it takes a lot of water (a light rain doesn't affect it). True, my horses are getting a little more sunbleached than otherwise, but the flyspray WORKS. And I use baby oil on mane & tail for detangler without truly awful consequences ;) too.
 

Cobby

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I've been using this recipe made up from essential oils - it is more effective than most of the fly repellents I've bought (and I've tried most of them!)

20 drops lavender oil
15 drops tea tree oil
10 drops eucalyptus oil
10 drops geranium oil
5 drops bog myrtle
10ml neem oil
5ml fairy liquid
200ml water

It is expensive to start off, the oils cost me about £35. But it is enough oils to make up gallons of repellent.

I mix some up in aloe vera gel instead of the fairy liquid and water to sooth any sore rubbed bits.

Has anyone tried NAF Midge Off?
 

nix

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Jan 3, 2002
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I'll have to give your recipe a try Cobby ... I spend a fortune on fly repellant for my two. Thank you :D ... sounds good doesn't it Helen? Haven't heard of "bog myrtle" though!

I haven't tried NAF midge off, but my friend uses "midge away" (I think think it's called that anyway) for her pony with sweet-itch and it seems effective, combined with good management.
 
Jan 10, 2003
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Thanks everyone!

Some good ideas there, I have bought some of the essential oils and so production will shortly be underway!

Cobby - Like you say, once the initial outlay is over I am sure that we will be making loads, so any money saving solutions will be a help!

Nix - I haven't heard of 'boy myrtle' either, Cobby - what is that?
 

Cobby

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I don't know what plant it's from - I've looked in a plant encyclopedia but it's not listed. Smells quite nice though. I got the recipe and bought mine from Pauhla Whitaker online at www.pauhla.com .I couldn't find this or neem oil in the shops. Good luck, hope it helps your horses.
 

nix

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Jan 3, 2002
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I've ordered my essential oils online ... Miss Moneypenny ... if you're interested there's a very good site www.cotswoldherbs.co.uk that is very reasonably priced and has most of the erm ... "ingredients?" needed :D

There are also lots of others if you do a search for "essential oils" and online.
 

Kerry's Partner

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fao Cobby

Where did you get the recipe from (or are you the originator)??

I'll certainly give it a try. Anything with citronella in it seems to attract more flies to Kerry rather than less and most over the counter things contain this.
 

Cobby

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Neem does smell quite garlicy. The recipe smells lovely until the neem is added! But apparently it is a good insect repellent.

Hi Kerry's partner, I got the recipe from Pauhla Whitaker - I e-mailed her and asked for a fly repellent recipe for my boy who has sweet-itch.
 

Kerry's Partner

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fao Cobby

Thanks so much for satisfying my curiosity. AND may I send my congrats that you searched so hard to find some comfort for your equine given the sweet itch. imo this MUST be THE nightmare of all for equines.

Sandra
 

Bebe

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I use the same repellent mix as Cobby does, and it really works. I order all my oils from Pauhla too, in fact she gave me the recipe initially.

I sell the flyspray to a few people on my yard who are too lazy to order the oils themselves ;) (I did give them the recipe originally so they had the option). I don't charge much but it covers the costs of what I use on Bebe so I essentially get free flyspray. I think the total cost for flyspray this summer will be about £40, half of which I've made back already. I'll still have enough oils left to do part of next summer too.

It really does work and if the flies start to get really bad I just increase the amount of Neem I put in which sees everything off
 
Last edited:
Jan 10, 2003
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Isle of Man
Thanks!

I have tried out my 'new' home made brew and it worked! I went for a long hack and then 1/2 an hour in the outdoor school, next to Penny's field last night and we weren't bothered! We only had the odd horsefly but no way near as bad as usual. I don't know why I haven't been making fly spray for years, I'll save a fortune.

My mixture was:

500ml of cold tea
150ml Cider Vinegar
Crushed Garlic
20 drops of Citronella Oil
10 drops of Lavender Oil
top up with water
2 drops of baby oil

I'd definately recommend that everyone makes their fly spray - I like the idea of selling it on the yard Bebe,.....Mmmm, gives me an idea......

Nix........I'll take a look at that site, especially now that I know my mixture works. Thanks!
 
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