What is the most effective fly spray for horses out there right now?

“Hey Stacy. How about a poll? What is the most effective fly spray out there right now? Anyone got a special mix they are using? I need to control/repel mosquitoes, horn flies, deer flies, and the occasional horse fly.”-Carla V.

How about it? What do you use to control flies around your horses? What flies are a problem for you?

Do you use feed through or spray on or both?

Mud: the all natural fly repellent.

Mud: the all natural fly repellent.

Water based? Oil based? All natural?

Please, leave a comment and help us all learn what you use and why.

Feel free to use product names and what you think the product works best for. Do you like it because it stays on a long time or because it controls mosquitoes? Details, please!

Updated 7/3/2019:

As of July 3, 2019, this post has 183 comments. If you’re interested in people thoughts on fly sprays…read comments below! This post was originally published on June 11, 2017





  1. Kathy Hobbs on May 21, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    We get a spray bottle of some sort and fill it 1/4th full of Wipe, then up the the half full mark with RepelX and fill the rest with water to the full mark. Our horse dentist recommended this combination and it works pretty well for us if we spray them twice a day with it.

  2. Source on July 22, 2021 at 5:44 am

    Absorbine Ultra shield works great for me. It’s super hot and humid here in NC and the flies are out of control. It’s been lasting about a week on average. Fly mask is an alternative variant too.

  3. Matt on July 20, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Found a local place selling this organic fly spray – https://stopbuggn.net. So far it’s been the best fly spray for horses that I’ve used.

  4. Carol on July 3, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    I’ve been using Eco Vet recently, as both my horses started reacting to Pyranha. It’s expensive and strong smelling, and my gelding does the “lip curl ” like crazy, but I’m pretty happy. I also use Buggzo by HorseTech, fly predators, and Simplify. A Lotta stuff, but great results!

  5. Marsha Behr on July 3, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Just started using coconut oil with lavender and tea tree oils added. I wipe it on their belly’s, bags, between back legs to deter ticks and has been helping with flies too.

  6. lynda on July 3, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    We start feeding garlic in March and only have to spray fly repellent on their legs.

    • Tami Gohn on June 17, 2022 at 3:01 pm

      How much garlic and how

  7. Carole Walton on April 24, 2019 at 6:17 am

    http://www.fly-off.co.uk it lasts 14 days waterproof and doesnt need reapplying also great for sensitive skin 🙂

  8. Art on July 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I buy four gallons of Pyranha oil base spray for fly season. We follow the directions. How long does it last? Maybe 15-20 minutes and flies start coming back. So far that’s the best we can do. We tried every thing we could find. Fly predator, Big stinky fly traps. Big Stinky jugs captured tons of flies but more keep coming. Manure is cleaned up 4 or 5 times a day and dumped in a neighbors Compost pile daily. It’s a half mile away. So is there any lasting effective fly or gnat spray out there? Hell no!

    • Kimberly Craig on July 19, 2017 at 11:32 am

      I found a spray that works..and im in a swamp!! RK FLY SPRAY from equine medsurg.com lasts best..Its expensive tho as i have 10 horses…im trying to figure out how to make it myself…

      • Camill on July 3, 2019 at 10:11 am

        I’ve been using RK for several seasons.
        Great product, most heavily concentrated active ingredients of all repellents out there.

        • Art Rice on July 9, 2019 at 4:44 pm


          I am testing RK FLY SPRAY. Worked this morning for about 6 hours. I have two horses and I’ll use it twice a day. Right now flies are real heavy on Long Island. Hope I could test once a day when they lighten up. You are right RK FLY SPRAY is not cheap! Strong smell, milky white! But it does work, at least so far.


          After two years I finally tried it.

        • Art Rice on July 17, 2019 at 9:54 am

          Using RK for a week now. Three days it did not do well against the flies. Four days it was pretty good. I will keep testing it until I’m convinced it works or not.

          • Art Rice on July 21, 2019 at 10:29 am

            RK turns out to be not what I thought. Flies are all over horses in a few minutes after spraying the last few days. Even tried a second spray of RK. No better than others!


    • Art on July 26, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Also tried Dryer sheets, outside attached to their slow feeders.
      Strong smell with no results! Sounded too good to be true.

  9. Lisa on June 20, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Dryer sheets!! I attach them to the stall gates with a zip tie. I attach one to bridle (or halter) and one to harness(or saddle). I have even tied them to there stall fans. My blacksmith attaches a few to his case. I redo the stall ones every week. The ones on equipment every day. Takes the same amount of time as if I was spraying! You a get a huge box of them for $10. No specific brand… I pick the smelliest one! I have them everywhere… after fighting flies for 30 years…I finally won!!

  10. Tom Pray on June 13, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I highly recommend to all take a look at the Fly Cage – http://bitingflytrap.com/ – The Fly Cage Horse Fly Trap is specifically designed for Horse flies, Deer flies, Yellow flies, and Green heads. This Horse Fly trap will not work for Mosquito, common house or Stable flies. Horse flies, Deer flies, Yellow flies, and Green heads, are attracted to CO2 and heat, which is why they are attracted to humans. These types of biting flies are also visual hunters. The Fly Cage Horse Fly Trap utilizes visual motion to attract the flies by suspending the black lure below the cage. Biting flies go straight to the target flying upward into the cage and once caught, dehydrate. The Fly Cage Horse Fly Trap will attract flies that are within sight of the trap itself. Our rule of thumb is that one Fly Cage will cover 1/2 acre. For Larger properties we recommend multiple Fly Cage’s for optimum effect. The Fly Cage Horse Fly Trap should be placed in open areas where the flies can see the target from all directions. If used around livestock, then place the Fly Cage near the pasture or barn.

  11. Jenny Wood-Outhwaite on June 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I live in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and I prefer water based products. Last year and this year I have been using a product called Pony P that I like, Texas likes and seems to keep him relatively bite free 🙂

    Details: Pyranha Pony XP aqueous insecticide spray is a ready-to-use, water based, citronella scented formula. It won’t attract dust and grime like oil-based products. Quick knockdown and long-lasting protection against a wide array of insects, including stable flies, house flies, bot flies, horse flies, horn flies, face flies, ticks, deer flies, mosquitoes, fleas, gnats and lice. Pyranha Pony XP contains 0.05% pyrethrins, 0.50% piperonyl butoxide and 0.10% permethrin

  12. Elise on June 12, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I started using 1/2 pine sol, 1/2 apple cider vinegar with a splash of Avon Skin So Soft on me and it worked so well, I now mix up big batches for the horses. I also like the new Smart Pak spray, not sure what it is called but got a free sample at Rolex 3 Day and it works well too.

  13. Terry on June 11, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    We use wipe here in Minnesota works well on ticks and most bugs. I spray it on a loofa and rub over my horses. Have to use daily and it can get expensive but it works great!!

  14. David D Rogers on June 11, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Pyranha Insecticide Aerosol as it’s the only one I’ve found that actually kills the fly’s on contact. The non-aerosol works fairly well too but I seem to get better results from the aerosol. It took a small amount of training to get each of my horses used to the aerosol spray but it was easy and worth it. It’s not cheap by any means but I’m a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” and Pyranha seems to hold up to that old adage.

    • Debby Schaefer on July 25, 2019 at 1:52 am

      I use Pyranha aerosol also. It’s the best there is. Even my farrier uses it on horses he’s working on so they are not stomping their feet while he works. The trick to the economy of it (it’s a little $$$) buy a case of it in February. You know you will use it and it’s cheaper that time of year. A case goes a long way. You do GET what you pay for!

  15. Mathilde Jenkins on June 11, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    I use this new stuff called Ecovet. It has Octanoic acid, Nonanoic acid, and decanoic acid. Lasts about 2 days

  16. Dana Golladay on June 11, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    As a farriers wide, please do not use Avon Skin So Soft, vinegar, or Listerine, at least when you know your farrier is coming. Skin So Soft makes their hands and tools very slippery, and anything with vinegar or Listerine will burn their eyes if they wipe the sweat away

    • Dana Golladay on June 11, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      *Wife not wide! Dang auto correct

  17. Ben on June 9, 2017 at 4:07 am

    OutSmart from Smartpak. New product, all natural ingredients and getting rave reviews.

    • Eden on June 17, 2017 at 11:24 am

      I’m with ya! I use and LOVE Outsmart 🙂

  18. RC on April 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Does ultrashield black bottle come in consentrate

  19. Susan on July 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    We use Avon Skin So Soft, white vinegar, dish soap, and lavender essential oil. The lavender seems to help calm the horse at fairs & such and it smells good.

    • Jamie on May 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      What is the amount of each ingredient?

  20. Rebecca on July 6, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Mosquito Halt (farnam) works the best for us on flies, horseflies, and mosquitoes through Florida summer.
    It’s not labeled for strong effect on flies as Endure is, but when we got a bottle last summer for the dusk mosquitos, we also found it far more effective on the flies than the endure was.

    Last summer we were using UltraShield EX (absorbine), which we found more effective than any of the other products including Endure, up until we tried the mosquito halt out, which has the others beat for pesky summer flies.

    In winter (being FL, the bugs never die), we use Calm Coat, as the most effective herbal from stores…
    I would LOVE to be able to use only herbal sprays, but they don’t even warrant notice to Florida summer bugs, and I can’t torture my horse that way.
    The stronger the chemical smell, the better they work, sad to say 🙁

  21. Carolyn T on July 6, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I have a gelding that rubs his mane and tail out every summer and I have finally found a fly spray that works named ECO-VET flyspray. It is all natural with no pesticides. He is regrowing mane and tail and has very few flies that try to land on him if I spray each day. All I have to do is spray a light mist down each side of his mane, under his belly, along the topline and around his tail. The flies just go away. The spray has a strong smell and is expensive but it works better than anything I have tried. I can go on trail rides on my mare and if I spray her we are not bothered by insects.

    I have read they are introducing a version that is not quite as strong smell wise.

    • Joy on June 12, 2017 at 7:08 am

      This stuff works amazing! It does have a very strong smell though! When using this I haven’t seen a fly in site. And if you have a fly as your spraying on your horse. If you spray it.. it’ll kill it instantly!

    • Carol on July 3, 2019 at 11:38 pm

      I’ve been using Eco Vet recently, as both my horses started reacting to Pyranha. It’s expensive and strong smelling, and my gelding does the “lip curl ” like crazy, but I’m pretty happy. I also use Buggzo by HorseTech, fly predators, and Simplify. A Lotta stuff, but great results!

  22. Felicia on July 6, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I make my own natural spray. Concentrate is 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup mineral oil, 1/2 tsp citronella, 1/2 tsp lemongrass oil, 1/2 tsp bitter orange oil, 1/4 tsp eucalyptus oil, 1/4 tsp clive oil 2 tablespoons of dawn dish soap. Shake well then mix a 1 part concentrate to 5 parts water in yoyr spray bottle. Re apply daily. Keeps most flys from biting, helps with ticks, mosquito and knats too. 🙂

  23. Jo on July 6, 2016 at 8:27 am

    My horses get diatomaceous earth in their feed, along with apple cider vinegar. I spray them with a mixture of coconut, lavender and peppermint oils mixed in water. If that doesn’t cover it I’ll give them a salt block that has sulfur in it. I have yet to find anything else that can handle the bugs, heat, and humidity of south Mississippi.

  24. Robin on July 6, 2016 at 4:16 am

    Flicks so far had worked for me, just have to be vigilant with it.

  25. Kellie on July 6, 2016 at 2:49 am

    I use equi spot every 2 weeks on the opposite week I use endure. And use bronco mixed with a sunscreen everyday! He isn’t bothered by the flys this year like he was last year!

  26. Linda on July 5, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    When I ride, I use Watkins lotion on my horse around her ears, eyes, muzzle and also on any exposed skin I have myself. I use absorbine (black bottle) on the rest of her, belly, barrel, neck and legs. We seem to not get bothered by the bugs. The other horses aren’t ridden and their owner says my horse is always last to come in from field at night. His come into the barn to get out of the bugs in the evening as they have no repellent on them

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