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. Lauren Aston on July 5, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    I live in Santa Fe, NM (high desert). It gets up to about 100 degrees on our hottest days, but usually closer to 85 or 90 through the summer. We have low humidity, but it’s not as dry as true desert, like Phoenix, or even farther south in NM. We do get “monsoon season” during the summer, so a fair amount of rain. My favorite product is Absorbine Ultrashield. The flies drop immediately and stay off the horses for a couple days, unless they get rained on. It also doesn’t seem to attract too much dust. I’ve tried other sprays that were cheaper in hopes of saving a few bucks, including Bronco, and a few others I can’t remember the names of, and none worked, I’d see flies back on the horses almost immediately. One mare wears a fly mask, the other won’t keep it on, so I use swat on her face, and around wounds, and on hocks of they’ve broken skin from rolling on hard ground. I haven’t tried fly predators yet, cause I’ve been skeptical, but after reading comments about them I may have to order some…

  2. Shelly Flora on July 5, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    I make a product that sales in several feed stores” Itch-less..it’s 100% natural with 9 ingredients that will heal the skin without drying, great for no-seeums and fly sensitivity, and promotes hair re-growth..is a wonderful daily use fly spray.

  3. Jenny on July 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    This is our first year using fly predators and we have noticed a huge difference in our fly populations. For the biting flies I use ultrashield when it is really bad but normally we had the Amish tell us to use Shaklee’s Basic H. You dilute it at 50 to 1 ration and spray them down and it does pretty darn good job. And for gallon of concentrate for like $80…that’s a lot of fly spray. Plus it isn’t as full of chemicals as many of the other sprays so I don’t mind using it frequently. We spray daily with it so in all but the worst humid days in PA it works well

    • Veronica Lock on April 8, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Do any of them have any sensitivities to the Basic H? Is that 50 water to 1 basic H?

  4. Dallas on July 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    I have a horse with an allergy to gnats & flies…*yay…so I use a combination of fly predators and I braid a cow fly tag into his mane (change it about every 1 to 2 months. It helps alot for constant protection.

    • nina on July 5, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      wow so many ideas!!
      I’m in boise and we use simplifly feed through, swat on the chest and bellt buttons, pyhranna(in the blue bottle) or this new spray called eqovet (sp) it’s supposed to mess up the flies gps lol smells like old man Cologne, but kills on contact and lasts 2-4 days depending how hot it is. it’s expensive and is half the size of normal spray.
      the feed through has helped a ton as well. the flies go to the other horses, more then mine.

      • nina on July 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm

        oh and when i can find it adams fly spray. smells good, works great and has sun screen.

  5. Susan Bonner on July 5, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I use Spalding fly predators, HorseTech’s BugOff, and Simplifly. I also spray daily with either Endure or Absorbine EX. We have virtually no flies around the farm, but we do have some mosquitos and oh-my-gosh the gnats. I also use fly masks during the day. I’ve recently ordered a product called Eco-Vet, which is a fly spray that uses fatty acids to repel and kill bugs instead of the regular insecticides. Horse forum reviews for the Eco-Vet say that it is more effective than anything else, but it is supposed to really smell terrible. It will be worth it if it works, though.

  6. Heather G on July 5, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    We have an extremely bad gnat and stable fly problem. Plus we have mostly thoroughbreds or Appendix crosses so we have thin sensitive skin to consider. Almost everyone gets to wear a fly sheet and everyone wears a mask with ears. We baby oil up anything that is getting bitten. Also use swat and EquiSpot. And a mixture of apple cider vinegar, citronella oil, olive oil and garlic. Feed through hasn’t worked. Gnats don’t like fly traps, so we keep grass short and all water extremely fresh. Fans in the stalls when inside are the best protection honestly.

  7. Brittany on July 5, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Equispot!!!! It isn’t a spray it’s a spot on but lasts a good two weeks or one week if raining however it’s apply once and done. It is oil based but works on all animals including dogs and keeps ticks off them to! I also use on my goats 😉 By FAR best out of all sprays and spot on treatments I’ve tried! Apply to top line and backs of bottom of legs (I also add around ears) not only no flies on horses but no flies around you while riding! Michigan’s shore to shore trail ride we were the only ones not being attacked by big deer flys!

  8. Lynn Atkinson on July 5, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Absorbine Ultra Shield Ex does the job in Southern Ontario Canada

  9. Janet on July 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Endure works here in Ocala. Spray on once a day, or after a shower.

  10. Chris on July 5, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I use Eco-Vet and it is great! It works for about 24 hours in our wet, humid, environment. I live in north texas with lots of biting bugs. It has an oily base and funny smell, but you get use to it. You can’t put it on a wet horse, but will work if the horse gets wet after you applied it. Kinda pricey at $150 a gal, but it goes a long way.

  11. Deborah Baney on August 10, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I use skin so soft vinegar (white) and water works pretty good here in New York state. I am more for as natural of spray I can use. Just to many chemicals out there! Am willing though to try anything. Comfort to my horse important. Her being a paint with a lot of white on her she is more sensitive

  12. Jenn Lindstrom on August 17, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I use Absorbine Ultra Shield EX when the skeeters, black flies and horse flies get really bad during the summer months here in Alberta. It lasts up to 17 days. We also will do smudges when there isn’t a fire ban on. I use EQyss Canadian Marigold when we go on trail rides or are training because it’s alcohol free non-toxic, both horse and rider can use it and smells awesome!! It works really well 🙂

  13. Linda on August 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Pyranha It works for most of the flies in Texas. Fly Predators work wonders around the barn.

  14. Brenda Blakely Glastetter on August 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I love Happy Horse, works great knocks flies dead, also use it on my dogs.

  15. Cindy on August 12, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    We use Dawn dish soap and water, spray on !! The flies were so bad in Brown County in July, I poured it down the middle of there back, thinking it was going to rain and it didn’t. Should have sprayed them down, but it burnt them! Had to use Vetercin. All better now! But still use it mixed with water!

  16. meganflick on August 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I generally use oil based Pirannah. The oil seems to make it last longer because they don’t sweat it off as easily.

  17. stormidnight on August 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Natural non-toxic is best. A vet who uses essential oils in her practice has a website with a fly repellent, among many other products. http://www.animaleo.info/

  18. Lori B. on August 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Deep Woods OFF has worked the best for me, and I actually trialed them, side by side. I know it is a people product, but I have used it with no ill effects for years. I don’t think we have Pyranna up hear, but I will keep an eye out for it. Good luck!

  19. Terrie Moon on August 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    We started using Solitude IGR which is a feed through that inhibits the fly larva from turning into adult flies. The results are amazing. We have very few flies. We have two llamas and two goats as well as a large number of poultry and I thought that might negate the effect, but not so.

    The horses also get sprayed with Bronco with citronella in the mornings.

    We also live in an area with lots of hobby farms and we still see the dramatic difference that the Solitude makes.

  20. Lillian Turner on August 12, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I use Smart Bug-off feed through and Endure, which my sensitive gelding allows me to spray on him, unlike many other brands I’ve tried. I think part of it is that he doesn’t object as much to the smell, which is less chemical than others. And the Endure does its job well. I also use Swat on the face and any wounds my horses may have, such as the sores my mare has on her hips from lying down outside.

    • conniec2014 on August 12, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      My exact plan of attack too. I put garlic powder in the feed, 1 capful each graining and I use bsgbslm on the actual sores. Its working great! Good luck all.

  21. Annie on August 12, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Hello everyone, I live in Michigan and the only thing I find that works, is to kill them before they become flies, I use Simply Fly, given to your horses feed. I tried Fly Predators and was not happy with the results, this works better for me, just say-in.

  22. Corinne Waterbury on August 12, 2014 at 10:26 am

    What about fly sheets? I have used Endure and it kinda works for a few hours but am wondering if I should just get a fly sheet and spray Babe’s legs and neck. Opinions?

  23. Lor on August 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I use Equicare Flysect-C concentrate. When making it, I fill a gallon bottle of water and add either 5 ML of lavender oil or a 1/2 cup of Skin So Soft, and I use that water to mix with the concentrate. The oil makes the horse’s skin soft and coat shiny. And it smells great. At one point I also mixed in white wine vinegar, but one of my horses had a reaction and lost hair, so we no longer add vinegar. I do go through a lot of it (for 2 horses I probably spend $250-300 in fly spray per summer) but we live in humid Central Pennsylvania, and I want my horses comfortable.

    • Lor on August 12, 2014 at 9:12 am

      I should also note I spray them morning and night.

    • Michelle Irving on August 12, 2014 at 10:39 am

      How much Flysect C Concentrate do you use with the water and Skin So Soft?

  24. Brianne on August 12, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Clac is my fav both the gel and the consintrate to a spray mix. The spray doesn’t last as long as the gel but half of the boarding facility I manage is using at least one of the two options clac has .

  25. T Geiger on August 12, 2014 at 5:01 am

    I have used fly predators with success in previous years but this year they don’t seem to be hatching like they had in years past. I also use Flysect Super 7, or Endure flyspray. If they get sores (one has allergies & gets little bumps on his legs) I use Swat or Cut Heal on them. I also feed food grade Diatomaceous Earth, and hang Rescue (stinky) fly traps as well as sticky Fly Tape to try to catch the adults… and on cool mornings (they are slow when it is cool out) I find it rewarding to smack ’em with a fly swatter!

  26. firnhyde on August 12, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Buzz-Off in the mornings on the underline and legs, which controls stable flies, horse flies and mosquitoes; then a little bit of paraffin along the topline, mane and ears in the evenings, for the control of the Culicoides midges that spread African horse sickness. Fly masks all day as well – nothing else seems to keep those pesky critters off their faces!

  27. Sheena on August 12, 2014 at 2:41 am

    I use asorbine ultrashield and feed sliced dehydrated garlic here in pa. I reapply the fly spray every couple days but after I saw it kill flys I said I would never complain about the price again! I have also never had a tick on any of my horses!

  28. Barbara on August 12, 2014 at 2:16 am

    I use Flyspray 44 by Fiebings. Only thing that will work where I am at. I also use Fly Eliminators by Arbico Organics.

  29. Mary Bieganski on August 12, 2014 at 2:11 am

    I use smartpaks feed through fly contol and that has helped some, but Pyranha definitely works the best and is long lasting. When I’ve used it the flys won’t even go near my mare, and she is a magnet for flys and mosquitoes

  30. Maria on August 12, 2014 at 1:38 am

    I use Arbico fly predators since 2009 and they are the best fly control that works for us (14 horses). We tried sprays and feed through but they did not work for us. The predators only helps with the flies. If anybody knows how to eliminate gnats please let me know.

  31. Merlin Olson on August 12, 2014 at 12:09 am

    I use Farnam’s Wipe. But a word of caution, When using this product put it on a rag and just coat the top of the hair. I have seen people who think more is better and soaked the horse with it. this will cause swelling and you will not be able to use your horse because he/she will become sore. I have seen two inch high areas of swelling caused by to much insect repellent. The product works well if used in moderation. If using before going on a ride I suggest not putting it in the cinch area or under the saddle. Sweat can cause it to work down to the skin and tack will not let the air get to it to dry. A good practice may be to put it on after tacking up. Remember, all insect repellent is poison, use in moderation.

  32. Patty Grant on August 11, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    I make my own by buying pyrethrine and dilute it with water (summertime I am able to add more as needed) and some avon skin so soft. My costs is about $2 per bottle. Also, during summer I will double up the pyrethrine and when horse is out of stall I will spray entire stall with it. Also works great on dogs for fleas and ticks must use much less, of course. Works better than anything I have ever purchased. I also will make a gallon size and triple the amount of pyrethrine and pour over the huge red ant piles and it kills them instantly! Again….$2 per bottle.

  33. Hawai'i Girl on August 11, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I use Wipe II spray, and have for years. It even keeps flys off my cow when she is in a herd of unsprayed cattle! And, in addition to wipe II, I use SWAT clear for spots inside ears, withers, and the underside of bellys for my horse which keeps him fly free for at least a week at a time.

  34. Christie on August 11, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Pyranna or Tri Tec works great in tropical climate like Florida and desert climate here in Arizona!

  35. Sara McNeil on August 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Spalding Fly Predators work great for our five horses in southeast Texas. I buy them every year and put them out each month during fly season. It helps to start before the flies appear. I put them out exactly like they recommend. Their customer service is great, and they have specials during the winter to encourage you to place your order early. Then they ship them at the right time.

    I also pick up manure twice a day around the barn and pull a drag across the pastures to break up the manure piles. I use fly traps inside the barn – the sticky ones and the bait strips. We have hardly any flies, except for a few large horse flies. I do spray the horses usually the week before a new shipment arrives. You have to be careful where you spray so you don’t kill the predators, but otherwise, I am very happy with this method.

    Mosquitoes are a big bother right now, but nothing seems to work on them. Keeping the ground dry and eliminating standing water is the only solution except for the mosquito spray.

  36. Sharon Wingron on August 11, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I’ve had pretty good luck with Whup-a-Bug. This year seemed a little less effective, but it still works and smells good. Somewhat hard to find also. I’m in Missouri.

    • Kim Force on October 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      Sharon, we sell Whup-A-Bug and we are in Missouri! Check us out at luckysnipe.com.

  37. Betty Ainger on August 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Tri Tec works well, but the best so far is the freed type Buggo. The fly predictors work but live within a mile from a very large dairy so I still have flys.

  38. Michelle Irving on August 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I have used several different ones over the years, including natural and chemical. I just started using Repel-X and it’s proving to be very effective!! The flies are especially bad this summer, so I’m glad it’s working!

  39. Lea on August 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I always prefer natural remedies when at all possible, so I use fly masks for their faces. I feed apple cider vinegar and garlic which helps repel insects. Neem oil is also a good deterrent and can be sprayed on them or in their stalls. A friend of mine swears by some fly sticky sheets that look like a paper towel roll. She places them on her manure spreader and kills thousands of them that way. I use fly predators but they only kill common house fly, not the black biting flies (which seem to become worse without common house flies). I have tried to make my own fly spray for horses, but it takes so much essential oils it is more cost effective to buy prepared fly spray. When the flies are really bad or if I need something before riding I will use Piranah or Repel-X concentrate. Both will kill flies on contact. Mosquito Halt is the best thing to repel mosquitoes.

  40. Sharon Heritage on August 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I have used feed thru garlic. It’s amazing! Hardly any flies at all. In the barn I use a Renuzit air freshener in each stall, Lavender scented. No biting flies in the barn. This is what works for us!

  41. Nancy on August 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I put fly mask on and fly sheets till it gets to hot to wear them here in Texas but I buy the thin ones so they feel better on him also this year I got the leg bands and use Bronco fly spray every few days for the exposed area’s. He breaks out in hives from fly bites and this
    combo seems to work for him.

  42. Allison on August 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    definitely fly predators and pyranha and skin so soft.

  43. Sandy on August 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Used to be called Larry’s Horse Spray.. now it’s Espree Aloe Herbal Horse spray. I’ve been using it on my mustang boy since he was 3 months old and he’s now 9. All natural and smells great…works great but needs to be applied every 48 hrs depending on where you live. Started in NV and now in KY and works well either climate.

  44. Rita on August 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Clac otherwise known as deolotion from Germany. Also vanilla extract

  45. Linda on August 11, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Piranah … I am in west Texas … Permian Basin area … it works for about 2 days. I have one horse that the flies love to eat and she is so happy to see the bottle she comes to me a drops her head to my knees and waits to be sprayed. Good stuff. If you buy it off of Vet Supply in the gallons you can get it sometimes for 1/2 price on the second one if you buy two at the same time.

  46. Stephanie Fitkin on August 11, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Arbico fly predators have eliminated my fly problem at home. I do spray my horse with Endure or mosquito halt when I go trail riding. I always rinse my horse off after I ride so I do have to apply it every time no matter the product.

  47. Karen on August 11, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Since I can’t leave a smudge burning, I like Absorbine Ultrashield Ex. Smells good, has sunscreen in it, and lasts better than anything else I’ve used. But you have to remember to shake bottle before using and it works better on a clean horse. Also if you spray consistently every couple of days. And for the spots on the belly, chest and in the ears when sandflies chew up my horse, I use good old fashioned grease(automotive) in a tube. Its a cheap remedy passed down to me by my mom and her father.

  48. rue.bear@live.com on August 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    I use absorbine in the black bottle, but when I go on trail rides in mosquito ridden areas I use Mosquito Halt. I live in the valley in Oregon where we have some very wet areas.

  49. blacksheepfarm on August 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    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.

  50. Kori on August 11, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Dumor fly-spray… Tractor Supply has it and it’s super effective and cheap. Best stuff out there!

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