Completely Fragrance Free
Fly Sprays have scent – there is no way around it, so if you have severe chemical Sensitivity and cannot tolerate even essential oils, I suggest using organic, food grade Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth has no smell and will kill pests when sprinkled in shavings or other bedding. Use it as a fly/flea Powder and dust directly on the coats of your horses and small pets.
It can also be used as a feed supplement. Diatomaceous Earth will work internally as both a pesticide and wormer. (be sure to use organic, food grade if you are feeding) This is probably the most effective and environmentally friendly way I have found to deal with flies, mosquitos and fleas.
There are other feed through solutions such as Smart Pak’s Bug-Off to help cut down on the fly population in your barn. For a long time I fed Garlic, and though I do believe garlic is beneficial for overall health, I personally never saw it help with fly reduction.
Use feed throughs in conjunction with other fragrance free options such as fly traps like Earth Easy or try Fly Predators. Fly Predators or Parasites are a completely organic fly system as an alternative to automatic chemical barn sprays. For more info on controlling flies on your property see post on Eco Horse Property Management.
Non-Pesticide Fly Sprays
These are Pesticide-free products made with essential oils. All will smell to varying degrees, so some will be more overpowering and offensive than others. A few listed also have chemical ingredients. I prefer chemical free, but some times availability and budget constraints simply don’t allow this, so these are the least offensive options I could find.
I have not yet tried all of them, but as I do, will post comments.
Herbal Fly Spray – a ridiculously expensive option: 20 ounces for $50.00 (including tax and shipping) BUT, I love the fact that it barely has any odor, and it really works. Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Citronella and Aloe.
Green Horse – My absolute Favorite! Pleasing and very mild scent from herbal ingredients that truly work. Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Grape Seed, Rice Bran, avocado, Soy, and Neem oil, Geranium and Lemon Eucalyptus, organic French lavender, Peppermint and Tea Tree oil.
Peppermint Summer Refresh – An interesting blend of catnip and peppermint oil in a witch hazel base. No chemicals here! This has a strong minty scent from the essential oil. My only experience with this was one summer month unfortunately stabled at a fly infested barn. It did not do much to deter flies; but I am not sure that any product would have worked at that place.
Fly Gnat & Mosquito – for good measure, this one uses all possible combinations; Organic apple cider vinegar, Calendula, Lemongrass, Catnip, Neem, Geranium, Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Yarrow and Jojoba Oil in Witch Hazel. Organic.
Equiderma – water based, Neem, Aloe, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, White Thyme, Lemongrass, Citronella, Lemon Peel, Tea Tree, Bergamot and Lavender.
Nature’s Defense – by Farnham; contains citronella, clove, mint and thyme,
pesticide free, but it does contain sodium laurel sulfate. Comes in concentrate or ready to spray.
Bug Gone – Permethirn & pyrethrin free, protects against flies, fleas and ticks.
Hawaiian Equine Shield – care for something a little more exotic? How about a fly spray made from Hawaiian organic Neem, Noni, Aloe Vera, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Lavender, Jojoba, Organic Grapefruit Seed Extract, and something called 2SN Hawaiian Herbal Extract blends. Use on horses, livestock, dogs and humans.
Bug Spray – by Best Shot. A blend of essential oils: Tea Tree, Rosemary, Sage, Cedarwood, Peppermint, Orange, Eucalyptus, Citronella and Pine extracts, will not stain clothes. Detailed ingredients are not listed on manufacturer’s website.
Stay Away – Citronella, Rosemary, Peppermint, Cedarwood, and Lemongrass oils; Lecithin and Xanthan Gum in a water base.
***Note: Although most Fly Sprays contain either Cedar (oil extracted from the leaf), or Cedarwood oil as one of their ingredients (which is absolutely fine), I do not recommend spraying your horses or any pet with pure Cedar Oil (being marketed by some Natural Pest companies) since it can irritate skin.
Wild Animal Stampede – Citronella oil blend shampoo for horses, dogs and cats.
Fly Shampoo – equine shampoo made with citronella oil to deter flies and tea tree oil to heal skin conditions.
Organic Horse – No detergents, pesticides or synthetic fragrances.
Equine America – Citronella shampoo, does contain sodium laurel sulphate.
Healthy Suds Bug Gone – essential oils to repel insects; no sls.
Equiderma Shampoo – Organic Neem oil based formula which contains Arnica, Pine bark, Basil, Chamomile, and Cherry Bark. Soap Free.
I have tried a few homemade fly spray recipes floating out on the internet, most of which combine apple cider vinegar with garlic or even Avon Skin-So-Soft. Avon Skin-so-Soft Reeks horrifically, so that one does not work for me. But I did try the apple cider vinegar recipe and my poor horse smelled like a kitchen accident. The flies didn’t seem to mind. 🙂
Do you have a homemade recipe that works well? Please share your secret!