Horse Podcast Ep 162: Protect Your Horse from Mosquitoes & Flies

Equestrian Adventuresses Travel and Horse Podcast Ep 162 - Protecting Your Horse Against Flies And Mosquitoes

Every riders knows summer time is mosquito time and in order to enjoy our rides or for our horses to enjoy their freedom in the fields, they need some kind of protection. Today we discuss the best ways to manage the mosquito and fly plague, horse-on products and natural and chemical repellent and fly sprays. We also give you a great recipe for making one at home on a budget. Have you ever wanted to know more about the ingredients of your fly spray? Then listen to today’s podcast episode in which we talk about which chemicals do what and why you should keep an eye on the label before buying your next fly spray.

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Protecting Your Horse From Mosquitoes & Flies

Mosquitoes and flies can be a serious pest for you and your horse but they can also transmit serious diseases such as the West Nile Virus or Eastern or Western Equine Encephalitis.

This makes it even more important to protect our horses from getting bitten, so a good mosquito and fly management is paramount and this means:

Prevention, Reduction and Management!

Natural and Chemical Fly Sprays

Besides physical barriers such as fly masks and fly sheets, fly sprays are an important part of protecting your horse from getting molested and bitten by mosquitoes and flies.

Natural fly sprays are usually repellents, that means the smell keeps mosquitos away. They usually last for a few hours and their effectiveness depends on the kind of mosquito or fly and on the area or time of the day.

Natural repellents are:

  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geraniol
  • Vinegar
  • Garlic

Chemical fly sprays usually are insecticides stunning or killing mosquitoes or flies coming in touch with it. They are neurotoxins and can have side effects even though they are generally save for mammals. They do harm aquatic life and are toxic to bees and other insects as well as cats. The most commonly used ingredients are:


This is a natural chemical, taken from the Chrysanthemum plant. It is a contact poison which works as a neurotoxin, stunning the insect and paralysing it. In order to kill the insects, synergists such as piperonyl butoxide or bicycloheptene dicarboxamide are added. They are not pesticidal on their own, but help to increase the efficiency of the actual pesticide. Pyrethrin is broken down by ultraviolett light, moisture and oxygen, so it does not last very long and it is biodegradable. Its effects on the environment are short- to medium term. It is highly toxic to fish, moderately toxic to birds and bees and also to cats.

So even though Pyrethrin is a natural, it should still be handled with caution, as its toxic effects are similar to synthetic insecticides.


This is a chemical similar the pyrethrin but more stable and longer lasting. It is also a neurotoxin and contact poison. It will give you horse a much longer protection against insects, but sweat or rain will also wash it off. Pyrethroids are highly toxic to fish, bees and cats and you should always make sure to use it in a controlled way as not to contaminate any aquatic habitat. It should also not get into your horse’s eyes and nostrils as this can lead to irritation, swelling and allergic reactions.

It should only be used if it is necessary and in the correct amounts, applying due caution!

Both of these chemicals can cause side-effects in horses and humans such as itchy skin, runny nose or even asthma symptoms!

Recipe for a Home-made Fly Spray

The Budget Fly Spray Recipe

  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Sunscreen spray
  • 50 drops Citronella oil
  • 25 drops Lemongrass essential oil
  • 20 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 Tablespoons liquid soap
  • Spray Bottle

Add all your ingredients to your spray bottle. Shake well and apply!

Black Tea/Garlic Fly Spray Recipe

  • A pot of black tea
  • 6 garlic toes
  • 50 drops of Citronella oil
  • 25 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 25 drops of Eucalyptus or clover essential oil
  • 2 tablespoon of baby oil
  • 1 table spoon of vinegar
  • 1 spray bottle

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the black tea and the garlic toes. Boil it thoroughly and let it cool down and steep over night. On the next day you can filter the liquid and add the essential oils and the baby oil to make it stick to you horse better. Finally you can add the vinegar and fill it into the spray bottle.

If you have a horse which does not tolerate a spray, you can also fill any fly spray into an old deodorant roll-on and use it on your horse. This works with home-made or ready-made sprays!

Your Host and Guests today:

Heather (Canada) and Ute (India)

Your EQA podcast hosts, seasoned travellers and horse owners!

Don’t forget to check out the resources section in this article!


  • Fly and Mosquito Barn Management
  • Protective gear
  • Natural fly repellents
  • Chemical repellents & insecticides

Thank you for tuning in and happy trails!

Special Announcement

Horse Nomads – Book 5 of the Equestrian Adventuresses Book Series

Collected and published by Krystal Kelly

Finally, the 5th book of the EQA book series is about to be launched with five super cool stories featuring women from all around the world! Whether it is about riding horses in Lesotho or India or opening a yard on a Greek Island where horse riding is all male-dominated, all stories are packed with adventures and challenges. It is the perfect way to endure the -hopefully- last few months of lockdown and Covid-19 Travel Restriction and it will transport you to the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, the ruggedness of the Kingdom in the Sky Lesotho, or let you enjoy the world looking through the lyre-shaped ears of the Indian Marwari horses.

All books of the EQA book series are available as e-book, paperback and soon all will be available as audiobooks as well.

Grab your books and audiobooks now! Incredible true stories of horse riding travel adventures around the world.

Do you feel that we are missing out on an important topic? Or maybe you have an interesting story to tell? Contact Heather or Ute!


Thanks for listening to our Podcast: Protecting your Horse from Mosquitoes & Flies!

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