As a horse owner, it can be disheartening seeing your poor horses covered in annoying flies. Not only do these insects annoy horses and their riders, but some of them can also bite. In the summer months, high humidity levels and heat make for the perfect fly breeding ground. If an onslaught of flies is tormenting your horses, you need the best fly spray for horses.
These sprays are meant to protect your beloved horses from harmful flies. With this guide, you will learn why these sprays are essential and how they can work to keep your horses more comfortable during the summer, when flies are most active.
Why Should You Use Fly Sprays On Your Horses?
If you are a new horse owner, you may not realize the dangers of exposing your horses to hordes of flies. One of the biggest dangers is the transmission of disease. Flies are filthy creatures and they live in cesspools. If they are carrying bacteria and diseases, your horse could be placed in danger.
While not all flies bite, most that hang out and irritate horses do. Stable Flies cause especially painful bites and they will attack your horse’s legs and flanks. These bites are so painful they cause horses to stomp, which could be dangerous if you are riding them. Stable Flies can transmit equine infectious anemia to your horses.
Horseflies attack the chest, neck, withers, and legs and they produce painfully annoying bites. Your horse could suffer from itching and painful bites all over when these incessant flies attack. Horseflies can also transmit equine infectious anemia.
Other types of annoying flies include Gnats, Face Flies, Horn Flies, and House Flies.
Not only do you have to worry about flies attacking your horses, but you also must worry about ticks and mosquitoes. Thankfully, the best natural fly spray for horses also helps to deter other biting insects from annoying your horse and causing them discomfort.
Our Favorite Fly Sprays for Horses
Top 7 Picks — Fly Spray for Horses
As owners of a beloved herd of horses, there is no way we would compromise the health of our animals. We have completed hours of research into different sprays and their ingredients to come up with our top 7 best list of horse sprays. Read the following reviews to arm yourself with information on making a purchase.
#1) Pyranha Wipe N Spray
One of the first things that impressed me about this spray is the size. I know it shouldn’t matter all that much, but when you have a lot of horses, as I do, you will need a large container or you are going to be buying spray bottles over and over.
This Pyranha Wipe N Spray is ready to use so you do not have to add water. Simply purchase a small funnel and some new spray bottles and you are ready.
This spray’s active ingredient is pyrethrum which has been proven to kill all types of flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and ticks.
Not only does it contain the ingredient that kills on contact and helps to repel flies, but it also contains lanolin to condition your horse’s coat. The citronella scent is pleasant and you only need about one to two ounces per horse. A little goes a long way. As always, I tried a small bit on my horse’s skin before a full application and waited 24 hours. When no reactions occurred, I sprayed and brushed them all down. I was amazed to see flies landing but immediately dying. This stuff really does what it says.
- Proven to kill a range of flying and crawling insects on contact. They literally drop like flies!
- The addition of lanolin conditions the horse’s coat for added sheen.
- A large one-gallon bottle will last a long time.
- This spray contains these active ingredients: 0.1% Pyrethrins, 1% Piperonyl butoxide and 15% butoxy polypropylene glycol.
- Fast-acting and lasting
- Easy to apply
- Softens and protects the coat
- Pleasant smell
- Slightly greasy and may attract dirt
#2) Farnam SimpliFly Featuring LarvaStop
When researching the different best fly spray for horses, I could not find many sprays that killed fly larvae. When flies land on horses, they often leave their eggs behind and these can cause skin irritations.
This Farnam feed additive really helps to reduce the flies in your barns and pastures.
Yes, I know it is not a spray, but I had to include it in this list because it really works. If you have ever seen the number of flies hanging around manure piles, you know it is important to do something to bring their numbers down or your horses will never be at peace.
The active ingredient in these pellets is Diflubenzuron. Diflubenzuron interrupts the life cycle of the fly so it dies before it ever reaches adulthood. It is safe for horses, but you should carefully follow directions for the best results.
I was a little concerned my horses would immediately shrug it off. They are rather spoiled with their feeding habits. The formula said it was highly palatable so I gave it a try and was quite impressed. My horses gobbled it right up with the rest of the feed. ( Check for best feed for horse weight gain ) So, then I had to wait to see if it made a difference.
Their manure looked and smelled the same, but I immediately noticed fewer flies hanging around. With fewer flies, my horses were not swatting their tails or stomping as much which let me know this product was doing as promised.
- This product is easy to use. You simply add it to your horse’s current feed and allow them to eat it.
- These pellets contain an active ingredient called Diflubenzuron, which helps destroy flies in all stages of life.
- The bucket comes in 3.75 pounds, 20 pounds, and 50 pounds. I bought the 50-pound bucket for my big herd.
- This pellet promises to reduce the fly population around your horses by as much as 97-100%.
- Easy to use and effective
- Horses do not mind the taste
- A little goes a long way
- Does not harm other animals if they ingest
- Not as effective against other insects
#3) Absorbine UltraShield EX for Horses and Ponies
When I was researching the options for horse fly sprays, I came across this brand in a lot of horse forums. Absorbine promises this spray repels over 70 species of biting flies, ticks, and mosquitoes. With such big promises, I had to check it out.
I really like that this product says it is good for 17 days because it takes a lot of work to constantly apply fly sprays to your herd every day. The formula is weather-proof and it contains aloe, coat conditioners, and sunscreen to protect your horse from the harshness of the sun.
What is neat about this spray is it can also be used as a perimeter spray for added protection against annoying flying insects. This product is safe for use on horses, ponies, mules, and even dogs.
To tell you how respected this spray is, they are the official fly spray brand of the United States Equestrian Federation. I figured if they trust it, I can surely use it on my animals.
This stuff really does last a long time. I was quite impressed that it kept working even on two of my horses that are profuse sweaters. While I did not get a full 17 days of work out of one application, it does last around two weeks — which is fine by me.
- This product does what it says. It kills on contact and repels all types of insects, even bees.
- The spray is easy to apply, but it is important to carefully follow the directions for the best application.
- The active ingredients are Permethrin 0.50%, Pyrethrins 0.10%, and Piperonyl Butoxide 1.00%.
- This spray conditions the horse’s coat and protects their skin from sun damage.
- Can be used on multiple animals
- Kills flies and other insects instantly
- Lasts up to two weeks
- Is weather-proof
- Has a strong smell when first applied
#4) Farnam Endure Fly Spray for Horses
Yes, this is the second Farnam product we are reviewing and that is because we truly trust the brand. The company has been around a little over 70 years and they continue to produce some of the best fly sprays on the market.
This spray, like the name says, is meant to stay in place for a long time. The bottle claims it will offer protection for up to fourteen days. Farnam has patented their RepeLock conditioner which is proven to completely coat the shaft of the hair, protecting against flies and ticks that may carry Lyme Disease.
Endure comes in three types for your convenience. There is a pump spray, a roll-on, and an EZ pour gallon.
I recommend buying the gallon size if you have a large herd to cover. This spray claims it is a sweat-proof and weather-resistant so I used it on my biggest horse and boy does he sweat!
I have to say, Farnam Endure passed the sweat test with no problem at all. This is not concentrated so you do not have to worry about mixing it with water. It is ready to go right when you open the bottle.
Make sure you carefully follow the directions. You will need to apply every five to seven days at first, to build up protection. After that, you will only need to reapply every 14 days.
- Whether you use the roll-on, spray, or refill, this product is truly easy to apply and it does not make a big mess.
- This spray contains the active ingredients of Pyrethrins 0.20% and Piperonyl Butoxide 1.00%.
- It keeps the horse’s mane, tail, and coat beautifully shiny due to deep conditioning.
- This spray kills flies and ticks on contact and helps repel them.
- No strong smell
- Easy to use
- Protects for up to two weeks
- Is weather-proof and sweat-proof
- Slightly costlier than other sprays
#5) PYRANHA Wipe N Spray Horse Protection for Flies
If you are looking for a convenient spray bottle application for one or two horses, this Pyranha Wipe N Spray is one of the very best. Each bottle is 32 ounces and you can purchase bundles of three bottles. Wipe N Spray features a Pyrethrins-based formulation so you know it is going to be effective on all types of nasty flies.
This is going to give you at least 15 applications per bottle because you only need about one to two ounces per horse. You apply this spray directly to your horse and then brush it in.
The lanolin in the spray acts as a coat protectant and conditioner and your horse will definitely shine when you use it as directed.
What I really like about Pyranha’s horse sprays is they smell really nice. Your horses will not be repelled by the smell, but the flies and other insects sure will be! I applied and carefully brushed my mare and her coat was beautiful. From the very first application, she was much more comfortable.
You can apply this product with a cloth or with the spray. Either application requires your horse to be clean so make sure you brush them thoroughly to remove loose hair and dirt. The cloth method has you wipe the product on the horse and then rub it in by brushing. The spray is the same way. Simply spray until the coat is slightly damp and then brush in.
- A little goes a long way so a single bottle will offer at least 15 applications.
- This product truly kills and repels all types of flying and biting insects.
- This spray contains the active ingredients of Pyrethrins – 0.1% *Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical – 1.0% Butoxy Polypropylene, Glycol – 15.0%.
- The spray offers a pleasant Citronella scent.
- Offers multiple applications
- Ready to use
- Contains conditioners
- Works on all types of insects
- Does not offer extended protection and should be applied often
#6) Farnam SWAT Fly Ointment
Here again, we have another excellent Farnam product to review. This time, we are reviewing an ointment. If you own horses or have ever been around them, you know flies are attracted to wounds. If your horse has any type of cut or abrasion, the flies are going to start to swarm.
This thick ointment helps to shield your horse’s wounds and keep those darn flies away. The ointment helps to shield the wound and promotes faster healing.
You can also use this ointment in areas where it is difficult to use traditional fly sprays. If your horse has any sensitive areas that keep getting covered in flies, this is your answer.
I found this ointment to be more like a paste. I usually put this product on my horses’ ears and polls to add extra protection to these sensitive areas.
It is important to note that if your horse has a deep wound, do not apply the ointment directly into the wound. Deep wounds should be protected with an edge application only. Apply it around the edge of the ointment so the wound is not irritated.
As always, it is important to use care when applying around the eyes. Use a light layer above and below, but never get too close to the eyes because it may cause irritation.
- This ointment provides a thick layer of protection so flies don’t try to attack your horses where they have injuries.
- A little goes a long way, so this tub of ointment will last a long time.
- This ointment contains these active ingredients: Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical* 0.5%, Pyrethrins 0.2%, and Di-n-propyl Isocinchomeronate 1.0%.
- This product does not irritate the skin or trap heat.
- Easy to apply and stays put
- Offers superior protection
- Can be used on horses and dogs
- Works for hours
- Only repels flies — it does not kill them
#7) Espree Aloe Herbal Natural Horse Spray
If you prefer to use only natural products on your horse, this Espree aloe herbal spray is one you might want to consider purchasing. Although I like the idea of natural sprays, I have not always had the best of luck with them, so I was a little leery regarding this spray.
Because Horse Journal rated this spray as one of the best, I decided I would check it out so I could offer a review. I really like that it contains only natural, organic oils so I do not have to worry about exposing myself or my horses to chemicals.
I was not expecting a lot out of this spray, I will be honest, but I was pleasantly surprised that it actually started to work right away.
The spray is ready to go so you do not have to mix. It contains ingredients that help to condition the horse’s coat and it actually works at repelling flies and other flying insect pests.
If your horses’ legs are getting bitten to the point of drawing blood, you need this spray. After applying, my horses were able to stand still and enjoy their hay without constantly kicking and stomping. It was quite amazing to see!
- This product does not contain any chemical insecticides that could be harmful to your horse.
- The spray is easy to use and works for hours.
- The active ingredients are Citronella Oil 0.1500%, Cedarwood Oil 0.1000%, and Eucalyptus Oil 0.0756%.
- This product helps to promote a healthy coat.
- Easy to apply
- Has a pleasant smell
- Works to repel flying insects
- Completely organic
- Does not kill flies or other insects — it only repels
Things To Consider Before You Purchase a Horse Fly Spray
As with all things, not all fly sprays are created equal. Careful research is helpful in choosing a spray. Consider a few different things before making a purchase.
One of the most important considerations when purchasing the best-rated fly spray for horses is the ingredients. Some fly sprays contain ingredients that are not entirely beneficial for your horse. Although they have been deemed safe for use, they can cause skin irritations, especially if your horse has sensitivities. Carefully reading the list of ingredients and knowing what each one does is important. The following are some common ingredients in fly sprays for horses.
- Pyrethrins – Pyrethrins come from the chrysanthemum flower and are all-natural. This is one of the best ingredients for deterring flies with vapor smells. This spray helps to create a strong vapor barrier that keeps flies and other biting insects from landing on your horse.
- Permethrin – This ingredient provides a coating on the horse’s coat and it works in two ways. It helps to repel insects, but it also kills them on contact. This is one of the stronger ingredients and it will not break down in exposed sunlight, making it ideal for all-day protection.
- Piperonyl Butoxide – This ingredient works as an insecticide and is meant to kill annoying flies and insects of all types. It also prevents flies from being able to metabolize permethrins and Pyrethrins so they are more effective in deterring these insects.
- Citronella Oil – This natural ingredient helps to repel flies and other insects, including mosquitoes. Its scent is pleasing to the human nose, but insects seem to detest it. Incidentally, Citronella Oil is also used in many topical and candle insect repellents for humans so it is a safe ingredient.
You need to make sure the horse fly spray does not contain any ingredients that could be harmful to your horse. Your horse’s safety and health are your highest priority. If you do not recognize the names of any ingredients, make sure to research them and ensure they are truly safe and do not have any undesirable side-effects that could cause harm to your horse.
Researching the different options and reading horses fly spray reviews will help to ensure you are able to make a wise choice. Although reviews should not replace your own research, they can complement the information you glean from your studying. If there are a lot of bad or negative customer reviews, you may want to choose another product. Consumers are fairly quick to inform others if they are not happy with a product.
If your horses are quite active and sweat a lot, you may want to consider purchasing a sweat-proof fly spray. Some sprays are more likely to be ineffective if your horse sweats a lot. The sweat can water down the spray or wash it away completely, depending on the level of sweat. Choosing a sweat-proof spray will allow it to stay in place without becoming weakened when your horse is sweating profusely.
Frequency of Application
Before purchasing any fly spray, you need to check how often it needs to be applied. We recommend purchasing a fly spray that is going to last at least one to two weeks. This is especially important if you are managing a large herd because the application can be tedious and time-consuming.
What Is the Best Fly Spray for Horses?
While there are a lot of choices on the market, we believe the best of our top 7 list is Absorbine UltraShield EX. This spray is like a fly spray hitman. It kills over 70 types of insects and you can spray it around your barn or house for keeping insect pests out.
The best natural fly horse spray is Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Repellent. While it does not work as powerfully as the other versions, it does work and you do not have to worry about any chemical additives that might be harmful to your horses.
FAQs for Fly Sprays for Horses
As horse owners, we take great pride in keeping our herd healthy and strong. One of the most annoying issues for you and your horses is biting flies during the hot summer months. The flies are attracted to your horse’s sweat. We get a lot of questions regarding our fly spray for horses reviews so we decided to put together this little FAQ section to help answer some of the important questions our readers ask.
Is using a fly spray on horses dangerous?
While fly spray is not dangerous when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, some ingredients can cause problems with a horse’s health. This is why we cannot stress enough to carefully read labels and know what you are putting on your horse. Just because it says the ingredients are safe does not mean they are!
How do you apply a fly spray to your horse?
The application process should be carried out according to the bottle directions, but there are a few steps you should take.
- Curry and brush your horse to remove loose hair and any dirt. A clean application is important for the highest level of protection.
- As stated, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You may need to wear protective gear and each type has its own application steps.
- Carefully shake the bottle to ensure the ingredients are fully mixed before you apply.
- Do not spray the product on your horse’s face as it could be sprayed into their eyes. Instead, put the spray on a soft cloth and apply to the face.
What types of insect pests will fly spray work for?
These sprays are meant to repel and kill all types of flies, including Stable Flies, Horn Flies, Face Flies, and Barn Flies, among others. They also repel and kill mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches, and many other types of crawling insects that may invade your horse’s coat.
We hope this guide has provided you with the information you need for ensuring your horses are properly protected against biting flies that annoy them and put their health at risk. Our review of the best fly spray for horses should allow you to be armed with the information you need for making the best purchase for your horse.
When these sprays are used according to directions and with safety in mind, they are able to repel and even kill all the flying and crawling insects that attempt to attack your horse, especially those that bite.