Back Roads Living

Horse Fly Repellent The Best for Farm and Home


The best horse fly repellent will become your best friend if you live around livestock! The horse fly is probably the most annoying fly to anyone who has ever had a problem with them. Their bite can hurt and itch for weeks and can become infected sometimes if not treated.

For many people, horse flies are nothing more than an annoyance in the summer months, for others living near of on a farm with horses and cattle they can be pretty burdensome and for horse owners, the problem is far greater than that.

Any horse owner knows how important the correct horse fly repellent is to ensure the safety and comfort of your horses, but the search for the right product can be a long one.

With so many options out there, it’s tough to know the right horse fly remedy to choose. Follow our simple guide and we will take you through everything you need to know, so you can make an informed and educated choice to find the horse fly repellent that works best for you and your horse or backyard.

Research is very importance when it comes to the right horse fly repellent, so we will take you through everything you need to know when choosing one.

Let’s look at some things that contribute to horse flies and how to avoid them so you hopefully won’t have to spend any more money than necessary on horse fly repellents.

  1. Standing or stagnant water can contribute to your problem. Horse flies lay their eggs near water or they will find moist areas that suit them. So, I would encourage you to be very diligent to maintain a very clean and dry environment around your horses, barns and stables.

  2. Horseflies and other insects such as mosquitoes love to hide and mate in vegetation. Clean out unnecessary plants shrubs or any other weeds that might hold water and harbor these insects.

  3. If you choose, you can spray insecticides but keep in mind there are two very important factors that you need to consider when doing this. Eventually, the flies can become immune to a certain spray and the spray can be toxic (depending on the ones you use).

Once you have done all you can to prevent the growth and hatching of these pests near and around your home, you will still need to ward off those persistent horse flies.

They just keep coming, especially around livestock! Sometimes I feel like they just matarialse out of nowhere! We enjoy setting on our deck in the evening but lately those hateful horse flies have been like dive bombers and created us all kind of grief!

We will kill a couple then there are more to replace them within just minutes. Our home is surrounded by a farm on 3 sides and we get our fair share of them!

We will give you the recommendations for the best horse fly repellent then afterwards go into some of the better repellents for the house. You don’t always use the same repellents for the house that you use on horses.

Ingredients for The Best Horse Fly Repellents

First, let’s go through the ingredients that you should look for in your horse fly repellent, and why:

Benzyl Benzoate – Available in various forms, this chemical is proven to keep away biting flies of many kinds.

Citronella – A favorite in the holistic world, citronella oil is gained from the Lemongrass plant. Not just a pretty smell, citronella has been shown as an effective repellent for flies and is available in lotions, oils, sprays, and multiple other forms. 

DEET – DEET is known mainly as a repellent for mosquitoes, and it is very effective in that work, but there are also theories to suggest that DEET works with all flying insects, including horsefly. 

Permethrin – An insecticide that many prefer over DEET, partly due to the unmistakable odour of the latter being absent from Permethrin  This chemical has been used by soldiers for centuries to keep away flies.

PMD – Taken as oil from the eucalyptus plant, PMD is traded as Citriodiol, and causes similar effects to Citronella.  This has resulted in the two being combined in many an oil burner around the world to repel flies of all kinds for many, many years.

Forms of Horse Fly Repellent

Now the science bit is out of the way, let’s get onto some simpler reading!

If you are looking for the right horse fly repellent, you may assume that fly sprays are your only option, as this is certainly the most well-known form of product, but there are far more options available.

That being said, fly sprays are popular for a reason, and there are many top quality products on the market.

Absorbine UltraShield is a waterproof spray that is advertised to work for 10 - 14 days after one coating and is, perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most popular and well-reputed products on the market.

Farnam Bronco and Equine Fly Spray are one of the best products that are tailored specifically for horses and is like a one-stop shop for pests. This spray will rid your house of fleas, ticks, lice, and more, as well as repelling horsefly. A good spraying around doors and windows will not only keep flies away but works pretty good on mosquitoes as well.

Pyranha Livestock Incesticide This incesticide is a terrific spray on for your horses. This not only controls flies but it also controls lice, ticks, Beetles, mites, and gnats.  I know many horse owners own other livestock such as cattle, chickens, and outdoor pets. This is an all around. This will damage plants if you get it on them.  

Springtime Bug Off Garlic for Horses is another very good horse fly repellent. This is a repellent that is ingested and is good for any horse.

Horsetech Buggzo is another really great recommended repellent. This is another one that you feed to your horse. It has some very high feedback!

Natural Horse Fly Repellent

If you prefer the natural approach, the Espree Aloe Herbal Fly repellent is the best choice out there, combining organic aloe, cedarwood, citronella, and eucalyptus to create a spray that will care for your horse’s skin will also repellent insects. This is EPA registered! 

But what about those places that sprays can’t get to? The face, for example, where you have to be careful not to damage the eyes and other sensitive areas?

For here, roll-on repellents like those offered by Farnam Products Fly's Off are the perfect options. However, they are not the only option, like creams, lotions, and gels are also available. 

Some people prefer the personal touch, especially if a horse is particularly uncomfortable around sprays, as we all know can happen.

Lotions and other similar products are a good choice here, Gold Label offers some excellent lotions including a citronella compound emulsion for those who prefer to avoid insecticides. 

If you’re looking for gels, then again Fly Away are a strong option, while Carr & Day & Martin also produce an effective gel for the purpose. 

 Lincoln Fly Stuff, while its name may not be much to crow about, is an excellent product, and for the fans of natural remedies. 

Conclusion To The Best Horse Repellent

Of course, it may be the case that you require more than one horse fly repellent to do the job, and while the above can be combined, there are a few useful additions to be aware of.

Even with a gel or a cream, it can sometimes be difficult to get into nooks and crannies, such as ears and the corners of the eyes, without causing discomfort to your horse.

At times like this, wipes are a sensible option, used to get to those hard to reach areas, and as a quick repellent at shows, wipes offer instant relief, again, Fly Away have a range of options.

Sometimes, the more you build up the protection, the more comfortable your horse is, and the more effective sprays can be.

It is for this reason that many horse owners choose to use a shampoo such as Lincoln Summer Fly Wash or Radiol Insecticidal Shampoo which work as shampoos, while also offering an extra level of protection against horsefly for your horse, so that each spray should be more effective due to the foundations that have already been put in place.

Names To Watch For

As well as those mentioned above, there are many other companies who produce wide and effective ranges of horse fly repellents.

Names to look out for here include Barrier, Leovet, Naf Naf (specifically the Naf Off range), Net-Tex, and more.

As much as it would make things easier, there is no universal solution to a horse fly problem. It is about the products that are right for you and your horse.

Obviously, if you are anti-insecticides, you will want to look at the natural options only, but even then, there are many choices and some of them, while working for others, may be ineffective for your situation.

The question, what is the best horse fly repellent will get you so many different answers from horse owner. Some are satisfied with one while another is not.

This is a trial and error project for you and your horse. We recommend starting  with the recommended fly repellents listed in the beginning of this article first then work your way around until you find the one that works for you.

Click the links and go to the products and read the reviews of those who have used these fly repellents and get an idea of what you are purchasing.

There are many folks out there just like you, many have been on the hunt for a long time and some have found the ones that work best for them.

Try the products listed above, and you are likely to find something that does the job before too long. Once you’ve found a solution, make sure you then stick with it!

We hope you find the best horse fly repellent for you and your horse!

The Best Horse Fly Repellent for the Home

What do you do when those nasty, hateful horse flies come after you in the pool, deck, garden, cookout, etc? One thing you don’t do is use the repellents we recommend for your horses.

We do recommend you follow the same preventative methods mentioned above though!  Good preventative measures will lead to less horse flies, mosquitoes and other airborne insects to have to deal with.

If these preventative measures works around stables and barns, they will work around your home as well.

There are torches and candles with citronella for some comfort. You will need to set up a barrier of these to keep the horse fly away.

We have had some success with Citronella Torches placed around the perimeter of our deck in the summer.  They will not deter all the flies but they along with some candles sure help us a lot!

We use these with a lot of success in late evenings. We purchased Citronella Torches and Candles an have set up a barrier around our deck so we can relax in some comfort.  Nothing is going to keep every fly away but this helps a tremendous amount for us!

Fly traps have seemed to work best for the yard and pools. Fly traps come in several types and designs! If you search for them online you will find a ton of them being advertised as the best!

This is where we come in to help you determine which fly trap is best for your situation.

The link we provided above will give you the opportunity to review several types of thes traps and evaluate them to see which one works best and help you make an educated decision.

The Bug Ball has a 4.5 Star Rating on Amazon and comes highly recommended. There is one thing mentioned more than once though. The purchasers recommend wearing gloves when handling the ball installing and removing. 

From all feedback, we recommend this Bug Ball.

We have not purchased the H-Trap Professional Horse Fly Control System but according to all the feedback it works great as well as some of the others.  The Bug Ball seems to have a fair to good feedback return on it as well but doesn’t seem to do the same job as the professional one does but then again, it is not designed as well.

We have tried Rescue strips in the past and they are ok if used with other sources such as the Citronella Torches or the other traps. They will not prevent the horse flies from torchering you by themselves.

Be sure to follow all directions and instructions diligently and do all maintenance to help keep them from breeding in or near your home.

Homemade Horse Fly Traps

If you search online, there are literally tons of homemade Horse fly traps! Some look like they will work and others, well,... they just don't!

There are traps that are simple and some pretty complex. We have some listed on our site that will work if built right. 

Will they work for your situation? 

Check out our article on Homemade Fly Traps!

Thanks for stopping in and we hope you find the best horse fly repellent for you and your horse.  

Be sure to stop by and visit our other articles about horses in our Farm Animals Category.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment: