Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No Fly Zone

For many of you, fly season is just gearing up; but for those of us in the swamp of Florida, it has been upon us for months. My fellow boarders and I have tried every commercially available fly spray under the (very hot) sun and couldn't find one that worked for more than five minutes (nope, not even Endure or Ultrashield). So, we began experimenting with making our own; we started with the following recipe:

1 cup water

4 ounces Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 ounce Eucalyptus oil

1 ounce Citronella oil

Surprisingly, it has worked better than any of the other sprays. And, it's actually good for the skin/coat -- the apple cider vinegar is anti-fungal and the Skin So Soft adds moisture. However, I wasn't content to stop there, so I read the labels of some of the natural fly sprays and decided to add a few drops of each of the following to our mix:

Peppermint Oil

Rosemary Oil

Lemongrass Oil

It smells amazing, makes the coat sparkle, and most importantly it actually repels bugs. And honestly, it's kind of fun to sit in the barn aisle with various bottles, oils, measuring cups, etc., conjuring up the anti-bug brew. I haven't added eye of newt yet, but I will if it repels bugs!

In my next mix, I just might add a few new oils, such as:

Clove Oil

Pennyroyal Oil

Cedarwood Oil

Do any of you make your own fly spray? If so, what's your recipe? Or do you find that one of the commercial mixes works for you?


Denali's Mom said...

The Ultrashild 17 days works on Denali, but only for a few days. I always re-spray her. You can smell her a mile away so maybe I'll try your recipe. I am also starting her on the Smartpak version of bug off. I hope it helps her. Her new barn has lots of flies (or it looks like it's going to.) We are also going to try Fly Predetors. (ignore spelling. It's late)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good recipe - but I find the smell of the Avon almost makes me sick - I just hate it.

I've had best luck with Bronco, and also Mosquito Halt - which is deadly, nasty stuff but really works.

Barbara said...

I use the SOS recipe. It works better than the commercial stuff and - bonus - it is not poison!

Frizzle said...

DM, I'm also looking into starting Salem on a feed-through fly control before the summer gets into full swing, so please report back on the Smart Bug-Off! Also, I WISH I could get my barn to get started with the fly predators -- I've heard they make a huge difference!

Kate, there's not much Skin So Soft in the recipe, so I don't even smell it. I mostly smell the ACV and essential oils. Also, I tried the Mosquito Halt, as it had such good reviews from the Horse Journal, but no luck -- there were bugs on Salem in a matter of minutes! Bummer.

Barbara, what's the SOS recipe??

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

omg its like you read my mind!
I just bought Shaklee Basic H for the same type of homemade fly spray. I've heard a lot of tracks use it and its safe for horses/humans. I haven't tried it yet.
We do use fly predators and they definitely help out. Not to the point where you horse can go fly spray free but helps decrease the amount of flys.
YES, I am also curious abt smartpaks Bugs off, just was reading about it today.

Alana said...

I had a feeling you mixed too! I mixed all through last year, and really the simple recipe of vinegar (white works just as well as acv) water and aloe juice or gel works! I still add in lots of aloe, some olive oil, tea tree and rosemary! Once I added garlic and D.E. that...stunk! And didn't seem to work that well, plus the D.E. got stuck in the sprayer! That in addition to sprinkling D.E. in the barn and potty spots has done a good job! Plus, I feed D.E. which may help.

Frizzle said...

Kristen, I will look up Shaklee Basic H, as I have never heard of it.
And Alana, lol, I never knew I was a "mixer!" Yeah, we hippies do tend to have some of the same horse-keeping habits. I'm a roundpen session and a treeless saddle away from being the barn pariah! ;-)

achieve1dream said...

That sounds awesome . . . however does it work for ticks? I have a huge problem with ticks.

Frizzle said...

a1d, I have no idea if it works for ticks. :-/ I've heard that treatments like Equi-Spot work well, but I've never used it myself. Fortunately, ticks are one of the few arthropods we don't have down here in the swamp!

Michelle said...

Love the recipe - I might give it a shot myself! Personally, I'm sold on Toad Mist. It is the most amazing fly spray I have ever used. It's got a lot of the same ingredients as what you describe and it's oil based so it seems to last longer. I've thought about trying to make my own to save some money, so I might give your recipe a shot. Where do you get your oils?