Flies are a bit of a nightmare to some. The products you can buy over the counter sometimes work well – but for some horses and in some areas you need to use so much of them that the cost may be too much to cope with on a regular basis.
We often have students sending in their home made remedies. A variety of suggestions have been given to us over the years for repelling flies. We are open to more suggestions so send them in right away.
Here are one or two:
- Plants sometimes help so plant them in pots around the place:
- Scented geranium – Pelargonium citrosum ‘Vanieeni’, Pennyroyal. Lemon Balm
- Try planting lavender at edges of fields and in tubs around the place (but watch out for bees).
- Other herbs that work to repel mosquitoes (so maybe flies too) when the leaves are crushed and rubbed on the skin are the lemon-scented herbs like Lemon Mint, Lemon Thyme, Lemon Grass and Lemon Verbena.
- Crush and rub on the following lemon-scented herbs: Lemon Mint, Lemon Thyme, Lemon Grass and Lemon Verbena.
- Avon’s Skin So Soft moisturiser is a good repellent on its own !
Next is a home made repellent recipe for spraying on horses (or dogs etc)
- Equal quantities of Avon Skin so Soft bath oil and then add half again of vinegar
- 3 tablespoons pure essential citronella oil – (not the stuff you put in those lamps !)
- Tablespoon of eucalyptus oil
- Mix and put in spray bottle – shake before spraying
This one is for around the place – not for putting on the horse:
- 3 cups of water
- quarter cup sugar
- quarter cup white vinegar
- Mix in a plastic jar – make holes in the lid tie string round and hang out of reach of horse.
The other midge which causes havoc is the one which bites initially the mane and causes sweetitch. This is a more serious problem.
Apart from covering the horse completely and keeping in during daylight hours there are few things which seem to work well against this particular midge.
Some find that feeding a Marmite sandwich daily works well – it is evidently the Brewers Yeast which is the effective ingredient. Some find the use of Brewers Yeast in feeds as a good repellent for this particular midge. Whether any genuine research has been undertaken on this is doubtful – worth a try though.