What are the ingredients?
The ingredients are obviously what will make the fly spray effective. If you are concerned with chemicals or want a natural repellent, look for essential oils in the ingredients.
If you’re not able to reapply often, go with an oil-based spray, as it will last longer. Most sprays advertise that they will last for up to 14 days, they must have tested horses in air-conditioned rooms with zero weather conditions to consider, because the spray will protect your horse closer to 2 or 3 days, so regular applications are vital. Water-based sprays make reapplication even more important, as it does not stay on the coat quite as well.
If you’re treating more than a few horses, or if you’re applying regularly, you may prefer an aerosol fly spray, as you simply hold down and let it spray. Traditional spray bottles require constant spraying and often don’t get applied as evenly.
Flies are generally found in greater numbers during the hotter summer months. Horses turned out in the field during those hot summer days are hot and sweaty, which is why it’s important to find a fly spray that is sweat-resistant like UltraShield EX or Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray. These fly sprays are also weatherproof and will stay effective through summer rainfalls. Since your horse will be standing out in the sun, they’ve formulated this spray with multiple sunscreens and conditioners, including aloe and lanolin, to keep the coat healthy and happy.
Water-based fly sprays can be less irritating and do not attract dust and dirt. A fly spray like Repel-35 Insect Control Spray is gentler with a non-irritating formula. It is also enriched with lanolin and aloe vera that can be very soothing to the skin.
Going with a concentrate like Permectrin II 10% Emulsifiable Insecticide can be a great money saving choice if you have several horses. A concentrate provides you with more “bang for your buck” and you can mix your fly spray as you need it. Just be careful, when mixing your own fly spray, it is important to follow directions. Using less concentrate than what is called for in the directions will make your fly spray less effective. Using too much of the concentrate can be irritating to your horse.
Spot-on fly control is applied very similarly to how you use your dog or cat’s flea drops. Products like Equi-Spot are applied to several locations on your horse’s body & can remain effective for up to two weeks. This drastically cuts down on the amount of fly spray needed. And don’t worry, spot-ons come with detailed directions on exactly how much product to apply to each specific location.
All-natural fly sprays are a non-toxic and a safe alternative to traditional fly sprays. All-natural fly sprays like Farrier’s Wife Stop the Stomp are made with natural oils that are known to repel insects. The nature of the natural oils used within these fly sprays require the need to be reapplied more often than traditional flies sprays, but you will have the peace of mind in knowing that you are exposing less chemicals to you & your horse.