How to make fly spray for horses: Horse & Hound readers’ recipes

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  • Sometimes it’s our own secret recipes that work the best as we try to battle the summer flies — take a look at the suggestions below for inspiration

    NOTE: Horse & Hound has not tested any of the following fly spray recipes and strongly recommends that you do a small patch test on your horse with any homemade fly spray for horses. Readers use these recipes at their own risk. Horse & Hound cannot be held responsible for any allergic or other reactions that result from using these recipes.

    Alison Elverson from Nottingham suggests:

    • 300ml citronella (available from most pharmacies)
    • 25ml lavender oil (also available from most pharmacies)
    • 4tbsp vinegar
    • 6tbsp Dettol
    • 2 cups of cold strong tea
    • Pour into a 2 litre plastic pop bottle and top up with water, then decant what you need into a spray bottle when needed

    Adrienne Stewart from East Sussex uses the following recipe:

    • 15ml citronella
    • 2tbsp methylated spirit
    • 1tbsp washing up liquid
    • 4tbsp vinegar
    • 1/2 pint strong tea
    • Mix together and make up to 2 litres with tap water

    Beth Barnett from Hereford’s homemade fly spray for horses is:

    • 3tbsp citronella
    • 4tbsp methylated spirit
    • 2tbsp washing up liquid
    • 8tbsp malt vinegar
    • 2 mugs of strong tea
    • 2 litres of water (approx)

    Theresa Fryer, by email, suggests:

    • 250 ml of Avon Skin So Soft and Fresh bath oil (can be halved if midges are not bad, or your horse does not react to midges)
    • 5 caps of Dettol
    • 1 teaspoon each of lavender, tea tree, citronella, cedar wood and eucalyptus
    • Top up to one litre with either water or cold tea
    • Spray twice a day and keep shaking regularly to keep the oils mixed

    Becky Harris from Cornwall recommends:

    • 15ml citronella
    • 1tsp washing up liquid
    • 4tbsp vinegar
    • 2 tbsp methylated spirits
    • 1 mug of strong tea
    • Top up to 2 litres with cold water

    Ciara from Co. Galway uses:

    • 2 pints of stale beer
    • 500ml cheap mouthwash
    • 5 tablespoons of Epsom Salts
    • Mix until the salt has dissolved
    • Pour into a spray bottle and ‘Bob’s your uncle’!

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