Fly Spray – Does Any of it Work?

Fly spray choices

Every year, right around now, the deerflies start to come out. Zelda is a sensitive soul. She really hates bugs.

The problem is, none of the expensive and deadly concoctions appears to repel the bugs. Minutes, maybe even seconds, after I covered every inch of her body, the bugs were back.

Horse fly
Just look at the size of that horse fly on Freedom. Like a B52 Bomber.

So far, I’ve tried Ultra Shield, Repel Max (with the maximum amount of DEET) and two types of tick repellants. I should start spraying those on me as I’ve already removed two embedded ticks from my back and am currently being treated for Lyme.

I’m going to break out Zelda and Freedom’s fly sheets tomorrow. I think they are probably the best option. But please, someone tell me about a fly spray that actually works!

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11 thoughts on “Fly Spray – Does Any of it Work?

  1. The only one I have much luck with is Pyrhana. The aerosol version. Still have to reapply everyday but it works better than most. And I noticed a huge difference with the Feed through fly control. There’s a lot of brands, but the only one I tried is Simplifly and it works great. Nothing seems to stop those giant horse flies though!!

  2. A friend of mine owns a plant-based equine skin care company called Whole Horse Equine (www.wholehorseequine.com) Her fly spray works better than anything else I have tried (and it smells good). It uses essential oils like lemongrass to repel flies.

  3. The best success I have had is when I do fly preditors. They don’t keep them off the horse directly but sure help keep the population down!

  4. I agree with Sue Funkey…we don’t spray as we have at least forty pairs of swallows living here, not to mention a ton of other non-swallow birds that eat bugs. Now when they all migrate in mid September, then we begin having issues but by then, the big insect populations are gone. The most important thing anyone can do is: make sure there is no standing water, like in a forgotten bucket, or a tire, or the dog bowl. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. So do other insects. Fly predators work very well, unfortunately, they’re pretty much a seasonal insect that takes a while to build up a standing population.
    I don’t know if it’s just coincidence, but last summer I was spiffing Raven up for a dressage test. I’d bathed him, then sprayed a mix of white distilled vinegar and water on him to 1. remove any left over shampoo (I’d not used much, usually, I just hose him down good), 2. make him all shiny for his test. I realized that there was a 3….the bugs didn’t like the smell of vinegar!

  5. I use those drops, similar to what you use on dogs for fleas. I can’t remember the brand name, but buy the expensive brand. The cheaper one doesn’t work. Reapply every 14 days.

  6. You’re right about the deer flies. Growing up in Michigan, they were more feared than mosquitoes. They’d go after our dogs (Samoyeds) and just eat their ears raw. If they couldn’t get to the horses or dogs, they’d go for humans. It’s been found that mosquitoes, and deer flies are attracted to white. If you were wearing a white t shirt, you were a target. Lucky for me, now that I live in WA, there aren’t deer flies, at least on the west side of the mountains.
    If it makes anyone feel any better, though..the absolute worst flies, for me, were the ‘green flies” in Saudi Arabia. Those things were big, for a fly, and absolutely relentless. They wanted water…no matter what or where it was. Meaning, if there was no water available except from you, they would go for you. They’d target your eyes, preferably, but if they couldn’t get to them, your nose and mouth were perfectly acceptable. If it was an orifice that was wet, they would try to get into it. Nothing panics you faster than wearing glasses and having a green fly underneath it, the damned thing going for your tears ducts. It was like they had a map of your eyes. Even worse…they carried Leishmaniasis, a very nasty disease. Yaah…I still get the creeps, just remembering them.

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