While I think my recipe for "natural" fly spray has been my most popular post and one of the most popular conversations when people email me, I was never 100% satisfied that I was using a commercial product such as Skin-So-Soft. I mean, it WORKED and it was vastly a safer, healthier option than the poison-laden fly spray on the counters in the tack stores but I never liked not knowing exactly what all was in the Skin-So-Soft mix. (It definitely was not a "natural" fragrance! and artificial fragrances are some of the most toxic chemicals in our products today)
I decided to play mad scientist and play around with just natural ESSENTIAL OILS.
Friends - I have to say I am extremely excited and proud to say that the combo that I used not only worked well as a fly spray, (and kept the bot eggs off of him in the process) but FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE, my 9 year old gelding DID NOT HAVE A TRACE OF RAIN ROT. Not a trace. Nada. It BLEW MY MIND. Sorry if the all caps looks like I'm yelling but yes....I'm yelling!! haha Because I'm excited!!
I think the Lavender played a large part in it, although the ACV is very anti-fungal/bacterial as well. Whatever it is, it worked a miracle on my little boy. *please keep in mind that for rain rot, this works IN CONJUNCTION with a daily brushing.
Here's the NEW RECIPE!!
In a clean, empty spray bottle, (mine is 28oz.) mix together:
- 1/2 cup of any healthy, natural "carrier" oil. I used light olive oil. *I love coconut oil but only in warm months as the coconut oil coagulates in cool temperatures and will stop up your bottle. But in the summer, use it! It's wonderful!)
- 1 cup of vinegar (either white or apple cider vinegar will work)
- 40 drops of 100% pure Citronella essential oil
- 40 drops of 100% pure Lavender essential oil
- 40 drops of 100% pure Eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops of 100% pure Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil (can substitute Lemongrass oil)
- Fill the bottle the rest of the way up with water and shake well.
Shake well each time before applying it to your horse and since the oil will quickly separate, it's best to shake periodically while using it, to keep it well mixed.
I spray this on the horses twice a day - morning and evening and it works!
(If you're exercising your horse heavily and he/she is sweating a lot,, then obviously, you will probably have to spray down more often)
Now, I'm positive that, since nothing works the same for each horse and each person, someone is going to email me and say it didn't work. All I can say is that it WORKED for me and if it doesn't for you, then play around with the oils. Add 10 more drops of Lemon Eucalyptus, Citronella or Eucalyptus until you get a combo that the flies in your area despise. You'll be glad you did.
By all means, email me and let me know what you think!!!
*IMPORTANT NOTE* - Please use only pure essential oils, NOT aroma therapy oils that are for FRAGRANCE only. There is a huge difference. I have been getting all of my oils from www.vitacost.com and have been buying "NOW Foods" brand and the "Aura Cacia" brand. So far, Vitacost has had the best prices I've found. Let me know if you find a cheaper supplier for quality oils! :)
UPDATE! 8/31/2016 : After reading an article that states that Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil is as effective as Deet, I now add Lemon Eucalyptus to my fly spray and have modified the recipe above. Depending on what I have on hand, sometimes I substitute Lemon Eucalyptus for the Lemongrass and if I have them both, I use both! I love the smell and they both work!
Here's a link to that article. http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/cdc-confirms-lemon-eucalyptus-oil-as-effective-as-deet.html