Best Fly Spray for Horses

By Landon Easton •  Updated: 02/23/21 •  15 min read

If you are looking for a fly spray for your horses, you will agree with us that finding a bug spray that works well is more or less a trial and error game. Sometimes, you’d have to spend a considerable amount of cash on the fly spray, and it still won’t work, and in other cases, a cheaper fly spray would do the job perfectly. We can all agree; however, that life is too hard and often too predictable for you to take chances, which is why a list of what would be the best options of fly sprays would help make your life a lot easier.

To ease you from the frustration that comes from all the trial and error routines, this guide offers pointers and recommendations on the best fly sprays you could put your money on.

So, let’s jump right into it!

Comparison of the Best Fly Sprays for Horses

Best Fly Sprays for HorsesBest ForCheck on Amazon
Absorbine UltraShield EX Fly SprayBest Overall Fly Spray for HorsesCheck Price
Pyranha Wipe N'Spray Fly Protection Spray for HorsesBest Value for MoneyCheck Price
Farnam Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray for HorsesBest Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray for HorsesCheck Price
Absorbine UltraShield Green Fly SprayBest Eco-Friendly SolutionCheck Price
ECOVET Horse Fly Spray Repellent/InsecticideBest Fly Spray Enriched with Fatty AcidsCheck Price

Best Fly Sprays for Horses

Absorbine UltraShield EX Fly Spray – Best Overall Fly Spray for Horses

If you are looking for one of the strongest insecticide-repellent formulas to kill and also to repel the highest percentage of insects, up to 70+ species of flies, ticks, and mosquitoes, and gnats, then this fly spray might be a great option for you. The power of this fly spray comes from the fact that it contains a wide array of ingredients, including pyrethrins, permethrin, and piperonyl butoxide, among other ingredients.

It’s a weatherproof fly spray that offers protection from fly attacks for up to 17 days, thanks to the UltraBond technology. The power of this fly spray comes from its formulation using some of the most powerful ingredients, along with multiple sunscreens and plus the best coat conditioners. The advanced formulations include lanolin and aloe.

Despite its effectiveness in horses, it’s also ideal for use on dogs, ponies, and barns, among other animals in your home. It is a water-based formula that is safe on your horse’s skin. Thanks to the waterproof design of the spray and its UltraBond technology, your horses get to enjoy up to 17 days of protection from insects.

It’s easy to use thanks to the vertical and horizontal spray settings that ensure optimal coverage on your horse, from the head to the hooves. The container used is also ergonomically designed, allowing you to spray your horses head to toe without any hand fatigue. And to spray under the horse’s belly, you will be happy to know that this fly sprayer allows you to flip the container and spray it upside down.




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Pyranha Wipe N’Spray Fly Protection Spray for Horses – Best Value for Money

Formulated just right with the right consistency, thickness, and warmth, this Wipe N’ Spray fly repelling solution for insects is pyrethrum-based, and it is one of the best solutions that offer protection to your horses from ticks, gnats, fleas, mosquitoes, and other flies. Its formulation is ready to use.

Its effectiveness comes from its active ingredients that include Butoxypolypropylene Glycol, pyrethrins, and Piperonyl Butoxide, among others.




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Farnam Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray for Horses – Best Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray for Horses

The little things affect the effectiveness and the performance of the fly sprays used on your horses. One of these things is sweat, and if you are looking for a fly spray that will last for, say, 14 days, you’ll need a sweat-resistant solution. This is one of the factors that makes this Farnam Endure fly spray one of the best options. It offers protection in wet conditions and even when your horse is sweaty from all the running around.

It is a pyrethrum-based fly protectant formulated with Cypermethrin, Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide, and Butoxypolypropylene Glycol, among others. These ingredients make it a powerful formulation used to keep off gnats, ticks, mosquitoes, lice, and other nuisance flies. It also repels the deer ticks known for transmission of Lyme Disease.

In addition to insect repulsion ingredients, it also contains the RepeLock conditioner, which keeps your horse’s coat shiny by binding to the hair shafts.

You may also like it because of its economical, refillable design and the easy-pour refills, which encourage you to buy the spray in large quantities.




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Absorbine UltraShield Green Fly Spray– Best Eco-Friendly Solution

This UltraShield Green Fly Spray by Absorbine is the other fly spray you could get for your horses, especially if you are trying to go green. It is an eco-friendly water-based fly spray made with botanical oils, leaving your horse’s skin with a nice and fresh botanical scent. It’s effective in keeping off all biting flies, including gnats, ticks, and mosquitoes.

It’s ideal for everyday use with botanical oils like geraniol, along with other 6 non-greasy botanical oils that enhance the spray’s repellency.




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ECOVET Horse Fly Spray Repellent/Insecticide – Best Fly Spray Enriched with Fatty Acids

Formulated with food-grade fatty acids, the Ecovet fly spray is one of the best repellents and insecticides for horses. It is also an excellent alternative to toxic pesticides thanks to its safe active ingredients that boast a high level of effectiveness, ensuring that flies don’t land on your horses. It is safe for horses, as well as the humans that apply the spray on the horses, and you will be happy to know that it will keep off mosquitoes, ticks, lice, and flies. It’s also been proven effective in the treatment and improvement of conditions like hard-to-treat sweet itch skin conditions, along with hypersensitivity reactions and midget bites.




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Buying Guide for the Best Fly Spray for Horses

When it comes to fly sprays for horses, there is a wide variety for you to choose from, and though such varieties demonstrate the growth in the industry and access to more competitive prices, the truth is that it can be quite confusing for anyone to settle on one kind of bug spray and not the others. With this in mind, the only easy way for you to determine which spray would be best for your beloved equines would be having some sort of checklist. This checklist guides you on the important elements and considerations to keep in mind when weighing your options.

For us, the recommended checklist encompasses important elements like the key ingredients that make up the fly spray, application of the spray, whether and which spray is approved for use in horses involved in competitions, how long it lasts, presence of natural ingredients, the safety of use on damaged skin, and the smell, among others.

In this section, we look at these factors in detail. After all, the devil is in the details, and since you are looking for only the best components in your horse’s fly spray, a keen look at the spray is fundamental.

But first, what is the fly spray for horses?

The fly spray can be defined as a generic appellation for different kinds of fly protectant/ repellent mixtures made of chemicals, acids, or oils and intended to be sprayed on your horse, either to kill or repel flies.

The spray could also be any kind of mixture used for the treatment of horses; it can be sprayed or not and also used for fly control.

That said, the best fly sprays for horses offer these 3 functions – they have insecticides to kill the flies, repellents to repel flies, or combination functions where they kill and repel the flies. at

So, what should you look out for?

As a horse breeder and/ or owner, you are aware of the fact that some ingredients found in sprays are considered to be superior to others. Below, we’ll look at the crucial ingredients that make up the best fly sprays for horses.

Citronella (Citronella Oil)

Citronella oil is an essential oil extracted from the stems and leaves of different species of lemongrass, also known as Cymbopogon. While citronella is one of the most common essential oils incorporated into candles, soaps, and perfumes made and used across the world, this essential oil is also one of the best plant-based insect repellents. As a result of its effectiveness, it has been registered for use as an insect repellent, with the first registration done in the US in 1948. Today, citronella comes in different forms, including shampoo form, gel, lotion, oil, and spray.


There are endless myths around about DEET, for example, the belief that DEET kills mosquitoes. That isn’t true, and though used to protect against mosquitoes, it actually works by repelling and deterring mosquitoes rather than kill them. But there is more to DEET than repelling mosquitoes, and it has been found to be quite effective in offering long-lasting protection against other insects besides mosquitoes.

Before we look at everything else, you need to know about DEET and its use in sprays for horses; what is DEET? DEET is the common name for N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide. It was developed in 1946 by the US Army, and it was registered in 1957 from when it was used by military personnel in the insect-infested areas. Thanks to its effectiveness, the DEET fly spray is quite common and also is the most popular choice used by horse owners as it is considered the most effective fly repellent. One of the theories behind the effectiveness of DEET has to do with the belief that as long as DEET is applied correctly on the surface of the skin, it forms a vapor barrier on the areas of the skin applied, deterring mosquitoes from landing on the exposed skin. It’s also important to note that the effectiveness of DEET (and how long it lasts) depends on the percentage of DEET present in the repellent spray.

Beyond the theories and myths around DEET, its primary mechanism of action involves its ability to interfere with the neurons and the receptors on mosquitoes’ antenna plus their mouthparts and their subsequent detection of carbon dioxide and lactic acid.


This is the other important ingredients incorporated in the best bug sprays for horses. What you may not know is that neem is an all-purpose remedy used in Ayurveda, with the use of neem oil dating back over 5000 years.

Its multiple uses notwithstanding, neem is particularly helpful when it comes to keeping off the flies around horses. This is because neem creates a non-toxic and eco-friendly solution fly for repelling flies. At the same time, the anti-histamine properties of neem help in treating skin itching, which may result from skin conditions like the Sweet Itch.

And if you are worried about its safety, you shouldn’t because whatever is safe on you must be safe on your horse too.


PMD is the other common component in insect repellent sprays for horses. PMD or p-Menthane-3,8-diol/ menthoglycol is present in the essential oils extracted from the leaves of the Corymbia citriodora (Eucalyptus citriodora). In the US, the essential oil is known as the oil of the lemon eucalyptus and Citriodiol by others. The reason for its incorporation into fly sprays is that the oil is just as effective as DEET when it comes to keeping away flies from your horse.


This is the other ingredient incorporated in fly sprays for horses. It is one of the examples of pyrethroid insecticides, and its chemical structure is similar to that of natural pyrethrum (belonging to the family of chrysanthemums). These components are toxic to flies, and flies are affected when they touch or eat the components from the pyrethrum and other chrysanthemums.

Sprays are only effective if they are applied well. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge because the fly spray may not be to your preference or your horse’s, and you really have to work hard to ensure it’s applied evenly. Luckily, you could opt for the spray equivalents in the form of powders, creams, gels, lotions, roll-ons, shampoos, wipes, soaps, oils, or liquids.

Other important considerations

If your horse participates in competitions, you’d have to make sure that the fly repellent you settle on is approved by the FEI and not on the list of products banned by the organization.

The best fly spray for your horse is the one that lasts up to 36 hours. Some of these long-lasting sprays don’t smell great, but they work well. Others made with natural plant-based ingredients like eucalyptus citriodora oil and geranium oil tends to last very long, up to 4x longer than other sprays.

If your horse struggles with Sweet Itch, hence a rather damaged skin, you’d want to invest in a skin-safe repellent that keeps away insects while healing/ protecting the damaged skin. Such fly repellent sprays are made of non-toxic ingredients, including natural skin tonics and essential oils like neem and eucalyptus essential oils. A spray with neem oil, for example, is a huge win for you because it contains fatty acids and essential amino acids that promote healing of the skin.

The fly sprays can be water-based or oil-based. The oil-based sprays tend to work faster, but they stick to the coat and attract dust, hence the need for regular grooming for the maintenance of the horse coat’s natural shine.

Water-based fly sprays, on the other hand, will not attract any dust or dirt and keep the horse cleaner, but the spray may not work as fast as the oil-based spray. The good news is that some ingredients incorporated in these water-based sprays boost their staying power, making it possible for the fly repellent to stay on even after it rains.


If you have been looking for some of the most effective fly sprays to protect your horses, the five options above might some of the best for you.


Can you use apple cider vinegar to keep off flies?

Yes, apple cider vinegar is an effective natural, and unpasteurized solution the repels insects easily.

Are Fly Sprays for Horses Effective or Safe?

Well, it depends. And in most cases, the sprays are only effective if they are used according to the provided instructions. Regarding how safe they are, you will be happy to know that the Environmental Protection Agency ensures that the available sprays are safe, thanks to their strict regulation of pesticides. Therefore, the pesticides on the market are safe. Also, the labeling on the sprays is regulated.

How do I use the fly spray on my horses?

You should follow the guide provided on the label. In addition to the label instructions, always spray the fly repellent from a distance but make sure you aren’t too far since the mist won’t cover your horse. Also, you shouldn’t spray your horse too close to the skin because you’d only have the spray concentrated on one spot.

If your horse is sensitive to the feel or the sound of the spray, you should start spraying him/her slowly from the legs, working your way up. And for the head, you’d want to use a roll-on repellent.

And because most of the fly sprays are either insecticides or repellents, it would be a good idea to use at least 2 of them together for the best level of fly control.

How do you tell which fly spray is suitable for use?

For the best fly spray, consider your horse’s unique needs. This means that if your horse suffers from a certain health issue, or maybe it has some open wounds or overly sensitive skin, you’ll need the most non-toxic, safe, and gentle but effective fly sprays. And if you are worried about a potential adverse reaction, it would be wise to consult your veterinarian.

Landon Easton

Landon is a veteran in the Pest Control industry, with over 15 years of experience and has helped thousands of homeowners. He started Your Pest Guide in 2020 as a way to help spread his knowledge to the general public, so they can get rid of all of their creepy-crawlies in their homes without spending an arm and a leg.