View Full Version : question about natural fly control
04-13-2008, 05:42 PM
Has anyone used garlic to repel flies and if so, what results have you seen? I am especially concerned about the tiny black flies that attack the horses' belly and ears, as I've never found a fly spray that does much to deter them for long. I believe they are called midges or culicoides. I have used Endure flyspray, but have to re-apply daily and am worried about the amount of chemical exposure my horses are getting.
If you have used garlic, can you tell me what the recommended dosage is and how well your horse tolerated it in his feed? I've seen the supplements aimed at horses was shocked at the cost, so if I go this route I would like to try garlic granules that I can buy in bulk through our food co-op.
Also, I have a recipe for natural fly spray that is basically citronella oil and Avon Skin-So-Soft. However, when I looked for the latter product I found it is actually a line of various products, so I'm not sure which specific product the recipe intended. Does anyone know? I have tried just citronella oil diluted with some water and found that to work well for a couple of hours, but then wear off. I'm hoping the oil-base in the lotion will make it last at least a full day.
04-13-2008, 06:33 PM
One tablespoon of garlic, AM/PM. Apple cider vinegar helps, as well...1/2 cup AM/PM.
Add Neem Oil to your fly spray- absolutely NOTHING better. NOT good for shows, as it is viscous, and attracts dust- GREAT for turnout- and SAFE. It is used in the horticultural industry to spray on plants to protect them from bugs.
04-13-2008, 06:41 PM
I believe the skin so soft product you need is the original bath oil. I've never had much luck with it, but I know some people swear by it. I personally haven't used the garlic, but I know a big show barn that did all last season. All it did was make the ENTIRE barn reek, and the horses always smelled HORRIBLE after sweating, but the still needed to use commercial fly sprays, so I don't think the garlic was very effective.
I DO think the fly predators (biological control) available from Spalding laboratories worked pretty well. But you have to follow their guidelines, and these little guys don't work on all species of biting flies. I noticed a remarkable DROP in the fly population when I used them, but once again, they weren't a cure, per se.
I have resigned myself to using a combination of methods, relying on the fly predators and a couple of different commercial products (as little poison as possible, but still need some to keep the animals comfortable), as well as physical barriers (masks, scrim sheets, etc.).
Frustrating battle, but one I'm willing to put up with because it means the weather is finally WARM!!!:taz:
04-13-2008, 07:46 PM
What? You do'nt like the barn to smell like a tratoria?:blink:
Seriously, for horses who are especially sensitive to flie,the garlic is wonderful- and Ihave used it for about 7 years now. Horses who get welts and hives during the Summer just stop, butit is not a cur all, and needs to be used in conjunction with other things. That does not diminish its importance.
Fly predators are a big help- but you must start them early, and you cannot fog your barn, or have a fly system, if you use them.
And, again, I am going to tell you Neem Oil is the answer to making your fly spray really effective.
04-14-2008, 12:06 PM
The homemade natural recipe I know of is 1/2 apple cider vinegar, 1/4 Skin-So-Soft (the "Original Bath Oil") and 1/4 Citronella oil. For commercial products, I've used EQyss Marigold Spray (all natural ingredients) and it works great.
ASB Stars -- Would I substitute the neem oil for the Skin-So-Soft? Where do you buy the neem oil? Thanks! :D
04-14-2008, 12:45 PM
I would probably still use the skin so soft, as it has different oils in it.
I shop around for the best price on Neem, and then I buy a gallon or two- it keeps, and sometimes, I get free shipping for buying more than one gallon.
Currently, I am finding it at about $70 a gallon, but if you look at the price of fly spray concentrate, it is about par. Also, you don't use a bunch- it actually stays on, and works for a longer time, and I mix it into whatever else I am using- it is safe on their skin.
04-14-2008, 12:58 PM
Thank you! I'm gonna give that a try.
04-17-2008, 09:44 AM
Someone else just recommended adding Listerine to the homemade oil/citronella mix because it acts as a natural mosquito repellent. :confused1:
Anybody try that one before?
04-18-2008, 10:55 PM
no, but drier sheets or fabric softner wiped over the (or your) skin deterrs mosquitos. I don't know how safe the "chemicals " are but I think it's not as bad as malaria (probably spelled wrong) or west nile...
vBulletin® v3.6.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.