Types of Fly Repellent
When buying fly spray for your horse you might understandably expect to be shopping through a range of sprays like we humans use, but horse fly repellent actually comes in so many different forms, meaning finding the perfect type for your steed can often be a lengthy process, as some respond better than others.
Here are the main forms you will come across when browsing:
Of course, just like with us humans, spray solutions are seen as the most common and convenient choice, as they only use a small concentrated burst of solution at one time and aren’t fiddly or messy to use. However, despite only using small amounts at once, it’s often easier to be overzealous or wasteful with sprays and so they tend not to be as long-lasting you’d expect.
Most fly creams are better for targeting particular areas of your horse rather than all over covering. They penetrate the skin and also often contain moisturisers which help keep skin supple. They usually come in a container and are of course slightly more messy to apply and a fair bit greasier than other types.
Lotions are emulsions which contain more water than oil in their solution and so are quickly absorbed by the skin, this makes it lighter than cream solutions and not dry or greasy.
Similar to creams in terms of being easier to apply to specific areas gels are often very soothing and perfect for applying to broken and irritated skin. They are however also similar to cream in the negative sense too as they can be quite messy.
Before sprays, people would often take their fly repellent solution and just gently rinse them in it! These pour on solutions still exist and are still incredibly popular as they give you more control over how much you’re using and the spots you can apply them too.
Just like a roll-on deodorant, roll-on solutions are great for treating specific areas and are best for applying a solution to sensitive areas of a horse such as the face. This allows for more accurate and careful treatment without the messiness of gels and creams or risks of spray.
For fast and efficient relief, wipes are a quick and non-messy way to provide some instant respite for your horse. They also have much more longevity than you would expect too, as one wipe is often enough to treat every area of your horse.
A fantastic way to tackle two birds with one stone, fly repellent shampoos are a great washing solution during the summer months as they keep horses clean and insects away! However, they should probably be used in combination with another repellent, as it’s not good to shampoo your horse too frequently.
A classic remedy that’s been used for years, ‘flea powder’ style solutions are good for mares who seem to react distastefully to sprays and gels, giving you a dry option that still works wonders.
A good way to help horses who suffer particularly badly is to help them build up a natural tolerance through supplements. However, there’s only so much a supplement can do and we’d only really suggest this option if you’re looking for natural non-chemical remedies. For horses who are already suffering from bites and broken skin though, they, of course, won’t provide any instant relief.
Features & Things To Consider
It’s often difficult to know how effective or harmful an ingredient is by just reading it on the back of a label, so make sure to do some research on some of the chemicals and compounds being boasted about on your desired solution. Then you’ll be able to ascertain which type of chemicals and compounds you think your horse will respond best too, as well as which ones to avoid.
Your Horse’s Needs
As hinted to in the types of repellent section, some forms of fly spray are better than others depending on your horse’s condition. For example, if your steed is badly suffering from cuts and open wounds due to infection or biting, a spray or liquid solution probably isn’t going to be particularly nice for a filly, as it will likely just cause stinging and upset. Horses mostly affected around the face and the eyes also aren’t going to enjoy being sprayed in such a sensitive area and so again, you’ll need to consider all alternatives.
Water Vs. Oil
It’s often important to check whether a fly spray has is water-based or oil-based when choosing a solution as they both have their good points and bad.
Water-based sprays do not attract dirt and keep horses fresh, unlike oil solutions. However, oil works much faster at repelling insects and sticks well to the coat.
If you’re someone who’s very concerned about using any kind of chemical ingredient on your horse, you’re going to want to watch out for something that uses only plant-based and natural ingredients.
For a perfect horse fly repellent, you want something that provides both longevity in effectiveness and how long one bottle/tub will last you.
This means it’s always best to purchase large litre solutions in bulk which will last you the whole summer and best part of the year. But it’s most important to check how long your fly repellent stays effective for. Ideally, you want something you can apply in the morning and then not worry about for the rest of the day!
If your horse’s skin is really suffering from broken areas, rashes, irritant and bites, it can often be a wise idea to choose a cream, lotion or gel-based repellent which can give them moisturising agents and soothing ingredients to help them heal!