Friday, April 27, 2012

Buzz OFF! - Naturally of Course

Flies sure are attracted to warm moist environments, especially the skin of a horse! It disturbs me to see our beloved equine friends covered with these nasty vermins! Flies not only lay eggs on horses which can lead to parasitic infestations, the painful bites leave them predisposed to infection and other life-threatening illnesses. Shouting, “Buzz off!” at these blood-thirsty pests just doesn’t seem to be very effective!

While not every fly carries a disease nor will every bite cause your horse to get sick, as concerned horse owners we should take every possible precaution to prevent health problems for them. The solution seems easy doesn’t it; buy an insect repellant! However, while flies certainly are a health concern, chemical laden insecticides aren’t any less troubling! So, where do we turn?

After reviewing several excellent studies and other resources written by veterinarians and other equine experts on natural insect and parasite control,

I’ve developed this recipe which seems to shout, “Buzz OFF!” quite well:

Fill a spray bottle with 40 ounces of apple cider vinegar and 24 ounces filtered water. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (emulsifier for the liquids and oils.), 2 tablespoons of Diatomaceous Earth and ½ teaspoon each of the following organic essential oils: citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, cedarwood and neem.

Shake well before spraying and after every few squirts to keep ingredients mixed.

Note: Like people, horses can have an allergic reaction to any chemical, including essential oils. Do a sensitivity patch-test just to be safe.

Other helpful hints to fending off pesky insects which seem to be so attracted to horses are:

  • Vinegar – Known as a fly repellent, start with one tablespoon daily to their water or feed and increase to ¼ cup. Dilute 50% water if it causes loose stools. While most horses love it, start with a smaller amount if your horse seems to not be interested
  • Garlic – Affective against flies, ticks, mosquitoes and internal parasites, begin sprinkling a small amount on their feed and increase to ¾ ounces daily per 1,000# body weight. This may be gradually increased to 2 ¼ ounces per 1,000# if you notice that your horse is still being annoyed.

  • *Note: Before you increase the garlic dose, keep in mind that it may take several weeks for the odor to permeate all tissues.

  • Either find yourself a good poop scooper or raise a bunch of chickens that can forage through the manure. Not only does horse waste attract flies, harmful parasites propagate there. Proper manure management is a must!

The best source that I’ve found for quality essential oils, glycerin and garlic granules at a reasonable price is

Got horses being irritated by flies? Help ‘em out by mixing up some organic fly spray. While jeering at the flies may not help much, I believe that you’ll find the fly spray to be pretty effective.

Don’t let me steal your fun away though.

While you are spraying, go right ahead and shout,

“Buzz OFF” all you want!



P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:

Bonnie Jaeckle

In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

Diagonal Progress

505 Jefferson St.

Diagonal, IA 50845


The author of this article does not endorse everything represented on/in suggested links, books, etc. Each of us is accountable to God to weigh everything according to His Word.

All content of this article is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. The author sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. The information herein is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is best left to the Creator of the universe. In all health-related situations, “qualified healthcare professionals” should always be consulted. The author deems THE GREAT PHYSICIAN to be most qualified. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material.

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