horse with flys on his head

Best Fly Spray for Horses

Last Updated on September 1, 2020

Are you searching for the best fly spray for horses?

I’ve tried almost every brand offered over the years to keep the flys from bugging my horses. The best fly sprays will prevent your horse from insect borne diseases and the stress that flies bring.

I’ve reviewed the top horse fly repellent options available on the market and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.

Check the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my best fly spray for horses picks, or read on for the full review:

  1. Absorbine UltraShield EX Horse Fly Repellent
  2. Farnam Repel X pe Emulsifiable Fly Spray for Horses
  3. Farnam Endure Sweat Resistant Fly Repellents for Horses
  4. Pyranha Wipe N Spray Fly Protection Spray for Horses
  5. Farnam Tri-Tec 14 Fly Repellent

Flies are more than just a nuisance for your horses – they can spread disease and cause a lot of health problems. Using the best fly spray for horses is the fastest and easiest way to take care of this problem, but you have to make sure that you know what type is going to take care of the particular needs of your horse.

Selecting the Best Fly Spray for Horses

One of the first things that you need to consider when shopping for fly spray is what ingredients the spray has. There are some fly sprays with active ingredients that simply work better than others, which means that the spray will be much more beneficial for your horse. Additionally, every ingredient will vary depending on how toxic it is, how long it lasts, and how effective it is in your particular location for keeping the flies away.

It’s also a good idea to think about how many horses that you have and how quickly you want to be able to treat them. I find that using a fly spray in a pump bottle is much easier than having to mix it each time I want to spray; however, these do tend to be a little bit more expensive. You must consider your budget and how much time you’re willing to spend preparing your fly spray. If you are ok with mixing then buying a bulk package of fly spray for horses is probably the way to go.

best fly spray for horses

Additionally think about how often you will be able to reapply the spray, especially if you live in an area with a huge fly problem. Regular applications are vital to keep flies away from your horses, so I think it’s a good idea to consider how often you can reapply the product. At the same time, remember that water-based sprays don’t tend to stay on the horse for as long as oil-based fly sprays.

Benefits of the Top Fly Spray

The most obvious reason to use fly spray for your horses is because it will help to keep these pests from bothering your horse. Flies can be very annoying for your horse in addition to increasing the potential for health issues, and using fly spray can help the situation.

When you use a great fly repellent you will also help discourage flies from being around your horse, which can help prevent the spread of disease. Everyone knows that flies can easily carry and spread disease, which is why stopping them right away is so important.

What to Look For

When I look at fly repellent for horses I make sure to consider what other pests and bugs I need to protect my horses from, as some fly sprays can easily deter more than just flies. I always recommend that horse owners consider what pests they have in their area so that they can choose the spray that will best meet their needs. In my area we have a TON of horse flys, deer flys, and black flys so I want to make sure I am taking care of these particular bugs.

How to Best Use Your New Fly Spray

There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your fly spray is as effective as possible. The first step is to make sure that your horse is clean. I like to curry and brush my horses before applying any fly spray and then follow the instructions on the bottle I’m using.

Some sprays require you to use protective sleeves and goggles when using the product. You also need to make sure that you don’t use more than the recommended amount. I know it’s easy to just grab a bottle and spray down your horse but it is worth familiarizing yourself with the manufacturer instructions before doing so.

If you are going to ride your horse, then make sure to take him up before using the spray. Otherwise the chemicals can irritate his skin due to pressure and heat in the covered areas. Never spray the fly spray on a horse’s head or face, as this can easily get it into his eyes. I like to spray some spray on a cloth and rub it under the eyes, but never above them, as sweat can cause it to run down.

Finally, make sure to shake the bottle before using it, as the ingredients in fly spray can tend to separate, which can reduce how effective the spray is.

Precautions to Consider

Never get fly spray in your horse’s eyes, as this can be a major irritant and can cause sight problems. Additionally, I firmly believe in checking to see how often you can reapply the spray and then following the manufacturer’s directions. The last thing that you want to do is apply the spray too often and cause any harm to your horse.

If you do get the spray on your skin or in your eyes or mouth, then you will want to wash your skin right away and rinse your eyes and mouth. Due to the ingredients in these sprays, it’s a good idea to seek medical help or contact poison control.

Never use fly sprays around an open flame, as they can be flammable. I also recommend that you don’t store these products near a heat source, as this can also cause a problem. Additionally, make sure that the product never goes in or near the horse’s food or water, as this can contaminate it.

5 Best Fly Spray for Horses

The number of fly spray offerings that have hit the market in recent years is impressive. But at the end of the day, we want an effective and safe horse fly spray that doesn’t break the bank. I have reviewed the most popular options available for effectiveness, safety, and value.

Absorbine UltraShield EX Insecticide and Repellent

Any horse owner who has a big problem with flies not only on their animals, but also around them and in the barn, will appreciate that this fly spray can be easily sprayed around the area, helping to kill and deter pests from the sleeping area and barn. This is a great way to help keep other animals from suffering from pests and is generally a very easy treatment. This horse fly spray works well for black flies and horse flys.


  • Resists sweat so that it doesn’t have to be regularly reapplied
  • Offers up to 17 days of fly control
  • Kills flies, mosquitos, ticks, and gnats
  • Can be used on the horse, as well as a premise spray to treat the area


  • Doesn’t always last the full 17 days in some areas
  • Some flies can withstand the product and won’t die

Farnam Repel X pe Emulsifiable Fly Spray for Horses

Not only is this fly repellent surprisingly easy to mix up, but it does a great job repelling a lot of various pests that can bother you and your animals. It doesn’t just repel insects, but also kills on contact, which is great for taking care of a larger infestation that may otherwise post a major problem. The clean smell is appealing to most people, but not all animals like the way it smells. I like to keep this spray with me on the road trail riding and showing.


  • Easy to mix with water to the correct concentration
  • Offers protection from mosquitoes, gnats, flies, ticks, and more
  • Uses Piperonyl Butoxide and Prallethrin for protection
  • Economical choice for people willing to mix their own spray


  • Needs to be mixed fresh before every use
  • Not all horses like the smell

Farnam Endure Sweat Resistant Fly Repellents for Horses

The easy pour spout from this bottle makes mixing up your fly repellent fast and easy, which is great for people who have a lot of horses or a major fly problem. Because it is designed to resist being sweated off of the body of your horse, this product offers long-lasting support and protection. Which is great for horses who are worked a lot and for animals that tend to enjoy standing in the rain, as the product won’t easily wash away.


  • Designed to bind to the hair to prevent sweating off
  • Offers up to 14 days of control
  • Great for use, even in wet conditions
  • Protects against lice, flies, gnats, and deer ticks


  • Can leak during shipping and storage
  • Typically needs daily application for best results

Pyranha Wipe N Spray Fly Protection Spray for Horses

One of the main perks of this product is that it comes in a spray bottle, making it really easy for you to fly spray your horses on the go. It repels ticks, gnats, flies, fleas, and mosquitos, helping provide horses the comfort and care that they need. Because it brings out an attractive sheen in the coat, it also makes your horse look clean and cared for. When I am camping with my horse, this is my go to horse fly spray.


  • Doesn’t require mixing, making this a fast and easy spray to use
  • Pyrethrins-based formula offers great protection
  • Makes the hair shiny when brushed out, which is very attractive
  • Citronella scent is appealing and won’t upset the horse


  • Doesn’t last for long periods of time without reapplication
  • Not for use on wet skin or in wet conditions

Farnam Tri-Tec 14 Fly Repellent

Not only does this equine fly spray offer long-lasting protection against flies and other pests, but it also offers a fast fly knockdown to get rid of any flies on your horse. It’s perfect for horses who are prone to UV problems, as it does contain a powerful sunscreen. Additionally, it doesn’t have a strong smell, making it a great choice for sensitive horses. This is a great option for those who show often or go on long trail rides.


  • Contains sunscreen to help protect against UV rays
  • Includes a wide variety of active ingredients to cover multiple pests
  • Easy pour bottle makes mixing the concentrate fast and simple
  • Offers protection against six different types of flies and other pests, as well


  • More expensive than other options on the market
  • Requires regular reapplication throughout the day for best results

For more horse guides and tips read these articles:

  • Best Bell Boots: Read the reviews
  • Calming Paste for Horses: Effective supplements
  • Horse Vitamin and Mineral Supplement: Best brands
  • Best Toys for Horses to alleviate boredom
  • Fly Masks for Horses with ears and nose
  • Fly Sheet for Horses: Top quality fly prevention

While all of these fly sprays will help to protect your horse from biting flies and other pests, but if I had to pick just one the best option on the list is the Farnam Equine Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray. This spray is relatively easy to mix and contains Repelock. This is designed specifically to keep the product on the hair shaft and prevent it from being removed by sweat, water, or rain. This is great for the very active horse who would otherwise sweat off their fly protection and for the horse who spends a lot of time outside in the rain, as you won’t have to worry about regular reapplications for the best protection. Whatever type of flies are your biggest concern there are many options that you can use to keep your horse more comfortable when being ridden or out in the pasture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do horses need fly spray?

The short answer is maybe. Horses who do not reside in a climate with heavy fly populations can absolutely go without the use of fly sprays. But as noted above, flies can cause tremendous stress to horses. This stress can lead to weight loss, poor performance, and behavioral issues. Flies also carry disease and increase the likelihood of your horse contracting disease. Therefore it is recommended to spray your horse with fly repellent if they are being bothered by flies.

Do “natural” fly sprays work?

There is not a unified definition for what constitutes a natural fly spray but in this instance we will assume it refers to mixtures that do NOT contain pesticides. These mixtures are generally comprised of herbs and essential oils that are not effective in repelling flies from your horse. There is a reason that pesticides have been developed, and that is they work. Anytime you utilize a product with chemicals on your horse it is important to use high quality products that have been tested and work.

Can I make my own fly spray at home?

You can make fly spray at home and there are a number of recipes available online. I have chosen not to include any fly spray recipes as I find the cost savings not to be worth the added handling of chemicals and the time needed to make the fly spray mixture. If you want to give it a go, just search online for a recipe that you would like to try.

When should I put fly spray on my horse?

I believe in using the minimal effective dose when spraying my horse. This means I only apply equine fly repellent when there are enough flies that my horse will be stressed without being sprayed. I additionally do one spray covering and assess if that is sufficient to keep the flies away. I only add more fly spray if they are still bothering my horse.

Do I need to bathe my horse after the flies have gone away?

Most fly sprays, including the best fly spray for horses picks in this article, have been shown to be safe for your horse so no you do not have to wash your horse when the flies go away which often happens in the evening. With that said, I do still like to minimize the contact of extra chemicals from my horse and that does include fly sprays. So I do generally try and spray them down as a part of using the minimal effective dose of fly spray.

What if I am using a fly spray that isn’t on your recommended list?

It very well may be a safe and effective fly spray. The goal of my list of recommended equine fly sprays is not to show every fly spray that works but to narrow down the options to help you find a safe and effective fly spray and avoid selecting a poor performing or potentially harmful fly spray. The list has been condensed to the best overall options found on the market. If your particular fly spray is not on this list research the ingredients and the company to ensure that what you are using on your horse is safe and effective.

Here is the quick list once more with prices and customer reviews for my picks for the best fly spray for horses

  1. Absorbine UltraShield EX Insecticide and Repellent
  2. Farnam Repel X pe Emulsifiable Fly Spray for Horses
  3. Farnam Endure Sweat Resistant Fly Repellents for Horses
  4. Pyranha Wipe N Spray Fly Protection Spray for Horses
  5. Farnam Tri-Tec 14 Fly Repellent

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