Flies might seem like just an annoyance to your horses.
Here are 5 of the best fly sprays for horses and what to look for when buying a new spray.
Best Fly Sprays for Horses
We’ve tested each of these products in-house for effectiveness, and the following reviews reflect our own findings.
Remember, finding a fly spray for horses that really works for your own circumstances will always require a little experimentation.
#1 – Absorbine UltraShield EX Insecticide Spray for Animals
- OUR STRONGEST FORMULA: Kills and repels 70+ species of pests & bugs like flies,...
- WEATHERPROOF: Protection up to 17 days with UltraBond Technology
- NO MIXING: Ready to use, water-based formula for horses, ponies, dogs, barns, or...
Absorbine is another brand with a sterling reputation and is probably the oldest company in our list at over 100 years old!
Having said that, you know they wouldn’t stop at having the best fly spray for horses.
Instead, UltraShield EX is marked for use with over 70 species of pest, lasts up to 17 days, and can even be used on dogs or as an area repellent around the barn!
Meanwhile, it also has a pleasant citronella scent and boasts aloe and lanolin for a healthier coat.
And if that’s not enough to make it the best fly spray for horse (and dog) lovers, this formula even has two sunscreens and is both weather and sweatproof!
Honestly, we don’t even need to tell you how testing went with this one, because those of us at RMC who actually own horses use it all the time.
What we will point out is that you can get it in both a 32 oz and 1-gallon size container.
#2 – Pyranha Wipe N Spray
- 1 Gallon Bottle
- Effective On Flies, Mosquitoes, Gnats, Fleas, And Ticks
- Ready To Use Formula
Chances are you’ve heard of Pyranha already.
Whether you get the 32 oz spray bottle or the 1 gallon top-up bottle, their Wipe N’ Spray is probably the best fly repellent for horses overall.
Why do we say this?
Pyranha Wipe N Spray is a pyrethrin-based insecticide formulated to be safe for application on horses.
It works on everything from gnats to deer flies, horse flies, and even mosquitoes for up to 14 days
But it also has two special aspects that make it really stand out.
The first is adding lanolin, meaning this product also adds shine and conditioning to your horse’s coat while protecting it from flies.
The second is a pleasant citronella scent that will chase flies away.
How many other products boast repellent, insecticidal AND beauty care all in one package?
Perhaps the only drawback we found was that an oil-based product such as this can attract dust and dirt.
However, its water-based sister, Spray N’ Wipe is a viable alternative that sacrifices water-resistance for less dirt accumulation.
Regardless of which one you use, this product can be applied as either a wipe or spray.
That said, we feel the multiple benefits make this the best fly repellent horses could ask for.
#3 – Farnam Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray
- DEFEND YOUR HORSE’S HEALTH with Endure sweat-resistant fly, mosquito and tick...
- CONVENIENT TO USE & AVAILABLE in 15 oz. finishing spray, 32 oz. ready-to-use...
- POWERS THROUGH SWEAT and water. Endure Sweat-Resistant Fly Spray is ideal for...
Farnam has been in the horse care business for more than 70 years, and this has led to perhaps the best fly spray for horses that lead an active life.
The Endure spray comes in either a 32 oz bottle or a larger 1-gallon container.
The first few treatments must be applied every 2 to 3 days.
Once it’s accumulated on your horse’s fur, applications will last up to 14 days.
This formula not only makes it one of the best horse fly repellent options, but an excellent remedy for all sorts of flies and ticks.
You can even get it in a roll-on applicator (I was lazy and used this version)!
Endure’s claim to fame is that it’s sweat-resistant, so we hit the trails during our test.
After some fun (and a race I may or may not have won), we discovered the flies were coming after us but not the horses.
This successful test is likely due to RepeLock, a special conditioner that makes Endure stick to the horsehair.
As this product is also water-resistant, the horses were still protected after getting hosed down.
All in all, this is an excellent product if you don’t mind the multiple early applications.
#4 – Farnam Bronco Gold Equine Fly Spray
- DEFEND AGAINST DISEASE with a quick and effective spray that kills and repels...
- TWO-IN-ONE FLY-SPRAY AND COAT CONDITIONER. Effectively protect your horses and...
- APPLY LESS, PROTECT MORE with Bronco Gold Equine Fly Spray. Only a light...
At risk of featuring the same brand twice in a row, we have another Farnam product called Bronco Gold.
Just like the others in this list, you can purchase it in either a ready-to-use 32 oz spray bottle or a 1-gallon bottle.
While we can’t say if this is the best equine fly spray on the market, it certainly ranks pretty high.
From deer flies to cluster flies and everything in between, this insecticide spray both repels and kills.
The formula contains Permethrin, Piperonyl Butoxide, and Butoxypolypropylene glycol, as well as a conditioner.
One of our staff attempted to ask the company what was used for conditioning, but customer support operator wasn’t sure.
However, as the product is known to contain a petroleum derivative, this may simply be a case of “conditioner-like effect” as opposed to an actual conditioner.
While we wouldn’t suggest using it around the house, this spray is safe for use around barns and stables as an area or spot treatment.
#5 – Espree Aloe Herbal Horse Fly Spray
- ALOE & BOTANICAL OILS: Contains gentle aloe and botanical oils to repel pests...
- TOUGH ON PESTS: Formula is proven effective against flies, gnats, and other...
- PROMOTES A HEALTHY COAT: Aloe, citronella, cedarwood, and peppermint oils offer...
Rounding out our list is perhaps the best horse fly spray (meaning flies bugging horses in general) for those that want a natural product.
Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Repellent lacks the insecticidal chemicals of other products in this list.
This means that it’s safe for more sensitive horses but is meant to be used purely as repellent.
As with our other picks, you can get this product in a 32 oz spray bottle or 1-gallon concentrate.
However, it also comes in a 40-count of face/body wipes for use on the trail.
In addition to aloe vera, this pleasant-smelling spray contains cedar oil, citronella oil, and eucalyptus oil.
The combination is effective against the lines of deer flies and horse flies while also protecting from the sun and giving a healthy sheen to the coat.
Just keep in mind, this isn’t the best spray for horse flies if you’re trying to kill them.
It will also need to be reapplied every few days, unlike the previous chemical solutions.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Horse Fly Repellent
So now that we’ve covered some products we’ve tried out ourselves, let’s talk about smart shopping.
There are hundreds of great products out there, mixed in with some pretty bad ones.
But this isn’t just a matter of what fly spray works best for horses, because every horse and every situation is unique.
This is why we said earlier that you may need to experiment.
Thankfully, there are some common things to look for when purchasing protection against flies for your horse.
Sometimes a new company can put out a really great product, while a well-established one will slip in quality control.
However, it’s usually still best to go with an older company because you can check their reputation with the Better Business Bureau or in online reviews.
Companies like Absorbine and Farnam still exist because they work hard to keep their quality up.
Therefore, if you don’t recognize a company’s name, make sure to do some research for scandals, product withdrawls, and general customer satisfaction.
Conditioning and Sunscreen
In our book, the best spray for horse flies, deer ticks, and other pests should also be soothing.
Try to aim for products that contain ingredients to condition or serve as a sunscreen.
While not necessary, your horse will be glad you did.
Keeping horse comfortable and well-fed isn’t cheap, and investing in pest control products can really add up over time.
When comparing cost, take into consideration how often (and how much) you’ll need to apply each product, then so a bit of extra math.
Think of it like hot dogs and buns – They don’t have the same amount per pack, so you have to calculate how many packs of hot dogs and buns you’d need to have them balance out.
It sounds silly, but sometimes a seemingly cheaper gallon bottle will end up costing more because it’s used up faster.
Natural or Chemical
Natural options are usually best for horses with sensitive skin, but they’re also often less effective.
Chemical options are more effective but also more toxic.
However, some chemical insecticides are actually made from organic plant extracts and fit somewhere in the middle.
Think about which of these three options will be best for your particular situation.
Last but certainly not least, think about the smell.
Obviously, you don’t want your horse smelling like harsh chemicals.
But at the same time, remember that your four-legged companion has a far more sensitive sense of smell than you do.
Try to aim for something that smells pleasant but isn’t overly strong so you can both be happy.