Make Homemade Insect Repellent for Horses
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Anonymous, Eng, Charmed
We all enjoy the balmy summer days, but nobody appreciates the 30,000 species of insects and other pests that come out to rejoice in the good weather. Our animal friends, like the horses, also share this revulsion, especially because they spend most of their time outdoors.
While they cannot openly complain, it is obvious that they are bothered when they are swarmed and bitten by different insects all over their bodies. And they are not simply annoyance; most of these insects are carriers of diseases and illnesses that can prove fatal to our pets.
Horses tend to be more affected by insect infestation because they wear a thin coat of skin. They suffer from insect bites that can damage their sensitive skin and overall health condition. In our effort to ease their discomfort, we usually think of using over-the-counter insect repellent, which we all know contain chemicals that are harmful to the horse's skin. Thankfully, there are simple steps to make natural, home-made insect repellent for horses that are just as effective, safe, and save you lots of money. Just follow the recipes below and you’ll have a fly spray that doesn’t cause harm to the horse and the environment, while leaving a healthy, shiny coat of skin to the animal.
- 1 The Power of Essential Oils
- 2 Natural Remedy from the Kitchen Using Lemon, Rosemary and Water
- 3 Bug Repellent Using Natural Ingredients
- 4 The Versatile Vinegar
- 5 Internal Fly Repellant
- 6 Tips Tricks & Warnings
- 7 Questions and Answers
The Power of Essential Oils
Materials for the mixtures
- 1Rubbing alcohol, essential oil of catnip2Sugarless vanilla extract3Vinegar, baby or mineral oil4Palmolive bath soap, soybean oil5Vodka, citronella oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil, jojoba oil6Water7Empty spray bottle
How to prepare the blends
- 1Combine 1 cup each of water and rubbing alcohol in an empty spray bottle.Add ½ teaspoon of essential oil of catnip then replace the lid on the spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to mix the three ingredients. Spray all over the horse’s coat, making sure to avoid getting the mixture in the animal’s eyes.2Pour all the sugarless vanilla extract into an empty spray battle.Refill the empty vanilla bottle with water then pour it into the spray bottle. Shake well before spraying on the horse’s body. Do not use sugared vanilla as it will only attract more insects.3Combine equal parts of vinegar and baby or mineral oil in an empty spray bottle.Shake well then spray all around the horse’s coat.4Fill an empty spray bottle with 1 cup of water.Add ¼ teaspoon of Palmolive bath soap and 1 teaspoon of soya bean oil. Shake the bottle well to completely mix the ingredients then spray on the horse’s skin.5Pour 16 ounces of vodka into an empty spray bottle.Mix in ½ ounce of citronella oil, ¼ ounce of lavender oil, 0.15 ounces of tea tree oil, and 16 ounces of jojoba oil. Shake well to combine all ingredients before spraying all over the horse’s body, taking extra care not to spray the mixture in the horse’s eyes.6Add two drops of citronella essential oil in your horse’s regular shampoo.Apply the mixture on the horse’s hair during shampoo time.
Natural Remedy from the Kitchen Using Lemon, Rosemary and Water
Materials for the mixture
- 11 large lemon with thick rind23 cups boiling water3½ cup dried whole rosemary
How to prepare the blends
- 1Place thinly sliced lemon in a bowl.2Sprinkle the lemon slices with dried whole rosemary.3Pour boiling water over the lemons and rosemary.Use wooden spoon to blend the ingredients.4Let the mixture steep overnight.5In the morning, strain the mixture into another bowl.Use a funnel to transfer the mixture into an empty spray bottle, making sure no particles go into the bottle to prevent clogging.6Spray the mixture all over the horse’s coat.
Bug Repellent Using Natural Ingredients
Materials for the mixture
- 116 ounces non-aerosol bug repellent216 ounces vinegar316 ounces citronella4Dish soap5A few drops of eucalyptus oil6Water
- 1Combine all the first four ingredients in a large bucket.If the shampoo version of citronella is to be used, stir gently to avoid building up foam or bubbles.2Add in a few drops of eucalyptus oil then pour enough water.Mix well to blend all ingredients.3Use a funnel to pour the mixture carefully into an empty spray bottle.4Spray generously all over the horse’s body, except on the eyes.
The Versatile Vinegar
Here are several ways to fend off insects using the ever-reliable vinegar.
- 1Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water in a container.Add a few drops of any dish soap onto the mixture. If you want a stronger formula for bothersome insects, you can add more vinegar than water.2Combine 2 cups of white vinegar with 1 cup bath oil, 1 cup water, and 1 tbsp, of eucalyptus oil.Stir well before pouring into a large spray bottle. Spray all over the horse’s body, but be careful not to put the mixture into the animal’s eyes and mouth.3In an empty spray bottle.Mix together 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup baby oil, ¼ cup PineSol, 1 tbsp. ordinary dish soap, 1 tbsp. bath oil, and 1 cup water. Shake well before spraying liberally on the horse’s coat, except on the eyes and mouth.
Internal Fly Repellant
If the horse’s skin is too sensitive for any type of insect repellent, try confronting insect infestation from the inside. Hydrate the horse with water mixed with ¼ cup apple cider. The apple cider will increase the horse’s blood acid level enough for troublesome insects to leave the horse in peace. Results become evident within one week of application.
Tips Tricks & Warnings
- Add garlic to your horse’s diet. The smell of garlic is enough to repel the insects and keep their distance away from the horse.
- Citronella and eucalyptus oil can be purchased at local health supplement and food stores.
- Clean an old spray bottle thoroughly before pouring in your homemade insect repellent.
- Wait for at least an hour before re-spraying the horse with another application of insect repellent.
- Apply petroleum jelly or bacon grease on the horse’s sensitive areas to alleviate their discomfort caused by insect bites.
- Flowering elder can be used to comb the horse’s mane and tail, serving as effective fly repellent while keeping the animal groomed and neat.
- Avoid spraying the vinegar mixture directly onto the horse’s face. Instead, put some amount on your hand or on a clean cloth then gently rub its face with it.
- Make sure the apple cider mixture is not stale by smelling it before giving to the horse. Prepare a fresh mixture if you detect sour smell from your week-old blend.
Questions and Answers
How to apply Citronella oil mixture for horses?
The citronella oil mixture can be applied on your horse by using it with the shampoo or as spray.
The citronella oil which is added to its regular shampoo is applied on the horse as you would normally shampoo the horse.
And as a spray, it is used to spray the whole body of the horse except on its eyes. You can spray it from head to its tail.
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