Make Homemade Insect Repellent for Horses

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Charmed, Shadows Eye and 5 others

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 at the same time. Animal friends, in this case, our horses, also share this revulsion, especially because they spend most of their time outdoors.

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While they cannot openly complain, it is obvious that they are bothered when they are swarmed and bitten by a myriad of 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.

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Horses tend to be more affected by insect infestation because they have a thin layer of skin. They suffer from insect bites that can damage their sensitive skin and compromise their health. In an effort to ease their discomfort, we usually think of using over-the-counter insect repellents, which we all know contain chemicals that are harmful to the horse's skin. Thankfully, there are simple ways to make natural, home-made insect repellent for horses that are just as effective, safe, and save you a lot of money. Just follow the recipes below and you'll have a insect repellent that won't cause harm to the horses or the environment, while leaving a shiny healthy looking coat on your horses.

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The Power of Essential Oils

Ingredients & Tools

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  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Essential oil of catnip.
  • Sugarless vanilla extract
  • Vinegar.
  • Baby oil or mineral oil
  • Palmolive bath soap.
  • Soybean oil
  • Vodka
  • Citronella oil.
  • Lavender oil.
  • Tea tree oil.
  • Jojoba oil.
  • Water.
  • Empty spray bottle.
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Method of Preparation - Six Kinds of Insect Repellent

  1. 1
    Catnip Spray.
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    1. Combine 1 cup each of water and rubbing alcohol in an empty spray bottle.
    2. Add ½ teaspoon of essential oil of catnip.
    3. Replace the nozzle on the spray bottle.
    4. Shake well before spraying over the horse's coat. Avoid spraying near the horse's eyes.
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  2. 2
    Vanilla Spray.
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    1. Pour a bottle of sugarless vanilla extract into an empty spray battle.
    2. Refill the empty vanilla bottle with water and pour it into the spray bottle.
    3. Shake well before spraying on your horse.
    4. Do not use sugared vanilla, as it will only attract more insects!
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  3. 3
    Vinegar/Oil.
     
    1. Combine equal parts of vinegar and baby or mineral oil in an empty spray bottle. ##Shake well then spray all around the horse's coat.
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  4. 4
    Palmolive/Soya Spray.
     
    1. Fill an empty spray bottle with 1 cup of water.
    2. Add ¼ teaspoon of Palmolive bath soap
    3. Add 1 teaspoon of soya bean oil.
    4. Shake well to completely mix the ingredients then spray on the horse's skin.
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  5. 5
    Vodka/Citronella/Essential Oil Spray.
     
    1. Pour 16 ounces of vodka into an empty spray bottle.
    2. Add ½ ounce of citronella oil.
    3. Add ¼ ounce of lavender oil.
    4. Add 0.15 ounces of tea tree oil.
    5. Add 16 ounces of jojoba oil.
    6. Shake well to combine all ingredients before spraying all over the horse's body. ## Do not spray near the horse's eyes.
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  6. 6
    Citronella Shampoo.
     
    1. Add two drops of citronella essential oil in your horse's regular shampoo.
    2. Shampoo as you usually do.
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Natural Remedy from the Kitchen Using Lemon, Rosemary and Water

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Ingredients and Tools

  • 1 large lemon with a thick rind
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • ½ cup dried rosemary leaves
  • 2 large bowls
  • 1 funnel or cheese cloth

Method of Preparation

  1. 1
    Slice the lemon into thin slices.
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  2. 2
    Place the lemon slices in a bowl.
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  3. 3
    Sprinkle the lemon slices with dried whole rosemary.
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  4. 4
    Pour boiling water over the lemons and rosemary.
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  5. 5
    Use wooden spoon to blend the ingredients.
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  6. 6
    Let the mixture steep overnight.
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  7. 7
    In the morning, using a fennel or cheesecloth, strain the mixture into another bowl.
    You don't want any bits in your spray.
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  8. 8
    Spray the mixture all over the horse's coat.
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Bug Repellent Using Natural Ingredients

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Ingredients and Tools

  • 16 ounces non-aerosol bug repellent
  • 16 ounces vinegar
  • 16 ounces citronella
  • Dish soap
  • A few drops of eucalyptus oil
  • Water
  • Large bowl
  • Empty spray bottle

Method of Preparation

  1. 1
    Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl.
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  2. 2
    If the shampoo version of citronella is to be used, stir gently to avoid building up foam or bubbles.
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  3. 3
    Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
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  4. 4
    Add 1½ cups water.
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  5. 5
    Mix well to blend all ingredients.
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  6. 6
    Use a funnel to pour the mixture carefully into an empty spray bottle.
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  7. 7
    Spray generously all over the horse's body, avoiding the eyes.
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The Versatile Vinegar

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Here are several ways to fend off insects using the ever-reliable vinegar.

  1. 1
    Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
     
    1. Add a few drops of any dish soap into the mixture.
    2. If you want a stronger formula for bothersome insects, you can add more vinegar than water.
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  2. 2
    Combine 2 cups of white vinegar.
     
    1. Add 1 cup bath oil.
    2. Add 1 cup water.
    3. Add 1 tbsp of eucalyptus oil.
    4. Stir well before pouring into a large spray bottle.
    5. Spray all over the horse's body, being careful to avoid the horse's eyes and mouth.
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  3. 3
    Put one cup of vinegar in an empty spray bottle.
     
    1. Add 1 cup baby oil.
    2. Add ¼ cup PineSol.
    3. Add 1 tbsp. ordinary dish soap.
    4. Add 1 tbsp. bath oil.
    5. Add 1 cup water.
    6. Shake well before spraying liberally on the horse's coat, avoiding the horse's eyes and mouth.
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Internal Fly Repellant

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If the horse's skin is too sensitive for any type of insect repellent, try dealing with the 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 will be evident within one week.

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Tips, Tricks & Warnings

  • Add garlic to your horse's diet. The smell of garlic is enough to repel insects and keep their distance away from the horse, plus there are added health benefits to garlic.
  • 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.
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Questions and Answers

How to apply Citronella oil mixture on 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.

As a spray, it is used to spray the whole body of the horse, avoiding the horse's eyes. You can spray it from head to its tail.

How long does this horse spray last for in minutes or in hours?

I can't find how long it lasts for, could you tell me? If so thanks.

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Can you use a plastic spray bottle?

Can I use a plastic bottle or must it be in a glass spray bottle?

It does not matter what bottle you use, as long as you store the repellent away from direct sun. In reality, plastic bottles with repellents for horses can be handled, stored, obtained, and used more easily. If you prefer glass, you can order theme here: Amber Spray Bottles. If you prefer plastic, you can order one of these bottles, for example: Safe Plastic Sprayer Bottle.

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Which horse mosquito spray recipe listed is best?

Good mosquito spray for 2 year old filly and newly pregnant mare.

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Do you have any easy and inexpensive formulas for mosquito repellent for horses?

The weather here is always (79-90 F) the whole year through. My son has one old horse and there is a specific time of the year that the mosquitoes are out of control. That is why I asked my question.

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I am looking for a gnat repellent for my horses.

How can I make my own equine gnat repellent?

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What is safe to use on the face and around the eyes of a horse?

Bad year for horse flies, mosquitoes, and such. Cannot afford the store stuff.

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How good is lavender oil as a repellent for mosquitoes on horses?

Mosquitos are bothering the horse a lot. I do not want to use chemicals. Looking for additional insight. Good evening.

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What can I do to help my horse? He is covered in bug bites?

The horse is covered with fly bites and becomes very irritated when they bite him while we are riding. We are in sunny South Africa and certain oils, like tea-tree helps for the bugs, but now he has bald spots on his face.

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Categories : Animals & Pets

Recent edits by: VisiHow, Mario, nanc

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