DIY Fly Spray for Horses with Essential Oils

Fly spray is a constant struggle during summer. I hate using chemical sprays, but sometimes that is better than the alternative of your horse getting eaten alive by bugs! Now that I live with my horses, I can spray them multiple times a day with natural products to help them fight the bug battle. But natural products are expensive, too. So I made a “dup” of a natural spray that I liked that works for several hours. It works great to spray during your time with your horse, pre-workout (so you don’t have to wash off the more expensive stuff right after) or if you have the ability to spray throughout the day!


I purchased the essential oils on Amazon, and added a small amount of a Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap in peppermint that I have on hand. The soap helps the mixture blend together by dissolving the oil, and you don’t use enough to make your horse soapy. A better alternative would be witch hazel, which also combines the oil with the water while preserving the scent longer. I haven’t purchased it yet, but I think that would make this spray even better! 

The dominant scent I add is geraniol then clove, but you can definitely experiment with ratios that work for your specific area! All these oils repel bugs, as do many others. I have also used a peppermint & lavender combo that works pretty well! The scent of cloves seems to stick around the longest. Here are Amazon links* to the oils I am using:

  1. Geraniol oil (NOT geranium, though that also may do something and smells nice!)
  2. Clove oil
  3. Peppermint oil
  4. Witch Hazel (or Pure Castile soap is what I use)
  5. Distilled water
Most recipes call for about half water and half witch hazel, then simply add drops or tiny splashes of oils. I add just a tiny bit of castile soap in the water instead of witch hazel, and I must use the spray quickly enough that the scent never seems to decrease. I adjust the amounts of each oil by how the mixture smells, aiming for a floral clove scent. 

*Amazon links are affiliate links, which means we get a tiny commission if you purchase through our links. Thank you for your support 🙂