The 411 On Fly Spray - What You Need To Know To Keep The Pesky Bugs Away

Posted by Lynnsy Johnson - Saddle Up on Apr 30th 2020

Summer is a horse lover's dream, but with the heat, comes the pesky bugs. They seem to be here a little early this year and with the confirmed case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in New Mexico, I think it is time to break out the fly gear. Fly masks, fly sheets, and fly boots are pretty much uniform for this time of year, but fly spray always seems to be a toss up. There are so many brands and different ingredients that make it hard to choose one. Each fly spray has different attributes and some can be more pesky than the flies! Today we are going to compare and talk about a few different fly sprays. Hopefully it will help you narrow down your choices and get a good plan of attack!

There is one product that I think is an absolute lifesaver during fly season and it is called Swat. Swat is a product by Farnam and it is a fly repellent ointment. It comes in a 7 oz jar and it is super handy to have around. It is good for applying around sensitive areas or hard to reach areas such as the face, eyes, or ears. I even use it on their bellies. Another thing it is formulated for is use around wounds, sores, scratches, or abrasions. You can smear it around the wound or affected area and it will help keep the flies out. You can take it on the go or keep it at your barn! You can apply it daily and usually see best result when doing this. It repels house, stable, face and horn flies. You can use it on horses, ponies and even your dogs. Once applied, it is effective for hours! Remember when applying, a little goes a long way. It can be a little messy and some people wear gloves to avoid getting it on their hands. I personally do not wear gloves. It doesn't harm your skin and washes off. It does have an interesting smell to it, but that is my only complaint. They offer it in a pink formula or a clear formula. They are basically the same, however the clear one won't show as much on your horse's coat. The ingredients include Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical, and Di-n-propyl Isocinchomeronate.

Another product we have had luck with is the Farnam Repel X Spray. This fly spray has been around for a really long time. In fact, it was the first fly spray to hit the market in 1957. It is popular item and tends to be a customer favorite. It is a water based formula that can be used as a spray or wipe. The water based formula is lighter on the horse's coat than oil. It can also be more gentle. The only downfall is it doesn't last as long as an oil based formula. This spray kills and repels stable, horse, face, deer, house and horn flies, mosquitoes, gnats, ticks, fleas, chiggers and lice. You can use this spray on horses, dogs, and their premises. So you can spray the barns or pens that your animal lives in. The ingredients include Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical and Permethrin. This is a good all around product, but may not last all day. 

In my opinion, Pyranha products are the most effective. I have used Pyranha for many years and it has worked great for me. It still has its downfalls and I really feel that each product works differently for everyone. For the area that I live in, I find that this product repels the bugs the best. Pyranha has a huge variety of different products. They have the regular wipe/spray, oil based, water based, Pyranha Legacy, Pyranha Nulli, and many others.

The oil based tends to last the longest. I find I can apply it once a day and it stays pretty potent. However, the oil based formula can be messy. It can get on your hands or clothes and it has a pretty strong citronella smell. It does wash off, but you may have stained clothing or a lingering smell left on you. You also have to be cautious with how much you spray on your horse because the oil based formula can burn their skin if too much is applied. It does contain lanolin as a coat conditioner, so it makes their coat very shiny. 

The Pyranha water based formula isn't as messy and it is very light on the horse's coat. It will not burn them, but it also doesn't last as long throughout the day. The Pyranha products are usually all a pyrethrum-based formula. It kills and repels stable flies, house flies, bot flies, horse flies, horn flies, ticks, deer flies, mosquitoes, fleas, face flies, gnats, and lice. Pyranha contains pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide and permethrin for optimum insect control. The pyrethrin ingredient is a class of organic compounds normally derived from Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium that have potent insecticidal activity by targeting the nervous systems of insects.

This year, we have stocked up on everything fly gear! We have many options for fly masks, sheets, and fly boots. We have also put in our orders for fly spray! We will be carrying Swat, Repel X, Pyranha Wipe N Spray Pyrethrin Spray, Pyranha Equine Spray Water Based, Pyranha Equine Sweat Resist Roll On, Pyranha Legacy Fly Spray, and Pyranha Nulli Fly Spray. We may even add more along the way! 

We hope this gives you a little better insight into choosing your perfect fly repellent product! Thank you for reading and we hope you have a wonderful week! Go out and enjoy that sunshine!