Anyone who’s spent any time around horses knows how irritating flies and mosquitoes can be. Insects are irritating to both the rider and the horse. At best, they’re a distraction. At worst, they have the potential to spread devastating disease to both animals and humans.
There are a number of companies that have formulated insecticides that are safe to use around horses. In fact, some are so safe that they can be applied directly to your horse’s coat. Rather than reapplying the formula every few hours, like with human insect repellent, there are a number of horse sprays that can last for a week or more by binding to the equine hairs.
When you look for good fly sprays for your horse, you should always prioritize your horse’s safety first. Make sure that the product you use is rated and tested to work on horses. It also helps to look into the active ingredients so you understand what they are and how they work.
Best Mosquito Sprays for Horses
Our Best Pick
|Pyrethrum, citronella, lanolin||128 ounces|
|Cypermethrin, pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, butoxy polypropylene glycol||32 ounces|
|Permethrin, pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide||32 ounces|
#1. Pyranha Wipe N Spray
This formula from Pyranha is available in either thirty-two ounce or one gallon concentrations. If you need to keep retreating your horse throughout the summer, or you have multiple horses, the one gallon size will be your best bet. The formula is designed and proven to be effective at repelling ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, gnats, and flies.
The main active ingredient is pyrethrum. While this natural plant is extremely effective as an insecticide, it’s safe to use around horses. People have been using pyrethrum to kill insects for hundreds of years. The substance can be toxic to people and horses when applied in high, concentrated doses. However, the insect repellents that use it make sure it’s diluted firmly enough to be safe.
This particular formula has been tested and proven safe enough that you can apply it onto your horse’s coat directly. You just spray it on and wipe it through the hair. You only need to use one or two ounces for every head. In addition to creating a long-lasting barrier of fly and mosquito protection, the formula gives your horse’s coat a glossy sheen.
That’s because the formula is infused with lanolin, which works as a coat conditioner. It creates a layer of moisturizing protection that flies and other insects can’t get past. The insecticides can kill ticks, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, and biting flies. Just brush through your horse’s hair to make sure the formula coats it evenly.
The formula also includes citronella scenting. This helps to confuse the sensory receptors of mosquitoes and other insects. Citronella is safe for use around horses and people. It’s one of the most commonly used insect repellents because its scent creates a repelling barrier.
#2. Farnam Endure
Farnam is a company that has been creating a wide variety of horse gear since 1946. The company is an industry leader whose policy is to prioritize the health and happiness of horses. The Farnam Endure formula is an insect protection option that’s built to last for long periods of time.
One of the biggest selling points of this spray is that it’s built for working horses. The assumption is that your horse might be outside in the rain or sweating. The formula continues to work and use its active ingredients even if your horse gets wet. In studies, horses had a full fourteen days of protection from their first treatment.
The reason behind the longevity is the RepeLock conditioner infusion. This conditioning ingredient allows the insecticide and insect repelling ingredients to bind directly to the hair shaft. Since the formula is then bonded to the coat, it doesn’t wash out with water any more easily than your horse’s hair washes away with water.
The formula has proven most effective against biting flies, nuisance flies, ticks, lice, and gnats. This includes mosquitoes, although the formula isn’t specifically designed with extra mosquito protection. It is able to kill and repel deer ticks, which not every insect repellent for horses can manage. This is a vital note since deer ticks can transmit Lyme disease.
You can purchase the formula in a few different sizes and configurations. The simplest is the ready-to-use spray. It comes in a bottle, and all you have to do is spray it onto your horse’s coat.
Another option is the continuous spray. This non-aerosol spray offers 360 degrees of continuous spraying so that you can evenly and consistently apply a thin coat of protection. There are a few advantages to the continuous spray can. It’s able to spray at all angles, including upside down, so you don’t have to worry about contorting yourself to get at your horse’s hard-to-reach areas.
When you run out of the spray bottle of your choice, hold onto it. You can get an easy-pour refill to replenish your supply. These refills come in large jugs with a spill-proof spout and side handle.
The final option is to get the roll-on formula. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Rather than needing to spray or wipe the formula into your horse’s coat, you simply roll it over the hair like a stick of deodorant. Some people might find this method of application easier. However, since the formula isn’t applied as thickly as with the spray, you’ll only get five to seven days of protection.
#3. Absorbine UltraShield EX Residual Insecticide and Repellent
Like many other options on the market, the Ultrashield formula is available in both 32-ounce and one gallon sizes. The one that works for you depends on how often you’ll be using it and how many horses you have.
This is the only insecticide and insect repellent that has been shown to provide up to seventeen continuous days of insect protection. Even though the formula offers such strong shielding, it’s gentle enough that it can be used on horses and dogs alike. The goal is to repel and kill ticks, mosquitoes, and flies.
The formula is weather-proof and sweat-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about applying it every time your horse has a hard workout or goes outside in the rain. There are also two sunscreen ingredients infused into the formula, helping add another layer of protection between your horse and the elements.
The first incarnation of this formula was the Ultrashield. The Ultrashield EX has improved upon the previous formula to extend the length of time and efficacy. Like many horse protection formulas on the market, the insecticides are natural pyrethrins that are derived from chrysanthemums.
The other active ingredients are piperonyl butoxide and Permethrin. Permethrin is one of the most effective mosquito repellents. It has been approved by the CDC as a mosquito repellent that can rival DEET, which is considered the gold standard in mosquito repelling. The infusion of Permethrin gives this formula a stronger level of mosquito protection.
Piperonyl butoxide is a synthetic chemical. It doesn’t function as a pesticide by itself. Instead, it’s categorized as a “pesticide synergist.” The piperonyl butoxide in this formula helps to increase the efficacy of the pyrethrins. This chemical has been used in the United States since the 1950s, and there are over 2,500 pesticide products currently on the market that include it.
If you want a formula that’s easy to spray and wipe directly onto your horse’s coat, the Pyranha is designed for you. The citronella scent helps to repel mosquitoes and create a protective barrier over your horse and their surroundings. The formula is gentle enough to be applied directly to your horse’s coat. In fact, there’s lanolin infused to work as a deep conditioner, so your horse will look sleeker and better-groomed than before.
The Farnam Endure spray is a great choice for people who want effective, long-lasting protection. The effects last much longer than many other options on the market. You get up to fourteen days of total fly control with just one treatment. The spray has RepeLock conditioner infused with it, so the active ingredients bind to your horse’s hair shaft for longer-lasting results.
The Ultrashield from Absorbine is another long-lasting formula that’s competing with the others on the list. Studies have shown that it can provide mosquito and fly control for up to seventeen days. The formula is both sweat-resistant and weatherproof, so you don’t have to worry about your horse being out in hot and rainy days. As an insecticide-repellent, the formula is gentle enough to be used even on dogs.