Flies. are. the. WORST.
It’s bad enough when they want to get on our food or swarm around compost and manure piles. Why do they have to pick on our animals, too?
My livestock guardian dogs get the worst of it, believe it or not. The flies hardly seem to bother the goats or pigs, and the horses aren’t too terribly bothered. But the flies torment our poor dogs!
It’s especially bad on their noses. Every year it’s the same struggle to keep flies off their snouts. The flies start biting, the dogs start rubbing, and before you know it they’re noses have irritated fly-bitten spots.
All the medicines I’ve tried barely touch it. As soon as I apply medicine to their noses, they wipe it right off. It’s a vicious cycle. That’s why when I saw the natural fly spray recipe from Shaye at The Elliot Homestead, I knew I had to try it. It certainly couldn’t hurt!
I didn’t have all the same ingredients on hand as the original recipe, so I improvised and came up with the concoction below. I’ll admit that the dogs do not like the smell. I can’t say that I blame them. But they also can’t wipe it all off, because I mist it over their entire bodies. And you know what? It works! It’s amazing to see the flies tormenting the dogs one moment, and then simply gone the next after I use this spray.
One day as I was spraying Mellow, I noticed a jumping spider on her fur. He started going berserk, too! Even spiders don’t like this stuff.
I apply the fly spray twice daily in a light mist over the bulk of their bodies. I avoid spraying this directly on the fly-bitten areas or near the eyes, of course. I then apply ointment or Vetricyn to the irritated areas and cross my fingers that they won’t rub it all off.
This is the only thing I’ve tried that has actually given the dogs lasting relief. I’ve seen a huge reduction in the flies since I’ve begun using it, and the best part is that it has no pesticides or chemicals! I have no qualms about spraying it on the dogs or getting it on my own skin.
Here’s my recipe:
– squirt bottle (I really want a glass one like this to better preserve the oils)
– measuring cup
– 2 cups raw apple cider vinegar (I use this brand)
– 2 cups water
– 15 drops rosemary essential oil
– 15 drops oregano essential oil
– 15 drops peppermint essential oil
– 15 drops repellent blend essential oil
– 1 tablespoon dish soap (I used original blue Dawn)
Add all ingredients to your spray bottle and shake vigorously.
Store out of direct sunlight and don’t allow to freeze. Shake before each use to be sure everything is well mixed.
Spray on livestock on an as-needed basis (this could be anywhere from once a day to every six hours depending on the severity of your fly situation), avoiding contact with eyes or open wounds (it will burn).
It’s that simple.