Monday, July 17, 2017

Fly Spray Concoction

Unless you are a donkey owner, you would never guess how persistent and overwhelming flies can be to donkey legs.  I never had the numbers of flies attach themselves to horse legs with the three horses I have owned.  Donkey legs are another matter entirely, especially Luigi legs.

Because it's a daily battle and I spray those legs every single day, I prefer to use plant based formulas. However, the flies have been so tenacious the past 10 days or so, I have been playing with some alternate methods (more on that in the next post).  Nothing is doing the job as I'd like.

As I was wandering the the internet searching for more possibilities, I found a DIY fly repellent using essential oils.  As I perused the list, I realized I had most in my EO stash and decided to give it a whirl.

The recipe is as follows:

Refreshing Fly Blend by Nan Martin

§  5-10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
§  5-10 drops Tea Tree or Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil
§  5-10 drops Idaho Tansy Essential Oil
§  5-10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
§  5-10 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
§  5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Drop each of the oils into a 32 oz spray bottle and mix with water.
Source: Equimed

I had everything I needed except the Idaho Tansy and had to substitute Lemon Myrtle for the Lemongrass.  But then I got thinking (uh oh).  Would the oils mix with plain ole' water?  I again looked online, found suggestions for emulsifiers and then asked husband Rick, the biologist/chemist in the family.  His suggestion of vigorous shaking just before applying said concoction served my purpose.  

I've only been experimenting for a couple of days but thus far, I'm pleased.  I'll have Luigi report back after a longer test period.  


  1. I shall pass this information along to my daughter. She's having a terrible time with the biting flies this year.
    I bet it smells nice too :)

    1. If she decides to try it, let me know her results. Where does she live?

  2. Good luck with your new forumula. Poor donkeys, I bet they are struggling with the heat and then to have these annoying flies - hope it works for them. We used to put vinegar (normal household vinegar) on our ponies during the summer and use cold tea bags to clean and rub around their eyes. As far as I can remember it worked to some degree, but like you say, donkeys seem to be different.

  3. Louise, never heard about the cold tea bag method. May try it. For many years I used the old Skin So Soft fly spray for my horse, Natural, which incorporated vinegar. He sure did shine!

  4. Poor donkeys. I hope your formula works.