Get rid of those pesky flies that irritate your horse by creating your own fly repellent using the mouthwash Listerine. By itself, Listerine can be irritating and drying to the horse's skin, since it contains alcohol. Mixing it with baby oil or mineral oil will counteract the drying effects of the alcohol, as well as coat and soothe the skin.
Flies are not only a nuisance to your horse they also bite, causing pain and irritation. Flies can transmit serious, life-threatening diseases, such as encephalomyelitis and swamp fever. Flies target the horse's ears as well as its eyes. They feed on the liquid secretions of the eye, causing conjunctivitis and resulting in swelling and itching. In addition, flies can lay their eggs in the horse's tear ducts, causing an infestation called habronema.
Controlling and minimising fly populations is the key to keeping your horse content and free of disease. It is imperative that you take measures to manage fly populations and eradicate infestations before they occur. Clean your horse's stall regularly, removing manure and uneaten food. Wash your horse's eyes daily, checking to ensure they are clean and free from irritation and fly larvae.
Listerine Fly Repellent
Using a fly repellent will help keep flies away from your horse and out of its eyes. A mixture using Listerine as an active ingredient will give you a tool in fighting against fly overpopulation. Mix 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup Listerine, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 25 drops of baby oil or mineral oil in a 500ml spray bottle. Shake the mixture well.
Spray the mixture to a clean cloth and apply it to the horse's face, ensuring you cover the area around the eyes. Do not spray the repellent directly onto the horse's face. Apply the repellent to the face using the cloth and before spraying it on the horse's body. That will ensure that the cloth remains clean and free of dirt and bacteria before applying it to the sensitive area around the eyes. Spray the mixture over the horse's coat and wipe evenly with the cloth. Reapply as often as needed, depending upon climate and fly control requirements.