As anyone with farm animals will tell you, flies just come with the territory! But take heart, I’m going to teach you how to discourage flies from taking up residence on your homestead and share my DIY natural fly spray recipe that will help you to get ahead of the problem, pronto!
Where Do Flies Come From?
I had no idea how many flies could descend upon a homestead until I had farm animals! Flies make summertime miserable for your animals if you don’t have a plan to deal with them.
Female flies like to lay their eggs in dark secluded areas, especially places where there is rotting organic matter.
Trash cans, compost piles, manure and rotting food are just a few areas that attract the female fly to lay her very tiny eggs. Most homesteads have all of best vacation spots for flies, unless you have a plan in place!
How to Get Rid of Flies
Keep it Clean
Flies need food to stay alive and reproduce. Make sure trash cans are emptied consistently and clean your stalls on a schedule.
There’s nothing else that will help with flies if you don’t keep your barn and stalls reasonably clean.
Flies are drawn to manure and will continue to lay eggs there unless you remove it. There is no spray that can compete with poor hygiene.
Next, employ beneficial bugs to eat that fly larvae!
For those corners and other areas of the pasture that serve as a “latrine” for your farm animals, I have had great success with Nature’s Good Guys!
I was so grateful when my vet recommended Nature’s Good Guys when he was out for a Spring appointment with my farm animals years ago.
Nature’s Good Guys are a blend of beneficial nematodes that eat fly larva, without causing harm to your other animals or plants.
If you use this consistently, it works wonders!
DIY Fly Spray Recipes
After you’ve addressed any cleanliness issues and employed beneficial bugs, it makes good sense to keep your animals as comfortable as possible by using a natural fly spray!
This DIY fly spray recipe will not kill flies, but it will repel them.
How DIY Fly Spray Recipe Works
The primary ingredient in any DIY fly spray recipe is vinegar. Flies absolutely hate it. You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, they will both work.
Flies also hate the smell of rosemary, basil, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, thyme and peppermint. Incorporate one or more of these scents into your mixture, 30-40 drops total. (You can infuse your vinegar with fresh herbs!)
You will want to use a bit of cooking oil and to help your fly spray stick to your farm animal.
A tad bit of dish soap will help to emulsify your mixture.
DIY Fly Spray Recipe
Using a re-purposed spray bottle, mix the following:
4 cups of vinegar
2 tbsp. cooking oil (olive, canola, vegetable, etc.)
1 tbsp. environmentally-safe dish soap
30-40 drops of any combination of the following: rosemary, basil, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, thyme or peppermint.
Shake to mix well and use on your farm animals, keep out of their eyes.
If you implement these changes in your farm animal care regimen, you are definitely going to reduce the amount of those annoying flies this year!