Flies and Oils

June 17, 2018

Many Biting Insects come in many varieties.


The female midge for example bites the host for a blood meal before laying her eggs.

Midges love warm humid weather, wet ground and indirect sunlight of dawn and dusk. They can be a real nuisance and difficult to swat. So, sitting in the direct sun with a fan on will keep the midges at bay but watch out for the sunburn.



Dark coloured clothing is preferred by biting insects, so this gives you a good excuse to brighten up your day and evening wear.  But unless you want to wear a head to toe boiler suit with elasticated tight cuffs and a bobble hat with mesh covering your face you may be looking at other alternatives like essential oils as your fly repellent options








We naturally excrete waste products through our skin and this attracts biting insects but you can also try eating to reply flies with scents they find unpleasant.


Biting insects hate odours and flavours that are similar to yeast. Which explains why we see recommendations of marmite as a fly repellent. Personally, can’t stand the stuff!


Foods high in B1 (scented like yeast) include brewer's yeast and you will see this often suggested for allergies and bites


Garlic is not only used against vampires. The smell of it on your breath and skin can act as a biting insect repellent.


Don’t fancy eating to repel what about strings of garlic or burning scented candles.

There are quite a few fly catcher options on the market and with Equine Innovations we have recently tried and tested the HorseFly Glue


We would rather not use a DEET based repellent, so we look to Essential Oils on our yard.

You will find loads of lotions and potions on offer to drink, eat, rub on, spray on, or hang up


If you don’t fancy the idea of a homemade fly catcher with a sweaty sock there are many options and instructions on how to make homemade repellent sprays

Start with a Base mix / Carrier some suggest vinegar or teabags or water or Witch hazel, I have even seen vodka given as an option.

Then add your oils mix and spray.


There are a some oils that are commonly used which we thought we would introduce you to.

Many have fabulous antibacterial and antifungal properties. 




Citronella has a strong lemon like smell used to repel mosquitos

but be careful in high wasp populations













Lavender has a rich floral smell and different to most oils as you can use it neat on your skin.

An oil great to rub on a bite area as an anti-itch, antiseptic.

Remember Lavender is a Bee favourite.








Catnip belongs to the mint family

But be careful around cats, they may start chasing and licking you.










Neem is very pungent with a yeast like smell and widely used in organic farming












Eucalyptus and Lemongrass are useful repellents for moths



















Peppermint has been known to help repel ants at picnics















Tea Tree is a powerful antiseptic and you can rub into your hair and around your neck to work as a repellent with is pungent smell  

Often seen in shampoo 










Cloves have an odour disliked by House flies

A combination scent of earthy, spicy

Often used for toothache









Rosemary left as the whole planted herb we use this around the chicken coops.











Cedar has a Smokey scent also known for its use with meditation










Geranium is a plant you often see gardeners using to ward off unwanted insects.

Often used as a natural deodorant.









There are many options open for you to follow the natural organic path to fly control these are just a few of our favourites we have listed


For more fly control options have a look in the Equine Innovations shop



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By Gaelann East
The Wacky Racers Dressage Team
England UK

© 2017 Gaelann East

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