Remember how one of the 10 Egyptian plagues in Exodus was massive amounts of flies?
Well, when I was younger, I always thought “Well, that one wouldn’t be THAT bad…”
I take it back.
We had massive amounts of flies last year. It was a constant battle to keep them off of my animals, out of my food, and off of my baby… (It got so bad, I even got bug nets for the playpen!)
Of course, the typical solution is to use hardcore chemicals and sprays to drive them away.
I just don’t feel good about doing that anymore.
I need to find a solution before our cow freshens next month. The flies are already driving her crazy, and I can just imagine how that will effect the milking process.
I know from experience with my horses, whenever you apply fly spray, it gets everywhere. On your hands, on your clothes, in your mouth. I don’t want those harmful chemicals anywhere near my lovely raw milk.
So let the experimentation begin!
Last year I tried a few white vinegar/dish soap/mouth wash concoctions. While they sorta worked, I wasn’t super impressed with any of them.
I’ve been using this new recipe for a few weeks now. It’s so natural, you could drink it! (not that I would recommend that…)
Natural Homemade Fly Spray
- 1 quart Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I suppose you could use regular ACV from the store, but I think using the real stuff adds an extra punch. I get mine from Azure Standard for a fairly reasonable price.)
- 20 drops rosemary essential oil
- 20 drops melaleuca essential oil
- 20 drops lavender esssential oil
Mix together in a spray bottle. Apply to the animals frequently (give it a good shake before applying). And be careful, it smells strong. Whew!
The final verdict?
It works. But if you are expecting it to be like the conventional fly sprays that last for several days, you will be disappointed.
From my observations, it repels the flies, it doesn’t kill them. I had to apply several times over the course of the day, but at least it provided temporary relief. I will definitely be using it before milking.
But, I’m going to keep experimenting and researching.
Watch out flies- This is war!
(This post contains affiliate links)
P.S. Like what you read? Join over 33,000 other homesteaders and get farm-fresh inspiration from The Prairie Homestead delivered straight to your inbox! Sign up Now! (it's quick and easy--plus you'll NEVER get spam from us!)
STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.