Anyone having luck with anything chemical free for mosquitos? The mosquitos are horrendous and I've been using everything including Deep Woods OFF and having absolutely ZERO results. Horses only leave the barn for 2 minutes at a time then come galloping back in, covered in mosquitos, regardless if they were just sprayed 5 minutes prior! And I really spray them too - so their hair is wet. Yesterday I was mowing one of the pastures, and the mosquitos were attacking me right through the 29% Deet spray that I soaked myself with. This is just freakin ridiculous.
The sprays I have been using are: UltraShield Red, TriTec 14, Bronco(e), Pyrhanna, Repel-X spray and lotion, UltraShield wipes, and Deep Woods OFF.
Ok, it's worth a try. Also thinking of trying Espree and the Eqyss Marigold. I've used those in the past and they work great for flies but these danged mosquitos are vicious.
We tried to ride one of our favorites trails the other day and we got driven out of the woods as quick as we went in. I was thinking it would be a total miracle if I didn't get bucked off before we could get back out to the road. My horse was completely covered in mosquitos and she was doing aires above the ground trying to get them off. I've never seen anything like this.
I only use chemical-free sprays. So many of the chemical sprays have warnings on the label to wear gloves while applying, to avoid accidental inhalation, etc. IMO, it’s impossible to avoid contact at the barn, whether it’s during application or contact with the horse after.
I’ve tried most of the chemical-free sprays, and the winner hands down for mosquitoes and gnats is Deo lotion, formerly known as CLAC. It’s the concentrate in the orange bottle. The bottle is pricey to purchase up front, but ends up being very economical because it will make a large volume of repellent once you mix it. I do mine 1:4 (one part concentrate, four parts water). I'm not sure the Deo bottles still have directions for the range of dilution, but the CLAC bottles used to say that it could be mixed anywhere between full strength or 1:1 (too greasy!) to 1:7. 1:4 is the best ratio for me, and is extremely effective.
I’m on the wet side of the PNW and our mosquitoes and gnats are brutal. Really, really, really BAD. We have swarms of mosquitoes at night, and they can leave zillions of welts. Our gnat season runs from late winter/early spring to late autumn. Sucks. OTOH, we don’t really have any issues with flies during the daytime, although the Deo lotion is very good against flies as well. Oh, and I also leave one of those Cashel "clear ride" masks with ears on my horse 24/7 during gnat season. It has greater visibility than the more solid weave masks, and I don’t have to worry about issues with him wearing it at night. It really helps to give his face and ears relief, and the Deo lotion takes care of the rest. The Deo is really, really awesome stuff. The citronella smell is very strong though, but I figure it’s a tradeoff as long as my horse is happy (despite having a citronella cloud following him around. ). I can also go two days between applications (unheard of with anything else I've tried!) on the occasions that I don’t groom him. I’ve been at the barn very late at night and very early in the morning, so I’m frequently able to observe how well it works.
Give the Deo a try. I’ve tried a bunch of other popular ones, including Equi-Spa (meh - it works for a short while, but doesn’t last all night. It really isn’t great), and the Eqyss Marigold spray. The Marigold spray is, IMO, only partly effective against flies during the daytime. It will not affect gnats and mosquitoes at night. I’ve also tried Equisect which is technically a chemical spray (although it contains PyGanic, an ingredient they say is certified for organic farming). However, that one has dire warnings on the label about avoiding runoff due to causing issues with aquatic life. That’s not workable for me - my horse’s paddock is not too far above a salmon stream that passes through the farm’s property, and I sometimes hose him off by his paddock rather than taking him up the hill to bathe at the washracks. The bottom of his paddock can't be more than 100ft or so from the stream, so I have to be mindful of what insect repellents I use on him. The Equisect was only partially effective, BTW. Nothing spectacular.
The Eqyss Marigold Spray triggers *massive* migraines in me (even when it's not my horse it's used on--first one was halfway through a lengthy hunter pace when the horse and rider I was paired with had used it, and I am eternally grateful for the farmer who happened to have some Alleve with him on his tractor . Since then, I'll promptly get one if anyone in the barn uses it. It's weird, because I think it's the only thing that does that to me.).
The Clac stuff has worked the best for me of the more "natural" fly sprays, but nowhere near as good as the heavier duty "chemical" ones.