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Vanilla Extract repels flies/mosquitos - Spray Recipe?

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  • Vanilla Extract repels flies/mosquitos - Spray Recipe?

    Researching homemade fly spray "recipes" I read that vanilla extract repels flies and mosquitos?!

    Has anyone tried it? How much/what to mix with?

    Would VE work with water and shampoo or mineral oil? ie something needs to be added to make the VE and water "stick"?

    Always in the past I have used Absorbine Ultrashield - the black bottles then the "Red". The formulas for both have changed. I am chemical sensitive - but was able to tolerate the U.S. "Red" - but the new formula smells (to me) like a professional exterminator product. Made me dizzy and nauseous.

    I hate it when good things are "improved" - and nothing like the trusty original.


  • #2
    Huh. I've never heard of that. But I googled. Here's a recipe: http://www.ehow.com/how_2257484_make...a-extract.html
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cindyg View Post
      Huh. I've never heard of that. But I googled. Here's a recipe: http://www.ehow.com/how_2257484_make...a-extract.html
      Says it's effective for 30-45 minutes...um, no thanks.


      • #4
        Well, 30 minutes is about 10x longer than "regular" fly sprays last!

        Having tried just about every essential oil and extract with so-called "insect repellant" activity (measured/defined in a lab somewhere) and discovering their duration can be measured in the range of seconds to minutes (single digit) when applied to an actual horse, I would need serious convincing.
        Click here before you buy.


        • Original Poster

          Well after my experience with the "new" Red Ultrashield and my trouble with chemicals - even "natural" ones - I knew I had to try something I, myself, could tolerate - or else my horse would have to go without.

          Seriously, has anyone else noticed the new Red U.S. seeming to be almost at a toxic level?

          I had read where the Vanilla extract was good for maybe an hour.

          If it helps during dawn and dusk when mosquitos most active - well - better than nothing I guess.

          I found these "recipes":


          So I made a small batch at the barn tonight. Probably too dilute of VE but wanted to be careful in case it would irritate my horse.

          I used a small Ozarka water bottle. About 3/4 full of water. A couple drops of horse shampoo. And three capfuls of Vanilla Extract.

          The bugs were anyway not bad at the time. I applied the concoction on my horse's fetlock areas. No reaction. So will add more VE and perhaps a few drops of mineral oil.

          Perhaps the VE I got is not the right kind. FWIW I used:

          Pure Vanilla Extract, no corn syrup added. Ingredients: Bourbon Vanilla Bean extractives in water, alcohol 35%. 2 oz. $4.00.

          I am sure there is better stuff. I don't bake so don't know.

          At least I did not feel like I needed to call poison control - or go to the ER.
          (I read where someone did have to go to the ER after using the U.S. black formula).
          Last edited by grayarabs; Sep. 3, 2012, 12:38 AM. Reason: correct URL


          • #6
            A lot of "reactions" (in terms of skin scurfing, peeling, etc.) are caused by photosensitization, so using something very volatile (like an alcohol-based product that evaporates quickly) in low-sun situations may not be equivalent to using an oil-based product in intense sunlight. It has almost nothing to do with the "active" fly-repelling chemical in this case and everything to do with the carrier/diluent. Not all "reactions" to chemicals are the same.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              Originally posted by deltawave View Post

              Having tried just about every essential oil and extract with so-called "insect repellant" activity (measured/defined in a lab somewhere) and discovering their duration can be measured in the range of seconds to minutes (single digit) when applied to an actual horse, I would need serious convincing.
              Me too. I'm not buying it at all.

              There's another thread I just read a couple of weeks ago where many posters mentioned Pyrahna - which was one I never tried. I bought some last week and I'm amazed. The stuff actually works. I sprayed it on my mares back this morning and it actually killed the flies that were on her spine. I had to wipe them off of her! I'm looking in to the barn auto spray system now.

              I did find catnip oil worked very, very well but it's ridiculously expensive and STINKS.


              • #8
                Spraying a potent spray and seeing a few flies drop dead is not the same as a practical, long-lasting repellent effect. Sadly, the stuff is so volatile that it evaporates/degrades within minutes of application, after which the flies simply come on back. However, we are taken in by what we see seconds after spraying it. If I spray my horses, do barn chores and see them still not stomping and swishing 30 minutes later I declare the product a winner. And there generally are no winners, other than DEET.

                Generally before riding I will spray, as it will keep the odd stray fly away from a moving horse reasonably well. But for horses standing around, there's virtually nothing IME that works well enough to justify the cost and the non-stop exposure to chemicals. Relatively harmless they might be, but why bother for 2 minutes' worth of efficacy?
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  I only use chemicles at the worst time of the year, and when the horses need to be out - so for me, it's worth it. In other words, when it's REALLY horrible I put them under fans....but when they need to get out and move and eat and the flies are bad I will spray them. The Piranha works for about 24 hours...at least so far. I just started using it. WHen it's cool enough they're in sheets.

                  It's all a balance.


                  • #10
                    You can use Bouie clay with or without adding something to it. Clay their legs in the worst of fly season. Rinses off as long as you don't add sugar.

                    Also works nicely for wounds that you can not easily keep wrapped.
                    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                    ? Albert Einstein


                    • #11
                      I thought I'd report in that I tried out the "vanilla extract" as mosquito repellant and it seemed to work for oh, 15 minutes then they descended on me en masse. As a side-effect, it appears to attract beagles.


                      • #12
                        it appears to attract beagles
                        LOL, that's kind of what I was thinking--what cookie-loving mammal wouldn't come running to the smell of vanilla?
                        Click here before you buy.


                        • #13
                          How is it that companies are saying their "long lasting" products can last up to 2 weeks when clearly, none of us see that?

                          Really, 2 weeks for a fly spray to last? I call BS on that. It seems like I spray, then within a minute the flies are back.

                          I've had some success with the Absorbine UltraShield Green fly spray but the flies always. come. back.
                          RIP my beautiful Lola, ????–August 29, 2014


                          • #14
                            How is it that companies are saying their "long lasting" products can last up to 2 weeks when clearly, none of us see that?
                            You have to look at what methods they use to test "efficacy". It is almost certainly not "real world" testing, but stuff in a lab.
                            Click here before you buy.