How to Effectively Rotate Fly Spray

Not all fly sprays are created equal, so find out which formulas can help you the most in all types of situations with your barrel horses.
Barrel racer

No barrel racer in the game enjoys dealing with flies, but let’s face it: you’re going to encounter them in the warm summer months and in order to handle these flying nuisances effectively, it’s essential to employ a strategic approach by rotating fly spray.

Let’s explore the benefits of rotating fly sprays and what ingredients can give you the most bang for your buck in all seasons and types of scenarios.

Hot and humid days

When the sun is scorching and humidity levels rise, horses tend to sweat more, making them vulnerable to fly infestations. For these conditions, reach for a sweat-resistant formula. Look for fly sprays that offer sweat resistance and extended protection, so your horse can stay focused on the barrels without the distraction of persistent flies.

For dry heat, we recommend UltraShield® Red Insecticide & Repellent. This water-based formula features five ingredients—four different pyrethroids, including photo-stable Tetramethrin, and a synergist— that work together to kill bugs and stay active, plus it offers protection in the hottest sun.

Ingredient spotlight

We can arm you with all the recommendations and tips in the world, but understanding those long words on the labels of your fly spray is going to give you the tools to make informed choices and develop the best strategy for your horses. Here’s some ingres

Pyrethroids or pyrethrins

Derived from chrysanthemum flowers, these natural compounds are known for their insecticidal properties. Pyrethroids and pyrethrins are highly effective against a broad spectrum of flies, including house flies, stable flies, and horse flies. They provide quick knockdown and kill flies on contact. Pyrethrins are considered relatively safe for mammals, including horses, as they have low toxicity levels.

Pyrethrins work by affecting the nervous system of insects, leading to paralysis and death. They have a fast knockdown effect and are effective against various fly species, including house flies, stable flies, and horse flies. Pyrethrins are often used in combination with other ingredients to enhance their efficacy and provide a broader spectrum of insect control.


Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide widely used in fly sprays. It provides excellent fly repellency and offers long-lasting protection. Permethrin is effective against various fly species and helps create a barrier that keeps flies away from your horse’s body.

Citronella oil

Citronella oil is a well-known natural insect repellent derived from the leaves of the lemongrass plant. It acts as a masking agent, making it harder for flies to detect your horse’s scent, thereby reducing the likelihood of them being attracted to your horse.

Leisurely trail rides

Let’s say it’s a cool morning and your horse—and you—are enjoying a mental health break out in the fields or trails. In this scenario, opt for an all-natural, eco-safe fly repellent. These types of fly sprays are gentle on your horse’s skin, environmentally friendly, and provide effective protection against bothersome flies without harsh chemicals. We recommend UltraShield® Green Natural Fly Repellent. It contains seven essential oils renowned for their fly repellent qualities and uses ingredients like geraniol.

“Wet saddle pad” days

Every now and then your horse is going to require an extra-sweaty training session. Even if they get an extra-long workout that day, you’ll still want them to be protected from flies. That’s going to require a formula that is truly sweat-resistant. Even when the humidity climbs, UltraShield® Sport stays on your horse, won’t collect dust and fights mosquitos that can transmit West Nile Virus.

On the road or at the jackpot

When it’s time to hit the road and keep flies away from your horses as they travel, you’ll need one formula that can handle any situation. Whether that looks like being hauled on the trailer, being tied out, or loose in the enclosure of your choosing, you’ll want to keep your horse protected. It’s necessary to have one bottle that is long-lasting and doesn’t require you to reapply multiple times daily. We recommend UltraShield® EX as a safe bet with highly effective ingredients and an advanced formula.