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I had heard whispers about a new fly repellent just made available in California. I hadn’t seen it in stores but managed to get my hands on a small sample of it, but I didn’t get enough of a chance to actually make much judgement on it. EcoVet was generous to provide me with two 18 oz. bottles of EcoVet Fly Repellent to try out to give a thorough review. Here are my thoughts on this clever and fantastic product.
My first thought on use of the product…it smells. It doesn’t necessarily smell bad…just strong. Very strong. It is also quite a different smell from what you normally expect from a fly spray or repellent. The weirdness of the smell goes away after a few uses and I found myself liking the smell. The repellent also can cause sneezing or coughing and can burn the eyes…so you have to be careful with the way you apply it. No matter how you apply it, this is the reaction you’re going to get from your horse.
Champ is a pretty good sport about it and on this day, he was the only horse I took out with the EcoVet…but I have started a chorus of sneezing and coughing horses a few times. Funny for the humans…annoying to the horses. In fact, Champ has arrived at a decision that he dislikes this little bottle. If anyone brings the EcoVet bottle in his stall he grunts loudly in disagreement. He stands and takes the spray like a good boy and starts sneezing, but he lets me know in no uncertain vocalizations that he isn’t all that happy about it. Is it wrong to laugh at him?
After a few uses, I figured out a way to apply this without inducing any humans to coughing and sneezing fits (it now gets “called out” before sprayed).
Now on to the important part. Does it work? Well, you have to remember that this is a repellent made from fatty acids, not a poison. In regards to other repellents I’ve tried…it works SO MUCH BETTER. But it doesn’t hold up to some of the stronger, more expensive fly sprays out there that include wonderful cocktails of fly death. I did miss the whole “spray the fly and watch it die” part of applying this to my horse, but oh well. If you want to eliminate poison and possible cancer causing agents from your horse, your skin, your eyes, your mouth, your nose/lungs, etc…then this product is going to make you so very happy. It actually does repel flies (unlike every other repellent I have tried). I have used this in temperate, hot, dry, humid, blazing hot, cool, and windy conditions. I have used it trail riding, schooling, camping and at several shows. It has performed steadily across all challenges.
As warned on the instructions, if applied to an already sweaty horse…this doesn’t work well. When applied before working, EcoVet holds up for several hours, depending on the conditions and how vicious your flies. It helps keep flies off the horse’s legs and belly…which is wonderful for making the horse more comfortable. Because it is so potent, I did not even consider putting it on or near Champ’s face. Because of this, flies still wanted to bug his face and ears.
I got about 15-25 uses out of each 18 oz bottle (I spray generously). I alternated this with a poison fly spray every other day so that I could still take out some flies too. EcoVet repels flies better than the poison spray that I currently use does, though it doesn’t kill them.
For fly season, there’s really no other safe option for repelling flies that works this well. I cannot help but highly recommend it (even if it does start a rumble of horsey sneezes down the barn aisle). I love EcoVet and it will be in my tack box for the rest of the fly season (which may last until the world ends here in Northern California) and every year thereafter. It is a little on the pricey side, but it’s a fine trade-off for a product that works and is healthier for horse, human and environment.