Which Is the Best Horsefly Repellent for Humans to Use This Summer?

best horse fly repellent for humans

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you should give up on going out for a run. At this time of year, you’ll likely be irritated by a range of insects, one of the worst being the horse fly. 

The problem with horse flies is that they like to cling to you and will constantly buzz around you. But what’s even worse is when they decide that it’s time to take a nice bite out of your skin. 

Luckily for you, there are products you can use that will help you prevent such occurrences. Below we’ll be taking a look at five of the best horse fly repellents for humans. 

Five Of The Best Horse Fly Repellents For Humans

1. Sawyer 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent Spray

This is the product for you if you want a high quality effective repellent to use against horse flies. 

Not only does it contain ingredients that will help to repel horse flies, but also a wide range of other insects as well. 

As you will see, the main ingredient used in this product from Sawyer is Picaridin, a very similar chemical to DEET, and it is just as good as it. 

You will find that in this spray form, applying this repellent to your skin is easy. Plus, you don’t need to keep reapplying after the initial application, as it is designed to last for up to twelve hours.

It’s worth noting that when it comes to biting insects, such as horse flies, you will need to reapply this product after 8 hours. 


  • You will find it is very effective against a wide range of insects.
  • A long-lasting solution.
  • You won’t have to worry about any stains or lasting odors.
  • Both easy and 100% safe to use.


  • It is pretty expensive in comparison to some other insect repellent sprays.
  • You will need to reapply this product in order to make effective use of it.

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2. Ranger Ready Picaridin 20% Tick & Insect Repellent

As with the previous horse fly repellent for humans discussed above, this one also contains a 20% concentration of picaridin. You’ll find that this one can provide you with the same level of protection as well. You can purchase this product in a trigger spray or pump action bottle, both of which allow you to apply an even layer of this repellent. 

Unfortunately, as the bottles are pretty large, you will find that they aren’t suitable to take on your travels. 

You won’t feel covered in any chemicals, as this product from Ranger Ready is available in a range of scents. You can choose Amber, Night Sky, Ranger Orange, and Scent-Free, which is completely free of any fragrances. 


  • Will help to keep insects at bay for up to 12 hours.
  • Does not contain any neurotoxins that you would find in insect repellents containing DEET.
  • Doesn´t emit a strong chemical smell.
  • Won’t stain your clothes and is not greasy.
  • You don’t have to replace the bottle when you run out; instead, you can save money by purchasing refill bags.


  • You may find that it doesn’t provide a good layer of protection due to the fine mist produced from the spray bottle.

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3. All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free

The All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free bug spray is excellent for protecting against a wide range of insects, including female horse flies. 

All Terrain is a company who have been producing such products for over 20 years, so you can trust that what they offer will work. 

In this natural product, you will find that it contains only natural ingredients and does not contain any chemicals, such as DEET. 

This product is very effective at helping to keep insects at bay, including horse flies. As it contains no chemicals, you will find that you may have to reapply it more often. The reason for this is that over time, the effects of the essential oils in it will start to wear off. 

If you are looking for a horse fly repellent for humans that your whole family can use, this one is worth considering. 


  • This product is made with natural ingredients, so it is entirely non-toxic.
  • The gentle formula makes it suitable for use by people who have sensitive skin. 
  • Helps to repel a wide range of biting insects for up to two hours.
  • Easy to apply.


  • To be fully effective, you will need to reapply it often.
  • Not sure about how effective it is against repelling ticks.

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4. Murphy’s Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray

If you spend much of your time outdoors during the summer, you want a good insect repellent. One worth considering is Murphy’s Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray

This all-natural fly repellent is free from harsh chemicals and toxins like DEET. Yet it will protect you against a wide range of insects, including mosquitoes and horse flies, for as long as six hours. 

It comes in a handy bottle that allows you to take it with you when out and about. Applying it when you need to is accessible no matter where you are. 

This product initially has quite a strong lemon scent, but over time, this does dissipate. You won’t feel like you are wearing a perfume that smells like a citronella candle. 


  • Comes in a light weight handy spray bottle so that you can take it on your travels.
  • Is easy to use and apply.
  • Will provide you with protection against a wide range of insects for up to six hours.


  • You will find the scent initially a little overpowering.

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5. Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion 

This product is for you if you are looking for an affordable horse fly repellent that comes in a handy bottle. 

Like their insect repellent spray, this lotion will provide you with a good amount of protection for a long time. This one will last for up to 14 hours before you will need to reapply it to your skin. 

It is also free from DEET, so it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals. This one includes ingredients derived from pepper plants and has a pleasant citrus smell. 

Its non-greasy formula means that even once applied to your skin, it won´t leave any stains on your clothes.


  • Is an effective insect repellent lotion that the whole family can use 
  • Will provide you with protection against a range of insects for up to 14 hours 
  • More effective at providing you with protection from biting insects, such as horse flies, than products containing DEET.
  • Has a pleasant citrus smell.


  • This product is quite expensive.
  • You may find that it isn’t as effective at protecting you against certain insects for long periods.

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What Is a Horsefly?

best horse fly repellent for humans

This type of insect you will often find in forest and wooded areas throughout the summer. 

Although it is horses that are their primary targets, they are not averse to biting humans and other animals as well. 

Their size and grey or black bodies are easy to identify. However, be aware that they look similar to the flies you have in your home. The real difference between a horse fly and a house fly is the size. Horse flies are much more significant. 

What Makes a Horsefly Bite So Painful?

A bite from a horsefly is more painful because they have very sharp teeth. They use this to puncture your skin and to suck up blood. 

Because of the sharpness of their teeth, these flies can bite much deeper into your skin. The depth of the bite results in them being more painful compared to the bites you would get from, say, a mosquito. 

So How Do I Prevent Getting Bitten by a Horsefly?

If you want to reduce the chances that you will get bit this summer by a horsefly, you should do the following:

  1. When you are outdoors running or on a hike, wear a long sleeve top, trousers, and a good pair of close-toed shoes.
  2. It is vital that you wear light colored clothing, as horseflies are drawn to darker colors.
  3. You should never wear any perfume, as the scent they give off will attract the horseflies to you.
  4. You must make sure that you don’t walk through any long grass.
  5. Finally, applying a good insect repellent (such as those we discussed) before you go outside is a good idea to prevent getting a painful bite from a horsefly. 


Are Horsefly Bites Dangerous? 

Aside from you feeling some pain for a little while after a horsefly has bitten you, they tend not to be harmful to humans, although they will cause some skin irritation. 

When Do Horseflies Bite?

As horse flies are more active throughout the day, this is the most likely time when you will get bitten by one. 

What Should I Do if a Horsefly Bites Me? 

If you get bitten by such insects, you should immediately give the area where you were bitten a clean. Then, apply an antiseptic ointment or spray to the site you can purchase from your local chemist.

Applying the spray or ointment will help reduce the itchiness of the bite and irritation. This will also help to ensure the area where the bite remains clean and prevent any adverse reaction to the bite. 

How Long Does the Bite Last?

In most cases, you will find that it takes a few days before the bite from a horsefly will start to heal. 

You must keep a careful eye on it during this time. If you notice any strange smell or pus coming out from the bite, it shows signs of infection. You should then seek medical assistance. 

Also, you need to be aware that some bites from insects can lead to some people developing an allergic reaction. Should you have problems breathing, a rash, or the pain from the bite worsening, you need to seek medical help. 

Let’s Wrap Things Up

As you will know by now, trying to avoid getting bitten by insects during summer can prove challenging. 

Using the right insect repellent will help prevent you from getting bitten by a horsefly. 

As you will see from above, we can use a few insect repellents to protect horseflies and other insects. 

Which one you decide to use will come down to your personal preferences and needs. 

When choosing the best horsefly repellent for humans, you must look closely at its ingredients.

You must choose one that contains ingredients that are safe for you and others to use. So it is best to go for ones with natural ingredients or picaridin.

Make sure to read the instructions with regard to the application of the product before doing so. Also, even though they are safe for use on humans, it is crucial to make sure that you keep such products out of the reach of small children and animals. 

We hope you´ve found this article helpful and would love to hear your thoughts. Simply let us know by leaving a comment below. 


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