Fly Spray/Udder Wash

It’s that lovely time of year again here in Central Texas. The flowers are blooming, the grass is green, the trees are leafed out….and the flies are hatching in force.

Our chickens and ducks do a great job controlling the majority of the flies in the larvae stage, but there are always some that slip through the cracks.


Cow flies are the worst, especially at milking. They make it torture for the cow to stand still in the stanchion, and as soon as I sit down and start milking I become a target as well. Being bit by a fly is miserable business.


I have used this fly repellent and udder wash for 4 years now.

I love it.

I know that it is safe. I could drink it if I so wish, although I don’t think I will ever try that. I know that I am not spraying bleach/chemicals on my cow over and over and over.

I have heard of people spraying bleach on their cows udder as a cleanser, but imagine if you sprayed yourself daily with a dose of bleach. What would your skin feel like after just a couple days?

In our approach to doing everything as natural, close to earth as possible, this is the recipe have used, tweaked, and had great success with.

I spray the entire cow/goat before milking, paying special attention to her legs and feet. Then I spray her udder well and clean it with a fresh paper towel.

Because our cows are a heritage breed, and thus do not have the hugely developed bags that most Holsteins, Jerseys, and other large dairy breeds have developed, and because our cows are 100% pastured, their udders stay relatively clean and free of poop and other foreign deposits. If we owned a larger uddered animal I would use a clean, wet cloth sprayed with fly repellant/udder wash and then another one with just clean water to wash it off. 

Saying all that, this also works great for spraying picnic tables, stanchions, food buckets, anything were flies tend to congregate. They hate it and you will see them scatter after the first spray.

Fly Spray Recipe:

In a gallon jar mix:

2 quarts apple cider or white vinegar

1/4 cup Orange Oil

25 drops clove essential oil

25 drops Tea Tree essential oil

1 good squirt of ALL NATURAL, no colors added, dish soap

Fill the rest with water, put a lid on and shake gently, but thoroughly.  Fill a spray bottle and you are armed and ready!




7 thoughts on “Fly Spray/Udder Wash

    1. Orange oil is find in the garden section of your nursery/do it yourself store. It is a natural bug repellent. You can also make your own by steeping orange peels in vinegar for 4-6 weeks.

  1. Oh my! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I used a few different recipes for fly spray last year using different essential oils and really didn’t like any of them. This one sounds great and I’m digging that it doubles as udder wash. 🙂

    1. That I’m not sure. Some essential oils attract bees, but I would think the vinegar would be a deterrent. We don’t have an issue with aggressive bees here. If you try it, let me know!

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