Face flies

Experts say ticks and flies can spread diseases in cattle, and they can be difficult pests to control. 

Bugs will be out in force before we know it, so I’m sharing a recipe I got years ago at the South Dakota State Fair.

We were watching the 4-H calf show and the black flies were horrible. The kids were having an awful time trying to keep their animals in line because flies were biting the calves and the kids – all but for one little blonde girl. Her calf never moved once she got him set up.

I just had to ask her what her secret was. As she came out of the arena, I put the question to her and she said “banilla.”

It was a make-at-home bug spray mix using vanilla extract.

Just then, her mom came up to help her move the calf, and she gave me the recipe. She said it works really well, and you can put it on a tissue to get really close to your eyes if you need to. It smells good, too.

We came home and made some to use on the horses, cats, dogs and kids – as well as ourselves. Here is that “Banilla” recipe she gave me years ago:

Mix together 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract (Don’t use imitation vanilla. It does not work as well

1 cup of water

Shake the mixture up in a jar that you can cap tightly. When needed to keep the bugs off man or beast, just put some of the mix on your face, neck, arms and legs.

If you have hints to share, drop Paula a line at PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543-0518 or email pennywise@goldenwest.net.

Paula edits the monthly newsletter, “PennyWise,” from her family’s diversified farm and ranch operation on the edge of South Dakota’s Badlands. If you have hints to share, drop Paula a line at PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543-0518 or email pennywise@goldenwest.net.

Paula edits the monthly newsletter, “PennyWise,” from her family’s diversified farm and ranch operation on the edge of South Dakota’s Badlands.