Sunday, July 25, 2010

Absorbine Ultra Shield Green: A field test

Hi all. I field tested a product for Absorbine (which they sent me for free). As a loyal user of their Flex-Max Plus and other products, I can't really say I'm neutral/unbiased about the company. However, I had never tried their green fly control Ultra Shield Green (USG). Green products are fine if they do the job their intended to do, but when it comes to the horses I go with what works. I've not heard rave reviews of most green fly sprays, especially for the big honkin' flies we get. Bob calls them Buicks with wings.

Harvey was the guinea pig -- for whatever reason he attracts more lies than Riley. I'll let the video demonstrate it's effectiveness. Forgive the quality, I was "working alone."

When it comes to fly sprays I use what works, green or not. I used USG interchangeably with Endure (which I already had on hand) on Riley and Harv. Judging from the number of fly bites and comfort of my horses in their buggy pastures, there was no difference in effectiveness. Because my horses are ridden, and hosed/sponged off nearly every day, the many-day-longevity of products like Endure is not a factor for me. USG retails for anywhere from $17-$19,  and my online store of choice, Smartpak, sells USG for $18. Bottom line: I would buy this product next time I shop.

Info from Absorbine: 
"UltraShield Green is a natural fly repellent that repels and controls biting flies, mosquitoes and gnats for up to eight hours as demonstrated in an independent university study. It is 100% guaranteed and eco-safe for the entire family and the environment. You can even put it on your dog for walks in the woods! It contains only a blend of essential oils known to have repellency properties, an emulsifier, water and glycerin. UltraShield Green qualifies for exemption from EPA registration, and is labeled a Fly Repellent instead of just a Horse Spray. We think this makes new UltraShield Green a product of note."


  1. I have tested the ultra shield green this summer, and my horses were not happy..
    I will never buy it again.

    But we love the summer time...flies or not :))

  2. Much appreciate your experiment here. The question is how long the spray's effect actually lasts.

    I do like natural stuff, however. Right now, I use Endure and don't spray the guys every day. They have fly sheets on as well, so that helps.

    I must admit Riley was far quieter than my Boys would be with those greenheads landing like that. Had there been a B52 in the mix, I'd have a bucking bronco on my hands.

  3. Always looking to try new solutions to the never ending fly problem. Seems the flies are building resistance to many of the more common fly repellents out there. Will give Absorbine Ultra Shield Green a try next time I see it. Thanks!

  4. Interesting product. I've been looking for something to spray my stalls and feedroom with that I don't have to worry about getting on the hay. This might be just the thing. Thanks for the review!

  5. I'm with you on green. It if doesn't work effectively, what's the point.

    I've tried this product as well. I thought it was about the same as what I was already using too.

  6. They sent me some too! Can't wait to try it out. It smells good too. :)

  7. Experimenting can get very expensive, so I'm with you on using what works. We have sulfur blocks in addition to trace mineral blocks at the water trough and use a feed through fly control block as well. Everyone gets a tablespoon of the raybon block at breakfast (we tried using it free choice, but the entire 40 pound block disappeared in 2 days so now I just break it up and put it in the feed; apparently it's pretty darn tasty :o)

  8. I tried Absorbine UGS this summer too. It worked just as well as Richochet, but cost a little bit more. I am allergic to some fly sprays, but these two do not bother me. In fact, the UGS smells very pleasant as it repels.

    I also liked the pump and sprayer on the Absorbine product the best. It created a small cloud of mist that I felt was easy to apply without wasting a lot of repellent.

  9. I loved this blog! Even my 6 year old twins found it interesting. Good info to know!

  10. Stacey, I have not used ANY fly spray this year except when I go on trails. I have had no need. I use Fly Predators and sticky traps for the remaining flies.

    Fly Predators are definitely "green".

    Barely a single fly left on my property. Nothing, not even sprays, are very effective against Tabanids (horse flies, et al). But, if you learn how to build a Manitoba fly trap, you can catch the "Buicks with wings" and feel slightly satisfied.

    Also, as to why Harvey is more susceptible: Darker horses sweat more in the sun and are also higher contrast than chestnuts. Higher contrasts attract flies more.

  11. Friesianwelshx we (the barn I ride at) uses fly predators too, but the property is awfully big and it's been so hot/humid here. I'm not sure if those products have a lifespan but ours seems to have ended.

    Thanks for the info about the color contrast -- makes sense!

  12. Info Jen gave on "Raybon" block sounds interesting - will check that out. I live in southern California (dry, desert)with 13 horses; on a "fly predator" scheduled shipment, also daily feed thru fly control, STILL flies every where! Bag manure twice daily and it's hauled off property weekly. Rotation of fly sprays and nothing seems to kill 'em! I'll try anything that might work. I hate flies!

  13. I wasn't satisfied at all with the fly predators. Thanks for the product review!

  14. What I noticed more than anything was how polite he was about letting you put the spray on him! I (eventually) trained my idiot bucking-snorting-dancing-rearing brainless OTTB into accepting fly spray relatively calmly but still not without a grimace. Harv doesn't even look up!!

    Also it's sort of funny of me but in the beginning of the video I wanted to swat the flies away from the poor guy through the screen!

    Last time I had horses I was using the Repel-X concentrate which seemed to work pretty well. Much less pricey than a lot of the other brands as well! I'd alternate with Ultrashield (another Absorbine product) to keep them from building up a resistance. Are Endure and USG relatively new on the market?

  15. Have to put in my two cents here... I too field tested it an was very disapointed. Noticably more flues on the horse when I used this stuff as opposed to the more "traditional" chemical fly spray from absorbine in the purple bottle (50 bucks for a gallon). Flies
    would actually land where I just sprayed as opposed to my other fly spray.

  16. "Buicks with wings" You're not wrong! Those flies are monsters. I've never seen flies so big.

    Here I was thinking Australia had a monopoly on flies! :-)

    I'll have to see if that product is available here when summer rolls around next.

    We have a natural, locally made one that we swear by, but it's messy and leaves greasy marks all over the horses which puts off people who care more about apperances than fly problems. Golfers buy the stuff by the box.


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