What Are Horse Flies? (Best solution)

? , 2 , . 0,6 ( Haematopota koryoensis). 2-3 (, Tabanus chrysurus).

What happens when a horse fly bites you?

After using small hooks to lock in, the horse fly sucks blood from the skin. Thus, the saliva injected while biting causes a sharp burning sensation. The saliva in the skin may also cause inflammation, itchiness, or bruise, around the site.

What will keep horse flies away?

Prevention is very basic when it comes to the home. Keeping the house clean will help you avoid a whole mess of potential bug invaders. Horse flies also hate smoke, so burning candles or incense can help keep them away. Citronella candles will also deter other biting insects.

What are horseflies attracted to?

These flies apparently are attracted to such things as movement, shiny surfaces, carbon dioxide, and warmth. Once on a host, they use their knife-like mouthparts to slice the skin and feed on the blood pool that is created.

Why are horseflies so aggressive?

Why are horseflies so aggressive? Horseflies are known for their aggressive nature, which is due to their blood diet. The more time they spend around humans and other animals, the hungrier they get and the more aggressive they become when looking for food.

Should you pop a horsefly bite?

Horsefly bite treatment Do not scratch the bite, even if it is itchy. Scratching it is likely to make the bite worse and increase the risk of bacterial infection developing. Do not use anything to clean the bite apart from soap and plain water. Home remedies such as bicarbonate of soda or diluted vinegar will not help.

Can horse flies bite through clothes?

‘Horsefly females have such strong, powerful mouthparts that they can sometimes bite you through your clothes,’ he says. ‘But obviously they are more likely to go for bare skin. ‘ It’s probably best to opt for loose-fitting clothing.

Are horse flies aggressive?

All horse flies are aggressive and vicious biters, but the bigger ones are particularly menacing. Only the females bite; they require blood meals to be able to produce eggs. The flies are also able to track large moving objects, particularly dark colored objects, even while the flies are in fast flight.

What does it mean when you have horse flies in your house?

That ammonia causes a sour smell that attracts horse flies into your home. Detecting the scent of ammonia, the horse flies will get inside your home through the open doors, windows and through any gaps and cracks that they can find. Your property, yard, or garden can also be a breeding ground for horse flies.

Why are horsefly bites so itchy?

Unlike mosquitoes who release a mild anaesthetic, horseflies don’t, which is one of the reasons their bites are so painful. Once the horsefly has locked into your skin, it will suck the blood, causing a sharp burning sensation. In most cases, this will lead to itchiness, inflammation, and swelling around the bite area.

How do you keep horse flies away from your house?

Here are a few things to try:

  1. Test out liquid repellents. The jury is still out on whether or not liquid insect repellent is effective against deer flies and horse flies.
  2. Stay still.
  3. Go the distance.
  4. Wear light colors.
  5. Avoid water.
  6. Always wear a hat.
  7. Make a sticky hat.
  8. Don a dryer sheet.

Do horse flies burrow?

The large, heavy-bodied horsefly is attracted to marshy areas and damp, low-lying meadows for breeding. When the eggs hatch, the larvae are able to burrow down into the soft, moist soil, where they feed on organic debris, snails and other insects.

How long does a horse fly live?

Horse flies have a very different life cycle than the house fly. They lay eggs on the grass in the fall and then the eggs hatch and turn to larvae over the winter. In the spring the horse fly develops into the pupae stage and by early June it emerges as an adult. The adult horse fly can expect to live 30-60 days.

Why do horse flies fly around your head?

He believes one reason is because deer flies and horse flies often aim for people’s heads, where they wiggle under hair to find skin. And usually, people don’t thoroughly spray their scalp. Also, they do not use scent to find their hosts (as mosquitos do), therefore, it doesn’t matter if the repellent masks your scent.

What does a horsefly bite feel like?

Horsefly bites can develop into large, red, itchy, swollen bumps within minutes. For most people they’re completely harmless, but they’re extremely uncomfortable. Some people also report feeling hot, weak and nauseous. An infected bite can result in redness, oozing, and extreme pain.

Why are horseflies called horseflies?

Horse flies likely received their common name because they are notorious pests of horses and other mammals. They are commonly found in both suburban and rural areas near bodies of water, which serve as breeding sites, and where mammal hosts are most abundant.

Horse Fly Control: Get Rid of Horse Flies in the House

  • A horse fly’s body can be anywhere between 12 and 14 inches long depending on its size. Color: They are either black or gray in appearance. Eyes: People with huge, dazzling green eyes are common. Antennes: Horse flies all have antennae that are shorter than the length of their bodies


The female horse fly, which feeds on blood, has blade-like mouthparts that cut tissues and blood arteries, causing blood to flow to the wounds they produce. Females then soaking up blood with their sponge-like mouthparts is what they are known for. Males solely eat on pollen and nectar, and their mouthparts are identical to females’, but considerably weaker.

Horse Fly vs. Deer Fly

Horse flies and deer flies are closely related, and both are members of the Tabanidae family. The two most distinguishing characteristics of them are their total size and the shape of their wings. Horse flies are often significantly bigger than other species, with a stouter body and a very massive head with extremely huge eyes. When it comes to their wings, they are often transparent or hazy, whereas deer flies have black bands or patches across their wings.


While male horse flies feed on pollen and plant nectars, female horse flies are aggressive blood feeders, whilst female horse flies do not.

Finding Prey

When it comes to finding hosts, female horse flies employ a combination of chemical and visual signals in the same way that other blood sucking insects do, such as mosquitoes. A long-range indication provided by warm-blooded animals attracts horse flies from a distance, whereas visual cues such as motion, size, form, and dark color attract horse flies from a shorter distance, according to the National Horsefly Association.


They hardly seldom bite close to the head. In addition to animals of practically all sizes, horse flies also have a wide range of hosts that include humans and their pets, as well as cattle. If a female horse fly is interrupted while attempting to feed, she will fly away but immediately return to bite another host, or she will proceed to another host to take a whole blood meal from that host.

Horse Fly Bites vs. Deer Fly Bites

Large, non-moving creatures are frequently bitten on the legs or torso by female horse flies. Deer flies, on the other hand, attack moving hosts and tend to target high-up on the body, such as the head or neck, to feed.


When someone is bitten, they may experience the following symptoms and bite reactions:

  • The bite area will swell and become itchy, then the swelling will subside. Itching and scratching of bite wounds that persists for an extended period of time and can result in subsequent bacterial infections if the bite is not cleaned and sanitized
  • The fact that horse flies inject anticoagulant-containing saliva while feeding on humans increases the risk of significant responses, particularly among those who are strongly sensitive to the anticoagulant chemicals. An itchy rash all over the body, wheezing, swelling around the eyes, swelling of the lips, and dizziness or weakness are all possible symptoms.

ReproductionLife Cycle

Horse fly growth areas include freshwater and saltwater marshes and streams, wet forest soils, and even rotting wood that has soaked up moisture from the environment. In most cases, females lay their egg masses on damp soil or vegetation that overhangs bodies of water. Larvae are active in organic stuff that is damp or wet, and they have a similar appearance to house fly maggots. Depending on the species, horse flies have anywhere from 6 to 13 larval stages. The pupal stage begins in the spring after the last larval stage has completed its overwintering period.

Fertile females will deposit their eggs on the undersides of leaves, and the larvae will hatch out and drop off the leaf in around 2-3 days after the eggs have been laid.

The majority of horse fly species produce just one generation each year, but some can take up to two years to complete their life cycle, according to the CDC.

Horse Fly Larvae vs. Deer Fly Larvae

During field study, researchers discovered that horse fly larvae prey on midges, crane flies, and even other horse fly larvae. As a result of their cannibalistic tendencies, horse fly larvae are typically seen living in isolation. Deer fly larvae, on the other hand, tend to congregate in large numbers. Pupae do not consume food. When it comes to producing viable fly eggs, female horse flies require a blood meal to be successful. A female can lay anywhere between 100 and 800 eggs every year.


Horse flies are present in nearly every region of the United States, and there are more than 160 different species to be found.

Prevention Tips

However, even the most potent insect repellents are only somewhat successful in keeping insects away. A better alternative for prevention is to cover and protect exposed areas of the body in order to lessen the probability of being bitten by horse flies.

Horse Flies: Control, Bites, & Extermination of Flies

However, even the most efficient insect repellents are only somewhat effective in most situations. A better alternative for prevention is to cover and protect exposed areas of the body in order to lessen the probability of being bitten by a horse fly.


Horse flies are generally found in or near woodlands or forests. Species are best visible when they are feeding in broad daylight, which is most often on windless, hot, bright days. On general, larvae grow in moist soil near sources of water, but this might vary.


The nectar of adult horse flies is their primary source of nutrition, but females require a blood meal in order to breed properly. Bites from female horse flies, especially those from large specimens, may be quite painful since their mouthparts are employed for ripping and lapping, as opposed to bites from mosquitoes, which just pierce the skin and sucking blood. In addition, female horse flies are quite persistent, and they will often continue biting a host until they are successful in obtaining their blood meal or are killed.

Some species are disease organism carriers, however in the United States, the majority of horse fly-vectored illnesses affect only cattle, not humans.

horse fly

HomeScience Bugs, mollusks, and other creatures Insects and other invertebrates BugsinsectAlternate names: Tabanidae, breeze fly, ear fly, gad fly, greenheaded monsterhorse fly, any member of theinsectfamily Tabanidae (order Diptera), but more especially any member of the genusTabanus Known as greenheaded monsters, these robust flies may range in size from the size of a housefly to the size of an abumble bee.

  • Their metallic or iridescent eyes meet dorsally in the male and are separated in the female; the male’s eyes are larger than the female’s.
  • Other names for this species include breeze fly and ear fly.
  • The deer fly is a species of the genusChrysops, which is somewhat smaller than the genusTabanus and has black patterns on its wings.
  • A variety of animal illnesses, including anthrax, tularemia, and trypanosomiasis, may be transmitted to humans through them.
  • Horse flies overwinter in the larval stage, pupate in the spring, and emerge as adults at the end of the summer season.
  • From left to right: crane fly, horse bot fly, moth fly, robber fly.
  • Pimentel and published in 1967 by Litton Educational Publishing, Inc., Inverebrate Identification Manual is an excellent resource.

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When they are in large numbers, they can consume up to three ounces of blood every day from a host.

The nectar, honeydew, and plant sap are the primary sources of nutrition for the males.

The use of a blanket or fly net to protect a horse against horse fly assaults can assist to keep it safe from the insects. Chelsea Parrott-Sheffer has changed and updated this article in the most current revision.

Horse Flies and Deer Flies

|Download the PDF version of ENTFACT-511: Horse Flies and Deer Flies.

by Lee Townsend, Extension EntomologistUniversity of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Horse Fly and Deer Fly are two types of flies. Horse flies and deer flies are both bloodsucking insects that may be a major annoyance to cattle, horses, and people. Horse flies and deer flies are both considered to be a serious pest to humans. Horse flies are around 3/4 to 1-1/4 inches in length and have transparent or strongly colored wings, as well as brilliantly colored eyes, in most cases. Deer flies, which are smaller than horse flies and regularly bite humans, have dark bands across their wings and colored eyes that are similar to those of horse flies.

  • The quantity of flies and the severity of their onslaught varies from one year to the next, depending on the season.
  • It is possible that animals will harm themselves when fleeing from the insects.
  • For their meal, Webb and Wells projected that horse flies would drink 1 cc of blood and that 20 to 30 flies dining for 6 hours would consume 20 tablespoons of blood, according to a USDA Bulletin 1218.
  • Flies such as horse flies and deer flies are more active during the daytime hours.
  • Once they have taken up residence on a host, they slit the skin with their knife-like mouthparts and feed on the blood pool that has formed.
  • The soreness and swelling caused by bites normally subside within a few days.
  • Bites may be painful, and general first aid-type skin lotions can assist to alleviate the discomfort.
  • In terms of animal pests, male flies are of no significance because they feed on nectar.
  • The fly’s painful bites usually provoke a response from the victim, and the fly is compelled to move on to another host as a result.
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It is the muck around the borders of ponds and streams, as well as marshes and seepage sites, where horse fly and deer fly larvae grow and mature. Some are aquatic, while others grow in soil that is rather dry. Females lay batches of 25 to 1,000 eggs on vegetation that grows over water or in moist areas, depending on the species. They descend to the ground and feed on decaying organic debris as well as tiny creatures in the soil or water, which they acquire via this process.

The larval stage, which can last anywhere from one to three years depending on the species, is the most common. In order to pupate and eventually emerge as adults, mature larvae must crawl to drier locations.


During the summer, deer flies are generally only active for brief periods of time at a time. Repellents such as Deet and Off (N-diethyl-metatoluamide) can give up to several hours of protection when used outside. Follow the directions on the label since some people might develop allergies after using a product for a long period of time. Also, check for age limitations. Permethrin-based repellents are intended for use on clothes alone, however they often give a longer duration of protection than other repellents.

Even after a remedy has been administered, these flies will continue to swarm and annoy you.

Hats with mesh face and neck veils, as well as neckerchiefs, may provide some protection under severe circumstances.


Horse flies and deer flies may be a real annoyance when they congregate near swimming pools. They may be drawn to the water by the gleaming surface or by the movement of the swimmers in the water. There are currently no viable recommendations for addressing this issue. Permethrin-based sprays are approved for use on animals and horses, according to the label. Because these pesticides are extremely unpleasant to the flies, they are forced to flee nearly soon after landing on the surface. Frequently, the flies do not come into touch with the pesticide for long enough to be killed, and as a result, they continue to be an irritation.

It is possible that repeated applications will be required.

In addition, pyrethrin sprays are effective, although their effectiveness does not continue as long as permethrin.

In the daytime, if animals have access to shelter, they will be able to avoid the relentless onslaught of these vexing pests.


It is extremely difficult to detect and/or destroy the breeding sites of horse flies and deer flies, and it is nearly impossible to do so. The fact that they spawn in environmentally sensitive wetlands raises concerns about the implications of drainage or pesticide treatment on non-target creatures or water supplies. Furthermore, these insects are excellent flyers and have the ability to move in from a distance. Breeding sites may be quite large or located a long distance distant from the location where the issues are occurring.

Some changes in behavior or the use of repellents may be necessary to allow for enjoyment of the outdoors.


Some goods may not be legal to use in your state or nation, depending on where you live.

As a reminder, ALWAYS READ AND COMPLY WITH LABELED INSTRUCTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE! Images courtesy of the University of Kentucky Entomology Department

Horse Fly

Common Name Horse Fly
Scientific Name Tabanus sp.(Diptera: Tabanidae)
Size 2/3 inches long
Colour Yellow-white to pinkish thick, tough skin
  • Unlike honey bees, adult flies are dark and hairy, strong, and approximately 2/3-inch long, visually resembling them except for the fact that they have only one pair of wings instead of two. The horse bot fly’s wings have slight smoky patches on them, similar to those of a bat. Fully-grown larvae (maggots) are up to 2/3 inch long and have thick, tough skin that ranges from yellow-white to pinkish in color. A pair of powerful, hook-like mouthparts are present on one end (the rear) and a blunt end (the front) on the other (the front). A ring of strongspines surrounds each segment of the body. Several additional species of bot flies are seen on horses, including the chin flyorthroat bot fly, Gasterophilus nasalis(Linnaeus), and the lipornose bot fly, Gasterophilus haemorrhoidalis(Linnaeus) and the lipornose bot fly, Gasterophilus haemorrhoidalis(Linnaeus). Horse flies are distinguished in part by the form of their eggs
  • They eat by sucking blood and may produce a painful and severe bite if they bite the victim. These flying pests are closely related to Deer flies in both appearance and behavior. Horse flies are similar in appearance to Deer flies, but are slightly bigger in size. A dark pattern can be seen on the wings of this fly, and its body can be either brown or black in color. The female of the species feeds on animal blood, while the male of the species is a pollen collector. Horse flies lay their eggs in marshy places near bays, lakes, ponds, and swamps, where they hatch into adult flies. These flies have larvae that feed on insects and may be seen growing in wetlands
  • The female of the species feeds on animal blood, while the male of the species is a pollen collector. Horse flies lay their eggs in marshy places near bays, lakes, ponds, and swamps, where they hatch into adult flies. Insect-eating larvae of this fly can be seen growing in wetlands where they feed on insects.
  • The majority of horse flies and deer flies may be found in brushy or low-lying pasture regions near creeks, streams, or tanks that offer enough moisture for the development of the juvenile stages. Magnagogues have mouth hooks that tear tissue in the digestive systems
  • Adults do not have mouthparts that are capable of tearing tissue. Horses, mules, and donkeys are the most common hosts. In their attempt to lay eggs on hostanimals, adult female flies force horses to run and defend themselves against fly “attacks” (hovering, buzzing, and hitting), which can result in harm in some cases. Larvae dwell in the digestive tract, where they cause damage to the tongue, lips, stomach lining, and intestines, among other things. Apparently, they get their energy from the inflammatory chemicals released by the host in response to their presence. Infestations result in mechanical harm to the host animal as well as an infected ulcerous condition that causes the host animal to starve.
  • This species’ larvae grow in the digestive systems of host animals throughout the winter months. Host excrement is contaminated with full-grown larvae that are discovered in the late winter and early spring months. Once they have reached this stage (instar), they burrow into the earth and construct a puparium out of the larval skin from their previous stage. It takes 3 to 10 weeks for them to develop into adult flies within the puparium
  • Adults are active from mid-summer until the end of the summer season. Female horses glue eggs to their coats, notably the coats of their front legs, but also the coats of their belly, shoulders, and rear legs, according to adult females. Depending on the appropriate stimulation (moisture, heat, and friction) provided by the horse licking or chewing egg-infested hair, eggs can hatch in 10 to 140 days. The larvae of the first stage (instar) enter the mouth and burrow into the tongue for around 28 days before molting and traveling to the stomach, where they remain for 9 to 10 months, growing into the third stage after approximately 5 weeks of development. Every year, there is a new generation.
  • In addition, they are major vectors of illnesses such as leucocytozoa and turkey sickness.
  • Adult horse fly and deer fly larvae are very ferocious biters. They cause animals to lose weight and have the potential to spread illnesses such as anaplasmosis, anthrax, and others.
  • Because of the nature of this fly, it is hard to completely remove it by spraying operations. The Advantage Fly Trap is the only trap that has had any success with biting flies (such as the Horse fly and the Stable fly). However, the success has been limited in the past. In certain circumstances, the revolutionary technology of this product allows us to attract and trap blood-sucking flies for the first time, which is a first in the industry. Yet, the results vary depending on the species and location
  • However, this trap may capture a wide variety of flies. If Horse Flies are discovered within a building, make sure that all probable access routes have been removed. They will not be discovered reproducing indoors in the same way that a house fly would be. The most effective method of controlling flies is to eliminate all available breeding grounds and food sources. As evidenced by the horse fly’s biology, this form of fly control is nearly impossible with this particular species.

How to Keep Horse Flies Away from Your Yard

Horse flies are well-known for their painful bites, which are caused by their scissor-like jaws. Female horse flies, like female mosquitoes, are attracted to your blood because it provides them with nutrition. (Male horse flies are attracted to nectar mostly.) A horse fly bite, on the other hand, will result in a loud “ouch!” unlike a mosquito bite, which may not be recognized until it begins to itch. If you have a problem with horse flies in your yard, follow these guidelines to help protect yourself, your family, and your pets (or livestock).

What Do Horse Flies Look Like?

As one of the biggest flies on the planet, they are reasonably easy to detect, yet they can be tough to thwart due to their size. In order to establish whether or not you have horse flies, look for the following features. Horse flies have extremely huge and robust bodies that range in length from 3-4 inches to 1-14 inches. A variety of colors are available, ranging from dark brown to grey to black. Their eyes are huge and can be either green or black in color.

Maintain Your Yard

Because horse flies like moist regions and hot temperatures, they can be seen in large numbers in pasturelands near creeks throughout the summer months. They prefer weedy patches and tall grass around dwellings because they can retain moisture and help to reproduce the humid pasture habitat that they adore so much. Horse flies may also be a nuisance for folks who spend their time at the beach or at the local pool.

Remove Garbage

Horse flies, like other fly species, will concentrate their efforts on waste in search of food. The lids of outdoor garbage cans should have a tight fit. Keeping your garbage in your garage may help to reduce the number of flies that fly over your yard.

Clean Up after Pets

Horse flies, like many other insects, are drawn to the excrement of domesticated animals. The summer months will necessitate more regular yard cleanups if you have a canine companion, otherwise you may find yourself with a horse fly infestation on your hands.

Burn CandlesTorches

If you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or other outdoor celebration, burning citronella candles and lighting torches will help keep horse flies away from your guests and prevent them from attacking them. Horse flies are attracted to the smoke and aroma created by citronella oil, so using it can help keep them away.

Kill and Prevent Horse Flies

Greetings, BugFans! If you’re looking for insects, the first guideline is to look on flowers. Flowers give a place to relax, as well as a place to eat and be eaten by other animals and people. The second guideline is that if you find an insect that is extremely motionless (or in an unusual posture), you should seek for a predator nearby. Consequently, when the BugLady noticed a horizontal horse fly, she realized that something was up, and she was able to quickly detect the ambush bug above and to the left of the fly (the presence of the fly’s eyes was an added benefit).

  1. Even though it’s a group we despise, December is a good time to think about them intellectually rather than emotionally.
  2. When horse and deer flies buzz on approach (the whining of the deer flies is higher-pitched), one source reported that horse flies prefer exposed flesh below the knees, while deer flies prefer the back of your neck.
  3. “Bulldog Flies,” “Clegs,” “Yellow Flies of the Dismal Swamp,” “Greenheads,” “Gad Flies,” and “Copper Heads” are some of the vernacular names for these flies, according to bugguide.net.
  4. There are around 4,500Tabanidspecies worldwide, with 350 of them found in North America.
  5. The genusTabanus (pronouncedTa-BAY-nus) contains the horse fly species that we are most familiar with.
  6. Due to the fact that their slightly aquatic progeny reside in permanent wet/moist regions, they are most frequently discovered in these areas, however they may be found anywhere from deserts to mountaintops.
  7. They feature large, wrap-around eyes that are frequently referred to as “bulging” (male flies have large, wrap-around eyes; female flies have separate eyes).
  8. Male horse flies feed on nectar and pollen and do not have the ability to bite since they lack the necessary equipment.

As a result, they attack people on the street, focusing their attention on massive, dark-colored, moving items that emit a cloud of CO2 (including motor vehicles, says Eric Eaton, inThe Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America) in the habitats where the BugLady lives, clouds of deer flies surrounding the side mirrors of slow-moving automobiles are a familiar sight in July, especially in the shady areas).

  1. Their mouthparts are described as “a strong stabbing organ with two pairs of sharp cutting blades, and a spongelike component used to lap up the blood that oozes from the wound” by Wikipedia.
  2. A second meal is required by certain females, and it is via biting a second victim that she may spread illnesses (the list of pathogens is short, and human infection is uncommon in Wisconsin).
  3. Horse flies are not without predators – birds prey on both the adults and the larvae of horse flies; nematodes and wasps parasitize the larvae; and solitary wasps catch and devour the adults in order to replenish their egg caches and to feed their young.
  4. Despite the fact that we don’t pay attention to them since we don’t know what they do for a job, we could observe that they’re a quite attractive and diverse group of flies.
  5. along with the fact that they have beautiful blue eyes that macro photographers like, as well as many other characteristics (Why?
  6. She lays her eggs in clumps that can include as many as 1,000 eggs in multiple layers, depending on the size of the clump.
  7. When they hatch, the small larvae are equipped with a spine that aids them in exiting the egg.

They spend their summers there, sometimes for multiple summers at a time, especially in the northern hemisphere, preying on tiny, soft-bodied insects and crustaceans, which they subdue by biting them and injecting venom into them.

(And, like their elders, they’re capable of dishing out quite a bite of their own if not handled with care).

Horse flies, according to Aeschylus, a Greek dramatist who died about 456 BC, were responsible for driving people insane.


Generally speaking, it is a northern species with dispersed populations in the Appalachian Mountains, and it prefers chilly, forested wetlands.

“In recreational areas next to lakes where cattle is not present, this species is believed to represent a major hazard to human life,” according to Jones and Anthony’s Tabanidae of Florida book.

The horse fly Hybomitra illota, with its bullet-shaped body and dark stripe on its abdomen, which is sitting on a wooden boardwalk, is most likely a sturdy small bullet-shaped fly with a dark stripe on its abdomen (mid-America, north).

Taylor and S.M.

The male population congregates in huge groupings at “mating regions” when particular meteorological conditions are in place.

Hybomitra illota is a species of Hybomitra that is known to irritate people. However, this is not the case in God’s Country in December. The BugLady is a fictional character created by the author of the novel BugLady.

Truth About Horse Flies In Florida

Greetings, BugFans, and “Look on flowers,” says the first guideline of bug hunting. Flowers give a place to relax, as well as a place to eat and be eaten by other animals and insects. When you find an insect that is extremely motionless (or in an unusual posture), check for a predator nearby, according to the second rule: Because of these factors, when the BugLady saw an ambush bug above and to the left of a horizontal horse fly, she knew something was up. The ambush insect’s eyes were a bonus, as were the horse fly’s eyes.

  • But hey, it’s December, and we can think about them more rationally than we can about the people in our lives who we resent.
  • When horse and deer flies buzz on approach (the whining of the deer flies is higher-pitched), one source observed that horse flies prefer exposed flesh below the knees, but deer flies prefer the back of your neck.
  • “Bulldog Flies,” “Clegs,” “Yellow Flies of the Dismal Swamp,” “Greenheads,” “Gad Flies,” and “Copper Heads” are some of the popular names for these insects, according to bugguide.net.
  • Tanabinid species may be found in over 4,500 locations throughout the world, with 350 of them occurring in North America.
  • The genusTabanus (pronouncedTa-BAY-nus) contains the horse fly species that we are most familiar with in North America, which has around 100 individuals.
  • In general, tabanids are big, chunky flies, and some of them are quite large, measuring an inch or more in length and having a wingspan of two inches.
  • In contrast to horseflies, which are often drab in color, deer flies are often bright and vibrant (but read on).
  • Females consume nectar as well, but they also require a blood meal (which is usually provided by a mammal) in order to aid in the reproduction of their eggs.

In accordance with Wikipedia, their mouthparts consist of “a robust stabbing organ with two pairs of sharp cutting blades, and a spongelike component used to lap up the blood that runs from the incision.” It is possible that the saliva contains anticoagulants that continue to keep the blood flowing even after the fly has left the area.

  • Tambanid bites can cause allergic reactions in certain humans, and cows that are attacked by them are unhappy – their weight gain and milk output decline as a result.
  • Adult horse flies are trapped by solitary wasps, which use them to replenish their egg caches, and by spiders.
  • For further information, please see this link.
  • , and then there’s the rest of it.and then there’s the rest of it.
  • See this page for further information.
  • In multiple layers, she can lay as many as 1,000 eggs in a single clump, which can be as large as a football field in size.
  • When they hatch, the small larvae are equipped with a spine that aids them in exiting the egg.

They spend their summers there, often for multiple summers at a time, especially in the northern hemisphere, preying on tiny, soft-bodied insects and crustaceans, which they subdue by biting them and injecting venom.

(In addition, they, like their seniors, are capable of dishing out quite a bite of their own if not handled with care.

Horse flies, according to Aeschylus, a Greek dramatist who died about 456 BC, caused people to become insane.


With scattered populations along the Appalachians, it is mostly a northern species that prefers chilly, forested bogs.

“In recreational areas adjacent to lakes where livestock is not present, this species is reported to be a serious threat to human life,” according to Jones and Anthony’s Tabanidae of Florida publication.

One source claims that the larvae prefer boggy habitats, but a 1905 publication refers to it as the River horsefly and claims that the larvae have been found in riffles and other riffling areas.

An interesting paper on the breeding behavior of males was discovered by the BugLady in the journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology by P.D.


Their behavior is somewhat similar to that of some birds when they congregate in groups. In the past, humans have complained about Hybomitra illota. In God’s Country, however, this is not the case in December! Mrs. BugLady is an eponymous character who appears in a number of different media.

Do horse flies bite?

Yes, but only the girls are allowed to participate. Male horse flies do not bite because they do not feed on blood; instead, they feed on pollen and nectar, which are found in flowering plants. In order to reproduce, female horse flies bite in order to feed on the blood of their prey. They require blood meals in order to breed successfully. Horse flies can detect the presence of a human or animal by movement, warmth, or the carbon dioxide they release. It is common for them to bite the legs, limbs, or sometimes the entire torso of their victim.

Are horse flies dangerous?

Horse flies are regarded to be hazardous to both humans and animals, and this is supported by scientific evidence. In addition to being aggressive, horse fly bites are extremely painful because their mouthparts rip at the skin of their victim rather than merely piercing it like other flies do. Certain people may be allergic to their bites, and in some circumstances, a secondary infection may develop at the location of the bite, which is dangerous. The good news is that they have not been linked to the transmission of illnesses to humans.

Where are horse flies found?

Horse flies are most commonly found in regions where there are huge populations of animals, and they may be found in both suburban and rural settings in enormous numbers. Horse flies love open environments that are close to water, such as fields and pastures. Females lay their eggs in the soil near bodies of water, while males do the same. It is common for horse flies to congregate along the borders of forested trails or along the sides of roadways, waiting for a host to pass by that they may bite and feed on.

Cold, windy days significantly lower their degree of activity.

How do I get rid of horse flies?

If you are having issues with horse flies on your property, call Keller’s Pest Control for assistance. They would be happy to help. Horse flies are a serious threat to humans and animals, and we have the knowledge, experience, and efficient pest management solutions to protect them. Give us a call at Keller’s Pest Control now to learn more about our fly control services.

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Horse Flies

An illustration of a horse fly Horse Flies are a kind of fly that flies on horses (additional examples) Horse flies (genus Tabanus) are extremely bothersome insects that affect not only humans, but also other mammals such as cattle, horses, dogs, and other domesticated animals. Most species’ females require a blood meal in order to breed successfully, or at all, and while some species have been observed to feed on birds or reptiles, the vast majority of species have been observed to feed on mammalian blood as their primary source of nutrition.

  • Some people might have severe allergic responses as a result of their food allergies.
  • Horse flies are quite similar to deer flies, which are members of the same family as horse flies (Tabanidae).
  • Deer flies have dark bands across their wings, whereas horse flies do not.
  • Horse flies have clear wings, whereas deer flies have dark bands across their wings.

Among the natural predators of horse flies and deer flies are frogs, toad, spiders, wasps, hornets, dragonflies, and birds, among others.

Additional Information:

  • University of Kentucky research on horse flies and deer flies
  • Cornell University research on pest flies of pastured cattle and horses
  • And other research.

Facts About Horse Flies

Horse flies (Tabanidae) are huge, aggressive insects that fly quite quickly. They are also highly spry flyers. Horse flies are among the biggest of all fly species, and there are around 3,000 different species of Horse flies in the globe. Females attack people and other animals (particularly horses and other livestock) in the hopes of obtaining blood meals for their young. Horse flies and Bot flies are referred to as “gadflies” in some circles. Horse flies might be a nuisance, but remember that you are not alone in feeling this way.

They were also a source of concern for the Vikings.

Continue reading for the most crucial facts about horse flies, as well as information on how to put preventative measures in place to keep you and your family safe from horse flies.

What Do Horse Flies Look Like?

Horse flies are available in a variety of colors ranging from yellowish-brown to dark grey to blackish in appearance, and they normally reach 3/4″ to 1.25″ in length. Their heads are disproportionately large in comparison to the rest of their bodies, and they are hairy all over, giving them a passing similarity to honey bees in appearance. They have just one set of wings, like all other genuine flies of theDipteraorder, which are delicately colored and covered with wispy dots, much like all other true flies of theDipteraorder.

Horse Flies vs. Deer Flies

Horse flies are frequently mistaken with Deer flies, which are also known to attack humans on a regular basis. Horse flies and Deer flies both have vividly colored eyes, however Deer flies are somewhat smaller than Horse flies. They are distinguished by the black stripes that run across their wings.

Where doHorse FliesCome From?

Aside from the polar extremes and few islands, such as Hawaii, horse flies may be found almost wherever on the planet, including the tropics. These fly prefer warm, wet environments where they may reproduce, although they can be found in a broad range of habitats, including deserts and alpine meadows, depending on the species. Horse flies are strictly outside creatures, and they do not feed or seek shelter indoors unless it is necessary. You may come across one who has mistakenly walked inside your home through an open window or door, in which case a flyswatter or a dependable indoor and outdoor fly spray will make fast work of it.

Horse Fly Habits

Most of the time, these flies may be found in valley meadows near creeks and streams, where they enjoy higher temperatures and more moisture, as well as regions where cattle and people can be located outside. Horse flies are not simply attracted to the open air (especially near pools of water, like mosquitoes). They also love bright sunshine and are most common throughout the summer months, and they seek to avoid dark, shaded regions when possible. Horse flies do not emerge from their lairs at night.

Females are the only ones who bite, as they have powerful, incisor-like mouthparts, whereas males have weak mouthparts, as shown in the photo.

Women (again, as is the case with mosquitoes) bite both animals and humans in order to collect protein in the form of a blood meal, which they use to fertilize eggs. During their development, horse fly larvae live in aquatic or semi-aquatic settings, where they prey on other smaller organisms.

What AttractsHorse Flies?

Female Horse flies can identify humans and animals by their colors and motions, and they are drawn to bright items, warmth, perspiration, and carbon dioxide emitted by humans and animals, among other things.

Can Horse Flies Bite?

Female horse fly bites are extremely painful, but what’s worse is that these insects have the ability to transmit germs and blood pollutants from one host to another. They have the potential to make animals and people severely ill, and in unsheltered cattle, they can even cause growth rates and milk supply to be lowered. If the person or animal who has been bitten has an allergy, the consequences are more severe. Blood-stained horse fly bites on people can cause rashes, dizziness, weakness, and wheezing, as well as other symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.

Likewise, scratching will exacerbate the itching and other side effects of mosquito bites.

Will Horse Flies Bite Your Dogs?

The scissor-like mouth of the female Horse fly can inflict painful bites not only on humans, but also on your dog. Even though the effects and minor irritation are only short-lived, your dog is still at risk for the same danger that comes with all biting pests: the spread of bacteria and other blood contaminants from the female Horse fly’s saliva. In addition to the belly, legs, and neck, larger dog breeds are the most prone to Horse fly attacks. The most common regions where dogs get attacked are the legs, abdomen, and neck.

TheHorse FlyLife Cycle

Female Horse flies deposit their eggs under gravel or plants in close proximity to a water source, but they do not need to be close to it. When the eggs hatch, the pale, spindly larvae crawl into a nearby body of water or moist soil, where they feed on tiny insects and even reptiles for the rest of their lives. When the horse fly larval stage is complete, it can continue up to a year, at which point the larvae burrow themselves into the earth in order to pupate. Horse flies mature after one to two weeks as pupae and another three to ten weeks as developing adults before emerging as fully fledged adults.

Helping Prevent a Horse Fly Problem Outdoors

Horse fly problems in suburban regions are less prevalent than in less-populated, rural locations, where there may be grassy, open fields and cattle in the vicinity. Ideally, pest control chemicals should not be utilized until all other options have been exhausted and the Horse fly problem has not been resolved. Citronella candles and ultraviolet bug zappers are two common cures for flies and other flying insects when used outdoors. Horse flies are not drawn to rubbish or animal corpses, but keeping your yard as clean of standing water as possible will help to keep them to a minimum (as well as mosquitoes, which are also attracted to standing water!)

Fly Killer Treatments

Products for Pest Control For spot-treatment of Horse flies, use a plant oil-based indoor fly killer such as Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray or Maggie’s Farm Flying Insect Killer, which are both highly effective. Plants despise flies and other insects just as much as you do, and the natural oils they create to defend themselves are incredibly powerful in killing and repelling insects of all kinds. If you want excellent personal protection against flies (and mosquitoes), use Maggie’s Farm Natural Insect Repellent, which is made from plant oils.

Always read and carefully follow the recommendations on the label of any pest control product, including those for storage and disposal.

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TryMaggie’s Farm pest control solutions for efficient fly control in your house that has been scientifically proven and is safe for your family and the environment.

In order to be the most effective, our plant and mineral-based treatments are created by scientists and experienced pest control specialists.

How to Identify a Horsefly Bite and What to Do Next

There’s a good chance you’ve been bitten by a horsefly more than once in your life. If you’re not familiar with this venomous bug, it’s a huge, black fly that may be rather annoying. Generally speaking, you can tell it apart by its size. In comparison to the typical fly, a horsefly may grow to be as long as 1 inch (2.54 cm), making it significantly bigger than the usual fly. Continue reading to learn what you should do if you get bitten by a horsefly. If you’ve ever been bitten by a horsefly, you understand how painful it can be.

The mandible is the insect’s jaw in its most basic form.

The horsefly’s mandible is additionally equipped with tiny hooks that aid in the horsefly’s ability to latch in and feed more effectively.

This bite has the potential to cause:

  • The biting location may be bruised in certain circumstances, and there may be an itching and inflammation surrounding the bite region.

Aside from the temporary discomfort they cause, horsefly bites are not considered to be hazardous to people in general. Horses are generally the only ones who suffer from these bites. This is due to the fact that horseflies are known to transmit equine infectious anemia, often known as swamp fever. When they bite an equestrian animal, they have the potential to spread this potentially fatal illness. If a horse becomes infected with the virus, it may endure fever, hemorrhaging, and overall sickness.

  • Horseflies may be found all across North America, including Alaska.
  • Some localities, particularly during the summer months, are plagued with horseflies, which are virtually inescapable in some areas.
  • They prey on big creatures such as people, dogs, and, of course, horses, among other things.
  • They’re also drawn to carbon dioxide, which makes sense.
  • If you’ve ever had the impression that a horsefly was out for vengeance, you could be correct.
  • If their first bite does not provide them with the gratifying feast they were looking for, they have been known to pursue after their prey for a brief period of time.
  • The upper half of a horsefly is white, and it is usually distinguished by a few vertical black lines running vertically across it.

Using over-the-counter antiseptic spray or ointment, wipe the bite site and apply it to help keep the wound clean while also decreasing inflammation and itching The majority of the time, a horsefly bite will heal on its own within a few days.

Consult your doctor if you have any unexpected symptoms.

If you are having trouble breathing, have a rash that is spreading, or are experiencing increased discomfort, get medical treatment.

In the majority of cases, you will not suffer any negative side effects.

They will be able to analyze your bite and identify any necessary future actions.

Apply insect repellent before stepping outside to avoid being bitten by horseflies in the future. Wearing light-colored clothes is preferable if at all feasible. Horseflies are drawn to darker hues, therefore using a darker color may help keep them away from your home.

The Biting Truth about Horse Flies

What is it that is bothering you? Anyone who has spent time outside during the summer months has almost certainly been bitten by horse flies, which can be extremely unpleasant. Not only do people, but also domestic and wild animals, suffer greatly from the mere fear of being attacked by these extremely tenacious bloodsuckers, which can last for days on end. Join Dr. Art Evans, an entomologist, and Steve Clark, a VPM radio producer, as they investigate the intriguing natural history and behaviors of horse flies.

  1. Tabanids, as well as a few other unrelated species of biting flies, are sometimes referred to as clegs and gadflies.
  2. Horse flies are fast-flying insects with a chunky appearance but a lot of agility.
  3. When a male of one North American species pursued a female, it was recorded traveling at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour!
  4. Themales have continuous compound eyes and very weakly developed mouthparts, which makes them unable of biting or chewing food.
  5. In order to boost egg production, the majority of females are capable of biting because they require proteins from blood feeds.
  6. Species divide up resources by attacking various regions of the organism at the same time, dividing up resources.
  7. Recent research has revealed that the stripes of zebras impair the visual acuity of tabanids, making it more difficult for them to land a bite.

The hatching larvae descend into the water or dirt near damp shorelines within a week of their hatching.

They lack a discernible head and have no legs.

It may be identified from all other tabanids on the continent by the fact that it has a distinctive greenish colour.

Adult females consume their blood meals at night and track their prey by monitoring carbon dioxide released by their exhalation.

Light-colored long trousers and long-sleeved shirts, together with hats, are recommended.

In addition, applying insect repellents like DEET, picaridin, or lemon-eucalyptus oil to exposed skin can be beneficial. A second amusing tale from WBY about flies discovered in the Richmond Courthouse is presented here.

Horse Fly/Deer Fly

Horse flies and deer flies have a distinctive look that draws attention. They are quite huge flies with a reputation for biting aggressively. They are well-known to the majority of people, and their constant aggravation can make one’s day miserable while one is looking for a bloodmeal. Bart Drees of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service provided the photographs. Description: The eggs are 1-3 mm large and are laid in masses, either in a single layer (as in the case of deer flies) or in tiers 3-4 high (as in the case of fruit flies) (horse flies and some deer flies).

  • The larvae are big and spindle-shaped, and they are pale in color.
  • The larvae develop in a variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic environments, including mud or saturated plants in marshes, as well as along pond or creek banks.
  • They prey on a wide range of vertebrates, including chironomid midges, crane flies, and even other horse fly larvae, amongst other things.
  • During their lives, adults have a sturdy build with strong antennae and vividly patterned eyes that fade to dark as they pass away.
  • They are pool feeders, which means that they cut a hole in the skin and then lap up the blood that has accumulated in the pool.
  • Adult flies are quite robust and can fly for several kilometres in search of a blood supply.
  • Cattle, horses, and other creatures have been attacked, as have people at occasion.

Heavy assaults on beef cattle can result in decreased weight growth, decreased milk supply, poor feed consumption efficiency, and hide damage as a result of the puncture wounds.

Many disease agents (viruses, bacteria, protozoans, and nematodes) infecting animals are spread by the adult flies’ salivary glands.

An animal suffering from this viral illness will become lethargic and will lose weight.

Infection with the virus is caused by two strains, one of which is more severe than the other.

A chronically sick horse will eventually succumb to complications, but unnoticed carriers may survive their whole lives without showing any signs of illness.

Adult cattle suffer from severe anemia, fever, and weight loss as a result of this illness, which has a fatality rate of 50 percent in humans.

Horse flies may be found in a variety of species and at various times of the year in most areas where they exist.

Because of the horse fly’s habit, topical pesticides are ineffective; nevertheless, short-term control is achievable using insecticides.

Provide refuge for the animals or pasture them away from contaminated regions is the most effective approach in this situation.

Traps have been shown to be an efficient method of pest management. Box traps and CO 2baited sticky traps are two types of traps that can be used. Biological control agents can provide some protection by dining on or parasitizing the larvae and eggs, which can be harmful to the organism.

Are horsefly bites on the rise?

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