What Do Horse Flies Look Like? (Question)

What do horse flies look like? Adult horse flies grow to between ½ and 1 ¼ inches in length. Their stout bodies are gray to black in color and their wings may be clear or slightly cloudy. Horse flies have large, bright green or purple eyes and very short antennae.

What does a horse fly look like?

  • These flies are about an inch long, making them much larger than an average fly. Horse flies can also be distinguished by their color. The upper part of a horse fly is white in color, typically marked by a few vertical black lines. The lower segment of the fly is solid black.

What do horse fly bites look like?

The bite in the skin itself is usually red and surrounded by a raised area of skin, called a weal or hive. The pain, redness, and weal help to identify horsefly bites. People should watch out for spreading redness of the skin, as well as the presence of pus or other discharge coming from the wound.

What attracts horse flies in a 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.

How do you treat horse fly bites?

Horsefly bite treatment

  1. Do not scratch the bite, even if it is itchy.
  2. Do not use anything to clean the bite apart from soap and plain water.
  3. Clean the bite area with clean cotton wool and plain warm water.
  4. Use a cold compress on the bite for 5 minutes to help reduce any pain and swelling that may be present.

Where do you find horse flies?

Horse-flies are found worldwide, except for the polar regions, but they are absent from some islands such as Greenland, Iceland, and Hawaii. The genera Tabanus, Chrysops, and Haematopota all occur in temperate, subtropical, and tropical locations, but Haematopota is absent from Australia and South America.

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.

What time of day are horse flies most active?

The flies are most active just before sunrise and three hours after sunrise. Another peak in activity is two hours before sunset and just after sunset. Timing your activities around those active periods may provide a little relief, but those are also the coolest times of the day when most people enjoy being outside.

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.

Why is my house full of flies all of a sudden?

What is this? The most common reason for flies swarming all over your house is an infestation inside or nearby your home. If you suddenly see a swarm of flies that means dozens of eggs have already hatched and developed into flies. The source is likely inside your house, garage, attic or garden.

What is a home remedy to get rid of horse flies?

To make a dish soap spray, take an empty spray bottle and add 4 tablespoons of dish soap, 2 cups of white vinegar to it, then add 1 cup of warm water, shake the mixture and your dish soap spray is ready. Spray it on horse flies and watch them dying instantly.

How long does it take for a horse fly bite to heal?

If you’ve been bitten by a horsefly, the bite will generally heal in a matter of days. You typically will not experience any adverse side effects. If your bite has not healed within 1 week, or if you’re experiencing unusual symptoms such as dizziness or worsening pain, consult a doctor.

Why do flies bite ankles?

Sensors on their antennae help the mosquitoes locate our breath, Ray says. “They look for plumes of carbon dioxide, which we humans create when we exhale. And they’ll start moving toward those plumes.” They may target our feet and ankles because we’re less likely to notice a mosquito biting us there.

Why do horseflies chase you?

Horseflies bite to ingest blood which is rich in protein. The protein is needed to develop their fertilized eggs. And yes, horseflies will chase you down to get their meal.

What months are horse flies active?

Only the female horse fly drinks blood, and the flies tend to be most active during the months of July and August; this is because the females of the species need blood from a vertebrae animal to give birth.

What bug looks like a horse fly?

Bot Fly. Description: The Horse Bot Fly is found all throughout the world and is the primary species of bot fly in North America.

How long is horse fly season?

When mature, the larvae move to dry areas near the surface of the soil to pupate for 1 to 4 weeks. Most flies emerge sometime from May through August. Some species of horse flies have two generations per year in coastal Georgia. Most species of horse flies and deer flies have a 1-year life cycle.

Truth About Horse Flies In Florida

Horse flies reach a length of between 12 and 14 inches when they are fully grown. Their strong bodies range in hue from gray to black, and their wings may be clear or somewhat foggy in appearance. Horse flies are distinguished by their huge, vivid green or purple eyes and their extremely small antennae. FEMALES are equipped with specialized blade-like mouthparts that they use to cut through the skin of a human or an animal, and they are also outfitted with spongy mouthparts that they use to suck in blood.

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

How do I get rid of horse flies?

Horse flies are regarded to be hazardous to both humans and animals, and this is true. 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. Certain people may be allergic to their bites, and in some circumstances, a secondary infection may develop at the location of the bite. The good news is that they have not been found to transmit illnesses to humans. Horse flies are responsible for the transmission of equine infectious anemia, which can be lethal in horses and ponies.

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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 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. As a result, they may act as mechanical vectors for the transmission of some animal and human illnesses.


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.

See also:  How To Buy A Horse? (Perfect answer)


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. They are able to graze at night since the insects are not busy at that time.


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.

  1. Some changes in behavior or the use of repellents may be necessary to allow for enjoyment of the outdoors.
  3. Some goods may not be legal to use in your state or nation, depending on where you live.

Black Horse-Fly: 19 Facts You Won’t Believe!

The black horse-fly (Tabanus atratus) is a species of biting fly belonging to the order Diptera and phylum Arthropoda, and it is found throughout North America. Horse flies are considered a biting pest when they are seen near livestock or cattle. Aside from that, they pose a serious hazard to the cattle. Despite their size, they have a high rate of flight. The males do not bite or seek blood meals, preferring to subsist only on nectar instead. They are most active during the day and eat viciously on the flesh of their hosts.

When the temperature lowers or the wind kicks up, the population of lies in a given region decreases.

What class of animal does a black horse-fly belong to?

The black horse-fly (Tabanus atratus) is a kind of insect that belongs to the class Insecta.

How many black horse-flies are there in the world?

It is not known how many black horse-flies (Tabanus atratus) there are in the world. The fly population is a big success story in the world of insects. The Tabanus genus has over 1,300 species that are found all over the world.

Where does a black horse-fly live?

The black horse-fly has a wide range of habitats in the eastern United States, and it is an endemic species to North America.

What is a black horse-fly’s habitat?

The black horse-range fly’s of habitat encompasses a diverse range of geographical locations. They, on the other hand, are unable to survive in harsh environments such as the desert or mountain top. If you’re looking for them, look for them in areas where they may feed on and lay eggs on animals.

Who does black horse-fly live with?

The black horse-fly is a solitary creature.

How long does a black horse-fly live?

It takes this fly a year to complete its life cycle, which involves transformations from aquatic larvae to pupae to adults.

The mature horse-fly has a short lifespan of 30-60 days.

How do they reproduce?

The black horse-fly requires an aquatic habitat for reproduction, the development of eggs, and the development of water larvae. When the adults emerge, the process of reproduction begins. The male horse-flies then eat on nectar, while the female horse-flies look for a blood meal to consume. The female lays three to four masses of 100-1,000 eggs on the edge of a water surface or near a water surface, with each mass containing 100-1,000 eggs. The female is on the lookout for a wet habitat in which she may successfully lay her eggs.

The life cycle of this insect includes eggs, horse-fly larvae, pupae, and adults, among other stages of development.

They develop through six to nine instars before reaching the end of their population cycle.

For one to three weeks, they are at the pupal stage of development.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of horse-flies or deer flies has not been determined.

Black Horse-Fly Fun Facts

The adult horse-flies have a body that is either entirely black, blackish-purple, or dark brown in color. Male horse-flies have continuous or holoptic eyes, whilst female horse-flies have separated or dichoptic eyes. The adult horse-fly has big and compound eyes that are continuous or holoptic in men and separated or dichoptic in females. The antennae are small and horn-shaped, and they are attached to the body. The different mouthparts are connected by a fascicle, which has six organs. They have two mandibles that are blade-like and flattened, with tooth-like serrations, which they employ to cut food and defend themselves.

  1. These two maxillae are referred to as the median labrum epipharynx and the median hypopharynx, respectively.
  2. They have prominent venation on their wings, and their bodies are coated with short, thick hair.
  3. The thin and cylindrical larvae are white to tan in color, depending on the species.
  4. The wings of some of them are translucent, whereas those of others are black.

How cute are they?

Horse flies, like deer flies, are not seen to be particularly endearing.

How do they communicate?

They communicate in the same way as all other fly, including vocalization, imagery, and the production of pheromones.

How big is a black horse-fly?

The mature horse-fly has a length range of 1 inch in length (26 mm).

In terms of length, the horse-flies can be as huge as a bumblebee or as little as a housefly, depending on the species. In addition, they are smaller than deer flies.

How fast can a black horse-fly fly?

They have a remarkable ability to fly considering their size. This fly has achieved the fastest recorded flying speed of 90 miles per hour (145 kph).

How much does a black horse-fly weigh?

It is not known what the actual weight of these horse-flies is. The average weight of a horse-fly is 0.00002 lb, which is extremely little (12 mg)

What are the male and female names of the species?

The black horse-fly, both male and female, is not known by any specific name.

What would you call a baby?

The female and male black horse-flies are not known by any specific name.

What do they eat?

Male insects solely eat on plant liquids and nectar, but mature female insects feed on the blood of animals and other insects. The eggs are developed by the females while they are feeding on blood. Male mosquitoes are vegetarian, much like their female cousins. There are six piercing organs on the mouthparts: two maxillae, two mandibles, a labryn epipharynx, and a hypopharynx. The maxillae and mandibles are the only piercing organs on the mouthparts. When a female is on the prowl for food, she is frequently drawn to CO2 as well as huge, dark moving things.

Are they poisonous?

Adult insects are not venomous, and their bites do not pose a health risk to people. Horses are the only ones that are affected by the bite.

Would they make a good pet?

No. These insects would not make for a pleasant companion. These pest species have a short life cycle and can cause significant damage to cattle. They are not hazardous to humans, and their bite does not cause death in most cases. If a horse-fly bites you, you will experience some discomfort for a short period of time, but you will not become infected. Advisory from Kidadl: Only reliable sources should be used to obtain any pets. It is important that you conduct your own study as a prospective pet owner before making your final decision on which animal to adopt.

Inspect your state and/or country’s legislation to ensure that the pet you choose is legal in your area.

Please ensure that the pet you are contemplating purchasing is not an endangered species or one that is listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) list, and that it has not been removed from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know.

The Tabanidae fly or pest family, which includes flies and pests, can transmit disease to the victims that they bite, who are primarily animals. When animals are utilized in the beef and milk production industries, as well as for grazing, they confront a number of major problems. Various types of birds, including warbler birds such as the palm warbler and the pine warbler, as well as wasps such as the horse guard wasp, prey on these insects.

Horse flies and deer flies are both persistent pests that bite and are quite powerful bugs. They are also capable of transmitting anthrax, trypanosomes, and worms. Horse-flies have been observed doing Immelman maneuvers in a manner similar to that of fighter planes.

What is a giant black fly?

A huge black fly is a large black horse-fly that bites and stings its victims, causing them to suffer from severe bites and blisters. Its hosts include animals, cattle, and people, and it is regarded as a nuisance in these areas.

Why are horse-flies so aggressive?

Horse-flies are hostile because they are hungry, or their offspring are hungry, according to the experts. The female bites and swallows blood in order to obtain protein from the blood and to aid in the development of their eggs. They also require a greater amount of blood than mosquitoes. Our team at Kidadl has worked hard to compile a large number of intriguing animal facts that are suitable for the whole family to enjoy. Learn more about some more arthropods by visiting our tan jumping spider facts and pirate spider facts sites, which provide further information.

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.

Horse Fly, Deer Fly

Tabanus sp. (Diptera: Tabanidae), an adult female horse fly (Diptera: Tabanidae). Drees captured this image. Horse fly and deer fly are two common names for this insect. Variables in terms of scientific name Order:Diptera Description: Horse and deer flies are among the more than 100 species of insects that have been identified in Texas. The eyes of living specimens are frequently decorated with iridescent and metallic color patterns that are quite stunning. There are 33 species of deer flies (Chrysopsspp.) that range in length from 1/4 to 1/12 inch and are black to brown in appearance, with yellowish patterns on their wings.

  • Horse flies (Tabanus, 52 species, and other genera) range in length from 3/8 to just over 1 inch and are distinguished by their colour, which varies from species to species.
  • Horse and deer flies are among the insects that can be mistaken with a few others.
  • While the stable fly,Stomoxys calcitrans(Linnaeus) (Diptera: Muscidae), appears to be very similar to the house fly in appearance, its mouthparts (proboscis) extend bayonet-like forward from behind the head, making it another frequent biting fly.
  • (Diptera: Tabanidae), mature female.
  • The Life Cycle of a Product: Winter is spent as half developed larvae that pupate in the spring and emerge as adults in the late spring and summer, depending on the species and the time of year.
  • Eggs are placed in large clusters that color to brown or black before the larvae hatch and fall to the ground or into water, indicating that the eggs are fertilized.
  • For the majority of organisms, one generation occurs each year.

Adult female mouthparts are adapted for piercing and sucking blood, whilst larval mouthparts are designed for eating or ripping.

Males are nectar feeders, and they tend to hang about during various times of the day, probably in an effort to attract females and establish a territorial claim on the flowers.

Larvae live in environments that are peculiar to each species, while the majority of them are aquatic, semi-aquatic, or terrestrial in nature.

It is possible to gather adult horse and deer flies by hanging an insect net over one’s head while strolling through an infested location, such as a forest route, near marshy areas, on the beach or other bodies of water at the appropriate time of year.

Larvae can be gathered near water’s edge by sifting dirt and washing plant roots in a screen-bottomed pail or box, which can then be placed in a warm, dark place.

You may also contact your local Texas A M AgriLife Extension Service agent or look for other state Extension offices for further information. GoodwinDrees 1996; JamesHarwood 1969 are examples of literature.

What are Those Gigantic Flies?

The presence of horse fly activity often increases as the summer progresses towards its latter stages. These huge flies may be found across South Dakota, but they are most prevalent in the state’s southern and eastern regions, where they pose a significant threat to livestock. Horse flies are capable of inflicting a highly painful bite and drawing considerable volumes of blood from their victims. It is possible that they will become a serious pest of pastured animals, mainly cattle and horses, if they are present in large numbers.

Take note of the huge eyes and the extended mouthparts on this creature.

Cranshaw, Colorado State University.


Horse flies may be distinguished from other common fly pests such as stable flies and horn flies by their huge size when compared to their smaller counterparts. The majority of species range in length from roughly 12 inches to 1 14 inches. Unlike many other insects, horse flies have a sturdy body that is frequently coated with fine hairs. In addition to a pair of enormous compound eyes on the top of their heads, they also have massive mouthparts that extend downward (Figure 1). Figure 2: A horse taking off (Tabanus abactor).

  • Cranshaw, Colorado State University.
  • Coloration is usually colorful, and abdominal and thoracic stripes are seen on the majority of species (Figure 2).
  • Figure 3: A black horse fly in flight (Tabanus atratus).
  • Upham, Kansas State University.


Adult horseflies begin to emerge in South Dakota in the early summer and stay active for 6 to 8 weeks after they emerge. Once they have mated, the flies will eat on nectar until they die, at which point the females will feed on human blood. Female horse flies, like mosquitoes, require blood meals in order to lay their eggs and reproduce. The females lay their eggs on plants along streams and in wetlands, where they will hatch. Upon hatching a few days later, the larvae will drop down into water or moist soil to finish their development.

Overwintering larvae pupate and emerge as new adults the next year after overwintering as pupae.

They primarily rely on visual cues to locate hosts, looking for huge, dark, and moving items in order to survive.

Horseflies are capable of ingesting enormous volumes of blood, causing stress in the animal and a reduction in its weight gain and growth. They can also act as disease vectors, causing more harm to the cattle that has already been harmed.


Horse flies can be difficult to control, especially in warm weather. Horse fly larvae cannot be eradicated without endangering the health of fragile wetland habitats for the long term. To avoid this, you can try to control adult flies, which is difficult because of their big size, which makes them resistant to most treatments. Horse flies can be discouraged from feeding by wearing insecticidal ear tags. Another way is to spray animals with a short-residual pyrethrin solution in order to target the flies directly with the insecticide.


Hill, C. A., and J. F. MacDonald, “The Evolution of the Human Race.” 2010. Horse and deer flies: their biology and potential threat to public health. Purdue University Extension is a division of Purdue University.


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.

What is a horsefly and how do you treat a bite?

People have been posting frightening photographs of horsefly bites that are loaded with pus, but what are the bugs and how can you avoid getting bitten? Here’s all you need to know about the process. 1A terrible bite from female horseflies might result in a severe allergic response. Image courtesy of iStockphoto – Getty

What is a horsefly?

The horsefly is a huge, hairy fly with a nasty bite that can cause severe discomfort. Females will bite animals, including people, in order to get blood, which they require in order to create eggs. The female flies have two razor-sharp cutting blades that puncture the skin when they bite the victim. In order to consume blood, the bugs have developed a sponge-like portion of their lips. Male flies do not bite, preferring to consume nectar from flowers or fruit instead.

What do horseflies look like?

Horseflies are substantially larger than the ordinary fly in terms of size. They are black, hairy insects that may or may not have brilliantly colored patches on their bodies. The pests range in size from 1cm to 2.5cm in length. 3 Horsefly-induced pus-filled blisters have been making the rounds on social media, and people are sharing their pictures. Image courtesy of MEN Media

How do you treat a bite?

The bite of a horsefly may be excruciatingly painful. Although the bites are not normally dangerous, there is a risk of infection, and people have been posting horrifying photographs of their responses on social media. A huge rash, disorientation, fatigue, coughing, and swelling are all possible signs of a bite that may take a long time to resolve. The National Health Service (NHS) recommends:

  • Cleanse the affected area and use a cold compress. To avoid infection, wrap the wound with gauze or bandages. Do not scrape or press on the afflicted region in order to decrease swelling.

If any of the following apply, you should call your doctor or NHS 111:

  • It takes more than a few days for the symptoms to subside. The area surrounding your lips, throat, or eyes has been stung. An region of 10cm or more gets bloated and red as a result of the inflammation. Infection develops in the wound. If you have a fever, swollen glands, or flu-like symptoms, you should see your doctor.

If you find yourself in any of the following situations, contact 999 immediately:

  • It is tough for you to breathe since you are wheezing. You experience swelling in your mouth, throat, or face. You feel sick to your stomach or vomit
  • Your heart rate begins to rise. You get a dizzy or faint feeling
  • You’re having trouble swallowing, and You begin to lose consciousness.

3A horsefly bite can be quite painful, and the bitten region of skin will normally be red and inflamed when it happens. Image courtesy of MEN Media

How can I protect myself?

Horseflies may be kept at bay with the use of insect repellents, and it’s a good idea to protect yourself if you’re going to be around grassland, animals, or bodies of fresh water. Additionally, wearing light-colored clothing will make you less of a target for flies, who are attracted to dark, moving objects and will avoid biting you. Because flies like hot temperatures and don’t generally seek refuge in dark places, you will be more protected if you are in the shade.

How common are they in the UK

Horseflies prefer warm weather, and as the summers become hotter, Brits can expect to witness an increase in the number of them. The flies are most common in June and July, but they might come at any time. Horseflies are commonly found in the vicinity of ponds, pools, forests, grass, and animals, among other places.

deer flies, yellow flies and horse flies

Pests of cattle, horses, and people are found in the Tabanidae family, which includes horse flies and deer flies amongst other names. There are 35 Tabanidae species in Florida, all of which are regarded to be economically significant. Horse flies are classified as belonging to the genusTabanus, whereas deer flies are classified as belonging to the genusChrysops. The yellow fly, Diachlorus ferrugatus(Fabricius), is a vicious biter in Florida, and it is recognized as such. It is the female fly, just as it is with mosquitoes, that is responsible for delivering a bite.

During the hot summer and early fall months, tabanids are most likely to be encountered.

Figure 1 shows an example of a formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formal An adult female deer fly, Chrysopscincticornis, is shown laying eggs on a deer carcass.

Jerry Butler of the University of Florida took this photograph.

Distribution(Back to Top)

Horse flies and deer flies are found all throughout the planet, including Antarctica. They have not been recorded in Hawaii, Greenland, or Iceland, on the other hand. Because of the abundance of appropriate habitat in Florida, the state of Florida is home to a huge population of tabanids in the United States. Florida’s moderate temperature, as well as its extensive perennially wet and undeveloped regions, make it an excellent breeding ground.

Description(Back to Top)

Eggs:Eggs are deposited in large groups ranging from 100 to 1000 eggs per group. Overhanging foliage, protruding rocks, sticks, and aquatic vegetation are all good places to lay eggs since they provide a vertical surface for them to nestle in. It is preferable to have aquatic vegetation. Eggs are frequently covered with a glossy or chalky secretion that assists in water protection. The vertical surfaces on which the eggs are placed are always immediately above water or moist ground, which is ideal for the larvae’s growth and development.

  1. Eggs are originally a creamy white tint, but they quickly darken to gray and even black as they mature.
  2. Eggs hatch in five to seven days, depending on the meteorological conditions at the time, and the larvae fall to the wet soil and water beneath the surface of the ground.
  3. Jerry Butler of the University of Florida took this photograph.
  4. Typical egg-laying environment for biting flies, as seen in Figure 3.
  5. Larvae: Larvae utilize a hatching spine to break out from the egg casing and begin their life.
  6. Chrysopsspp.
  7. In addition, Tabanusspp.

Many species have black bands around each segment of their bodies, and this is true for most of them.

The larva has a tiny head and 11 to 12 extra segments in addition to its main body.

When in the larval stage, the length of time can range from a few months to more than a year.

Tabanus species eat on insect larvae, crustaceans, and earthworms, among other things.

are known to be carnivorous, and there have been reports of as many as 120 larvae per square yard, despite the fact that they are considered cannibalistic.

The pupal stage is attained within two days after the creature’s arrival to the surface.

Jason M.

Pupae: The pupae are brown in color, rounded on the anterior side and tapering on the posterior side, and contain leg and wing casings that are linked to their bodies.

This structure is composed of six pointed projections at the apex of the abdomen, which is referred to as a pupal “aster.” It is common for the pupal stage to endure between two and three weeks.

Jason M.

Adult: The adult fly emerges from the pupal case through a slit that runs down the thorax of the case, allowing it to feed on its prey.

The flies mate once both sexes have emerged from their eggs.

The mating process begins in the air and is finished on the ground.

Tabanidae are huge flies with wide bodies and protruding eyes that are seen in vast numbers in the wild.

The antennas are divided into three sections.

Horse flies are between 10 and 25 mm in length, whereas deer flies are between 7 and 10 mm in length.

Yellow flies are yellowish in color with the same body form as deer flies, but they have dark purple to black eyes that are characterized with fluorescent green lines.

Horse flies have emerald or black eyes and are black to dark brown in color.

The adult female deer fly, Chrysops pikeiWhitney, is seen in Figure 6.

Jerry Butler of the University of Florida took this photograph. The adult horse fly (Tabanussp.) is seen in Figure 8. James Castner of the University of Florida took this photograph.

Life Cycle(Back to Top)

It is during the months of May and September that adult tabanids are most commonly observed in Florida. The majority of species overwinter in the larval stage and pupate in the spring and early summer months. It has been discovered as early as May 5th and as late as October 13th with an egg mass. The majority of species have a one-year life cycle, however some bigger species can live for two or three years. Adults have a life expectancy of 30 to 60 days.

Damage(Back to Top)

Tabanids lurk in wait in shaded regions behind shrubs and trees, hoping that a passing host may come along. The most important technique for locating hosts is sight, but carbon dioxide and odor are also important. Moving objects, especially those that are dark in color, are the most vulnerable to assault. During daytime hours, attacks are more common, with the peak occurring around dawn and lasting three hours. It reaches its highest point two hours before sunset and begins immediately afterward.

  1. Animals are bitten in the belly, legs, and neck, among other places.
  2. It seems as though the mandibles and maxillae are cutting the skin with a scissor-like movement.
  3. Disease-carrying flies that are disturbed while feeding on one animal and then move on to another can spread pathogens.
  4. The assault of flies on livestock animals results in decreased gains and decreased milk output.
  5. Tabanids caused significant weight loss on one cow ranch in Kentucky, with each animal losing an average of 100 lbs.
  6. A group of twenty to thirty flies that have been feeding for six hours are capable of sucking up 100 cc.

Biological Control(Back to Top)

There are no efficient biological control initiatives for tabanids in place at the present time. There are natural beneficial insects that are attracted to tabanids and prey on them. Trichogrammatidae, Scelionidae, and Chalcididae are only a few of the Hymenoptera families that prey on egg parasites. The parasitic families Diapriidae and Pteromalidae (Hymenoptera) and Bombyliidae and Tachinidae (Diptera) prey on the larvae and pupa of these insects. Tabanid adults are utilized as food by wasps that are constructing nests in their colonies.

Management(Back to Top)

At the moment, there are no effective tools for regulating population growth. Traps can be successful in limited areas, such as yards, camping grounds, and swimming pools, when used properly. The trapping of nuisanceflies on the Atlantic coast of the United States has resulted in a reduction in their population. Traps have shown to be efficient when utilized around cattle that are kept in controllable enclosures or locations. Some of the traps are made of black and glossy balls. The flies are drawn to these things because the wind is blowing them around.

The majority of the time, these traps are beneficial for sampling.

Pour-on pyrethroid repellents for animals have a restricted range of effectiveness.

Control has been achieved with the use of ear tags and head collars treated with pesticides.

For further details, please seeTrollingDeer Fly Trap.

Jason Squitier of the University of Florida took this photograph.

Photograph by Andy Rasmussen in the state of Florida A MUniversity is a master’s level institution.

Jason Squitier of the University of Florida took this photograph.

Photograph courtesy of R.F.Mizell, University of Florida Photographic Collection Some large-scale strategies, such as the modification of the environment, have been proposed as solutions.

There is a broad consensus that the usage of pesticides is not economically feasible.

Spraying for the grownups is equally useless in this situation. Use of a repellent on exposed skin and clothes before being exposed to adults can provide individual protection from adult bites. Biting flies are included in the Florida Insect Management Guide.

Selected References(Back to Top)

  • J.F. Anderson, 1973. The behavior of saltmarsh deer flies when they bite (Diptera: Tabanidae). Burnet A.M. and Hays K.L. 1974, Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 66: 21-23
  • Burnet A.M. and Hays K.L. 1974. Some of the effects of meteorological conditions on the flying activity of female horse flies have been observed (Diptera: Tabanidae). Borror DJ, Triplehorn CA, Johnson NF.1992. Environmental Entomology3: 515-521
  • Borror DJ, Triplehorn CA, Johnson NF.1992. Insects: An Introduction to the Study of Insects Sanders College Publishing is based in Fort Worth, Texas. Catts EP, Olkowski W. 1972
  • 512 pages
  • Catts EP, Olkowski W. Chrysops fulginosus exhibits mating and feeding behavior typical of the Tabanide (Diptera) family. The Journal of Environmental Entomology1: 448-453
  • Curran, CH 1934. The Diptera of North America are classified into families and genera. Essig EO.1958, American Museum of Natural History, New York, pp. 148-149
  • American Museum of Natural History, New York, pages. 148-149. Western North American Insects and Mites is a book on insects and mites. It was published by The Macmillan Company in New York in 1973 and has 1050 pages
  • Fairchild GB and Weems JrHV wrote the foreword. Doachlorus ferrugatus (Fabricius) is a vicious biting fly with a venomous bite (Diptera: Tabanidae). In 1973, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Plant Industry Entomology published Circular 139
  • Foster CA, Renuad GD, and Hays KL published a paper on the subject. Environmental influences on Chrysops oviposition have been observed (Diptera: Tabanidae). English translation: Environmental Entomology2: 1048-1050
  • French FE, Kline DL, 1989. 1-octen-3-ol, a trap attractant for the Tabanidae that is highly successful (Diptera). French FE, Hagan DL. 1995. Journal of Medical Entomology, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 459-461. Two-tier box trap catches Chrysops atlanticus and Chrysops fuliginosus (Diptera: Tabanidae) in a salt marsh near Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Hansens EJ, Robinson JW. 1973. Journal of Medical Entomology 32: 197-200
  • Hansens EJ, Robinson JW. 1973. The emergence and migration of saltmarsh deer flies are observed. Chrysops fluginosus and Chrysops atlanticus are two species of Chrysops. Harwood RF, James MT.1979. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, vol. 66, no. 12, pages 1215-1218. The Application of Entomology in Human and Animal Health 548 pages
  • Herms WB.1961. New York: Macmillian Publishing Company
  • Herms WB.1961. Medical Entomology is a branch of science that studies insects in their natural environment. The Macmillian Company is based in New York. Jones, C.M., and Anthony, D.W., 1964, 582 pages. The Tabanidae (Diptera) of Florida are a family of insects. United States Department of Agriculture Bulletin 1295: 1-85
  • Logothetis C, Schwardt HH.1948. The horse flies of New York have been the subject of biological investigations. Mckeever S, French FE. 1997. Journal of Economic Entomology 41: 335-336
  • Mckeever S, French FE. Blood suckers that are fascinating and lovely. 217-225
  • Mizell RF, American Entomologist 43: 217-225. (December 1998). The trolling deer fly trap is a type of deer fly trap that is used to attract deer. Pest Alert from the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
  • Pechuman LL.1973. Horse flies and deer flies are prevalent throughout Virginia (Diptera: Tabanidae). Riley WA, Johannsen OA. 1938. Virginia Research Division Bulletin 81: 1-9. Riley WA, Johannsen OA. 1938. Medical Entomology is a branch of science that studies insects in their natural environment. Tashiro, H., and Schwart, H.H. (1949). Biology of the primary species of horse flies in central New York. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 483 pages. Tashiro, H., and Schwart, H. (1949). s
  • Wall R, Shearer D. 1997. Journal of Economic Entomology 42: 269-272. s
  • Wall R, Shearer D. 1997. Veterinary Entomology is the study of insects in animals. 439 pages
  • Chapman & Hall, New York
  • Wilson, B.H. 1968. The use of sticky traps baited with dry ice to control Tabanid populations on cattle has been successful. Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 61, no. 8, pp. 827-829.

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