What Is A Horse Fly? (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.

Why is it called a horse fly?

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.

What is the difference between a horse fly and a house fly?

Description. A Horsefly is a group of similar flies considerably larger than a housefly. These flies can often reach 1-inch in length and are agile fliers. Some species have noisy wings while others, including the common green horsefly, are silent.

Where do horse flies live?

Horse fly development sites are freshwater and saltwater marshes and streams, moist forest soils and even moist decomposing wood. Females usually deposit egg masses on wet soil or vegetation that overhangs water. Larvae are active in moist or wet organic matter and look similar to house fly maggots.

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.

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.

Do horsefly bites hurt?

Do horsefly bites sting? In most cases, a bite will result in a raised, red area of skin, which might be painful and sensitive to touch. In extreme cases, bites can cause an allergic reaction that can result in dizziness, swelling and fluid-filled blisters that become infected.

What kills horse flies?

Using Dish Soap and Vinegar Spray to kill 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.

Why would horse flies be in my 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.

What’s a horse fly look like?

Horse flies have a robust body that is usually covered with small hairs. They have a pair of large compound eyes on the head and prominent mouthparts that extend downward (Figure 1). Horse flies vary in color, with many being black, grey, or brown and some having patterns of blue, green, or yellow.

Are black flies and horse flies the same?

Some are entirely black. Others, known as “greenheads,” are light brown with shiny green eyes. Horse flies are strong, fast fliers that feed on the blood of livestock and other animals. Adult black flies are small, no more than 1/8-inch long with broad wings and a humpbacked appearance.

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.

How fast is a horsefly?

There are other insects that fly faster, but their air speeds have not yet been accurately measured. For example, though not proven, dragonflies have been said to fly at 60 mph and horse flies at 90 mph!

Where do horse flies sleep?

Some favourite places are on the undersides of leaves, twigs, and branches, or even in tall grass or under rocks. They need a comfortable place to sleep that will shelter them from the cold, rain and wind. Flies need good grip because they often sleep upside down.

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.
  • Britannica Quiz Take this quiz to test your knowledge of bugs.
  • Which insect, commonly known as the tumblebug, has the ability to consume its own body weight in less than 24 hours?
  • Female bloodsuckers have the potential to be a major threat to both people and animals.
  • Because to the excessive abundance of the genus Haematopota, agricultural labor may only be carried out at night, when the fly is not active.
  • Techniques for controlling breeding areas include emptying and lubricating the breeding grounds; sprays are rarely effective.

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 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 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 Flies: Control, Bites, & Extermination of Flies

Adult horse flies are fast, powerful flyers, capable of flying for more than 30 miles and dispersing widely, yet they are not widely dispersed. They are most frequently attracted to moving and dark items. When horses fly, they tend to congregate on routes and roads, particularly in forested areas, where they await possible hosts. Horse flies are drawn to light and will swarm around windows from time to time.


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.


In most cases, horse flies like to live in the woods or the forest. On windless, hot, bright days, species are best visible when they are feeding during the day’s full illumination. Most larvae develop on moist soil near bodies of water, although some may develop under other conditions.

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.

  1. The quantity of flies and the severity of their onslaught varies from one year to the next, depending on the season.
  2. It is possible that animals will harm themselves when fleeing from the insects.
  3. 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.
  4. Flies such as horse flies and deer flies are more active during the daytime hours.
  5. 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.
  6. The soreness and swelling caused by bites normally subside within a few days.
  7. Bites may be painful, and general first aid-type skin lotions can assist to alleviate the discomfort.
  8. 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.


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.

  • 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.


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).

  • Even though it’s a group we despise, December is a good time to think about them intellectually rather than emotionally.
  • 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.
  • “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.
  • There are around 4,500Tabanidspecies worldwide, with 350 of them found in North America.
  • The genusTabanus (pronouncedTa-BAY-nus) contains the horse fly species that we are most familiar with.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.

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.

  1. Some people might have severe allergic responses as a result of their food allergies.
  2. Horse flies are quite similar to deer flies, which are members of the same family as horse flies (Tabanidae).
  3. Deer flies have dark bands across their wings, whereas horse flies do not.
  4. Horse flies have clear wings, whereas deer flies have dark bands across their wings.
  5. 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.

Horse flies (family Tabanidae)

Face masks and proof of vaccination (provided through the Check-In QLD app) are necessary for your visit to our museums in accordance with Queensland Government regulations. Find out more about the program and how to get a refund here. Women’s horse flies, such as this Cydistomyia doddi, feed on the blood of their male counterparts. In other areas of the world, the buzzing, biting bugs that Australians refer to as March flies are more usually referred to as horse flies.


The majority of horse fly females require a blood meal in order to produce their eggs. The majority of species eat on mammals, however several species also prey on birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Some of them are a nuisance to humans and livestock. If the flies are in large numbers, blood loss might become an issue for the livestock. Horse flies in Australia are only known to transmit a nematode to kangaroos and wallabies, and this is a rare occurrence. It is known that one Australian species can produce sensitisation in people, resulting in a severe reaction to future bites.

Females of several Australian species solely graze on flowers and do not ingest blood, according to the Australian Wildlife Federation. Horse fly larvae are predators of other invertebrates, and they can be found in dirt or moist locations where they can find food.


Horse flies are known to have patterned wings on occasion. The length ranges from 6 to 20 mm. Large eyes, short, segmented antennae, and a powerful proboscis distinguish these flies from other species. Horse flies are members of the Tabanidae family of flies. Horse flies are known to exist in approximately 3,000 different species throughout the world, with 200 of those species being found in Australia. Queensland Museum’s Find out about. program is made possible by generous donations from the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.

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

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.

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 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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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.

  • Animals are bitten in the belly, legs, and neck, among other places.
  • It seems as though the mandibles and maxillae are cutting the skin with a scissor-like movement.
  • Disease-carrying flies that are disturbed while feeding on one animal and then move on to another can spread pathogens.
  • The assault of flies on livestock animals results in decreased gains and decreased milk output.
  • Tabanids caused significant weight loss on one cow ranch in Kentucky, with each animal losing an average of 100 lbs.
  • 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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