When Do Horse Flies Die Off? (Best solution)

By early August, the deerflies and horseflies begin to die off for the year, but a few of them wait until then to emerge. Just when some people begin to think they’re gone, some of the largest and ugliest of the horseflies emerge. Fortunately, there aren’t as many of them.

Are horse flies harmful?

  • Horse flies are a plague that thankfully only strikes in numbers during a few months of the year. Despite large house flies being referred to as horse flies, the latter is a separate species that is a lot worse than a simple bug that vomits all over your food.

How long do horse flies stay around?

The Horse Fly Life Cycle The Horse fly larval stage can last up to a year, and at that point, the larvae dig themselves into the soil in order to pupate. After one to two weeks as pupae, and another 3 to 10 weeks as developing adults, the full-grown adult Horse flies emerge. Adults live from 30 to 60 days.

What months are horse flies active UK?

Horseflies are most active in hot weather, mostly in summer and autumn during the daylight hours. Most species also prefer a wet environment, which makes it easier for them to breed. Eggs are generally laid on stones close to water or on plant stems or leaves.

Are horse flies around all year?

Horsefly season is firmly upon us as the weather has turned hot and humid. The insects, also known as clegs, return each year to cause havoc among livestock and humans.

What time of day are horse flies least active?

They are often large and agile in flight, and the females bite animals, including humans, to obtain blood. They prefer to fly in sunlight, avoiding dark and shady areas, and are inactive at night.

What do horse flies hate?

Look for other ingredients in sprays — or make your own with natural oils — that are believed to be offensive to horse flies. These include peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, clove, rosemary, basil, tea tree, lemongrass, catnip and cedar.

What will keep horse flies away?

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

Is sudocrem good for horsefly bites?

Improve insect bites This is one of the brand-approved ways to use Sudocrem. They say that the cream “ helps to heal wounds by forming a protective layer over the vulnerable area, reducing the risk of infection, and also contains a mild local anaesthetic to soothe discomfort.”

How long is horsefly season UK?

According to the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, you’ll find horseflies between May and September, which means we’re right at the peak of horsefly season.

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.

Do horse flies chase you?

First and foremost, it’s essential to highlight the fact that horseflies can absolutely chase you. Often when female horsefly lights on you and is brushed off before satisfying its protein needs, it will go right back and try again. If you start moving away, the persistent pest will chase you.

Can you feel a horsefly bite?

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

How fast do horse flies fly?

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!

Does DEET repel horse flies?

A fact sheet written by Lee Townsend, extension entomologist University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, states that manmade chemical repellents such as DEET “can provide several hours of protection” from deer flies and horse flies.

Do bug zappers work on horse flies?

Bug Zappers Although horse flies die if they fly into a bug zapper, it’s not the most effective way to control the population. Horse flies stay active during the day, which is when most outdoor bug zappers don’t attract insects well because of competing sunlight. Inside a barn, zappers can help if placed properly.

The Life Cycle and Lifespan of a Horse Fly

Horse flies are notorious for having one of the most painful bites in the insect world, and their bites are particularly terrible in children. Women with razor-sharp mouthparts rip through the skin of humans and animals alike, leaving stinging (and frequently annoying) wounds in their wake. However, understanding the many stages of the horse fly’s life cycle and breeding behaviors might assist you in bringing their populations under control.

What’s a horse fly?

Biting flies belonging to the Tabanidae family are commonly referred to as horse flies. In all, there are about 4400 different fly species in this huge group. Members of this family are often referred to as deer flies or yellow flies, depending on where they are found. In practically every part of the world, horse flies may be found, and they are a serious problem for both people and animals. Horse flies are one of the world’s most loathed summer pests, and they’re typically despised for their painful bite and their tenacity — once they’ve clamped onto a victim, they’re not likely to release go until they’ve tasted blood themselves!

This is because to the sharp, knife-like mouthparts that they utilize to slice at the skin of their prey.

It is also possible that horse fly bites could trigger allergic reactions in certain persons, and that scratching the bites will result in skin infections.

How long do horse flies live?

The adult horse fly’s lifetime is thankfully brief, with the majority of individuals only living for 30-60 days. While this covers a significant amount of their total lives, the full life cycle of most horse fly species takes around one year to complete. Photograph courtesy of Marc Pascual/Pixabay.com

What is the horse fly life cycle?

It is possible to separate the horse fly’s life cycle into four different stages: the egg stage, the larval stage, the pupae stage, and the adult stage.


All insects begin their lives as eggs, including horse flies, which are no exception. Horse flies lay their eggs in clusters that can range in size from 100 to 1000 individuals in number, depending on the species. When the eggs are first laid, they are cylindrical in shape and creamy white in color; however, they soon darken and become gray or black in color as they mature. They prefer to deposit their eggs on the vertical surfaces of aquatic plants, however they may also lay eggs on sticks and rocks if the conditions are right.


Insect larvae of the horse fly develop into six to thirteen distinct phases during the course of their lives, which may be aquatic, semi-aquatic, or terrestrial in nature (depending on the species).

Once spring comes along, the majority of horse fly species overwinter in their final larval stage, which is then transformed into a pupae.


Horse fly pupae are brown in color and elongated, with a rounded front end and a tapering back end. They are the larval stage of the horse fly. In the case of the horse fly, the pupal stage can last anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks, following which the adult flies emerge.


It is the adult horse fly that emerges once the pupal stage is complete. Equines are huge (10-25 mm long), with brownish, hairy bodies and transparent or smoky wings that are visible in the sunlight.

Worth knowing!

The adult phase of the horse fly lifecycle is the one you’re most likely to come across, albeit only the females are capable of biting at this stage. Their mouthparts are more powerful than those of the males, who mostly feed on nectar and nectar-like substances. This is due to the fact that female horse flies, like mosquitoes, require blood in order to mature and lay their eggs.

How can you control horse flies?

Humans and animals alike can suffer from the brutally painful bite of adult horse flies, which can be a serious source of concern. If you find yourself seeing these bloodsuckers on a frequent basis throughout the summer, you may want to consider putting in place control measures to reduce their numbers.

Remove their breeding sites

Horse flies are attracted to water and seek out pools where they may reproduce, eat, and drink. Female horse flies frequently prefer to deposit their eggs on water plants, and they will also wait here for host animals (such as horses and cattle) to approach before laying their eggs. Photograph courtesy of James DeMers/Pixabay.com As a result, you may limit the amount of horseflies on your property by removing water sources from your land whenever feasible. If you have animals, pay special attention to the areas around animal drinking locations and ensure that drainage around places that may accumulate excess water is in excellent working order.

Install screens

Of order to keep horse flies out of your home and away from your animals, you should place screens around doors and windows in your home. This establishes a physical barrier that will aid in the prevention of horse flies and other nuisance insects (such as mosquitoes, houseflies, androaches) from entering the house.

Personal protection from horse flies

It is simple to avoid horse fly bites this summer, as long as you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. Horse flies (and other biting insects) can be prevented from biting your skin by wearing long, loose-fitting clothing and applying bug spray (having DEET or other insect-repelling substances).

Sticky paper and traps

Horse fly populations can be reduced by hanging sticky paper and putting out traps, among other methods. Install these traps in areas where there is a high amount of horse fly activity.

Chemical control

If your horse fly problem is getting out of hand, you may want to consider using chemical control tactics to combat the problem. Flies can be killed in large numbers by insecticidal sprays, fogs, and mists (particularly in confined areas), and residual pesticides can be used in barns and sheds to keep flies under control.

These are often sprayed to walls and ceilings where flies congregate, and they kill any bugs that come into touch with the surfaces they have been put on.


In addition to their aggressive nature and the severe bites they inflict on their victims, horse flies are also known for their stinging ability. They are mostly a problem for horses and cattle, although they will also bite people from time to time (and any other blood-filled creature they can find). Horse flies go through four unique life stages: the egg, larval, pupae, and adult fly, which are all visible on the surface of the water. For the majority of species, this process takes around one year to complete in its entirety, however mature horse flies only survive for 30-60 days on average.

Therefore, by reducing unneeded water sources in and around your house, you may restrict their numbers to a bare minimum.

Horseflies: Why they’re the worst and what you can do about it

What causes their bites to be so painful? Why aren’t they going to die if you smack the living daylights out of them? Today, we’ll address some of your most pressing horsefly questions. Does the presence of horseflies in the animal realm serve a purpose, or were they simply sent on this planet to make me and my horses miserable? That is an excellent question. Typically, when I think of horseflies, I think of the large, venomous bullet-shaped monster-bugs that appear to take pleasure in devouring my horse alive, but there are around 4,500 different species that are members of the horsefly family (Tabanidae).

  • Other reasons to despise them include: It is possible for 20-30 horseflies to drain about a third of a pint of blood from their victims in as little as six hours if they are not managed.
  • Horseflies are something that this individual absolutely, positively, positively despises: What is it about their bites that causes such excruciating pain?
  • The larger the hole, the greater the amount of blood they may absorb.
  • When a horsefly was eating a hole in his arm, this brave guy captured it on film: “I’ll hit one extremely hard, but it only gets disoriented for a minute and then comes back for more.” WHY IS IT NOT JUST DIETING?!?!?
  • They are not easily discouraged from attacking, and they will even pursue their chosen prey after they have been caught.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to assist you.
  • To keep them at bay, avoid forested, moist locations such as streams and ponds.

They are most active during the warmest part of the day and like to stay out of the sunlight. The horsefly season in August and September was a nightmare on the farm I used to operate, and the following were some of our most successful horsefly survival strategies:

  • Limit riding and turnout to morning and evening when possible
  • Fly spray and fly predators are good places to start, but during horsefly season, a fly sheet is absolutely essential. When riding and working around your horse, stay alert–you never know when it might buck, kick out or swing its head around to rid itself of an offending attacker
  • Horseflies are attracted to dark colors, so keep this in mind when selecting your clothing.

Alternatively, you may follow the example of this young rider: Retaliate by launching an attack! Wishing you the best of luck, and Happy Riding! – Please give us more! If you like this post, you may be interested in. Do you enjoy HORSE NATION? Keep up with the latest news, analysis, and hilarity by “liking” us on Facebook!

Facts About Horse Flies

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

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They were also a source of concern for the Vikings.

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

What Do Horse Flies Look Like?

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

Horse Flies vs. Deer Flies

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

Where doHorse FliesCome From?

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

Horse Fly Habits

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

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

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

What AttractsHorse Flies?

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

Can Horse Flies Bite?

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

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

Will Horse Flies Bite Your Dogs?

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

TheHorse FlyLife Cycle

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

Helping Prevent a Horse Fly Problem Outdoors

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

Fly Killer Treatments

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

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

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

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

Horse Flies

(News story for the 28th of May, 2020.) Horse flies have been driving you insane lately, haven’t they? This week, I had a few phone calls from concerned people who wanted to know more about horse flies and what they might do to avoid them. We haven’t even finished dealing with the assault of buffalo gnats, and now horse flies are consuming the lives of people. Although there is nothing you can do to limit the number of horse flies in your region, there are certain repellents you may use that may make your life a little easier.

  • Horse flies are more common than deer flies in the United States.
  • Adults have a life span of 30-60 days, and in order to create viable eggs, the females must ingest a meal of blood.
  • Male flies do not bite, whereas female flies do bite.
  • They enjoy aquatic plants, and their populations tend to be more numerous in damp and forested environments.
  • They will lay in wait in shady regions until a host walks by, at which point they will administer a severe bite and consume their prey’s blood.
  • Horse flies are effectively deterred by insect repellents containing DEET, citronella, or geraniol.
  • Find a permethrin-based clothing treatment in the camping area of your local shop that will keep horse flies, ticks, mosquitoes, and other insect pests away from you and your belongings.

Animals will benefit from the use of pyrethroid insecticide pour ons, ear tags, and collars on their backs.

The two hours before sunset and the two hours immediately after sunset are also high-activity times.

They are native to North America and thrive in our moderate temperature and forested, damp places, which they find to be particularly appealing.

Wishing you the best of luck!

M., ed (1998, February).

The date was May 5, 2020, and the source was Jessie Hoover works as a County Agent at the LSU AgCenter, where she is responsible for horticulture in the parishes of East Feliciana, West Feliciana, St.

More information on these or related topics can be obtained by contacting Jessie at 225-683-3101 or by visiting the website www.lsuagcenter.com.

‘American horse fly’ is a term used to describe a flying horse in the United States. The image is courtesy of Sturgis McKeever, Georgia Southern University, and Bugwood.org.

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

In order to feed on blood, the female horse fly’s mouthparts are blade-like, slashing tissues and blood vessels and causing blood to pour into wounds. For sucking up blood, females utilize their mouthparts that are sponge-like. Only pollen and nectar are consumed by males, who have mouthparts that are comparable to but far weaker.


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.

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.

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.

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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

|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.


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.

9 ways to repel deer flies and horse flies

Deer flies and horse flies are two types of bugs that may quickly disrupt an outdoor experience. They swarm around your ears, ricochet off your skin, then ricochet off your skin again. In addition to having bites that are nearly as severe as bee stings, they are totally unrelenting in their pursuit of prey. However, there are a few things you may take to combat the situation. The outdoors community has spent decades experimenting with various strategies for repelling — or at the very least deterring — these insects, which are found in more than 350 species throughout the United States and Canada.

1. Test out liquid repellents.

It is still up in the air whether or not liquid insect repellent is helpful against deer flies and horse flies, according to the experts. After all, these species of flies are mostly attracted to light rather than smell. According to a fact sheet authored by Lee Townsend, extension entomologist at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, man-made chemical repellents such as DEET “may give many hours of protection” against deer flies and horse flies when applied topically. Some people believe that combining particular essential oils — such as peppermint, citronella, and lavender — can keep deer flies and horse flies away from their homes.

2. Stay still.

According to Howard Russell, an entomologist at Michigan State University, deer flies and horse flies are drawn to the activity of people and animals. As a result, if you simply keep still, you may be able to avoid being seen. It’s definitely worth a shot.


Russell asserted that you cannot outrun these bugs’ ability to fly at high speeds. They are among the most agile fliers of all the insects. However, if you keep running — or trekking, riding, or paddling — you may be able to outdistance them eventually. According to Jim Dill, a pest control specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, “they may be pretty territorial.” While walking, a single fly can bounce about your head several times, and once you’ve gone 10 to 15 feet, it will usually leave you alone.

Unfortunately, it may not be long until another individual discovers you.

4. Wear light colors.

Besides being drawn to movement, deer flies and horse flies are also attracted to dark colors, particularly blue, according to Russell Mizell’s instructions on how to create a deer fly trap developed at the University of Florida. Furthermore, they don’t appear to be as drawn to light hues or white as they formerly were. Russell has been aware of this phenomena while driving his white pick-up vehicle, which has black side mirrors, throughout the neighborhood. “I live about a third of a mile up the road in a swamp,” Russell explained.

5. Avoid water.

The life cycle of a deer fly or horse fly begins with the development of larvae in the mud along pond borders and streambanks, as well as in wetland environments. When it has pupated, it will crawl to a drier region where it will emerge as an adult. As a result, you may notice that you encounter more of these flies when you are near water.

6. Always wear a hat.

When it comes to protecting oneself against biting flies, covering up with a lot of clothing is one of the most efficient methods. When it comes to deer flies and horse flies, the first thing you should do is cover your head with your hands. “Always keep a hat on,” Russell said. There is something about the back of your head that they seem to be attracted to.” Both deer flies and horse flies will burrow into your hair and bite your scalp if you have long hair. They will be prevented from biting the top of your head if you are wearing a hat.


Even while a hat with an adhesive surface is unlikely to win you any fashion prizes, it is one of the most effective ways to keep deer flies and horse flies away from your face. Using Tree Tanglefoot, Russell coats the rear of a baseball cap with an adhesive material that serves as a “deer fly trap” for flying insects. It’s just a simple matter of putting it on and walking about the garden.” “I’m going to have 50-60 flies on there very soon,” Russell said.

8. Don a dryer sheet.

It has been claimed by some outdoor enthusiasts that the strong, soapy aroma of dryer sheets may deter the bites of deer and horse flies. The method of application varies. People use dryer sheets in a variety of ways. Some massage the sheets into their clothing and skin, while others stuff the sheets into their headwear. The anecdotal evidence that supports this way of protection is plentiful, but scientific data is difficult to come across for this type of defense. However, according to a research conducted in 2010, Bounce dryer sheets were proven to repel fungus gnats.

9. Make friends with a tall person.

Although it is a jest, there is some truth behind it. A moving object’s highest point attracts the attention of deer flies and horse flies, which tend to gather there. It’s possible that the flies will be more drawn to your walking buddy if you’re strolling by someone who is significantly taller than you are.

When Do Horse Flies Die Off Uk?

When Do Horse Flies Become Extinct in the United Kingdom? During which month do horse flies go extinct? Although most deerflies and horseflies have died off for the year by early August, a few of them continue to emerge until then. Just when some individuals are beginning to believe that the horseflies are no longer there, some of the largest and most obnoxious of them appear. Fortunately, there aren’t as many of them as there used to be. How long will horse flies be absent? Adult flies emerge from the puparium around 3-10 weeks after hatching.

When do horse flies come out to play in the summer? Horseflies are most active during the daytime hours in hot weather, which occurs mostly in the summer and fall. Furthermore, the majority of species prefer a moist habitat, which makes it simpler for them to reproduce.

When Do Horse Flies Die Off Uk – Related Questions

Horseflies are preyed upon by a variety of natural predators. Sparrows, Killdeer, Black-headed Grosbeak, Swallows, and Warblers are just a few of the birds that frequent this area. Hornets, Bembicini, Dragonflies, Parasitoid Wasps, and Tachinidae are among the other families of wasps. Having these horsefly predators in your immediate vicinity can greatly assist you in containing an infestation.

How do you keep horse-flies from biting you UK?

Horseflies are preyed upon by a number of natural predators. Sparrows, Killdeer, Black-headed Grosbeak, Swallows, and Warblers are just a few of the birds that inhabit this area. Hornets, Bembicini, Dragonflies, Parasitoid Wasps, and Tachinidae are among the other families of wasps and beetles that exist. This horsefly predator population in your environment is quite beneficial in terms of controlling an outbreak of horseflies.

Why are horse flies so aggressive?

In addition to their aggressive attitude, horseflies are also notorious for their blood-feeding habits. Their hunger increases as a result of their exposure to humans and other animals, and their aggression increases as a result of their search for food. Horseflies prey on cattle with thick skin, thus the force of their bite must be quite forceful to be effective.

What keeps horse flies from biting you?

What can I do to avoid being bitten by horse flies? Apply insect repellent before going outside to avoid being bitten by horse flies in the future. Wearing light-colored clothes is preferable if at all feasible. Given that horse flies are drawn to darker hues, this may be effective in keeping them at bay.

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Where do horse flies nest?

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.

What essential oils keep horse flies away?

Add 5 to 10 drops of eucalyptus or tea tree oil to the basic spray formula for a highly efficient repellent that also keeps other flies away from your home.

Why are there so many horse flies?

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.

Do horse flies do anything good?

Due to their feeding habits, female horse-flies have the potential to spread blood-borne illnesses from one animal to another. The equine infectious anaemia virus, several trypanosomes, the filarial worm Loa loa, anthrax in cattle and sheep, and tularemia have all been identified in locations where illnesses are prevalent.

Can horse flies bite through clothing?

In fact, horsefly females have such powerful, piercing mouthparts that they may occasionally eat through your clothing, according to Dreyer. They are more inclined to choose for naked skin, though, as previously said. It’s usually preferable to dress in clothing that isn’t too tight.

Do horse flies have a natural predator?

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.

What kills Horseflys?

Horseflies on Domesticated Animals In order to limit the amount of biting on your cattle, you should apply a horse fly spray that contains permethrin. You should contact with a veterinarian before undertaking this procedure. You should also utilize a formulation that is suitable for the species in question. In the majority of situations, these “spot treatments” must be done on a daily basis.

Why are horsefly bites so bad?

Affectionately referred to as “clegs,” these insects have razor-sharp teeth that cut into the skin rather of puncturing it, resulting in a highly sensitive bite.

Where do you find horse flies UK?

Typically, horse flies may be found in the vicinity of their primary food source cattle, in fields and hedgerows (particularly near water), as well as around stables and farms. The present warmth, on the other hand, is driving them further away in search of moist or marshy places where they may reproduce.

What smells do horse flies hate?

Peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, clove, rosemary, basil, tea tree, lemongrass, catnip, and cedar are just a few of the herbs used. Many individuals enjoy some or all of these smells, which makes it more comfortable for you to employ them in your home.

Why do I suddenly have a bunch of flies in my house?

When flies swarm all over your property, the most typical cause may be traced to an infestation either inside or outside your home. It is possible to come across a whole swarm of flies at once, which indicates that dozens of eggs have already hatched and evolved into flies. Most likely, the source is located within your home, garage, attic, or yard.

What scent do deer flies hate?

Tea tree oil is advised for the treatment of deer flies, while citronella and lemon are reported to be effective in the prevention of mosquito infestations.

Does Vicks keep flies away?

You don’t have to massage it in, simply dab little amounts on your ankles, wrists, neck, inner elbows, knees, and behind your ears to get the desired results. The menthol in it has a strong scent that will keep insects away from your home.

Does DEET repel horse flies?

Horse flies are effectively deterred by insect repellents containing DEET, citronella, or geraniol. When spending time outside, using a repellent in conjunction with long sleeves and long pants is the most effective strategy to avoid horse fly bites and other bites.

How painful is a horsefly bite?

A horsefly bite may be extremely painful, with the skin typically becoming red, itchy, and elevated as a result of the bite. It is possible to develop a raised rash (also known as hives or urticaria) and, in some circumstances, disorientation as a result of the bite.

Does lavender keep horse flies away?

Plants That RepelCompanion herbs are beneficial to your garden plants while also meeting your pest-control requirements. Herbs such as basil, spearmint, bay, lemon balm, catnip, lavender, and tansy may be grown in pots to keep horseflies away from your garden and home. These strong-smelling herbs perform well at keeping horseflies away from your garden and home.

Do horseflies fly at night?

Horse Fly Habits and Behavior Horse flies are not simply attracted to the open air (especially near pools of water, like mosquitoes).

Horse flies do not emerge from their lairs at night. In addition to nectar and plant excretions, adult horse flies eat a variety of other foods. Females are the only ones who bite, as they have powerful, incisor-like mouthparts, whereas males have weak mouthparts, as shown in the photo.

What time of year do horse flies come out?

Then, while some types begin to fly around in late May and early June, the majority of them do not begin to fly until mid-July. Women from many species are capable of producing their initial batch of eggs for the summer, utilizing the nutrients stored in their bodies, without biting other animals or humans. Horseflies will be around until the temperature begins to cool off. As a precaution, stay away from woody, damp places such as creeks and ponds; they are at their most active during the warmest part of the day, so keep your distance.

Fly Name Lifespan as an Adult Fly Total Lifespan of a Fly (Larva + Pupa + Adult)
Face Fly 7 – 14 days 21 – 35 days
Horse Fly 30 – 60 days 1 – 3 years
Flesh Fly 10 – 14 days 15 – 21 days
Deer Fly 30 – 60 days 1 – 3 years

Furthermore, what will deter horse flies from coming inside the house? Horse flies may be killed using a mixture of dish soap and vinegar spray. Making a dish soap spray is as simple as filling an empty spray bottle with 4 teaspoons of dish soap, 2 cups of white vinegar, 1 cup of warm water, shaking the ingredients together, and your dish soap spray is complete. Spray it on horse flies and watch as they die within seconds. Is it true that horse flies may be found all year? Horseflies are most active during the daytime hours in hot weather, which occurs mostly in the summer and fall.

Bad Bugs of Summer: Horse Flies

Horse flies, how I loathe them. Earth’s largest and most diversified collection of blood-feeding creatures. Recognize your adversary. Horse flies are more annoying than mosquitoes and ticks, but no other family of blood suckers can compete with them. There is no other group of blood-feeding creatures on the planet that is as diversified as they are (and, as far as we know, in the entire universe). It doesn’t matter what you name them: horse flies, greenheads, deer flies, or other such vile creatures are all members of the Tabanidae family of insects, which has roughly 4,450 recognized species (about 400 of which can be found in the U.S.).

  • One, females ingest blood in order to obtain the protein required for the development of mature eggs.
  • When a horse fly bites you, unlike mosquitoes or ticks, which may be deceptive when feeding, you will immediately know since it hurts.
  • Males are solely nectar feeders, while females are nectar feeders for the majority of the time as well.
  • Humans are more inclined to wear shorts and t-shirts during the summer, making us more attractive prey for horse flies during this season.
  • Female horse flies lay their eggs in damp habitats after mating, such as marshes, pond sides, streams, and even termite mounds, waterfalls, and beach dunes, among other places.
  • Exactly – they’re poisonous predator maggots, to be precise!
  • And thus the cycle repeats itself: bite a mammal, mate, lay eggs, and eventually die.

Upon closer inspection, we believe that they are attracted to enormous, black objects (such as horses, of course), and that when they get close enough, they are attracted by the carbon dioxide that animals emit when they breathe.

There isn’t much.

Putting on a white shirt may assist to keep horse flies away (remember how they enjoy huge, dark objects?) – but because white can attract ticks, it may not be a good choice in this situation.

However, there is some good news: horse flies are not the primary disease transmitters that mosquitoes and ticks are, which means they are not a threat to humans.

And, just to demonstrate that horse flies aren’t all evil, it’s worth noting that they drink a significant amount of honey.

A large number of blooming plants would be unable to reproduce if horse flies were not present.

Check out the other entries in our series on summer pests, which include posts on mosquitoes, ticks, carpenter bees, and black widows, among others.

Brian Wiegmann, professor of entomology and director for education and outreach at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, for taking the time to speak with me about horseflies and other insects. Any inaccuracies in the foregoing post are entirely my fault and mine alone.


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).

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.

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).

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.

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.

along with the fact that they have beautiful blue eyes that macro photographers like, as well as many other characteristics (Why?

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.

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.

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