Horse flies are blood-feeding insects which use their sharp mouthparts for biting mammals for drinking blood that comes out of the wounds. Female horse fly starts laying eggs on leaves overhanging water once they feed enough. When the eggs hatch, the flies’ larvae burrow down in the moist soil for survival and feeding on snails and other insects. There is a particular ground required for the process of breeding. Horse flies have a similar appearance of deer flies with antennae which is very prominent and patterned eyes. They are large, and they possess driving habits of biting humans and animals. The eggs of horse flies are white in the initial stage, but they get gray and then brown or dark in the final stage of development.
Table of Contents
- What Causes Horseflies?
- Horse Fly Damages
- How to Reduce Horse Fly Risks?
- 6 Useful Methods to Get Rid of Horse Fly
What Causes Horseflies?
Horse flies found throughout the world do not prove to be very dangerous for people for the most period of the year. It is the breeding season that brings the hunger of blood and makes them vampires. The process of laying eggs in female horse fly takes place through searching for blood. Horse flies attack in the form of the groups leaving the victims helpless to look for help. Here are the causes of horse flies.
1. Wet Area
Horse flies get their targets from the wet areas and marshy areas because of the shiny or dark objects moving on the wet area. Humans make the dry areas wet for reducing the tendency of a heat of ground. They are not aware of the fact that pools and backyard would have attracted horse flies.
2. Warm Climate
Horse flies come out in the sunny and hot weather when there is no breeze around. They are troublesome in the month of June and July but become very active in August. They get attracted to Barns and areas with dark shades are not the favorite places of horse flies. They find out warm locations and attack their victims in the day time. The decrease in temperature and winds are a sign of minimal attack of horse flies.
3. Water Source
The primary source that attracts horseflies is swimming pools and pounds with the shiny surface. The large dark colored moving object appears in excessive amount when people get into the pools for swimming. The carbon dioxide in the water of ponds and pools is warm which is the flies come toward these sources.
Horse Fly Damages
They prove to be annoying when they fly here and there for the blood meal. Horse flies transmit some animal pathogens instinctively. Horse fly makes a hole in the skin, painful cuts and sucks the blood from the body. They attack cattle, horse, mammals and other humans.
1. Painful Bites and Infection in Humans, Livestock, and Pets
The massive attacks of groups of horse fly with horse fly bites and persistent biting can result from a complete illness in livestock. They reduce the ability to work and produce with the strength. Animals can get viruses and bacteria which can spread to other animals as well. Animals are also in danger of catching protozoans, nematodes and leucocytozoan disease which are dangerous for them.
Horses and other animals get Equine Infectious Anemia which is also known as swamp fever. It results in weight loss and lethargy. The effects of horse fly bite are dangerous to this extent that it can cause the death of the animal. There are two kinds of viruses where the animal dies from one kind of the virus while in the second virus he slowly lost the life despite no serious health issue.
2. Reduce Milk Production of Dairy Cows
It also reduces the milk yield and affects the efficiencies of feeding. Their process of sucking blood ends with hiding damage from the wound that makes it very difficult to recognize the hurt.
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3. Stunt Growth of Beef Cattle
It results in the decrease in the life cycle and weight of beef cattle. Adult animals can catch Anaplasmosis. The cattle can get anemia and weight loss. The cattle in Southern US got 50 % mortality rate because of this disease.
How to Reduce Horse Fly Risks?
There are some ways to decrease the possibility of horse fly because the reduction in the number would result in fewer diseases and less threat to your livestock.
1. Make your Animals and Surroundings Clean
While you have read that the horseflies attack animals on a large extent, then it is essential to make the precautionary measure. You need to clean the living area of your livestock on a regular basis. Do not let any trash gather in that area and remove any trash or food gathered there.
2. Identify the Causes
Now you are well aware of the facts that what attracts horseflies. You can make steps for keeping yourself and your animals safe from the flies with some ways in summer seasons. Identifying the causes include looking for trash around your house, dirty living area of your animals and less cleanliness in a different place.
3. Remove any Standing Water in the Shed
Humans can cover the wet area for reducing the source of attraction for the visibilities of horse flies. They can also clean the wet and muddy areas day by day leaving no space for horse flies to sit over.
6 Useful Methods to Get Rid of Horse Fly
1. Horsefly Traps
Use horse fly trap when you see some flies flying around and cover yourself fully to deal with horsefly problems. Install windows with mesh covering for securing yourself from the attacks. For instance, if a fly would bite you, you can use some creams available in the market. You can also use disposable fly traps for catching the flies. The attractant attached in these traps activates in the sunlight and warm water. It lures the horse flies to enter into traps. These traps are very easy to use as you just have to unpack them, add water and hang it on the wall. It is a safer way to get the horse flies into a trap to kill them. A single trap can catch 20,000 flies for several weeks.
Use effective insecticides for getting rid of the colonies created by horse flies in your surrounding areas. Do not throw pesticides into rivers or ponds because it can make the whole water piousness. You can use synergized pyrethrin which is a natural insecticide for treating cattle. It is very safe for livestock, and you can use it by following the instructions given on the pack. You can get it easily from a farm. There are solutions specifically prepared for particular animals which mean that you need to buy the animals that you want to treat.
3. Liquid Dish with Water in Spray Bottle
Certain essential oil and their fragrance could be effective for getting rid of the flies. You can use a cup of white vinegar; half cup of bath oil (Avon Skin So Soft) half cup of water, and half tablespoon of eucalyptus oil for creating a homemade repellent for pets. Put the liquid in the spray bottle and then use the solution on the skin of the animal and see the effect afterward. It would keep the horse fly away because your pet is now clean and he carries a mask of oil that prevents it from flies.
4. Seal up any Cracks
There could be cracks in your house or outside of a house that has become the living colonies of the horse flies. It is important first to remove the flies with a trap and seal the crack. Hire some professionals and use suitable cement for doing this project.
5. Trim Weeds and Tall Grasses
Cleaning up the area of saturated vegetation is beneficial. Cleaning forest litter is also a good approach as it is another place of horse fly habitat. Trimming weeds the tall grass grown in your backyard or garden and removing all the weeds that can grow vegetation would give you the desired results.
6. Install a Roof Top Fan
The wind keeps the horseflies away. You can install a good electric rooftop fan in the living area of livestock to maintain their security from horse flies. Keep checking whether the fan is making any difference of keeping the flies’ way.
There is no doubt that horse flies are very dangerous. They can spread the number of diseases including anthrax, hog cholera anaplasmosis, and filariasis but take the right steps would give you the solution for the problem.