Summer is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the long evenings outdoors in the beautiful weather. The sound of children laughing and playing, and adults visiting float through the air during perfect summer evenings. The sound of different insects can be heard as well. While the sound of some insects can be cathartic, the buzzing sound of horse flies is just frustrating! What can be worse than a fly buzzing in your ear? A biting fly that buzzes in your ear AND then bites you.
How Can You Tell a Horse Fly from a Regular Fly?
Here in Texas, horse flies can be found buzzing around and biting. Horse flies differ in appearance from the regular house fly. They are yellowish-brown or blackish in color. Regular house flies are grey to black in color. The horsefly is typically 20 to 25 mm long while the house fly is usually 6 to 7 mm long. Horseflies do resemble honey bees. The largest different between the appearance of honey bees and horse flies because horse flies only have one pair of wings and their wings are covered with faint smoky spots. The horse fly has a huge head. Horse flies are known for their beautiful eyes that have lustrous metallic color shades. Six flesh piercing parts compose the mouth of the horse fly.
How Aggressive are Horse Flies?
Though both male and female houseflies anatomically have the same mouth, the males’ mouth pieces are weaker than the females. Only female horseflies actually bite. Female horseflies feed on blood. Similar to female mosquitoes, female horse flies must have a meal with protein to produce the eggs necessary for reproduction. Horse flies are equipped with six stylets that in their mouth that help them slice their victims. Once they slice their victim’s flesh they drink from the blood that pools in the wound. Since their bite is irritating to the victim, the victim frequently brushes the horse fly off of them. The horse fly may have to bite multiple victims to obtain enough blood.
Horse flies will be attracted to their victims by its movement, warmth, surface texture, and by the carbon dioxide it breathes out. They will typically choose cattle, horses, camels and deer. They can also feed on smaller mammals, birds, lizards, turtles, and on animals that have recently died.
How Painful is a Horse Fly Bite?
If you have been bitten by a horse fly you will want to clean the affected area thoroughly. Once the bite has been cleaned, treat it with an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment or spray to help reduce the swelling, pain, and irritation that can be felt after being bitten. If you have any more severe signs, such as a rash, worsening pain, or difficulty breathing you will want to seek medical attention.
Pest Inspections, Exclusion, Control, Removal, Management & More in Canyon Lake, Spring Branch, Bulverde, Timberwood Park, Leon Valley, Alamo Heights, New Braunfels, Selma, Live Oak, Converse, Universal City, Cibolo, Seguin, New Berlin, St Hedwig, Adkins, La Vernia, Elmendorf, Losoya, Von Ormy, Macdona & San Antonio, Texas
Horse flies can be tricky to get rid of. Wearing an insect repellant if you are going to be in an area where there are horse flies can at least prevent you from being bitten until you can get away from them. Typically horse flies are the hardest to get rid of if livestock is on the property. Many homeowners will use screens to help keep horse flies out of their animals’ shelters. You can also set horse fly traps. If all of your efforts to get rid of the horse flies are not working, A Five Star Termite & Pest Control can come and set up a pest treatment plan that will best suit your needs.