Are Horse Flies Dangerous?


Anyone else hate horse flies and the bothersome buzzing that they do around our heads? I can imagine, they irritate most people. They are very hard to swat away or hit, and they always return time after time. These extremely annoying pests can push even the calmest person to the brink of irritation. They are especially irritating to horses and other animals, causing them to swish their tails and shake their haunches to get the insects to move on and not bite them. They tend to travel in large numbers, making them a constant annoyance.

Sometimes horse flies go by the name “breeze fly” in some areas of our country. They can be about an inch or more long, they are usually black in color and some of them have shiny green eyes. They have scissor-like mouthparts that can cut into skin in order for the female to obtain blood to suck for reproduction purposes, which can cause a very painful stinging sensation. These insects are strong and fast fliers that prefer the blood of livestock to feed upon but will snack on humans as well. The female seeks out her victims by body odor and the presence of carbon dioxide, similar to that of the female mosquito.

So, except for the temporary pain they cause when they bite us, they are not generally considered dangerous to humans. Their bite may leave a large red itchy welt, especially on people with sensitive skin. However, they do cause more problems for horses, because they are known to carry infectious equine infectious anemia or “swamp fever”. This disease can be transmitted easily and can be life-threatening to any equine animals.

Generally, horse flies like to be most active on sunny, hot, still days and will attack dark objects that are in motion. When they are not active, you will find them on roads and wooded paths resting. Both the male and female will feed on nectar and pollen.

Since you cannot eradicate horse flies completely on your own, there are some things that you can do to prevent an attack:

  • Always wear bug repellent outdoors

  • Wear light-colored long pants and shirts, as well as a hat

  • Close doors and windows or make sure screens are not damaged

  • Fill in spaces around window and door frames, and any other cracks or holes

  • Contact Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators to help you get rid of flies around your property

Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators services parts of Illinois and Iowa, and have been doing so since 1929. Our goal is to eliminate your pests and we strive for 100% satisfaction. We can implement the most advanced technologies and can quickly and efficiently remove any pests from your property. Give us a call today to see which of our pest control programs is best for you and your property.

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