Learning Center
Horse Flies
Horse Flies

What do horse flies look like?

Adult horse flies grow to between ½ and 1 ¼ inches in length. Their stout bodies are gray to black in color and their wings may be clear or slightly cloudy. Horse flies have large, bright green or purple eyes and very short antennae. Females have specialized blade-like mouthparts that they use to slash the skin of a person or animal and spongy mouthparts that they use to suck up the blood.




Do horse flies bite?

Yes, but only the females. Male horse flies do not bite because they do not feed on blood; they only feed on pollen and nectar. Female horse flies bite in order to feed on the blood of their victim; they require blood meals in order to be able to reproduce. Horse flies detect a person or animal by movement, warmth, or through the carbon dioxide they emit. They typically bite legs, arms, or the body of their victim.

Are horse flies dangerous?

Yes, horse flies are considered to be dangerous to both people and animals. Female horse flies are aggressive and their bites are very painful because their mouthparts tear at the skin of their victim instead of simply piercing it. Some people may be allergic to their bites and, in some cases, a secondary infection may occur at the bite site. The good news is they aren’t known to transmit diseases to people. Horse flies carry and transmit equine infectious anemia to horses and ponies which has the potential to become fatal.

Where are horse flies found?

Horse flies are usually found in areas where there are large populations of animals and they are common in both suburban and rural areas. Horse flies prefer open areas that are close to water. Females lay their eggs in the soil close to bodies of water. Horse flies will rest on the edges of wooded paths or along the sides of roads, waiting for a host to come by that they can attack and feed on. These flies are most active on hot, sunny days when there is no wind. Cold windy days greatly reduce their activity level.

How do I get rid of horse flies?

If you are experiencing problems with horse flies on your property, contact Keller’s Pest Control for help. We have the skills, expertise, and effective pest control solutions needed to protect people and animals from horse flies. To learn more about our fly solutions, give us a call today at Keller’s Pest Control.