Where do horse flies live?
Although horseflies are one of the most common fly species to buzz around your property, this doesn’t make them any less annoying. They tend to be light and very agile when flying around, which makes them difficult to kill. The females also like to bite, sucking blood wherever they can.
Horseflies are also vicious carriers of various animal diseases, bacteria, and pathogens, making it incredibly important to capture them before things get out of control. Similar to deer flies, they also have the potential to deliver a painful bite, drawing blood on both humans and animals.
In this blog, we’ll cover where horseflies live and how to spot an infestation before it’s too late.
Where do horse flies live?
Where do horse flies live? Good question. Generally speaking, horse flies tend to thrive in grassland and woodland areas. They normally group and stay around places with freshwater. This makes streams, moist forest soils and decomposing wood primary places to for them hang out. You’ll also find them in pasturelands near creeks in the summer months where they tend to fly around weedy areas.
This isn’t to say they don’t occupy other places too. If there’s a water source, there’s potential for their occupancy. Given the fact that females feed on blood, it’s logical to find them near animals they can bite. Naturally, they lurk around horses, causing them distress and pain in the process. They even feed on the liquid from horse’s eyes, depositing bacteria and causing a whole host of medical complications.
The biting females also choose moist areas to lay their eggs. They deposit egg masses on areas of wet soil or vegetation that hangs over wet zones. Subsequently, larvae are most active in wet organic matter. They also lay eggs on bodies of water. This means areas of standing water like ponds, marshes and animal troughs are all potential zones for breeding.
Signs of a horse fly infestation
Before you work out how to eradicate the horse flies, it’s important to spot signs of their presence first. A starting place would be to check for them in areas close to your livestock’s living quarters. Areas where you store manure, your livestock’s eating area, compost piles and areas of standing water are all great places to start.
Depending on the build-up of flies and the presence of larvae, you’ll be able to work out the size of the infestation and when they’re most active. We’d also suggest looking in places like rotting wood, foliage and compost mounds too. Like we mentioned before, any damp area could have larvae inside.
This isn’t to say you should only check your grounds. Your house and yard can also be prone to unwanted guests. Areas like ponds and swimming pools can suffer from the presence of horseflies, as can trash cans. Horseflies love fermenting food waste, so disposing of food correctly is a must!
Your worktop areas are also a potential target, particularly if there are spillages in the kitchen. Horseflies can make their way through cracks in doors and windows, before laying eggs in small puddles. They can also deposit bacteria in fruit bowls or any leftovers that are unattended. This makes the storage of food a primary concern too.
I know we’re painting a bleak picture here, but horseflies are pretty stubborn. They will stop at nothing to feed and reproduce wherever they physically can.
How to capture horse flies
Once you’ve worked out where they live and determined how bad the infestation is, this should then influence your strategy for capturing and killing them. There are two ways you can approach this, which is largely influenced by the size of the infestation. If the problem is relatively small and within its infancy stages, then a prevention strategy could be more effective. However, if the problem has matured into a full-scale infestation, then capturing as many as possible should be the priority.
If prevention is the route of choice, then it’s important to clean all areas of your yard and remove all standing water where possible. The horse’s trough should be emptied and re-filled regularly, and you should ensure to keep horses in areas away from manure or foliage.
Within your home, the disposal and storage of food should be taken seriously, you should also aim to keep your surrounding gardens and grass as short as possible. Long grass can become damp, making it prime conditions for breeding and the presence of larvae. You should also keep your windows and doors shut, removing the potential for unwanted guests. We understand that during the warmer months this is difficult, but the results are worth it in the long run.
You may be thinking of investing in air-con to keep your living areas cool, but this would be a mistake. Air con machines discharge water that contains ammonia. This ammonia emits a strong scent which attracts further horseflies to your home. Therefore, it’s often a trade-off between keeping cool and keeping potential horsefly visitors low. Ah, the joys of summer!
If it’s past the point of prevention, then it’s time to focus your efforts on fly-catching.
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We believe that if your fly infestation is too big to take care of with DIY methods, then you’re only choice should be us. Explore our product range via our website. You can also learn more about all things flies via our blog. You’ll find a tonne of educational resources that will help broaden your knowledge to defeat the flies when the time comes.