One of the best things about Florida is enjoying the outdoors – but if biting flies show up, they can quickly ruin an outing with their painful bites.
Biting flies will bite humans and animals in order to obtain a blood meal. Not only are their bites irritating, they can sometimes cause injury or transmit disease. Following is some information to help you understand what types of flies we have here in Florida. If you have flies or other bugs or pests that are, well, pestering you, give us a call or complete our online request form. We can look at your yard and put together a plan specifically for your property.
Some types of biting flies are:
- Black flies
- Horse flies
- Stable flies
- Deer flies
More about biting flies:
- They are tiny, only about 1/16” long, and get their name because you don’t see them.
- No-see’ums are most active around sunrise and sunset during summer months.
- They are a nuisance near shorelines and wetland areas.
- No-see’ums are drawn to body heat, so they are attracted to warm-blooded animals and humans.
- Their bites leave small red welts.
- No-see’ums are active when winds are calm, and do not feed (bite) when there is a breeze.
- Black flies are small, dark, and have a hump-backed appearance.
- They are active during the day, in early to late spring.
- Besides biting, they also annoy humans and animals by buzzing around their eyes, ears, and noses.
- Their bites puncture the skin and can cause severe irritation.
STABLE FLIES (aka DOG FLY)
- The stable fly is similar to house fly in size and color, and is a common pest all over the world.
- Stable flies are mainly active during the daytime hours, in the late fall & early winter.
- They are persistent, and often attack more than one host, which increases the odds of them transmitting disease.
- They are known for appearing on Florida beaches and driving away tourists.
HORSE FLIES and DEER FLIES
- Horse flies and deer flies are closely related, and have similar life cycles.
- Horse flies are usually active during the day
- Deer flies are active during the day, in early to late spring.
- The females will circle your head several times before they bite. They have large piercing mouths, and their bites are quite painful.
- Their saliva contains an anticoagulant that helps them get more blood out, and many people are allergic to their bites.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO KEEP FLIES FROM BITING?
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect arms and legs from bites.
- Use a repellent that is labeled for biting fly protection.
- Biting flies are more active in still air, when there is no breeze, so creating a breeze with fans may help keep them at bay – though it may not keep them away entirely.
- Citronella candles, coils, and torches will sometimes help reduce biting fly activity and may keep mosquitos away as well.