Summer’s Bad Boys: The Horse Fly
Everyone loves the summer. The warm weather, the clear skies the chance to tan and walk around without having to bother about chills; it is the perfect time to enjoy the trails riding your horse.
What we do not enjoy, however about the summer is the way the insects troupe in and attack our animals and humans. From sand flies to mosquitoes, and probably the worst of them all, the horse fly.
Much unlike an ordinary fruit fly or a house fly, a horse fly is an insect that bites, and its bite is really painful. Much more painful than bites from other insects and they can make a pleasurable ride turn into one you would not forget in a long time, and not in a good way.
The horse fly is a nasty little insect popularly found near bodies of water and active in warm weather conditions. The one place in the summer where you are most likely to get a horse fly bite is on the beach, especially those surrounded by marshlands.
While the males feed of plant nectar, the females, however, need to feed on blood as this is the way they can effectively reproduce. Horseflies are known to be hunters that simply just lay in wait usually and attack their prey; this is usually in the middle of the day.
The horse fly just happens to be a creature that moves without visual cues and is not a problem for them because they are known to be attracted by motion, dark shapes, and shiny surfaces.
They are also able to sense carbon dioxide, and this further helps them hunt as both humans and animals produce this when they exhale. While these pests are a huge nuisance, they gladly do not last the entire summer. They are only in season in the late summer and even then, just for a few weeks after which, you can finally be rid of them.
One of the ways to identify a horse fly is by noting its size. A horse fly size is generally larger than the regular flies that bite, and they are often patterned and colorful. The males also possess big eyes that touch the top of their heads.
Some ways to protect yourself from getting bitten during horse fly season are:
Cover Up: This may not prove very effective as some female species have very strong mouth parts that can pierce through the clothes and get down to the skin.
Wear Light Colored Clothes: While this is also not a certified preventive measure, it is quite helpful since it is known that horse flies are attracted to dark colors, wearing light-colored clothes may actually help to divert their attention away from you.
Apply a Perimeter Fly Control Product: Spraying the areas around the stable, pastures and corals can offer you some control of these biting pests.
But how do you protect your horse from those nasty horse fly bites?
Horse fly bites are really very nasty, and while they cannot completely be prevented, they can be managed although, I am very sure that managing a horse fly bite is really not something that you want to spend your summer dealing with even if it is just for a short while.
We recommend using a residual spray that is labeled for use on horses, Our brand Happy Horse offers a 14 Day Sweat Resistant Spray to keep those biting flies at bay.