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Biting Flies

November 13, 2014

What are small, annoying, and just as bad as mosquitoes? Flies that bite! Biting fly species include no-see-ums, black flies, stable flies, mosquitoes, horse flies and deer flies. Like mosquitoes, female biting flies will attack humans and animals to obtain a blood meal. This means that biting flies can also transmit diseases from animal to animal or person to person, making biting flies more dangerous than you may have thought.


No-see-ums are also nicknamed pinkies or biting midges. They are often worse than mosquitoes as they can enter through an ordinary 16-mesh window screen. Their existence in a surrounding area can drive down the value of a property and their presence can also ruin recreation areas. Their larvae are found in moist areas near water. The adult females require blood to develop their eggs but the males do not bite. No-see-ums move in association with the air. For example, little of their feeding occurs during a slight breeze. When looking for a meal, no-see-ums are sensitive to body temperature. Animals with a higher body temperature are the most attractive to them and that’s why people performing labor outdoors can’t seem to escape these pesky flies.

Black Flies

Black flies are small, dark, and stout with a hump-backed appearance. The females feed on blood, primarily in the daytime. Black flies are strong fliers and can travel up to 10 miles rom their breeding sites.

Stable Fly

The stable fly is also known as the dog fly. It resembles a house fly but has large piercing mouthparts. Both male and female stable flies feed on blood. The stable fly can travel up to 2 miles in search of a blood meal. They can also attack more than one host which increases their transmission of diseases, though these diseases mainly affect animals only.

Horse Fly and Deer Fly

The horse fly and deer fly are both closely related with similar life cycles. Only the adult female bites and they are both strong fliers. They feed in the daytime and when they do, they inject an anticoagulant into the prey’s wound, increasing blood flow.

Fly Habits

When attempting to control flies, it is important to know the times of day and year that particular flies are active. In general, flies breed in water or in mucky areas near ponds except for stable flies, they breed in the decaying grass. Horse, deer, black, and stable flies are all active during the day, while no-see-ums are most active around sunrise and sunset. Stable flies are abundant during late fall, deer flies are abundant during early to late spring, and no-see-ums are most active during the summer.

Fly Control

The number one strategy you can take to protect yourself against flies is to wear protective clothing like long sleeves and pants. Repellants work but not as well as they do for mosquitoes, so you may need to reapply more often. Flies are more active in still air areas, so keep the air circulating in and around your home. Flies hide in vegetation during the day, so pruning bushes will help decrease hiding areas. Crack, crevice, and space treatments may also be used by a pest control professional around your home to protect your home and family from flies.

If flies of any kind are driving you nuts, then it's high time you gave the professionals here at Nozzle Nolen a call and request your free inspection. We will gladly come to your home, business or property at your convenience. We are sure that you will be surprised at how affordable and effective professional pest control can be.


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