The term 'horsefly' is used for representing a group of insects under the family Tabanidae, of the order Diptera. Sharing order with the common house fly, it is the largest species of all true flies. The physical characters of horsefly and house fly are similar, except that the former is larger in size (2.5 cm), and darker in color. There are approximately 3,000 species of identified horseflies, of which some are host organisms for rabbit fever and anthrax.
One of the interesting facts about this fly is that the females possess specialized mouth parts for sucking blood, whereas these features are absent in the males. The female, after laying eggs, requires blood meal for survival. This is the time when it bites humans and domesticated animals, causing painful symptoms. Considering these factors, learning control measures is imperative, especially if you are residing in areas, where the infestation rate is high.
Also known by common names deer flies, march flies, bull dog flies, and forest flies; the horsefly makes an irritating noise while flying. Despite the name, they do not attack specific animals, but are found sucking blood from all warm blooded species. Although it plays a valuable role in flower pollination, horsefly is generally considered as a pest. The reason being its ability to elicit painful bites, and transmit diseases in humans, as well as household pets. Listed below are some effectual ways for control, which you can follow easily.
Remove Breeding Areas
Before you move a step ahead, and use horsefly control products, the first step is to check for probable breeding sites in the vicinity of your home. This insect, like a house fly, prefers to breed in swamp areas. Whenever possible, you should keep your ponds and pools covered, and remove stagnant water bodies. By getting rid of the root cause, you can solve the problem on a long-term basis.
Clean Garbage and Trash Bins
All types of flies are naturally attracted to filthy smell, of which the best examples are trash bins, outdoor garbage and rotten fruits in the garden. The same trend is applicable to horsefly. So, make it a routine habit to empty and clean the bins. Also, ensure that they are with tight lids, so as to avoid horsefly infestation. If you notice any nests, you can use chemical pest control products to kill the entire population.
Apply a Fly Repellent
The active ingredient in an effective repellent is either strong smelling or bitter tasting. A simple repelling solution can be made from tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and water. Mix 1 tablespoon each of the essential oils, and 1 cup water in a bowl. Fill this liquid concoction in a spray bottle, and spray in the infested areas around the house, and also on the pets.
Use a Trap
An Eco-friendly way for horse fly control around pools, or pet-dwelling places is to make use of traps. Building a trap to lure the insect is difficult, as they are not very sensitive to fragrance. Nowadays, electric gadgets especially configured to attract horse flies are sold in pest control centers. You can purchase one from a trusted brand, and use it according to directions.
At any point of time, adopting measures to control horseflies and preventing bites are preferred, rather than dealing with bite symptoms. For existing cases, refer to horsefly bites and treatment to get an overview about natural ways to alleviate painful signs.