Horse and deer flies belong to the same family, and there are about 350 species of them in North America north of Mexico. Heady stuff--I'm not used to that kind of attention. They have a saliva that acts as an anticoagulant. “I have at least 15 to 20 species where I live,” he added. Wings: Their wings are clear, but with dark bands or patches. “No satisfactory methods have been developed for control of horse and deer flies. The Difference Between A Deer Fly And Horse Fly “Deer fly” and “horse fly” are common names used to describe hundreds of species in the Tabanidae family. Dr. Russell F. Mizell North Florida Research and Education Center University of Florida Route 4, Box 4092 Monticello, FL 32344 The Problem: Insects in the horse fly family Tabanidae suck blood and are very important nuisance pests of man and livestock as well as wildlife. They can transmit several animal pathogens mechanically. Another reported remedy is to use a dark blue cup covered in a sticky substance called Tangle-Trap. (http://deerflytrapumbrella.blogspot.com). But the deer flies.... ...well, it was inconclusive. I have no doubt that these traps catch deer flies, but the real measure of success isn’t in the numbers of flies caught by a trap but rather in the measurable reduction in deer fly attacks/bites. You are encouraged to learn more about the biology of horse and deer flies to avoid being bitten and to understand the public health risk posed by these insects. While deer flies can spread tularemia, it’s extremely rare. In the United States and Canada, about 350 different species of these flies exist, and they vary greatly in size and appearance. Depending on the species, deer flies may be up to a half-inch in length. But it won’t be long before you have another one.”. Adults of most species are seen for only about one month, but often there is an overlapping succession of species during the season. Dill is working on a project that involves capturing and identifying different deer flies and horse flies throughout Maine. In the Finger Lakes area, deer fly season is typically constrained to … Deer flies are most active in June and July. Of course you could wait a few weeks for the deer fly season to pass, have a seat on the screen porch, and fill that blue cup with a cool beverage. These traps are pricy at $265 plus $30 shipping and handling, but the testimonials provided at the manufacturer’s web site certainly do suggest the traps are effective in reducing attacks. “They’re very fast — among the fastest flying of all insects,” said Russell, though he does not know if their top speed has ever been recorded. The male deer flies, for their part, don't bite and are known to hang around drinking beer and watching sports on TV. No comment on that one. They are also attracted to dark colors, especially blue, according to instructions on how to make a deer fly trap by North Florida Research and Education Center. This allergic reaction may be characterized by symptoms such as wheezing, weakness, swelling of the face, nausea, and many more. Distinguishing them from other kinds of flies, horse and deer flies are stout and usually medium to large. Both genuses are in the Tabanidae family. Common Name: Horse fly, deer fly Scientific Name: Varies Order: Diptera Description: There are over 100 species of horse and deer flies known to occur in Texas. Credit Griffin Dill / University of Maine Cooperative Extension/via Bangor Daily News, Credit Courtesy of Howard Russell / via Bangor Daily News, Courtesy of Howard Russell/via Bangor Daily News, Maine Public Holiday Programming Schedule, Maine Public On Your Voice-Activated Device, Maine High School Basketball Championship Weekend, Watch Maine Public Television on YouTube TV or with an Antenna, Community Calendar – Virtual and Live Events in Maine, Maine Public's Tiny Screen Concert Series/Brown Bag Edition, Maine Public's Dash of Maine Holiday Cooking Challenge, Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ - Christmas With Kennerley, Facts About Maine Public's Federal Funding, Maine Public's FCC Public Inspection Files, Jim Dill, a pest management specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Howard Russell, entomologist at Michigan State University, North Florida Research and Education Center. And they don’t just follow you. July 19, 2014. Deer are the typical host for this fly, but in their absence, Deer Fly females will take a blood meal from anything or anyone. (See Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work and Natural Tick Control for more on those biting insects.) The mosquitos were thick and clearly no more impressed than the dog by my Blue-Cup Anti-Fly Hat. Forest Society North at The Rocks Campaign, Christmas Tree Farms Are The Gift That Keeps on Giving, Originally published in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Well, folks, this is my first post with actual trapping data from the 2013 deer fly season. Eyes of live specimens are often beautifully colored with iridescent and metallic color patterns. Like all aquatic insects, horse fly and deer fly larvae require clean water to live. The best control is obtained by trapping the female flies before they have the opportunity to bite or reproduce. Deer flies are recognized hosts of tularaemia which is a filarial parasite that causes Loiasis. Fly sprays are all but ineffective when it comes to horse flies and deer flies. “Their mouthparts are described as knife-like or scissor-like,” said Jim Dill, a pest management specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. In one word they are the annoying pests that you want to get rid of. “Deer fly” and “horse fly” are common names used to describe hundreds of species in the Tabanidae family. More research is required. Scientific Name: Chrysops sp. Bites from deer fly can also transmit diseases such as anthrax, anaplasmosis, hog cholera, and others. This is due to the fact that the number of deer flies on our property this year is significantly lower than that of any previous deer fly seasons we've ever experienced (this is our 23rd season). They take a large amount of blood from a host which is used to produce eggs. Horse fly. They are horrible pests. Their saliva has an anti-coagulant that keeps the blood flowing, which they sponge up with another little protuberance called the labella. Pupa. And they bite. They are very persistent, and commonly fly around a person’s head until they get an opportunity to bite. Deer fly larvae tend to be smaller than horse fly larvae. Because of that, people have done some funny things to avoid deer fly bites, like making a hat out of duct tape with the adhesive part of the tape facing out to catch the flies. Each winter, when I find myself occasionally longing for the warmer weather of summer, I try to remember about deer flies.You are not likely to find much mention of deer flies in the tourist literature, as they can make a misery of a simple walk in the New Hampshire woods on a warm July morning or evening. Some are aquatic and a few develop in relatively dry soil. 2. This dog was smart enough to decline an anti-fly hat. Deer flies frequently attack humans, whereas horse flies usually attack livestock, the fact sheet said. Wildlife. A number of fly traps have been developed which attract these flies using dark, moving objects, as well as carbon dioxide and other attractants. Listen to the In Tune 24/7 Music Stream with Sara Willis. But nor did I catch any on the sticky tape. Most have a year-long life cycle but some larger species may take two or three years. This dog was smart enough to decline an anti-fly hat. They are slow enough to swat in most cases but if you don’t notice when one lands, you’ll soon wish you had! But, it can be a daunting task to locate a deer fly. “They basically slash their way in[to your skin]. How to Prevent Deer Fly Bites. Pupae measure about 15 mm in length and are white at first but turn light brown in a … This story appears through a media sharing agreement with Bangor Daily News. The flies are supposed to be attracted to the color, approach the cup, then get caught in the sticky stuff. Deer flies can generally be found any time from May to September, but mercifully the adult life span is short at just 30–60 days. This time of year, you're likely to see cars and pickup trucks heading home on the highways with fresh-cut Christmas trees tied to roofs or in the truck beds. The larvae of horse fly and deer fly species develop in the mud along pond edges or stream banks, wetlands, or seepage areas. Female deer flies feed on the blood of mammals. I wore my Blue-Cup Anti-Fly Hat, but my dog took one look and declined my offer to make one for him as well. They are larger than the common housefly and smaller than the horse-fly. Another species is so big — about 1½ inches long — that Mainers often refer to it as a “moose fly.”. 4. Horse flies are larger than deer flies, with some species (e.g., the black horse fly) reaching two inches in length. For example, down on the coast, you hear of the ‘greenheads’ on the beaches.”, One of the species Dill found had yellow and black stripes, similar to a yellowjacket. Researchers have found that the Deer Fly is Their bites are painful, and once they home in on a target, they’re nearly impossible to shake. “As you’re walking along, one fly can bounce around your head and after you’ve gone 10 to 15 feet, oftentimes it will leave you. In coastal Virginia, Deer Fly season usually runs from mid-May through early June. Eyes: Some of the more distinctive deer fly characteristics are their large, often brightly colored eyes 5. The Terrible Deer Fly - Plus - An Easy Control Method. You can try to outrun them, but these flies hunt by sight and are attracted to movement. That may have been because they were all descending on my poor dog, who was, typical Lab, a bit oblivious. There are 250 species of deer fly in the genus Chrysops. These flies have a tendency to circle and ping off your head, a behavior that can be outright maddening. In the United States and Canada, about 350 different species of these flies exist, and they vary greatly in size and appearance. Insect repellent reportedly does NOT work on deer flies, so there's no point in drenching yourself in poison on their account if you're headed into the woods. When they come out. And usually, people don’t thoroughly spray their scalp. They are vicious biters with a very painful bite. HORSE & DEER FLY FACTS: Although most flies have mouthparts adapted for sucking, female horseflies are able to cut into flesh with their knife-like mouthparts. Color: Their bodies are gray or light brown and some species have yellow and black striping. Though the common names — deer fly, horse fly and moose fly — are sometimes used interchangeably, people generally use the term “deer fly” when describing species in the genus Chrysops, said Howard Russell, entomologist at Michigan State University. A few flies can quickly become hundreds the longer you stay in the area. Using razor like portions of their mouths, they cut through the skin and then suck the blood for several minutes. Antennae: antennae are usually longer than their head. When a deer fly detects a human, bear, deer, or other sizeable animal, it initially flies in circles around the creature’s head to assess its value as a potential host and to locate a suitable landing spot. I didn't have Tangle-Trap handy, so I tried wrapping tape around the cup, sticky side out, and set out through my woods (approximate elevation 700 feet) with my dog on a warm muggy morning (deer flies, like dragon flies, respond to a warmer temperature range). An egg mass has been found as early as May 5th and as late October 13th. Deer fly bites introduce anticoagulant compounds that cause severe issues in individuals with related allergies. Also, they do not use scent to find their hosts (as mosquitos do), therefore, it doesn’t matter if the repellent masks your scent. Like other true flies, they have only one pair of wings, short antennae, and large compound eyes. The larvae that hatch from these eggs fall to the ground and feed upon decaying organic matter or small organisms in the soil or water. Deer flies (Chrysops spp., 33 species) range from 1/4 to ½ inch long, black to brown in coloration, often with yellowish markings. Beyond the recent tumult of politics and pandemic, the forest offers an antidote: a sense of place, personality and yes, poetry. And when you start bleeding from the wound, they lap it up.”. “In that way, they’re kind of a mixed blessing,” Russell said. You attach the cup to a hat, or to a stick that you carry, thus (in theory) diverting them and their scissor-like mandibles from your tender skin. 1. The horse fly is a large fly (10-30 mm in length) that is a serious nuisance to livestock. They are thought to be alerted to our presence by the carbon dioxide we breathe out--and by sight. Deer (Fly) Season. Their distribution is worldwide, though they have not been reported in Iceland, Greenland, and Hawaii. The Difference Between A Deer Fly And Horse Fly. We have this formulation in both a straight, 100% DEET strength but for many users, the DEET 20% LOTION works longer. I didn't get bitten on my short experimental stroll. These flies show no compassion on the unsuspecting person who crosses their path. Horse and deer flies are annoying biting pests of wildlife, livestock, and humans. The 100% is no doubt the strongest formulation available but the lotion might be better suited for many uses since it tends to “stick” longer on the skin. Adult life span is 30 to 60 days. The males feed on nectar and pollen, Dill said. In addition to having a painful bite, deer flies and horseflies are fast, strong flyers. He believes one reason is because deer flies and horse flies often aim for people’s heads, where they wiggle under hair to find skin. The size of a deer fly lies somewhere between the horse-fly and the housefly. Size: Deer fly adults range in size from about ¼ to 1/3 inches long. Common Name: Deer Fly (Information for this species page was gathered in part by Mr. Christopher Hone for an assignment in Biology 220M (Spring semester, 2007) “Deer fly” is a common name for any of 250 species of the genus Chrysops.Deer flies are found all over the world, and 45 deer fly species are found in Pennsylvania. Tabanids annoy cattle, horses, and humans alike by waiting in shady areas under trees or bushes for us to walk by. However, the 2012 deer fly season started 15 days earlier (first sighting was June 1, 2012) than the 2013 season (first sighting was June 16, 2013). Each winter, when I find myself occasionally longing for the warmer weather of summer, I try to remember about deer flies. [Remember, 2012 was the year where spring came very early and was very warm.] We're kicking off deer fly and mosquito season around here, so I thought I'd take a minute to share some tips for deer fly control to help you keep biting flies away. Deer flies cannot be eliminated with sprays and are not attracted to most lures. Interestingly, it’s only the female flies that bite. Well, the females do, as they need a meal of blood for the development of eggs. “One under each arm would carry you away,” Dill said. They are attracted to movement, and, as my Black Lab knows all too well, they are also attracted to dark colors. “They can be quite territorial, too,” Dill said. Therefore, another way (and probably the correct way) to compare the data from these two seasons is to align them based on the point of the season (not the actual dates). Deer fly maggots have small heads and tan or white tapered bodies, but you’re unlikely to see them. So far, he has been fascinated by the variety he’s found. Their blood sucking habits also raise concerns about possible transmission of disease agents. Adult tabanids are encountered in Florida between the months of May and September. I have had to wait until now to post my data because I didn't have enough data to report until now. I decided to do my own experiment. The deer fly is the term given to the small counterpart of the larger horse fly. You can tell the difference between female and male deer flies by looking at their eyes--the female's eyes are set widely apart (to better see a potential host, perhaps), while the eyes of the male are so close together that they touch. The … “Off the top of my head, I don’t know how many different species there are in Maine,” Dill said. They survive by sucking the blood of cattle and humans. And the larvae feed on aquatic predators, including mosquito larvae. They are large flies with large brightly-coloured compound eyes, and large clear wings with dark bands. Few biting insects are as painful as deer flies. You'll keep the male deer fly company that way. A horse fly. Deer fly Photo: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org Horse and Deer Flies Horse flies are about 3/8 to 1 1/8 inches long, usually gray or blackish in color. We walked for about a half-mile through the swampy woods. My traps can catch those that … If you have been attacked by deer flies, you know they need no introduction. “What’s very cool about them is their incandescent eyes,” Russell said. Luckily there is a really easy solution. Or so I've been told. Deer fly in the summer in this area and much of the Northwestern United Sates and the Mid-west are a curse to anyone on the beaches, waterways and woods. In other parts of the country certain Deer Fly species thrive and feast all summer long. 3. Deer flies are members of the horse fly family, Tabanidae. New Hampshire’s ever-changing weather and scenery drive the NH tourism economy and collective mood swings. The larvae, stage usuall… By the time the cold weather months hit us, three of New Hampshire’s eight species of bats have already migrated to warmer places in the South and Mid-Atlantic regions. The head is small, cylindrical and retractable. I'll let readers insert their own joke here about blood-sponging females. They are notably faster than mosquitoes or blackflies, making them a bane of runners and cyclists. "Ode To The Deer Fly" I lay hidden along the path you trod. “I think I’ve been bitten by them all.”. Deer Fly Traps: Make inexpensive and effective traps that will attract and kill biting deer flies. These eggs turn dark gray or black before the larvae emerge in about 14 days. I'll wait for you morning to end of day. Oh, the dredded deer fly! “But there’s a lot, and some of them are kind of regional. Deer flies are bloodsucking insects considered pests to humans and cattle. There are many scientific studies of the Deer Fly because of its potentially harmful impact on livestock. Females lay batches of 25 to 1,000 eggs on vegetation that stand over water or wet sites. When pest experts talk about these types of flies, it sounds like they’re discussing monsters or aliens from a Hollywood thriller. A female deer fly can lay a mass of 100 to 1,000 eggs at once. BEST DEER FLY REPELLENT FOR SKIN ^ Deer flies can be repelled effectively with two forms of deet. A deer fly is also characterized by its ability to withstand a … Extension agent Greg Huber suggests you try the trolling deer fly trap, developed by Dr. Russell F. Mizell at the North Florida Research and Education Center. Most species overwinter in the larval stage and pupate during the spring and early summer. This family also includes the notorious greenhead flies that have sent families running for home during seaside holidays and the mammoth horse flies that are Willard Pond’s best weapon for keeping number of daily visitors down. The wings usually lack dark areas, but some species have wings that are entirely dark. Jack Savage. That said, they aren't unique to New Hampshire by any means--in fact, closely related species are found around the world--but we have at least our fair share of them.Deer flies are closely related to horse flies, both being of the Tabanidae family with deer flies in the genus Chrysops. 12/02/98 - The Trolling Deer Fly Trap . Spindle-shaped, the larvae taper to a point at both ends. The bites can be painful--female deer flies have two sets of scissor-like teeth that cut through skin in order to slice into a blood vessel. Waiting for my prey. (news.ufl.edu/2002/08/13/deerflies/ [dead link]) And in Michigan an avid gardener is blogging about her deer fly trap umbrellas, topped with blue cups covered in Tangle-Trap, that she uses to capture enough deer flies to allow her to work unmolested outside. It makes no matter when you come. There are many different species of horse flies, and they display different patterns and colors. Unfortunately, insect repellent doesn’t seem to deter these flies much, Dill said. Once hatched, larvae eat the blood meal provided by the mother as well as aquatic insects. A deer fly can’t really be labelled as harmless. I'm not the only nut in the forest experimenting with blue cups. In Florida, where deer flies are thick, staffers at the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center report success with blue cup hats and flower pots, theorizing that the blue contrasts well with green foliage and thus attracts the flies. Emerging in full force mid-summer, deer flies and horse flies are among the most intimidating creatures in the Northeast. Females lay fertilized eggs in or around water. While “horse fly” is typically used to describe species in the genus Tabanus. Both types are white, brownish or greenish in color. As soon as we were under the forest canopy, the deer flies swarmed around us both like barflies on a high-roller in Vegas. 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