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Yet Another Biting Insect – Spring Brings on Biting Flies

horse fly

Ahhh, Spring in Florida is a beautiful time of the year. However, as Spring arrives so do biting insects – not just mosquitoes, no-see-ums and fleas but biting flies as well. In Florida biting flies infest the air itself. Some of the more common species include Horse and Deer Flies.

Horse Flies

Horseflies are large, biting flies that are typically black or gray with green eyes. Similar to mosquitoes, females are the blood-sucking biters. Males on the other-hand do not target humans, rather, they feed on pollen and nectar. Females feed on humans, birds, livestock and pets.

They are most active during the day and are more abundant around pools, lakes and other bodies of water which Florida has plenty of. Horseflies develop in freshwater and saltwater marshes, streams, moist soils and decomposing wood, A female can lay from 100-800 eggs per year, now that’s a lot of bites.

Horsefly bites are painful and may cause allergic reactions and infections if the bite is not properly treated. One good thing though is that Horse Flies do not transmit diseases like mosquitoes and ticks.

Deer Flies

Deer flies are gay or light brown with clear wings wings are clear and have dark bands or patches on them. They have large, brightly colored eyes much like the horse fly.

Like the horse fly, the deer fly feeds on the blood of humans and other animals. They come out in warm weather and prefer moist habitats like marshes, woodland ponds, and streams.

Bite Symptoms & Reactions

If bitten, symptoms and reactions can include:

  • Swelling and an itchy red area around the bite.
  • Persistent itching and scratching of bite wounds that can cause infections if the bite is not kept clean and disinfected.
  • Horse fly bites may also cause a rash on the body, wheezing, swelling around the eyes, swelling of the lips and dizziness and/or weakness.

Disease Transmission

Fly bites do not transmit diseases to humans. However, animals can get diseases such as swamp fever and equine infectious anemia. Symptoms in animals include lethargy, weight loss and in the worst case, death.

What Can You Do?

Contact Mosquito Squad of Tampa Bay at tampabay@mosquitosquad.com or call us at 813-534-5918 so we can discuss the best treatment plan for you. Mosquito Squad of Tampa Bay will help you “Fight the Bite”.