HORSE FLIES ARE COMING!
REACTIONS TO A HORSE FLY BITE ON PEOPLE
The bite is painful and usually causes a nasty itching bump on the skin. In addition to th itch the bite can also cause crusting, pain and swelling. The bite can even cause bacterial infections. The horse fly can transmission several different kind of diseases. Anthrax, Tularaemia and Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) are the some well known ones in Europe. It is however mostly our horses and people that are allergic to horse fly bites. Horse flies can also be the cause of Anemia. Because of global warming the population of horse flies will keep increasing.
REACTIONS TO A HORSE FLY BITE ON HORSES
Horses only have bad experiences with horse flies. Horse flies will look for horses that walk around outside or are being ridden. The horses will then try to escape from the horse flies, panic and run around will nothing good to come of it. Some keep running, will start to sweat, which causes them to be targeted even more and will continue in this downward spiral with the chance of causing big safety issues for other horses and people. Think of your horse before he or she becomes a prey to the horse flies.
With increasing temperates come horse flies. Mostly in warm, humid and windless weather they become a real plague for your horses and the horse keeper. The big fly with the large eyes knows many different names: Horse fly, Tabanus, gad flies, cleg, stouts, dun flies, deer flies, buffalo flies, moose flies and elephant flies. All different names for a fly that causes real pain after biting. The presence of horse flies makes it near impossible for horses to stay outside for a long period.
WHAT ARE HORSE FLIES?
Horse flies (Tabanidae) are from the same species as blood sucking insects. There are more than 8000 different species worldwide that are related to each other. Just in the Netherlands there are around 40 species. 12 of these are causing a serious plague over the last few years. The best known one is the rain horse fly. Horse flies belong to the group of large insects that can be up to 25 mm in length. They have big metal-coloured eyes, have a grey/brown colour, spotted wings and a striped body.
WHY HORSE FLIES HURT
A horse fly does not sting, but bites. They have no stringer and no proboscis like mosquitos. The snout of the horse fly consists of a lot of litle knives. When they bite then cut a piece of skin open. This bite is so powerful that a horse fly, unlike a mosquito, can bite through thin clothing (T-shirts, thin pants or panties).
WHERE DOES THE HORSE FLY LIVE?
A horse fly likes to stay in humid areas that has both sun and some shade. They lay hunderds of eggs in damp meadows, roadsides, wet areas, mud, at the bottom of ditches and on plants. The eggs develop to larvae and pupar. They can survive in less ideal weather conditions. The larvaes develop in water, mud, swamp or rotting plant parts. The larvae live off of other insects. They only emerge in warm and sultry weather. This is the reason they often show up in warm and humid times. For this reason it is important to fight the horse flies and not when there's already a large number of them. A horse fly is a bad flyer and will be less of a trouble when it's windy outside. The average life expectancy of a horse fly is 6 weeks.
IT'S BETTER TO PREVENT THAN TO FIGHT!
Wear light-coloured clothing that is thick enough so the horse flies cannot bite through.
The use of a Horse Fly Spray is favourite to most horse keepers. It's important to use the right spray.
HORSE FLY TRAP BALL
A different way to fight the horse flies is the Horse Fly Trap Ball. Hang the trap ball early in the season on several places. Coat it with Horse Fly Glue and this way you will easily catch a lot of horse flies. This method is a very cost effective solution and can reduce the number of horse flies by 90%. Placing the ball can be a perfect method to contol the horse flies in meadows.