“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. Get ready Scream! These flies are so big that insect repellant does not bother them. Dill is working on a project that involves capturing and identifying different deer flies and horse flies throughout Maine. Mosquitoes are bad and so are deer flies and horse flies. Their mouth parts cut open flesh, allowing blood to ooze out. They are thought to be alerted to our presence by the carbon dioxide we breathe out--and by sight. Another species is so big — about 1½ inches long — that Mainers often refer to it as a “moose fly.”. Like horse flies, deer flies are strong flies and persistent biters. Horse Flys are a nusiance, but they are really easy to kill. When flies lay their eggs in the manure, the product prevents the larvae from maturing, thus killing the insect. They are attracted to fruits and other sugary foods. Most horsefly species range from .25 inches to well over 1.5 inches in length. But, it can be a daunting task to locate a deer fly. They have a saliva that acts as an anticoagulant. Some are aquatic and a few develop in relatively dry soil. Tabanids annoy cattle, horses, and humans alike by waiting in shady areas under trees or bushes for us to walk by. And when you start bleeding from the wound, they lap it up.”. While these tiny, 1/6th of an inch, black flies … If the problem lasts six to eight weeks, there may be several species present or that species lasts longer than most. Interestingly, it’s only the female flies that bite. A horse fly’s saliva causes pain and swelling for most people, but those with allergies may have severe reactions that require medical attention. Horse-fly bites and wounds me: an experiment and explanation - I allow a vampire-like horse-fly to bite my hand wounding me to show what can happen. 5. Horse flies tend to be much larger (from three-quarters of an inch to an inch or more in length), with a stout body and a very large head with very large eyes, and their wings are usually clear whereas deer flies have dark bands across their wings. The larvae of horse fly and deer fly species develop in the mud along pond edges or stream banks, wetlands, or seepage areas. Greenhead fly season at Crane Beach generally begins by July 11 and the flies are completely gone by the end of the first week in August. “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. And they don’t just follow you. Thanks, Tim Black fly season started about Memorial Day weekend this year. Horse flies are very similar to deer flies, which share the same family (Tabanidae). Because feed-through products work on fly larvae, they should be started a few weeks before the beginning of fly season. Horse flies (genus Tabanus) are very pesky flies of not only humans, but also other mammals such as cattle, horses, dogs, etc. Their bites are painful, and once they home in on a target, they’re nearly impossible to shake. 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. I strongly recommend not performing this experiment because there are horse-flies in certain parts of the world that are carriers of disease. And the larvae feed on aquatic predators, including mosquito larvae. Emerging in full force mid-summer, deer flies and horse flies are among the most intimidating creatures in the Northeast. There is some good news. These flies have a tendency to circle and ping off your head, a behavior that can be outright maddening. “Their mouthparts are described as knife-like or scissor-like,” said Jim Dill, a pest management specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. They reach over a half of an inch in length. When does black fly season typically begin, peak and decline in central Maine? Significant allergic reactions can develop for some people. The females lay their eggs, then spend the rest of their short lives — greenhead season lasts about six weeks — hunting for blood, which they need to lay a second batch of eggs. Black flies have been plaguing us recently and I see that they are a hot topic of discussion for Ocean City beach goers this week. The last human predator in Maine’s insect world are the larger flies, popularly called horse, deer and even moose flies. Fly spray and fly predators are a good start, but during horsefly season a fly sheet is invaluable. I was in Caratunk and almost got chewed alive. Adults are gray to black, with four dark, longitudinal lines on the thorax, slightly hairy bodies, and a single pair of membranous wings. Both genuses are in the Tabanidae family. Winter is just about the only time you don't have to deal with some type of biting fly. Black flies typically appear in mid-May and hang around until mid-June or later. Unfortunately, insect repellent doesn’t seem to deter these flies much, Dill said. That gives the product time to kill the larvae before flies become a problem. You know, why? The larvae, stage usuall… When a horse fly lands on you, he sits there for a moment. The second black fly life cycle overwinters in the larval stage. The final larval stage overwinters and then enters the … “Deer fly” and “horse fly” are common names used to describe hundreds of species in the Tabanidae family. Adult horse-flies are eaten by generalized predators such as birds, and some specialist predators, such as the horse guard wasp (a bembicinid wasp), also preferentially attack horse-flies, catching them to provision their nests. They have distinctive, large eyes that are patterned with gold or green, and dark bands across their wings. As the horse fly … Mating often occurs in swarms, generally at landmarks such as hilltops. “What’s very cool about them is their incandescent eyes,” Russell said. When pest experts talk about these types of flies, it sounds like they’re discussing monsters or aliens from a Hollywood thriller. Index of all insects found in Maine. I was bitten by one horse fly during my thru-hike in 2000. Insects are typically drawn to a given area by available food supply, weather, environmental factors (pollution, etc...), water supply, mating patterns, etc... and can be territorial. significant when you consider the life cycle of the insect: biting black flies are female only – they need a meal of blood to lay eggs. Deer fly adults are 6-10 mm long and yellow to brown in color with patterned wings. So far, he has been fascinated by the variety he’s found. Often during peak greenhead season–generally early or mid-July to mid-August–beaches will post warnings about fly conditions, like some weird variation on the surf report. Emerging in full force mid-summer, deer flies and horse flies are among the most intimidating creatures in the Northeast. Reproduction. Natural predators of horse flies and deer flies include such things as frogs, toads, spiders, wasps, hornets, dragonflies, and birds. “But there’s a lot, and some of them are kind of regional. Black Flies . Greenhead flies are fairly resistant to pesticides. “They basically slash their way in[to your skin]. “I have at least 15 to 20 species where I live,” he added. “They can be quite territorial, too,” Dill said. For more information on the services these farms offer, see our Maine Farm Directory • -• 1961 • 1963 • 1966 • 1969 • 3 Eagle Farm • 5.8 Acre Horse Property • A Five Acre Farm Black Horse Flies are about an inch long, making them highly visible and somewhat intriguing to watch. Horse flies (genus Tabanus) are very pesky flies of not only humans, but also other mammals such as cattle, horses, dogs, etc. These larger biting flies are found throughout the summer. “Fortunately, the season for deer flies is rather short, usually four to five weeks in June or July, and three to four weeks in August for horse flies. Certainly will rethink ever going back to any Maine coast beach resort during the month on July ! House flies will breed in feces, garbage, or other rotting organic material. Horse Flies Example of a Horse Fly Horse Flies (additional examples). This story appears through a media sharing agreement with Bangor Daily News. The Difference Between A Deer Fly And Horse Fly. Larvae are active in moist or wet organic matter and look similar to house fly maggots. Some months are much worse than others though inland is bad in the spring and summer is bad on the coast. The deer fly is the term given to the small counterpart of the larger horse fly. I did a little research and found that our writer, Tony Russo, addressed this topic almost exactly 4 years ago. The period of greatest activity of coastal species that plague our beaches is from the second week of July through the first week of August. Unlike the black fly, larger fly eggs hatch in moist soil and are most common in July and August. The housefly (Musca domestica) is a fly of the suborder Cyclorrhapha.It is believed to have evolved in the Cenozoic Era, possibly in the Middle East, and has spread all over the world as a commensal of humans.It is the most common fly species found in houses. Here's some of the biology of flies and why a west wind bodes ill for beach-goers who are likely to attract the blood-hungry insect. 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. When is black fly season in Maine? In the United States and Canada, about 350 different species of these flies exist, and they vary greatly in size and appearance. During the summer there are even signs posted at the entrance to the parking lot stating "Greenhead Season - No Refunds." They are very similar to Horse flies, which share the same family (Tabanidae). Weekend cut day short due to the AWFUL Greenhead horseflies. While “horse fly” is typically used to describe species in the genus Tabanus. 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. We have horse flies down south as well, as well as smaller, stealthier deer flies. Black fly larvae, which hatch in clear running streams, do not hatch until everything thaws and the water temperature has also risen a bit. Fly intensity varies daily and they are frequently not present on the beachfront between July 11th and August 7th. If you have never experienced Black Fly Season in Maine, here is my best description. But it won’t be long before you have another one.”. The black fly season moves, in general, from South to North and simultaneously from the coastal plain to inland areas and from lowest elevations up to the highest. Deer flies are closely related to horse flies, both being of the Tabanidae family with deer flies in the genus Chrysops. I heard of the dreaded New England “black fly” season when we first moved to New Hampshire more than 20 years ago. The following Maine farms, horse ranches and breeders have posted horses for sale on Equine Now. The males feed on nectar and pollen, Dill said. But, if you are anywhere in Hawaii, Greenland, or Iceland then you are safe from the annoying buzz of a deer fly. They attack livestock and humans alike. In addition to livestock, dogs, cats, and other pets are targets for horse fly bites. 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 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. Then I learned. Note: Please note that insects do not adhere to man-drawn borders on a map and as such they may be found beyond their listed 'reach' showcased on our website. This is due to the fact that the females of most species require a blood meal in order to reproduce effectively, if at all, and although some species are known to feed on birds or reptiles, the majority of them feed on mammalian blood. July 26, 2011 Greenheads are a type of large biting fly that live in saltwater marshes from early July until early August. Females usually deposit egg masses on wet soil or vegetation that overhangs water. Deer flies (genus Chrysops) are very pesky flies of not only humans, but also other mammals such as cattle, horses, dogs, etc. Removing these breeding sources will reduce house fly numbers. “I think I’ve been bitten by them all.”. You can try to outrun them, but these flies hunt by sight and are attracted to movement. Black flies like the woods. The size of a deer fly lies somewhere between the horse-fly and the housefly. As will be noted in the dates of collection given with each species, from early June to mid-August some species of deer fly and/ or horse fly is at the peak of its activity with the resulting annoyance. “Off the top of my head, I don’t know how many different species there are in Maine,” Dill said. Horse flies have from 6-13 larval stages, depending on the species. They are notably faster than mosquitoes or blackflies, making them a bane of runners and cyclists. House flies (Muscidae: Musca domestica) are perhaps the most common of all flies encountered indoors, but they are also abundant outdoors. Also, they do not use scent to find their hosts (as mosquitos do), therefore, it doesn’t matter if the repellent masks your scent. Deer Flies Deer Fly. Females feed on blood, and they are not averse to taking it from anything that has it. Their bites are painful, and once they home in on a target, they’re nearly impossible to shake. When riding and working around your horse, stay alert–you never know when it might buck, kick out or swing its head around to rid itself of an offending attacker. There are many different species of horse flies, and they display different patterns and colors. Then the horse fly gets the urge to bite. In addition to having a painful bite, deer flies and horseflies are fast, strong flyers. At Crane Beach there’s another sign, too: No Refunds. They are fast fliers despite their hefty size. Home and Garden IPM from Cooperative Extension, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Greenland Point, 4-H Camp & Learning Centers at Tanglewood & Blueberry Cove, Insect Pests, Plant Diseases & Pesticide Safety, Affiliated Programs, Partners & Resources, Non-Discrimination Statement & Disability Resources, Register for Workshops, Classes, & Events. So when you get here it should not be as bad for black flies. One way to tell them apart is to look at their overall size, and their wings. When pest experts talk about these types of flies, it sounds like they’re discussing monsters or aliens from a Hollywood thriller. 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. Millions of these tiny, flying, black insects swarm in giant clouds around your head. Greenhead flies are big horse flies. A horse fly. Found in large parts of the United States, black flies can be a major public health hazard in some areas. They dislike open areas or areas with breezes, such as coastal areas. Females lay batches of 25 to 1,000 eggs on vegetation that stand over water or wet sites. This is a time for patience. If you want to spend most of your vacation outdoors, try to choose another time of year. The bite is often quite painful, resembling a bee sting for many people, and a lot of people react to the fly’s saliva, causing pain and itching at the site of the bite. Horseflies are attracted to dark colors so keep that in mind when dressing. And usually, people don’t thoroughly spray their scalp. Here’s what you can do to keep them at bay. Listen to the In Tune 24/7 Music Stream with Sara Willis. Over the years we have advised visiting friends to wait until the Greenhead horse fly season in July is over before venturing to Crane Beach. Both horse flies and deer flies are abundant in damp, wooded and wetland environments, which provide the necessary habitat for their eggs and larvae. “In that way, they’re kind of a mixed blessing,” Russell said. When they’re out in force, they can be a blood-sucking bane for beachgoers from North Carolina to Maine. Black flies, also known as buffalo gnats and turkey gnats, are persistent and irritating pests that swarm around humans and other animals making control necessary in certain regions. 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. Because it has as many as 250 species. “One under each arm would carry you away,” Dill said. Adults emerge from late April through May and females deposit eggs in May and June and remain in the water until fall when they hatch.