how to get rid of horse flies

how to get rid of horse flies

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Follow these simple techniques to keep pesky horse flies out of your stable.

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Horse flies are a frequent annoyance for cattle and horses. Female horse flies land on livestock and make painful cuts in their skin to draw blood. [1] Despite the fact that horse flies are notoriously hard to eradicate, there are a few methods you may try, including physical traps, pesticides, and home cures.

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    Invest in a physical trap. Nontoxic physical traps work best in areas with a lot of livestock, people, or important plants. Here are a few possibilities for physical traps that work well against horse flies:

    • Light traps. These traps’ lights were specifically selected to attract unwelcome insects. When the insect lands on the light, it is either trapped on glue cards or zapped and killed instantly.
    • Flypaper. This paper has an adhesive that attracts house flies and horse flies while also trapping them.
    • Flies-be-Gone fly trap. Fly food is kept in this trap as bait in a plastic bag. The funnel is where the fly must enter the bag. The fly cannot escape the bag once it is inside.
    • Horse Pal fly trap. These big traps are equipped with a target that is intended to attract mostly visual hunters like horse and deer flies. When the flies approach the target and see that it is not prey, they get trapped in the metal portion of the trap and die from the heat of the sun on the trap.
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    Make your own trap. [2]

    • The stool or chair should be hung from the shed ceiling or another area where horse flies concentrate.
    • Glue a rope to a medium-sized, dark-colored ball. Attach the rope to the bottom of the chair or stool so that the ball dangles down.
    • Incorporate Flypaper into the seat or stool’s base. Start the ball swinging every several hours. Horse flies will be drawn to the ball because they are drawn to dark colors and motion.
    • They will fly over and determine it is not fascinating, at which point they will go upward and get entangled in the paper.
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    Pick a chemical. Some substances are almost as effective as others. To prevent insect resistance, it’s a good idea to rotate different chemicals when you treat the area. among the possibilities are

    • Pyrethroids (s-bioallethrin, sumithrin, fenvalerate, permethrin, resmethrin, tetramethrin, and cypermethrin);
    • Organophosphates (tetrachlorvinphos, malathion, coumaphos, dichlorvos)
    • Organochlorines (lindane, methoxychlor)
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    Treat your livestock directly. Always double-check that the chemical you’re using is safe to apply directly to livestock. Then:

    • To mist the chemical over your animals, use a hand-held mist sprayer or a tiny mist blower.
    • If the sprayer scares your animals, you may soak a sponge or a glove in the chemicals and apply it on the creatures.
    • Always wear rubber gloves Never allow your skin to come into touch with these substances.
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    Apply insecticides to areas around your property. Spray the eaves, walls, ceiling, and rafters of barns or rest areas.

    • Prior to spraying, always remove your cattle from the barn. It could be necessary for some of your pets to spend some time outdoors. Simply adhere to the instructions on the box.
    • Coarsely spray resting areas with insecticides. Make careful to spray with little force.
    • Be careful not to contaminate your animals’ water and feed buckets. Keep the spray away from your agricultural equipment as well.
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    Spray over a huge region to protect several homes. Spraying a large region effectively won’t take much time or work. However, area sprays tend to have a short-lived effect.

    • To disperse the chemicals, use an airplane, loggers, hydraulic sprayer, or mist blowers.
    • Droplets of the chemical will reach the fly habitat and kill the insects there.
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    A gallon of water and a cup of ivory liquid dish soap should be combined. Spray flies with the solution. [3] The soap kills flies without harming the plants or animals that live on your yard.

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    Combine 5 cups of water, 1 cup of mint-flavored mouthwash, 1 cup of lemon-scented dish soap, and 1 cup of lemon-scented ammonia. In a gallon jug, mix. Pour into a garden sprayer and mist bushes and grass with it. This solution is harmless to plants but repels horseflies, as well as other biting insects. [4]

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    Keep your animal areas clean. Clean up dung, used bedding, and feed that has leaked. If needed, you can spray your manure pile with insecticide to keep larvae from developing. [5]

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    Eliminate standing water near your livestock. Remove buckets of standing water and install effective drainage systems. Cover your pool or pond at the peak of horse fly season.

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    Trim weeds and tall grasses. Tall grass and weeds may provide a suitable nesting environment for horse flies that is damp and chilly. Insects may seek refuge in shaded vegetation during the hottest hours of the day. Maintain frequent weeding and grass trimming, particularly near ditches, to prevent this.

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    Animals and cattle should have access to a shady, protected place. A barn, stable or doghouse will give your animals a place to retreat when horse flies are bothering them outdoors. To keep horse flies out, make sure your windows and doors are screen-ed.

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    Apply repellent tags or tapes, face masks, and ear nets to your animals.

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    Conduct yearly rites like castration in the winter. Horse flies won’t swarm to the animals’ wounds since there won’t be many flies around at that time.

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Add New Question

  • Question

    Will Febreeze kill horse flies?

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  • Question

    What time of day do horse flies come out?

    Community Answer

    Usually around midday and particularly in the evening, horse flies become more active.

  • Question

    Can I spray vinegar on horses?

    Community Answer

    Yes, vinegar is typically okay to spray on horses, but for a nicer fragrance, combine it with some other okay components.

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  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and a cap when you’re working around horse flies. To capture flies that hover around your head, attach a sticky fabric tape trap to your hat.

  • Regarding whether insecticides may successfully manage horse flies, experts have differing perspectives. Spraying insects with insecticides may not be successful since the flies don’t come into touch with the chemicals long enough to feel their effects. DEET dissolves plastic and may be uncomfortable to apply, yet some sprays that include it are only modestly effective.

  • Carry a fly swatter around with you.


  • Stay motionless if flies are swarming. Swatting, waving and running only attracts more flies.

  • The myth that horse flies don’t bite humans is untrue. They itch humans and other animals exactly as much as mosquitoes do. Quite regularly in the summer months, especially on certain beaches of the United States and other countries, horse flies become present and target large groups of people. They will try to bite anything moving or emitting carbon dioxide because they know it must be a blood source. Simply cleanse the wound with soap and water if you are bitten. Apply a gauze ball that has been dipped in ethyl alcohol to the wound. Keep a watch on the swelling in case an allergy or illness causes it to worsen.


  • Light trap
  • Flypaper
  • Flies-Be-Gone fly trap
  • Horse Pal fly trap
  • Dark stool or chair
  • Rope
  • Ball
  • Chemicals
  • Small mist blower or handheld mist sprayer
  • aircraft, loggers, mist blowers, or hydraulic sprayers
  • Barn or stable
  • Ear nets
  • Face masks
  • Repellent tags or tapes

Article SummaryX

If you want to get rid of horse flies without damaging your plants or animals, consider spraying them with a mix of dish detergent and water. As an alternative, you may spray water, lemon-scented dish detergent, lemon-scented ammonia, and mouthwash on your grass and bushes to repel pests. Horse flies may be avoided by pruning weeds and long grasses, as well as by cleaning up manure, used bedding, and spilt feed in your animals’ surroundings. Continue reading to find out more, including how to create your own trap to collect horse flies.

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