While “horse fly” is typically used to describe species in the genus Tabanus. I was bitten by one horse fly during my thru-hike in 2000. Adults are gray to black, with four dark, longitudinal lines on the thorax, slightly hairy bodies, and a single pair of membranous wings. When pest experts talk about these types of flies, it sounds like they’re discussing monsters or aliens from a Hollywood thriller. Thanks, Tim Black fly season started about Memorial Day weekend this year. 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. If you have never experienced Black Fly Season in Maine, here is my best description. Most horsefly species range from .25 inches to well over 1.5 inches in length. Index of all insects found in Maine. Significant allergic reactions can develop for some people. These flies have a tendency to circle and ping off your head, a behavior that can be outright maddening. 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. During the summer there are even signs posted at the entrance to the parking lot stating "Greenhead Season - No Refunds." Black Flies . “Off the top of my head, I don’t know how many different species there are in Maine,” Dill said. We have horse flies down south as well, as well as smaller, stealthier deer flies. 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. I heard of the dreaded New England “black fly” season when we first moved to New Hampshire more than 20 years ago. “Deer fly” and “horse fly” are common names used to describe hundreds of species in the Tabanidae family. And the larvae feed on aquatic predators, including mosquito larvae. Black flies like the woods. 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. A horse fly’s saliva causes pain and swelling for most people, but those with allergies may have severe reactions that require medical attention. Greenhead flies are big horse flies. Horse flies (genus Tabanus) are very pesky flies of not only humans, but also other mammals such as cattle, horses, dogs, etc. Fly intensity varies daily and they are frequently not present on the beachfront between July 11th and August 7th. “But there’s a lot, and some of them are kind of regional. 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. Millions of these tiny, flying, black insects swarm in giant clouds around your head. Horse Flys are a nusiance, but they are really easy to kill. “They basically slash their way in[to your skin]. Reproduction. Tabanids annoy cattle, horses, and humans alike by waiting in shady areas under trees or bushes for us to walk by. 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. They are thought to be alerted to our presence by the carbon dioxide we breathe out--and by sight. 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. Found in large parts of the United States, black flies can be a major public health hazard in some areas. 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. Certainly will rethink ever going back to any Maine coast beach resort during the month on July ! 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. Females feed on blood, and they are not averse to taking it from anything that has it. “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. 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. So when you get here it should not be as bad for black flies. “I have at least 15 to 20 species where I live,” he added. The larvae of horse fly and deer fly species develop in the mud along pond edges or stream banks, wetlands, or seepage areas. Horse Flies Example of a Horse Fly Horse Flies (additional examples). Fly spray and fly predators are a good start, but during horsefly season a fly sheet is invaluable. They are fast fliers despite their hefty size. 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. Horseflies are attracted to dark colors so keep that in mind when dressing. Mating often occurs in swarms, generally at landmarks such as hilltops. Unfortunately, insect repellent doesn’t seem to deter these flies much, Dill said. 5. 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. Horse flies (genus Tabanus) are very pesky flies of not only humans, but also other mammals such as cattle, horses, dogs, etc. “They can be quite territorial, too,” Dill said. Also, they do not use scent to find their hosts (as mosquitos do), therefore, it doesn’t matter if the repellent masks your scent. 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. The Difference Between A Deer Fly And Horse Fly. 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. 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. 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