Blasted horse flies

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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
Not so Janne. The males commonly don't need blood meals for egg production.

One strategy is to raise millions of pests, radiation-sterilize them all and release them.
Since so many are sterile,mating success is quite poor.


Jan 21, 2005
S. Lanarkshire
Habitat plays a huge part too though.
They need damp ground or swampy land, and they need warm blooded feeding stations.

Years ago I watched a documentary about Brits working with wildlife in Africa. They were really being beseiged by mosquitos, etc.,
So they hung up balloons full of blood, and the blighters happily sucked on those.
I wonder if we could obliterate a generation by putting up poisoned blood for the clegs ?
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
For the mosquitoes, of course standing/stagnant water is key to reproductive success of egg-larva-pupal stages.

I don't know what you could do for the horse flies.
Have been some astounding water traps built here.
Mesh face masks for the horses have been very important.

Black flies (Simulidae) larvae/pupae develop in fairly fast flowing creek waters here.
The adults feeding can turn your hairline to a pulp.
The larvicide Dimilin has been very effective but everything gets such a bad name these days.
Sep 16, 2013
Rochester, Kent
Female horse fly's are pure evil. I got bitten on the foot by one on Saturday while watching the village cricket team and enjoying a pint! I didn't notice until the next morning that the area around the bite had swollen up and become itchy and painful.

Sadly it not the first time this has happened to me and I've learnt that you just need to give it time to heal. A bit of bite cream helps to sooth the itching, but otherwise the most important thing is to keep it clean, it has started to die down now but usually takes a good three days to recover. I have taken anti-histamine's before but I'm not sure that it made much of a difference and I think I'd rather just let nature take it's course.

I don't know if that's an allergic reaction as the horsefly bites are known to take a while to heal. What's odd though is that I don't believe that I've ever been bitten by a horsefly until last summer when I got bitten a couple of times on camping trips.

Does anyone know of a horse fly deterrent?


Aug 30, 2015
Horse flies in finnish is paarma. Because of painful bite we use to say they take a pound of flesh and sit on a tree branch eating.


Aug 13, 2009
Is it just me ? Got bitten 2 weeks ago and a big reaction. Large swelling covering whole forearm. Went to pharmacy and he sent me to walk in centre. Antibiotics cleared it a week later

Three days ago it happened, this time other forearm, bicep and shoulder ! Got sent to A & E and got IV antibiotics and anti histamines and steroids. Swelling still not going down.

What’s going on ? I never had anything like it on 55 years :D
I have had that unfortunate experience too, a few years back now.


Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
@Barney Rubble. At work a few years ago we were in thick undergrowth clearing under powerlines in a damp, boggy area and getting really badly attacked. The poor cattle in the field were black with them. I got a litre squirty bottle of equine stuff from eBay that was an emulsion of Citronella, Lemon Eucalyptus and Cedar oils for spraying on horses. We soaked ourselves with that stuff and it did deter them. Not 100%, but we were able to finish the work when the only option was looking to be to come back in the winter.

Have a look at equine suppliers and you should find something.


Feb 24, 2019
A farm in Nottinghamshire
What got me is I didn’t see it or feel a bite... only noticed the pain some 8 hrs later. Both times occurred while cutting the grass in the grounds at work.

Same here, I often get bitten by things, I got a horsefly bite on my calf a month ago. Ended up ulcerated and had to see a wound nurse. It’s still not healed properly.


Feb 9, 2017
I have been attacked by clegs that not only could bite through clothing, but also if brushed off without killing would return to bite at the exact same spot. This happened while riding a bike a bike at the time!

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