Deer Flies, Yellow Flies
deer fly, yellow fly images
Deer flies are smaller then their horse fly brother, but both species are pretty easy to point out. Deer flies or yellow flies are persistent little pest and feed on larger mammals such as humans, dogs, cattle. Bites can result in painful lumps, possible allergic reactions, or even transmission of disease.
- To get rid of deer flies, yellow flies:
- yellow flies
- Family: Tabanidae
- Genus: Chrysops
- Deer flies can be found world-wide.
- Florida produces a large population because of the availability of a suitable habitat. The mild climate and large permanently wet and undeveloped areas, provide good breeding grounds.
- Mostly yellow or blackish and dark stripes on abdomen.
- Zig-zag pattern green or golden eyes.
- Thorax and abdomen are covered with fine hairs.
- Distinct dark patches or patterns on wings
- The entire life cycle is approx 3 months to a year or longer, depending on temperature and species.
- Eggs hatch in 5-7 days.
- Larvae move or fall to the water and moist soil where they spend a few months to a few years.
- They move to drier soil and within two days, they pupate.
- Pupation generally lasts 2-3 weeks.
- Once both male and female emerge, mating is initiated in the air and finished on the ground.
- Pond edges, stream banks, seepage areas, and wetlands.
- Close to water on moist soil, plants, and rocks.
- Females, require blood for reproduction and feed on mammals such as cattle, horses, and sometimes humans.
- Though some species prey on amphibians, reptiles, and even birds.
- Horse fly larvae are predators on immature insects and other small invertebrates.
- Males feed on nectar and other plant juices.
- Found along coastal areas, wetlands, and forests
- Adult females are active during the day hiding and seeking at potential meals.
- They tend to not enter buildings as they like the warm sun, and are mostly about during the hot summer and early fall.
- Attracted to movement, shiny surfaces, dark colors, and carbon dioxide.
- Can travel great distances searching for hosts
- Adults are potential vectors of tularemia, anthrax and loa loa filariasis.
- Generally, the painful bites result in swelling and could possibly get infected if proper care is not taken or if an allergic reaction occur.
- Reduced productivity in cattle such as milk production is also a result of the flies continuously pestering and weakening the animals.
- Deer flies do not feed from a puncturing needle like organ. Instead, they have mandibles that slice in a cross shaped pattern to obtain blood, resulting in a painful bite.
- Most often, the persistent deer fly attacks more than once, making outdoor work and activity miserable.
- Males do not bite, but are important pollinators as they feed mostly on nectar and such.