Thursday, July 22, 2010
Flies from Hell
Here is one of the reasons that I am not riding now, we have these huge horse flies that the horse can't tolerate, me neither! Oh, one or two won't be so bad but there are countless numbers of them attacking Gilly when he comes out of the barn......I am not kidding with the numbers of them either! We live in an area where they love to live and breed. Down in a hollow, lots of foliage and trees, a creek and apparently us to feed on!
Those things are like razors cutting through skin, clothing and really HURT when they bite. I have had them cut (no lie) through my blue jeans and bit me! Putting a fly sheet over Gilly wouldn't stop the bites at all, they would cut right through the thin material....I mean if they can cut denim...scary thought!
The life span of these flies is from 30 to 60 days some a year. They seem to appear as early as May and last as long at into October! UGH!!!
Horse flies lie in wait in shady areas under bushes and trees for a host to happen by (me, Gilly and Pokey). Sight is the main host finding mechanism, but carbon dioxide, body heat and odor also play a role; and moving objects especially dark colors. (Poor Gilly, he smells good and is dark). Attacks occur during daylight hours with a peak beginning at sunrise and lasting three hours. A second peak is two hours before sunset and commences shortly after.On overcast days they seem to not want to feed (clouds, I need clouds!). Horse flies inflict deep wounds that cause a flow of blood. the mandibles and maxillae penetrate the skin in a scissor-like action. Anticoagulants in the saliva are pumped into the wound and the blood is ingested through a sponging labella. Pathogens may be transmitted from flies that are disturbed while feeding on one animal and begin feeding on another. Horse transmit Anthrax.There are NO effective biological control programs for controlling horse flies! (Oh, dang!!!) It says that cattle Egrets and Killdeer feed on horse flies......can I import some around here???
EPPS Biting Fly Traps
Where we live seems to be one of the worst places for these things, some of my friends how live up higher and more open don't have even half of what we have here.....so Gilly and I will have to wait until these beasties clear out. He can't concentrate on what I am asking him to do if he is being eaten by these flies, all I do is swat them off me and him. (sigh) so it's no fun for either of us. The other flies I can handle and the fly mask helps but these...the "Flies from HELL" they are unstoppable!!
I sure hope that all of you out there with horses aren't plagued with these flies. Guess me and the boys will be waiting for fall rides!