How to get rid of horse flies?

Horseflies happen to be annoying creatures whose bites can be quite itchy and painful. They can be quite aggressive in nature, and they are in the habit of attacking livestock and humans as well. It is quite difficult to repel these insects, and it will be a good idea to check out some suggestions that will help you to get rid of these bugs for safeguarding your livestock, as well as yourself.

Identification of Horseflies

There are more than 150 species of Horseflies at present, and the majority of individuals confuse them with large houseflies. However, the size of these Horseflies is bigger and it is possible for them to grow even 1 inch in length. Moreover, their behavior is also not the same.

In general, Horseflies are in search of warm-blood mammals, and they suck the blood of their victims after biting them. On the contrary, these insects don’t bite humans in general.

Here, it is important to bear in mind that the female Horseflies will suck blood for the purposes of reproduction, and their male counterparts feed on nectar while helping to pollinate various plant species significantly.

It is a fact that these Horseflies prefer to stay outdoors, especially close to the water, and therefore, they are not usually found inside houses. They prefer moist soil near lakes and rivers for the purposes of reproduction.

Here, we will mention how to get rid of Horseflies in the subsequent paragraphs.

How to eliminate Horseflies naturally

1. Cleaning up your yard

Horseflies are usually found in pasture lands close to creeks during the hot summer months. They prefer damp areas more than anything else. These insects are in the habit of loitering around long grass and weedy areas. They are particularly fond of humid environments, and therefore, you will often find them near beaches and pools.

Apart from this, these bugs have the propensity of flying around animal feces. Therefore, it will be a sensible idea to clean up your yard on a regular basis, particularly during summer. In case you happen to be a dog owner, you have to be prepared to perform plenty of poop scooping. Or else, you will find it difficult to stay away from Horseflies.

2. Remove stagnant water

Similar to many other bugs, Horseflies are known to breed in a damp environment as we’ve already mentioned earlier. Consequently, you will be able to keep their numbers under control by getting rid of stagnant water.

It will be imperative to construct appropriate drainage systems for channeling the water away in case you have a field where there is a possibility of water accumulating. Make sure to have a lesser number of watering points for reducing standing water in the close vicinity of your horses. For instance, automatic waterers might be installed along the fence line so that it is possible for a couple of fields to share just one water trough.

You should bear in mind to get rid of any unused water buckets and also make sure to cover your pond during peak Horsefly season. Although this might imply that you need to perform some additional work, it will be quite beneficial for your horses.

3. Dispose of your garbage

It is essential to make certain that all the trash cans have been sealed tightly. You will be able to reduce the smell by lining them with the help of plastic bags, and this will discourage the Horseflies from loitering around for the purpose of laying eggs.

Moreover, it is possible for spilled food items to attract these insects, and therefore, it will be a sensible idea to clean your feed room comprehensively every day. You will never like the eating area of your horses to be a breeding ground for some annoying and irritating insects.

4. Use Repellents

These repellents can be used on your horses directly as well as on the walls, stable doors, plus manure piles. It is a fact that these chemicals will be able to kill the Horseflies apart from keeping them away.

The majority of the sprays will only work against certain species. Therefore, always make sure to verify the bottle or go through the reviews online for finding out whether a product is repelling Horseflies for sure.

Commercial repellents

Chemicals present in organophosphates, pyrethroids, as well as organochlorine groups will be effective against these annoying creatures. Therefore, if you find them mentioned in the labeling of the package, it is likely that you have found the appropriate product.

Always bear in mind that it is possible for insects to become immune to certain chemical substances over time. As a result, it will be a sensible idea to change the products from time to time for maximizing their efficiency.

Homemade repellents

These chemical substances can work well against Horseflies if you mix them properly. You’ll come across plenty of recipes for trying out online, and the majority of them will be safe to use on the skin of your horse.

The homemade fly repellents consist of the following ingredients:

  • Lemon juice
  • Alcohol
  • White vinegar
  • Essential oils such as eucalyptus and lavender
  • Dish soap

5. Sticky traps

Another conventional process of attracting and catching Horseflies happens to be flypaper which is quite simple to use as well. You simply need to stick it close to the source of the light that is bright enough to attract these insects, and it will be possible to catch them within a short span of time. A do-it-yourself sticky flytrap can also be prepared by you by working with the Manning trap. For this, a stool will be required by you that is hanging from the ceiling. Make it a point to hang a dark ball underneath while wrapping the legs of the stool with the help of flypaper. In this manner, any horsefly that is trying to fly away will become stuck.

6. Get rid of tall grasses

There is a propensity for moisture to gather at the base of weeds and tall grasses following a cold night. It is known to us that this can be an appropriate breeding ground for Horseflies as well as other insects. Moreover, they also prefer retreating here during the hottest part of the day, and therefore, make sure to get rid of your grasses.

7. Soap spray

One more effective home remedy that will help you to prevent Horseflies will be to prepare a spray with 2 to 3 cups of white vinegar, 1 cup of hot water, and 4 tablespoons of liquid soap. You simply need to blend all of them, and start spraying! This particular solution has the ability to kill the majority of the Horseflies although it is absolutely safe for human beings and plants as well as pets.

8. Essential oils

Here, we like to mention that one more surefire way to get rid of Horseflies will be to prepare a repellent spray that has been made using essential oils. Always make sure to coat your horse properly in the spray so as to get the best results. You can make use of peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, and lemongrass oils for this purpose.

Combine several drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle so as to prepare a homemade horsefly spray. After shaking properly, spritz the animal using the solution.

How to keep Horseflies away

Even though it is not common to find these pesky insects inside your house, they might hang around the swimming pool, as well as other damp areas. Although it might not be possible to eliminate the breeding grounds of these insects, you can still get rid of them by making your own land more unpleasant to them.

  • Defending your home – You will be able to prevent lots of bugs, including Horseflies by maintaining the cleanliness of your house. Moreover, these insects also do not like smoke, and therefore, it will be a good idea to burn incense or candles for keeping them away.
  • Defending the pool – It is likely for you to encounter the most significant problem with your pond or backyard pool unless you own livestock. Make sure to cover these ponds and pools during the peak horsefly season for getting the best results. Light traps can also be installed by you for distracting and demolishing any bugs that are trying to hang around your pool area.
  • Defending your livestock – It will be possible to minimize the number of bites from these Horseflies by providing your livestock with a coating of pesticides that are pyrethrin-based at the interval of one or two days. Moreover, you can also use protective coverings like face masks and ear nets for safeguarding those parts of the bodies of the animals which are more sensitive to bites. Apart from this, it will be a good idea to provide a sheltered retreat where the livestock will be able to take cover for minimizing the number of bites as long as the doors and windows are screened properly.


As we have already mentioned, animals and humans are attacked by Horseflies in search of blood. These bites can not only be quite painful, but they can also be lethal for livestock. Therefore, it is essential to get rid of these pesky insects as soon as possible. Fortunately, you’ll come across many ways to get the job done, some of which we have mentioned in this article.

Leave a Comment