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the HUGE horse fly???

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  • the HUGE horse fly???

    What are the flies that are out now (in VA) that are HUGE and usually put their fangs in right along the spine in between the horse's rump???
    The only way I can get rid of them is to actually smack them on the horse. They don't seem to even care about you coming to kill them right now, like they are really out for last blood.
    I put fly spray on, right, it was like nectar. Fly sheet works as long as I'm in the area b/c of trees that horse likes to go under and can see him getting hung up in there!
    But the other horses, that don't have sheets, will go out for a minute then hauling butt back into stalls, usually the big flies won't follow into stalls, but today they are hanging on!
    Are they technically the "horse fly" and the smaller ones that are usually around legs and face house flies?
    Are they getting really vicious for a reason? weather change, etc. ...?
    I just don't remember them being this bad last year.

  • #2
    They aren't put off by fly spray, they aren't tempted by bait or those "bag" traps with smelly bait.

    Sheets sometimes help, but I've seen these flies (affectionately known as "bombers", more precisely of the "tabanid" family) bite through sheets. They are a menace.

    You can search and find directions on how to build a bomber trap on COTH, or check out www.bitingflies.com I have one of their traps and catch at least half a dozen or more of the bastards every day.
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      We have the "bombers" too ~ I'm afraid to kill them ~ they are absolutely HUGE ~ like a small bird! They come out around noon for a few hours. SCARY!!!! We hide in the barn with the fan for a few hours.


      • #4
        Don't kill wasps and don't remove their nests unless they are in high traffic areas. The female wasps will kill the suckers and use them for larva food. Bye bye horse flies.

        Swallows are good too.


        • #5
          Those big, black horse flies are awful! I hate them with a burning intensity of 1,000 white hot suns... I catch as many of them by hand as possible and rip their heads off... Did I mention that I hate them with a burning intensity of 1,000 white hot suns???
          Last edited by Sakura; Sep. 1, 2008, 06:59 PM.
          \"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-


          • #6
            Sheets, spray...nothing kills or deters those things. They land on tree trunks where they're invisible and wait until they see large animals moving around. Then they swarm it and go right for the one place the horse can't get it off with hoof or teeth. You can see horses running from them and see the big black spot hovering right behind the running horse, they are NASTY! And I got bit once...I was supposed to slap it and instead grabbed it in my fist and got nailed in my palm. I kid you not when I say it felt like someone jammed a red hot poker into my palm...and I have a pretty high pain threshold. My hand looked like a balloon...my only defense of my stupid action was that I was chasing it around my mare 2 years or so ago and unthinkingly jumped up to slap it when I saw it land on the other side of her withers. Well...she was 17hh tall...I'm 15.2hh tall. My watch stuck in her mane, my jump spooked the mare and she took off and I was left trying to run along side with my feet barely touching the ground...so I grabbed instead of slapped. Dumb...even dumber was my husband yelling to me, "Let go of her! You're scaring the horse!"
            So far the only effective thing I've found when those bloodsucking nasties show up is to run outside when I hear horsie distress neighs...my horse will run over to me with that "Kill it, kill it!" look on his face and I swat it out of the air and then land on it with both feet. And then twist, grind down and do the Dance Of Death on it. The good thing is...you can swat them all day long and they don't bother you...apparently the only thing you can't do is grab on and hold them. They're relatively slow in the air and big targets...I slap at them or slap them off the horse the second they land on it and they always fall on the ground and take a second or two to regroup and take off again...enough time to stomp them.
            If there are too many around...I put my horse in his stall with the fans on. They won't go in there. I think they're solar powered.
            You jump in the saddle,
            Hold onto the bridle!
            Jump in the line!


            • #7
              < you mean these $%&* bloodsuckers?

              We call them B-52s and "hate" is too mild a word for the way I feel about them.
              They draw blood when they bite you and you need serious firepower to smash them - just a swat leaves them laughing.
              I've read somewhere only the females bite and they need blood to nourish their nasty little eggs.
              Dry, hot weather seesm to make them come out of nowhere.
              Pray for a frost.

              eqsiu: thanks for the tip on wasps. I have one small nest (paperwasps) waaaaay up in the peak of my barn overhang that I was contemplating spraying, but I'll leave it be if it means less of the damned B-52s!
              *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
              Steppin' Out 1988-2004
              Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


              • #8
                This stupid bugs always chase my hrose! it landed on him once and he had a panic attack, out of no where when I was handwalking him he started bucking rearing and then he finally rolled! I always see them by the front areana and when I see them I go the other way!


                • #9

                  Yeah be careful riding. Some horses freak out no matter who's riding when those nasty things come around. My friend fractured her pelvis from a fall due to one of those things...

                  sakura said: Did I mention that I hate them with a burning intensity of 1,000 white hot suns???

                  I totally agree and the good feeling that passes over me when I squash one of those things with my bare hands and flick their hapless bodies away...
                  Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                  One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
                  Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook


                  • #10
                    We have a whole range of biting flies. Some of the horse flies are like 1/2 inch or so but then there are some that have this like shiny green and they are, NO KIDDING, over 2" long!!! CRAZY!! I will usually sting them with a flat hand on the horse and when they fall to the ground, do the double stomp, death dance, like Misty said. Then we have these things that are even bigger and have yellow greenish stripes on them. CRAZY FLORIDA BUGS!

                    ALSO - funny story:

                    Sometimes at night, these bastards will fly up and get under the metal flap above my florscent bulbs above the stalls. They make a HUGE racket, buzzing around. Well one night, I saw a HUGE one doing that above my mare, so I grab the fly swatter and the stool, go in the stall, get up on the stool, and when it flew just below the light --- BATTER UP!!!!!! And I hit it dead on and it flew over the tops of THREE 10x10 stalls and landed in the hay stall. I then RAN into the hay stall, where it lay stunned, and did the double stomp death dance! Mwhaha.

                    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


                    • #11
                      Ahhhh, the good ol' (not) B52 Bombers

                      Nothing like one to make a horse stand on his head trying to get rid of one in his SI
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                      • #12
                        Yes, the B52's..... Smart flies as they always land where the horse can't swat them. Usually on the back.

                        I was hand grazing a mare I once was leasing and one landed on her rump. The poor think was bucking so hard she threw her back out.
                        MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

                        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                        • #13
                          Oh yeah, picture this--at a show (yesterday) lunging my mare (who was a little "up") Get finished lunging and start walking her of the round pen. Here comes this huge Horse Fly--and I mean huge. It will not leave her alone, I try and bat it away with the lunge whip, horse is trying to get away from the horse fly and mom's crazy lunge whip. And the darn horse fly was relentless--I must have knocked it 3-4 times and it would just fly to the other side of the poor horse. I was about to have a full blown panic attack--how do I get the horse out of the round pen and to the stable without either 1) having the horse explode and trample me because she got bit or 2) me getting bit by the darn thing. We finally got away from it, I'm sure the people walking around the show grounds must of thought "who is that crazy woman in the round pen and what is she doing to that poor horse"
                          Connemaras Rock!!!


                          Meet my new horse Piedmont Penelope http://community.webshots.com/album/287402098dfpwFc


                          • #14
                            This would be exactly the reason I had my last very nasty fall that I am still attempting to recover from. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE these flies with a passion. They like to come to the pool too, for drinks of water, and when you kill them you have to make sure that they are smushed to grossness because they can unfold and fly away with a swat that would kill any ordinary fly.

                            If anyone finds a solution, PLEASE share it, because really, they are flies from hell.
                            Confessions of a Wannabe Farmwife - my Blog


                            • #15
                              We keep a tally of horse fly deaths every year when they come out. Right now b/t me and my friend we're up to 75 deaths, 15 maims and 12 stuns....my friends husband grabs them and crushes them in his hand. I have no idea how he avoids being bit because every time I've done that they bite through my glove!

                              Our arena is unrideable early in the am and late in the pm since it's located near the woods and those suckers literally come pouring out of the woodwork as soon as we step foot in the ring.

                              I have a respite, though since I go to school in CO where they apparently don't exist. I haven't seen one anyway. They're still pretty bad back home in MO, although I talked to a friend today who said she thought they might be on their way out since they got really bad on friday and then there were hardly any saturday morning. Here's hoping...


                              • #16
                                My yearling goes bonkers when the B-52s land on him. That is his only fear in life besides getting his food cut back. He will buck, swat, and run under the neck of Blitz in order to get them off. He's got these giant ears that hear approaching horse flies and I swear he looks like he wants to run and hide in a small corner and cry. Sometimes I yell out "Stop, drop and roll," but he hasn't taken my advice thus far. Blitz gets welts all over his backside from these creatures. A flysheet does help some, though the yearling is the bigger nuisance then since he's jealous and wants his own fly sheet. Not even a layer of SWAT on the hindquarters has stopped these evil beings. I just go out and beat Blitz (smooshing the evilness in the process) and pray that they all die out soon.


                                • #17
                                  I hate those things too. They scare me because I have seen the bucks my mare puts in when one gets within 10 feet of her. I would hate to think of her doing that when I am riding or driving her!


                                  • #18
                                    where we live they are called "B-52's" for obvious reasons....


                                    • #19
                                      play baseball...

                                      bat = sweatscraper
                                      ball = horsefly


                                      • #20
                                        I've been wiped out by those freaking flies twice in the last few years! A couple years ago while putting out hay my mare got nailed, spun and bolted right into my back and flung me a l-o-n-g ways...enormous swollen banged up leg and knock to the head. And then 2 weeks ago my gelding was eating hay in the barn aisle (it doubles as a run-in) and as I was walking by I patted his behind and one flew into the barn aisle and he swung hard towards me to get away from it. My arm got pinned between his hip bone and a halter rack...I won't even tell you what my arm looks like.
                                        My late mare also dislocated her hip when one was harassing her years ago...she was running and bucking to get away from it and those freaking things just don't. give. up. Finslly she threw herself down on the ground to roll when it landed on her...she hit the ground so hard that when she came up her hips were uneven. Took years off my life seeing her come up from a roll, try to trot off and have both hind legs all wonky and a really bad hitch in her gait.
                                        At my place we have a jihad against those things...they scare the snot out of the horses. I know when one's showed up because I can see my gelding through the house windows as he goes from happily munching hay to screaming whinnies, all out gallop and throwing bucks that defy gravity!
                                        The only good thing I can say about them is even with my dismal lack of coordination I can usually easily swat them right out of the air or off the horse...and probably due to their weight an even slight glancing touch sends them to the ground. If I could figure out how to torture these things and then hang their carcasses up as a warning to others I would.
                                        You jump in the saddle,
                                        Hold onto the bridle!
                                        Jump in the line!