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A Look at Biting Flies in Florida

August 30, 2022   |   Pest Control

biting flies in Florida

If you love sunshine and beaches, then Florida is an ideal place for you. Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only creatures that love the climate in Florida. Many unpleasant insects, especially biting flies, love the Sunshine State, too. These aggressive insects can ruin a pleasant afternoon, but they can be taken care of so you can enjoy the warmth and the sunshine.

There are several different types of biting flies in Florida, and they all are after one thing: a meal of blood. It might not seem like a big deal, but they can transmit disease. They are also irritating and manageable.

Florida Biting Flies

Knowing the different species and where they like to live can help you manage them in your home, office, or yard.

Deer Fly and Horsefly

These two flies are closely related aggressive fliers. The females of these species are the biters, and they prefer to do it in the daytime. Many people find themselves allergic to their anticoagulant that they inject into the bite. Sometimes, the bite becomes infectious, as these flies are known to transmit disease between animals and humans.

Horseflies like bright sun, so a good way to avoid them is to sit in a shady area. They are relatively easy to spot because they have widely separated eyes and have bright patterns on their bodies. They aren’t hairy like other flies, and they measure about an inch in length with a wingspan about 2 ½ inches wide.

Deer flies are smaller than horseflies and have bodies that are often yellow. They are about 1/3-inch in length, and their wings are transparent. They prefer to suck on cattle and deer, but enjoy human blood, too. Their yellow coloring slightly resembles honey bees.

Deer flies have similar tendencies to horseflies but prefer areas where animals are active. They like to attack the neck and head, so the best way to prevent their bites is to cover both.


Sandflies are tiny insects that look like mosquitos. They have a piercing mouthpiece that drinks blood. They range in size between 1.5 to 3.5 mm in length. They are hairy with stilt-like legs and big black eyes. They do not look at all like common house flies.

The female sandfly is the one that bites humans because the blood helps them produce eggs. They also like to eat sweet plant juices and secretions. They do not fly well in the wind. So, if you are outside and have electricity, put a fan near you. They prefer to feed at dusk and during the night when humidity builds.

Stable Fly

The stable fly or dog fly closely resembles the common house fly, which is why they are so problematic. They are the same size as a housefly, but they have a projecting mouthpiece that looks like it can pierce the skin. This is one of the rare breeds that both male and female feed on blood.

Stable flies can travel up to two miles to find a meal, and they are aggressive in their attack of animals and humans. They can spread disease, especially between animals. Stable flies have ruined some beaches on the Florida Gulf Coast because they are so prolific. Humans can’t do much to avoid them, other than hire a pest control company .

Black Flies

These flies have a black body with a hump on their backs. They prefer to attack in the day and will fly near the ears and nose of their hosts. Black fly bites are especially irritating, but they aren’t as ubiquitous as other biting flies in Florida.

If Florida biting flies are a problem where you live, Turner Pest Control can help you get your home, business, or yard back. Contact us today.

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