What Are Horse Flies?
Tabanids (Tabanidae), Horse Flies or Deer Flies are all the same group of flies and are the tigers of the sky and some of the very largest flies found in the United Kingdom.
2018 was a very good year to be a horse fly as populations were higher than average in many areas.
Horse Flies are often large, fast and many, despite being very large are silent in flight. The horse flies bite however is anything but discrete.
In the UK we have many different species of horse fly. Some flies resemble house flies, whereas others are over an inch long! Imagine being bitten by one of those horse flies!
How Dangerous are Tabanids?
Horse fly bites are highly infectious – but not transmittable. What this means is that horse fly saliva contains many different bacteria and antigens that regularly cause some significant physiological side effects in the hosts skin.
Looking further down the page you can clearly see the kind of infectious skin reactions caused by this kind of biting fly.
These skin lesions commonly produce scars that will last a lifetime and we know this because we see people including ourselves with bites like this Every Single Year!
How Can You Prevent Horse Fly Bites?
Horse Fly Bites are only a risk where they are actively feeding on you as the bacteria in the saliva infects bite sites causing swelling and infection.
Repellents and barriers have their place, but can almost never completely remove the chance that bites will not occur.
Barriers available for horses and associated livestock include masks, blankets and sheets. There is even specialist devices designed to mimic the flies prey, that are effective to a point.
Repellents are available, but nature is not equal and there is always going to be exceptions to the rule.
What this means is that horseflies are not always attracted to a specific ingredient. All products of this nature can be effective, but no single formula is effective on all horse fly species.