How To Keep Horse Flies Away: Easy Guide

How To Keep Horse Flies Away
How To Keep Horse Flies Away

In Texas alone, there are over 100 different types of horse flies. They are not only bothersome because they are flies, but they can also inflict a painful bite on human and animal skin, according to the Texas A&M website. This can cause swelling and pain in the bitten area for several days. Horse flies are drawn to water because they lay their eggs near bodies of water. Because female horse flies bite, it is especially important to keep them away from your house and swimming pool. So, in this post, we’ll look at how to keep horse flies away from you, your house, and your swimming pool.

What Does a Horse Fly Look Like?

The horsefly has dull yellow markings that look like those of a bee. Because of its dull colors, people call it a “dun-fly.” They have large eyes, small antennae, and razor-sharp mouthparts. Their bodies are wider than the average fly, and they can grow to be an inch long.

How to Keep Horse Flies Away from Your Pool

You don’t have to let horseflies ruin your pool enjoyment because they are aggressive spoilers of fun. Here are some ways to keep horse flies away from you, your house, and your pool:

#1. Sticky fly paper. 

Unroll and distribute fly paper around the pool area. Horseflies and other flying pests will be attracted to and trapped by these hanging strips. Replace them as needed or when the paper becomes clogged. Also, avoid walking into them. It’s a disgusting experience, believe us.

#2. Pesticides.

Spraying the pool area and your immediate surroundings with natural pesticides containing pyrethroids is an excellent way to keep horse flies away from you and your pool. These pesticides are made from dried chrysanthemum plants and are non-toxic to children and pets. To prevent horseflies from developing a tolerance to a specific pesticide, alternate between using organophosphate and organochlorine-based pesticides in other areas of your garden.

#3. Light traps. 

The light emitted by these traps was designed specifically to attract various types of flying pests. They are zapped and, in most cases, killed as soon as they come into contact with the light. To quickly kill the horseflies, place one or more of these traps around the pool area. Because they are powered by electricity, keep them out of reach of children to avoid being splashed.

#4. Bag traps. 

These traps are made up of two parts: a bag containing fly food that attracts flies and a funnel that allows flies to enter but prevents them from leaving. This trap appears to be one of the most effective horsefly traps. The smell of fly food and trapped flies, on the other hand, is quite pungent and overpowering. It is best to place one or more of these traps away from the pool or other areas where people congregate. However, don’t be concerned about its effectiveness; horseflies cannot resist the bait.

#5. Horsefly traps. 

These are large, hanging traps with moving parts that are specifically designed to catch horseflies. By the time they realize they’ve landed on something other than their prey, they’ll be trapped between the parts and killed by the heat of the sun-warmed metal. For maximum effect, hang this type of trap in an area that receives a lot of sunlight during the day.

How to Keep Horse Flies Away From Your House

Horse flies are notorious for their painful bites, which are caused by their scissor-like jaws. Female horse flies, like female mosquitoes, want to feed on your blood. (Male horse flies prefer nectar.) However, unlike a mosquito bite, which may go unnoticed until it starts to itch, a horsefly bite will result in a loud “ouch!” (or livestock).

#1. Take out any standing water.

Horse flies, like many other insects, breed in damp conditions. As a result, removing standing water is an effective way to keep your property’s population under control.

If you have fields where water tends to accumulate, you’ll need to install proper drainage systems to keep the water flowing away. While this is a costly solution, it will allow you to put previously unused areas of your property to use.

It’s also a good idea to have fewer watering points around your horses to reduce standing water. Installing automatic waterers along the fence line, for example, allows two or three fields to share a single water trough. During peak horsefly season, remove any unused water buckets and cover your pond or pool. This may require some additional work, but your horses will appreciate it!

#2. Utilize repellents

Horse fly repellents can be used directly on your horses, as well as on stable doors, walls, and manure piles. Effective repellents can not only keep horse flies away from you and your house, but they can also kill them! Most fly sprays are multi-purpose and effective against a variety of species. Check the bottle or read online reviews to see if a product repels horse flies.

Repellents for commercial use

Horse flies respond well to chemicals in the pyrethroid, organophosphate, and organochlorine groups. So if you see them mentioned on the packaging, you’ve probably got the right product.

We discovered that the following repellents are effective against horseflies after conducting some research:

  • Farnam Endure Sweat-Resistant Horse Fly Spray
  • Equisect Botanical Fly Repellent Rtu Spray
  • Pyranha Wipe N Spray

It’s important to keep in that insects, like microbes, can develop resistance to chemicals over time. As a result, it’s worthwhile to rotate the products you use regularly to maximize their efficiency.

Homemade repellents

If made correctly, homemade repellents can be very effective against horse flies. There are numerous recipes available online, the majority of which are safe to use on your horse’s skin. The following are the main ingredients in homemade fly repellents:

  • vinegar (white)
  • Lavender, eucalyptus, citronella, and tea tree essential oils
  • lime juice
  • alcohol
  • dish detergent

These are common ingredients, but not all of them are used in the same solution.

#3. Install fly traps

Fly traps, whether purchased or homemade, are an easy and convenient way to keep horse flies away from you and your property. You could buy a mechanical trap that instantly kills flies if you need a quick solution. Lamps, bug zappers, and sticky tapes coated in strong chemicals are some examples.

Other traps catch horse flies and keep them in a small container until they die. Flies-Be-Gone traps attract flies by placing bait inside a plastic bag. Once the horse fly enters the bag, it has no way out and is trapped inside.

Another type of trap is the Horse Pal, which collects flies in a glass jar. It consists of a large dark ball that attracts flies and a fabric tent above it that directs them into the jar, where they will die.

#4. Trim tall grasses

Moisture tends to collect at the base of tall grasses and weeds after a clear and cold night. As we all know, this is an excellent breeding ground for a variety of insects, including horseflies. They also prefer to congregate here during the hottest hours of the day, which is yet another reason to keep your grass under control.

A well-kept lawn or field is less likely to provide a suitable breeding ground for horse flies, which can help keep the problem at bay.

#5. Keep a clean yard

Similarly, make a habit of cleaning up manure, spilled feed, and old bedding regularly. All of these conditions are ideal for female horse flies to lay their eggs. Your manure pile should ideally be as far away from your stables as possible. If this is not possible, you can spray insecticide on the manure pile and surrounding areas to kill any developing larvae.

#6. Avoid peak activity times.

While this will not keep horse flies away from you and your house, staying away when they are most active will make the time you spend with your horse more enjoyable. Some horsefly species are most active during the day, while others are most active at dusk and dawn. Your best bet is to research the most common species in your area and plan your day accordingly.

How to Prevent Horseflies from Invading?

Preventing horseflies is just as important as keeping them away from you and your home. Put these methods into action to keep horseflies from ruining your summer fun.

#1. Mow and weed your lawn regularly.

Horseflies prefer long, damp grass and weeds because they provide an ideal breeding ground and a cool refuge during the hottest part of the day. By keeping your grass short and your garden weed-free, you are depriving horseflies of their favorite summer hideouts. This will reduce the number of small animals visiting your garden and pool.

#2. Citronella candles and lamps should be lit around the pool area.

Citrus smells repel many types of biting insects, and those few brave insects who brave the citrus area will find their senses dulled and landing on you more difficult.

#3. Keep food and trash out of the pool area.

Almost all flies are attracted to food and trash, so keep the pool area clean and bins as far away from the pool as possible.

#4. Cover your pool.

Keep your pool covered as long as possible in June, July, and August, as these are the months when horseflies are most active. You can still use the pool, but remember to cover it when you’re done.

Does anything repel horse flies?

Repellents containing DEET, citronella, or geraniol are effective against horse flies. When spending time outside, the most effective way to avoid horse fly bites is to use a repellent and wear long sleeves and pants.

What smells keep horseflies away?

Cinnamon – flies despise the smell of cinnamon, so use it as an air freshener! Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass essential oils – Spraying these oils around the house not only creates a lovely aroma but also deters pesky flies.

How do I get rid of horse flies?

Killing horse flies with dish soap and vinegar spray:

To make a dish soap spray, fill an empty spray bottle with 4 tablespoons of dish soap and 2 cups of white vinegar. Then add 1 cup of warm water and shake the mixture to make your dish soap spray. Spray it on horseflies and watch them perish in an instant.

How do you repel horse flies naturally?

Combine a cup of warm water and two cups of white vinegar to make a spray. Then, stir in four tablespoons of dish soap and spray the mixture on the flies. Most insects will be killed by this solution, but humans, animals, and plants will be unharmed.

What month do horse flies go away?

From May to September, deer flies and horse flies can be active. Adult females are daytime blood feeders found near swamps and marshes, along pond and stream banks, and on the edges of wooded areas. Adults are extremely powerful fliers who are drawn to dark moving objects and carbon dioxide.

Will vinegar keep horse flies away?

Horseflies are repulsed by the smell of vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is a naturally occurring product made from fermented apple juice. Because a horse fly finds its victim through smell, an effective spray must mask the horse’s scent.

Why do horseflies chase you?

Aside from the desire for blood, horseflies pursue humans for a variety of reasons. For one thing, they are drawn to moving objects, particularly dark moving objects that are warm. So if you start walking away, they will follow. Most people’s movements are so consistent that horseflies begin to chase them.

What are horse flies attracted to?

The smells of blood, manure, and sweat attract horse flies.

Can horse flies bite through clothes?

A person should wear clothing that covers their skin and head to avoid being bitten by a horsefly. Horseflies can bite through clothing, so avoid bites by wearing thicker or less skintight clothing.


Horseflies attack humans and animals to feed on their blood. Their bites are painful and, in some cases, fatal to livestock. Trying to keep horse flies away from you, your house, and your swimming pool is a never-ending but necessary task. To protect yourself, your horses, and your livestock from horseflies, there are numerous bug traps and repellents available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dryer sheets repel horse flies?

We finally tried “Bounce” dryer sheets for insect/horse fly repellent on our bridles… IT WORKS!!!! They flew close to our horses but did not land.

What time of day are horse flies least active?

They are often big and quick when they fly, and the females bite animals, including people, to get their blood. Also, they prefer to fly in the sunlight and avoid dark and shady areas, and they are dormant at night.

How painful is a horse fly bite?

Horseflies have strong and sharp mouthparts that cut through the skin like scissors to get to the blood. The horsefly bite is extremely painful, unlike a mosquito or tick bite.

Related Articles:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like