Types of Flies That Bite People in New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and Delaware
Several species of flies bite humans to feed on their blood.
List of flies that bite:
- Deer flies
- Horse flies
- Stable flies
- Black flies
- Biting midges (Gnats)
Most prevalent in the spring, deer flies are black to yellow-brown in color and have the ability to transmit diseases via their bites.
Horse flies measure an inch in length on average and feed on the blood of livestock, pets, and humans.
Greenhead horse flies are especially prevalent along the Jersey Shore. Abundant in the late summer and fall, stable flies, as their name suggests, feed primarily on livestock but also target people and domesticated pets.
Black flies are small, prefer moist environments, and feed on the blood of humans, cattle, wild mammals, and various species of birds.
Finally, also known as gnats or no-see-ums, biting midges regularly infest homes because they’re small enough to fit through the holes in window and door screens. Some suck the blood of humans, while others prefer the blood of insects such as mosquitoes. More info on gnat bites.
Symptoms of Fly Bites
What the Bites Look Like:
The species of biting flies produce slightly different physical reactions in the humans they bite.
- Horse and Deer flies – Leaves behind itchy, red, swelling welts.
- Black flies – Produces small puncture wounds or cause golf ball sized swelling and induce black fly fever, which is characterized by headaches, nausea, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.
- Biting midges – Leaves behind itchy, irritated, and small bites.
Infections or Reactions:
People may contract secondary bacterial infections if they persistently scratch at bite sites.
Additionally, individuals who are allergic to biting fly saliva may experience life-threatening reactions. Severe symptoms include:
- Swelling around eyes
- The first step to treating fly bites is cleaning the affected areas with mild soap and water.
- Icing bites for 15 minute increments over the course of a day helps prevent swelling and infection.
- If bleeding occurs or severe symptoms present, individuals should seek expert medical advice immediately.
Prevention & Control
- Repairing ripped window and door screens and disposing of litter, manure, and decaying trash properly, individuals can control populations of flies and, in turn, fly bites.
- People should wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid standing water when outside.
If fly infestations get out of control, homeowners should contact pest control experts to eliminate the problem.
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