Other Pests

Mosquito Prevention Info

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Yellow Flies / Horse Flies / Deer Flies

Horse flies and deer flies are bloodsucking insects that can be serious pests of cattle, horses, and humans. Female horse flies and deer flies are active during the day. Deer flies are usually active for specific periods of time during the summer. When outside, repellents such as Deet and Off (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) can provide several hours of protection. Follow label instructions carefully because some people can develop allergies with repeated use, look for age restrictions.  Click here for more info.

Horse flies commonly known as yellow flies can be a real annoyance and some people can have fairly extreme allergic reactions. The months of June and July seem to be the time of the year when they are most prevalent. Please contact us to request a yellow fly sticky ball trap. Each residence within our district may request one. The ball is a beach ball that either was ordered black or has been painted black. We then apply a clear layer of a glue like substance and hang it form a tree on the property. The yellow flies are attracted to the moving dark colored sillohuette.

Request a Yellow Fly Trap Kit

Sand Fly is the common name applied to a minute, biting fly. Sand flies are important as vectors of numerous human diseases, including kala-azar or dumdum fever, oriental sore, and sand-fly fever. Six species are found in the United States, none of which are known to carry disease.

Scientific classification: Sand flies belong to the family Psychodidae, of the order Diptera. They are classified in the genera Culicoides and Phlebotomus. The species that transmits sand-fly fever is classified as Phlebotomus papatasii.

Here are some tips for armoring yourself yellow flies.

In Florida, the name “yellow fly” is used to describe about a dozen different species of yellow-bodied biting flies. “Yellow flies” readily attack humans and are usually abundant in Florida with peak annoyance occurring in May and June. “Yellow flies” are in the family known as Tabanidae. All tabanids go through an egg, larva, pupa and adult stage, referred to as “complete metamorphosis,” the same development process that mosquitoes go through. Tabanids lay egg masses containing 50 to several hundred eggs. Most species deposit their eggs around ponds, streams or swamps on overhanging vegetation such as grasses or cattails.

Yellow flies congregate in shaded, humid areas on the edges of forests, rivers and creeks, avoiding large, open, sunny areas. Some species are active in the early morning while other species are more active in the late afternoon. Depending upon conditions such as heavy tree canopy, cloudy days or when an animal is moving through an area, yellow flies can become active and bothersome throughout the day. “Yellow flies” prefer to attack man about the head, neck or shoulders, however, any exposed part of the body may be attacked.

Their persistence to obtain a bloodmeal, once a host is found, can make 5 or 6 flies unbearable. Sometimes the use of the old-fashioned fly swatter will give relief by taking out the few flies in an area. 

Non-Pesticide Yellow Fly Sticky Trap

A trapping method homeowners can use, which does not involve the use of pesticides, is called the “Yellow Fly Sticky Trap”. Basically it is a beach ball, (milk jugs work just as well and are easier to hang) painted black and coated with a sticky substance. The sticky substance is called Tangle-Trap and comes in a spray or liquid applicator. It can be found at local Hardware stores.

These devices are hung from a tree limb using string, in a shaded area, about 4 feet above the ground. Movement of the ball by the wind attracts the flies, thinking it is an animal, they land, get stuck, and die on the ball. Several of these balls will reduce the local adult populations.

South Walton Mosquito Control District will provide a Yellow Fly Sticky Trap kit and instructions so residents can make more if he or she feels they are effective for their situation. For more information, call (850) 267-2112.

You can also create your own “ball” using a milk jug, spray paint it a dark color and apply a sticky substance.

Request a Yellow Fly Trap Kit

Vegetation Management to Manage Yellow Fly Habitat

By removing underbrush around a residence, helps to eliminate resting sites for the flies and increases light levels making the area less attractive.


Personal protective measures include the use of repellents containing DEET (diethyl metatoluamide) applied to exposed skin. Wearing physical barriers such as a head net, long sleeve shirts and long pants are effective protection if you must be out in areas where “yellow fly” populations are high. Permethrin containing products labeled for application to clothing only, can also be effective in repelling and killing “yellow flies”. Thankfully, “yellow fly” season is relatively short, one to two months, and then mosquitoes become our major pest.

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