Stable flies are known for their bites, they are also called "biting
flies". They bite people, livestock,pets and other mammals. The bites
may feel like a needle stab. Most bites occur around the ankles and lower
parts of the legs.
Stable flies are very persistent when searching for a blood meal. Stable flies overwinter in breeding sites and emerge the following spring as adults.
Identification of the Stable Fly
Size: About 1/4 inch long
The identity of the Stable Fly is sometimes confused with the House
Fly. The Stable Fly can be easily distinguished from other common domestic flies
by the long, pointed proboscis which extends in front of the head.
Both males and females use this proboscis to pierce the skin of a host
and suck blood. The bite is painful and outdoor human activity may be
curtailed when these flies are numerous.
The Stable fly ingests liquids by piercing bites,
while the house fly has a sponging mouth part.
Stable Fly Control and Elimination
Inspecting for Stable Flies
are commonly found around stables and houses, and also along the seashore
and near dog kennels.
Stable flies prefer to feed outdoors and rarely are found
feeding or resting indoors.
Since Stable Flies breed in livestock waste, removal of this breeding source is the best management control. Due to the stable fly life cycle to complete, it is best to remove the waste once a week.
Remove other breeding areas like wet straw and mulch and other rotting organic matter.
stable flies and dump flies may also be problems in certain areas. They
are non-biting flies.
Stable Fly Control Products
Residual Insecticides : Spot spray the fly resting areas with effective residual sprays such as, D-fense SC or Cyper
WP. These flies rest on sides of barns and buildings, inside and outside animal stalls and fences.
Contact Aerosol Sprays: You can use space sprays that contain pyrethrin for immediate results, giving you a quick knockdown. Pyrethrins are non residuals and only last for a short time. Suggested space sprays are products such as P1 Contact, CB 80, PT 565 or V One. We also carry a line of professional fogging materials and foggers.
Suggested Fly Traps
Place fly traps near their breeding areas. We suggest outdoor fly traps such as the Catchmaster Disposable Fly Trap or the Advantage Fly Trap. Do not place the fly traps near you because they will attract the flies.
Biology of Stable Flies
laid in sch places as decaying hay, straw, fermenting weeds, grass and
eggs hatch from 1 to 3 days into yellowish-white maggots or larvae. These
larvae pass through 3 instars and pupate in the last larval skin. In warm
weather the pupal stage lasts 6 to 20 days. The average adult lives about
The early morning and late afternoon hours are commonly
peak feeding times.
Peak activity usually occurs during warm periods following
Stable flies like to feed on the lower parts of the hosts
such as the legs and belly of horses and cattle.
Cattle, horses, and people are typically bitten on the
legs; dogs and swine are generally bitten on the ears.
Even though the female requires a blood meal in order
to lay eggs, both male and female feed on blood.
About 60 - 120 eggs are laid at a time with some flies
surviving to lay two or more batches of eggs.
Eggs hatch in less than 24 hours to produce larvae (maggots)
that feed and grow beneath the surface of the breeding material.
Breeding sites include rotting straw
or straw hay, wet and decaying spilled grain, fermenting piles of vegetation
(such as weed or grass cuttings), silage, and manure in mounds .