Horse flies can be a nuisance when boating, as they can bite and cause discomfort to both humans and animals. These flies are attracted to water and can be found near lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to get rid of horse flies on a boat.
Understanding Horse Flies
Recognizing Horse Flies
Horse flies are large, biting flies that are commonly found near bodies of water. They are typically gray or blackish in color and can range in size from 10 to 30 millimeters long. One of the key identifying features of horse flies is their large, often brightly colored eyes, which are usually green or purple with horizontal stripes.
Understanding Their Behavior
Horse flies are attracted to warm-blooded animals, including humans, and are known for their painful bites. They are most active during the day and are commonly found near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and ponds. Horse flies are also attracted to movement and will often swarm around moving objects, such as boats.
One of the ways that horse flies locate their prey is through the use of visual cues. They are attracted to dark colors and movement, which is why they are often seen around boats and other watercraft. Horse flies are also attracted to carbon dioxide, which is why they may be more active around people who are breathing heavily, such as those who are exercising or working hard.
To avoid being bitten by horse flies, it is important to take steps to reduce their presence around your boat. This may include using traps, repellents, and other control methods to keep these pests at bay. By understanding their behavior and taking proactive steps to control their presence, you can enjoy your time on the water without the annoyance of horse flies.
Preventing Horse Flies on Your Boat
Horse flies can be a real nuisance on boats, especially during the summer months. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent them from infesting your boat. In this section, we’ll explore some effective tips and tricks for preventing horse flies on your boat.
Keeping your boat clean is one of the best ways to prevent horse flies from infesting it. Horse flies are attracted to moist and dirty environments, so make sure to clean up any spills or messes as soon as possible. Regularly sweep and mop the floors, and wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant wipes.
Using Fly Traps
Fly traps are another effective way to prevent horse flies from infesting your boat. There are several types of fly traps available on the market, including sticky traps and electric traps. Sticky traps work by attracting flies with a sweet scent and then trapping them on a sticky surface. Electric traps work by attracting flies with a bright light and then electrocuting them.
Properly storing your food and garbage can also help prevent horse flies from infesting your boat. Make sure to store all food in sealed containers and keep your garbage in a sealed bag until you can dispose of it properly. It’s also a good idea to regularly clean out your garbage can and dispose of any food scraps or debris.
Effective Horse Fly Repellents
Horse flies can be a nuisance on boats, but there are effective repellents that can help keep them away. Here are some options to consider:
- Essential oils: Certain essential oils have been known to repel horse flies. Citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint are some of the most effective options. These oils can be mixed with water and sprayed on the boat or applied directly to the skin. However, it’s important to note that essential oils can cause skin irritation in some people, so it’s best to test a small area first.
- Fly traps: Fly traps can be a natural way to control horse fly populations. These traps use bait to attract and trap the flies, which can help reduce their numbers on the boat. Some effective baits include apple cider vinegar, molasses, and rotten fruit.
- DEET: DEET is a common ingredient in many insect repellents and is effective against horse flies. However, it’s important to use DEET-based products sparingly and avoid applying them to open wounds or cuts.
- Permethrin: Permethrin is a chemical insecticide that can be applied to clothing and gear to repel horse flies. This option is particularly effective for those spending extended periods of time on the boat.
- Pyrethroids: Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that mimic the effects of natural insecticides. They are commonly used in horse fly sprays and can be effective in repelling and killing horse flies. However, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and avoid overuse.
When choosing a horse fly repellent, it’s important to consider the effectiveness, safety, and ease of use. Natural options may be safer but less effective, while chemical options may be more effective but come with potential risks. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on individual preferences and needs.
If you have tried all the DIY methods and still can’t seem to get rid of horse flies on your boat, it may be time to call in the professionals. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering professional help.
When to Call a Professional
If the horse fly infestation on your boat is severe and DIY methods are not working, it may be time to call in a professional pest control service. Additionally, if you have a large boat or if you are dealing with a particularly dangerous type of horse fly, such as the Tabanus spp., it is best to leave the job to the professionals.
Choosing a Pest Control Service
When choosing a pest control service, it is important to do your research. Look for a reputable company with experience in dealing with horse flies. Here are some things to consider:
- Licensing and Certification: Make sure the pest control service is licensed and certified by the appropriate regulatory agency in your area.
- Experience: Look for a company with experience in dealing with horse flies specifically.
- Methods: Ask the company about their methods for dealing with horse flies. Make sure they use safe and effective methods that won’t harm you, your passengers, or the environment.
- Cost: Get quotes from multiple companies and compare their prices. Make sure you understand exactly what is included in the price.
In conclusion, horse flies can be a nuisance on boats, but there are effective ways to get rid of them. By following the tips and tricks mentioned in this article, boat owners can make their boating experience more enjoyable and comfortable.