GET STARTED

Stable Flies

Active Seasons

Appearance and Size Facts

  • Often mistaken for house flies
  • Have piercing-sucking mouthparts and house flies have sponging mouthparts
  • Brownish-gray in color and the abdomen has a checkered appearance, which can appear similar to other flies
  • Smaller in size than other flies (more compact)
  • Size: Approximately 1/4 inch long

Behavior and Habitat of Stable Flies

The stable fly is a blood-sucking fly which is of considerable importance to people, pets, livestock, and the tourist industry in states such as Florida. Stable flies primarily attack animals for a blood meal but in the absence of an animal host, will also bite man. Stable flies breed in soggy hay, grasses, piles of moist fermenting weed, grass cuttings, peanut litter, seaweed deposits along beaches, in soiled straw bedding, and sometimes in hay ring feeding sites. The female, when depositing eggs, will often crawl into loose material. Each female fly may lay 500 to 600 eggs, which are quite small and white in color, in 4 separate batches. Eggs hatch in 2 to 5 days into larvae which feed and mature in roughly two to three weeks. Larvae are maggots and transform to small reddish-brown capsules (pupae) from which the adult flies emerge. The average life cycle is 28 days, with males dying shortly after mating and females dying soon after laying all of the eggs. Certain regions of the United States have considerable problems with large numbers of stable flies attacking man. The coastal parts of New Jersey, shores of Lake Superior and Michigan, and western Florida are areas that historically have had severe stable fly problems. Although these areas have the most severe stable fly problems, the fly is numerous throughout most of Florida.

Signs of Infestation of Stable Flies

Stable flies tend to bite cattle (or people) on the lower legs so stamping of the feet is a sign that stable flies are present and feeding. Large, welt-like bites are an indication of stable fly feeding.

Tips for Prevention of Stable Flies

Proper disposal of livestock waste is the first step in pest management. Also, never allow wet straw to pile up in or near buildings. Lastly, set traps for adult flies indoors and outdoors, and use labeled insect repellents before going outdoors.

Stable Fly Gallery

Latest Pest Control News

What are these Large Brown Spots in my Yard? Brown Patch Fungus.

What are these Large Brown Spots in my Yard? Brown Patch Fungus.

Most South Floridians embrace the cool winter weather, if we are lucky. And just as we finish battling Chinch Bugs all summer long, now we have a new problem in our lawns: Brown Patch Fungus. If you notice large circular patches of brown grass in your yard, call Hulett Environmental Services today...

Read More ›
How to Rid Your Home of Big Headed Ants

How to Rid Your Home of Big Headed Ants

Big Headed Ants are an invasive species that are common in subtropical climates, like we have here in south Florida. They can be particularly difficult to control due to a single colony having multiple queens, reproducing year round. Often, multiple colonies can completely take over a landscape,...

Read More ›
Signs Your Home is Infested with Subterranean Termites

Signs Your Home is Infested with Subterranean Termites

Termites are among every homeowner's worst fears. Subterranean termites can especially cause significant damage to the structure of your home if an infestation is not eradicated quickly. As soon as you notice signs of subterranean termite damage, seek advice from a professional Pest Control...

Read More ›