Ah, the joy of summer. The sound of children playing. The drone of insects. The slapping sounds as the greenheads invade. For those of you who know the greenhead fly here are five facts that might keep you indoors this summer.
1. Greenheads — These Flies are Violent Eaters
Unfortunately for large mammals such as horses, cattle, barnyard animals, and humans, greenheads enjoy eating our blood. They are highly efficient at getting a blood meal too. These are flies that do not enjoy a leisurely meal. They swoop in, make you bleed, eat your blood and fly off before your hand can react to their presence. It is that efficiency in hunting and eating that makes their attack and bite so painful. They need to get to your blood fast so that they have time to gulp it up and be gone before you smash them. To that end, it is the design of their mouth that makes them such a menace and such efficient pests.
Their mouth parts include two sharp tools that look much like a pair of scissors. They jam those mandibles straight into your flesh. Then flex outwards severing every capillary and vein with which they come into contact. They use a salivary pump to douse the wound with an anticoagulant chemical. Then they use a syringe-like device that in their mouth to start sucking up your blood. All this happens in a split second. Then they are flying away full of your blood.
2. It is their Saliva that Hurts
Not only do they punch a large hole in you, they gush in an antiseptic-saliva that stimulates blood flow. It burns and causes your nerves to respond with pain.
3. It Is Your Blood That Keeps the Greenhead Population Alive
The female greenhead needs blood to finish the reproductive process. They do not just lay a single batch of eggs; they lay a continual batch of eggs. Every time they drink your blood they receive enough protein to produce a couple of hundred more eggs. So one female greenhead can unleash a summer of torture. Imagine what a whole colony of female greenheads can do.
4. Greenheads are Big
Greenhead flies are big horse flies. They reach over a half of an inch in length. Most horsefly species range from .25 inches to well over 1.5 inches in length. These flies are so big that insect repellant does not bother them.
5. Get ready Scream! Greenhead flies are fairly resistant to pesticides.
People have tried for decades to poison greenhead flies. The flies for the most part just laugh at you. Humans have not done a good job of eradicating Greenhead flies. This is mostly true because we did not understand them well. Those poor attempts at poisoning them resulted in a few deaths. We killed off the weaker flies and what remains are the ones that have a resistance to pesticides. If you want to get rid of greenhead flies, then try the Fly Cage. It is a trap that works on many levels. Two of those are the Greenhead’s natural instinct for dark colors, movement and the fact that they target large animals. The result, which is not toxic, is that the greenheads fly in and never fly out. The Fly Cage is the greenest solution for an insect that insecticides can’t kill.