Ugh. Some serious deerfly action up here in Minnesota.

Ohio Extention has more info about deer flies–how about you amuse yourself reading about the slashing/sucking mouthparts of these little bastards while I run for cover?

I did not bring my head net, and I’m regretting it right now:

“Female horse and deer flies are vicious, painful biters. They feed on the blood of cattle, horses, mules, hogs, dogs, deer, other warmblooded animals, and even humans. These flies cut through the skin with their knife-like mouthparts and suck the blood for several minutes….Deer flies seem to be attracted to moving objects and dark shapes. They attack humans especially around the face and neck areas (four to five deer flies attack at one time)”

There is a fair amount of evidence that wearing light-colored clothing attracts less deer flies.

Purdue has a nice graphic of the life cycle, BTW..

[Photo from sinkha63]

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. I wonder if these are the things that attack us when we go camping (in Oscoda, MI)! We were swimming in the river one day, and these giant flies kept dive bombing our heads… we had to keep diving under to avoid them. I thought I was going to drown. It was pretty funny, though.

  2. Oh! And then we were driving in our car through some deep woods and there were these CRAZY flies that were smacking themselves against the windows, trying to get in. I’ve got pictures of them somewhere… any ideas as to what those could be? They were scary!

  3. That sounds like them, yeah. Photos will help with the ID, though.

    Now you know why I’m running!

  4. If ever a creature sprang from the pit of hell!

Comments are closed.