How To Get Rid of Horse Flies Around A Pool: 9 Effective Ways

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Have you come across a fly alien of its kind near your pool? Then, you have most likely encountered horseflies. The recent news on the invasion of horseflies has taken the world by craze, and it might be just the same for you.

If you belong to the Mediterranean region, it is typical for horseflies to invade your pool. You might wonder if horseflies are a threat and different from other flies. Well, horseflies can be considered the monsters of the fly world that suck blood.

Horsefly bites have been proven dangerous and even lethal as they leave you wounded with their infectious venom inside the body. Hence, there are obvious reasons why you must get rid of Horseflies around your pool as soon as possible.

You might be confused about various ways to get rid of horseflies around your pool. We have brought you a list of the most effective ways to eradicate horsefly infestation (with pictures). You can use the method that suits you best and enjoy a cool pool with no alien flies around.

What are Horseflies?

What are Horseflies
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Before we jump into how to get rid of horseflies around a pool, you must know what you are dealing with. Horseflies are monstrous and aggressive flies with large bodies, wide eyes, wings, and thick beaks.

They belong to the Tabanidae family of flies and mimic a dark-colored body. There are many aspects that separate horseflies from typical flies. Their visible compound eyes ranging from 1 cm to 2.5 cm in size and blade-sharp mouth are among the differentiating traits.

Horseflies get their name because of their association with horses as hosts. They typically go through four stages during their life cycle, egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Horseflies have serrated mandibles responsible for sucking blood by digging into the hosts’ skin.

Do All Horseflies Bite?

Do All Horseflies Bite
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Horseflies are renowned for their most painful and lethal bites. However, it is only the female horseflies that bite mammals. They do so to produce eggs using the protein in the blood. They mainly target every warm-blooded being out there besides horses and other animals.

Once a horsefly digs into the skin with its serrated mandibles, it prevents the blood from clotting by releasing an anticoagulant into the induced wound. It makes the horsefly bite even more painful. The venom they leave inside the skin after sucking blood is highly irritating.

Is Horsefly Bite Dangerous?

Is Horsefly Bite Dangerous
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Now that you know how painful and gruesome a horsefly bite, you might wonder what the consequences of such a bite are. Many cases have been reported of horsefly bites causing scars and blisters. The records state that it can lead to limb amputation and death.

Horsefly bites are accompanied by pain, redness, itchiness, and swelling of the bitten area. Allergic reactions are uncommon in the case of horsefly bites. However, infections are most likely to accompany the wound as it takes a long time to heal.

In some cases, the person with a horsefly bite might experience symptoms such as wheezing, nausea, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty in breathing, and swelling of the tongue, throat, face, hands, feet, lips, etc. If such a situation arises, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately.

What are the Things That Attract Horseflies?

Horseflies infest an area when they find a habitat suiting them. Numerous factors attract horseflies, and you are doomed if they find it around your pool or living area. Here are the most common things that serve as an attraction site for horseflies.

  • Carbon dioxide: It might be surprising, but carbon dioxide attracts horseflies. Hence, every source that emits carbon dioxide is a point of infestation for horseflies. It mainly includes mammals as they exhale carbon dioxide, which helps them track down their hosts.
  • Food: Food is undoubtedly an attractive factor for every living being. The same is true for horseflies. You can find them around places rich in livestock and warm-blooded mammals, so the female horseflies can suck blood to produce eggs. The male horseflies suck nectar from plants and flowers. Hence, you can also find them in your garden.
  • Light: Horseflies invade the places where they can find sufficient light or something that serves as a light reflector. Hence, bright and sun-lit places are most likely to invite horseflies.
  • Moving objects: Moving objects that are dark in color also make a home for horseflies. So, bright-colored outfits might work if you want to escape horsefly-infested areas.

Why are Horseflies Found Around Swimming Pools?

Why are Horseflies Found Around Swimming Pools
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Swimming pools are home to all the things that attract horseflies. They are the reflector of light and consist of moisture. Moreover, horseflies can find numerous dark-colored moving objects in a pool, which excites them.

Swimming pools are also a rich source of carbon dioxide and are perfect for horseflies to wander about.

Also Read:- 18 Different Types of Wasps with Information & Pictures 

9 Ways to Get Rid of Horseflies Around a Pool

Now that you are aware of the threat horseflies can pose, it is time you know the ways to get rid of them. Here are some of the most effective ways to remove horseflies invading your pool.

1. Pesticides


Pesticides and insecticides are undoubtedly great ways to get rid of flies. The same is true for horseflies. However, the pesticides you use for killing horseflies must contain pyrethroids.

Pyrethrin pesticides are natural and made of dried chrysanthemum. It makes them safe for use when you have children and pets around. You can use this pesticide to kill horseflies in their larval stage.

However, the larvae are most likely to be present near your pool. It raises a threat of water poisoning and hence is not preferred. The best way is to spray pyrethrin pesticides around your pool.

 Suppose you have horse flies invading your garden; you can use organophosphate and organochlorine-based insecticides to get rid of them.

2. Horsefly Traps

Horsefly Traps
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Horsefly traps are another effective way to get rid of them. You can come across various horsefly traps, such as disposable, umbrella fly traps, light traps, cake bottles with rotten meat, etc.

Horsefly traps are designed to lure horseflies through their moving parts and kill them by trapping them inside. Once trapped, the horseflies get killed by the heated trap due to sunlight.

Hence, you can hang these horsefly traps near your pool and trap as many as 10,000 to 20,000 flies. The idea works better on an immensely sunny day. It would help if you replaced the trap once it is filled with trapped horseflies.

3. Light Traps

Light Traps
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As horseflies are attracted to light, you can use their disadvantage by hanging light traps. Light traps are electricity-powered traps that lure horse flies and kill them with an instant shock.

You can place light traps around your swimming pool to utilize this idea. However, you must ensure to place the light traps at an appropriate distance from your pool to avoid contact with water and electricity due to splashing.

4. Sticky Fly Paper

Sticky Fly Paper
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The sticky fly paper also works as a trap for horseflies. Hence, hanging sticky fly papers around your pool can also be a great solution to removing horseflies. This fly paper is uniquely designed to lure horseflies, trap them, and kill them.

So, if you use sticky fly papers, consider replacing them when complete. Also, you must place it at an appropriate place around your pool so you do not get in touch with it.

5. Bag Traps

Bag Traps
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Bag traps are an extended version of horsefly traps with greater effectiveness. They use fly food to attract horseflies into the trap and kill them eventually.

These kinds of traps consist of a food bag containing fly food and a funnel-like entrance that allows horse flies inside the trap but does not let them escape. It is a great solution for removing horseflies around a pool, as food never fails to allure them.

6. Regular Pool Cleaning

Regular Pool Cleaning
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Besides all kinds of traps, you can also adapt a few ways to prevent horsefly invasion in the first place. You can do so by cleaning your swimming pool regularly of weeds and grass.

Horseflies use such environments as breeding places and take shelter to cool themselves off heat. Keeping the pool clean and free of vegetation can prevent horseflies from taking shelter near it.

7. Debris Removal

Debris Removal
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You can also clean your swimming pool of debris and trash to avoid horsefly infestation. Horseflies are attracted to litter, garbage, or food remains, and if they find it near your pool, they would love to invade.

8. Repellents

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Repellents are also a considerable way to remove horseflies. These are used to repel horseflies using a particular fragrance they hate. Many oils fall into this category, and you can use them to prepare repellents at your home.

Besides oils, liquid dish soaps also work as a repellent for horseflies. It is because of the presence of Borax in liquid dish soaps that it effectively kills horsefly breeds.

You can use homemade repellent by mixing baby oil with white vinegar and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. You can spray the repellent in the place of infestation and watch horseflies walk away.

9. Pool Covers

Pool Covers
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Pool covers also work towards keeping horseflies away. Though you can only keep your pool covered sometimes, consider covering it during the months when horsefly infestation is at its peak: June, July, and August.


Horseflies can spoil the fun you have around your pool. Hence, it would help if you made every attempt to keep them away. Besides the effective ways to get rid of horseflies mentioned above, here are a few recommendations you can follow to avoid horsefly invasion in the first place.

  • You must clean your swimming pool area by removing the grass and vegetation as breeding sites for horseflies.
  • You must keep removing food wastes and debris from the swimming pool area as they serve as an attraction site for horseflies.
  • You must mow your lawn and get rid of weeds regularly. Weed and moisturizing grass in your lawn may suit horsefly infestation, so you might want to keep it trimmed.
  • You can cover your pool during June, July, and August to keep horseflies from wandering around.
  • You can light citronella candles and lamps around your pool to serve as a repellent for horseflies.

Also Read:- 11 Small Backyard Pool Landscaping Ideas Under Budget


What stages do horseflies go through in their life cycle?

Horseflies go through four stages during their lifecycle. The stages are egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

What is the best time for horse flies to invade?

Horseflies mainly invade during June, July, and August. Hence, you can cover your pool during these months to avoid infestation.

What homemade repellents can one use to get rid of horseflies?

Homemade repellents such as White vinegar, Cedar, Basil, Rosemary, Lavender, etc., can be used to get rid of horseflies. Liquid dish soap with baby oil and white vinegar is also an effective repellent.

What kind of traps are effective for removing horseflies?

You can use various traps, such as sticky fly paper, light traps, special horsefly traps, bag traps, etc., to get rid of horseflies around your pool.

Can a particular scent repel horseflies? 

Yes, horseflies hate fragrances, such as Cedar, Basil, Lavender, lemon tree, carnation, etc. Hence, you can use these to prepare repellents for horseflies.


Horseflies are vampires in the world of flies. They bite, suck blood, and give you highly irritating and painful, infectious wounds. Horseflies are mainly attracted to swimming pools as they have all they need to survive. So, now that you know your pool is prone to horsefly infestation, you must get rid of them before they overpower you. Hence, you can use these effective ways to free your pool of horseflies and have a great time chilling in them.

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