What animals eat this pest species naturally? Here is a list of common horsefly predators.
Horseflies can be a nightmare for persons living within an infested area. These pests are well known for targeting mammals for feeding, including humans and animals alike. Here is a list of what horseflies eat.
In reality, only female horseflies actually feed on blood.
Adult males will normally feed on plant organic matter as well as on nectar. Also, their mouthparts aren’t as developed as those of females. However, we aren’t interested in delving into the nitty-gritty of horsefly nutrition.
Rather, our focus is solely on horsefly predators.
This is an interesting subject because horseflies are known to inflict pain during their feeding activity. The thought of having predators that prey on them is a delight. So, do such predators actually exist?
They do! There are lots of predators that will hunt down and feed on horseflies.
Natural Predators That Prey On Horseflies
There’s a long list of horsefly predators that have a taste for horseflies.
In other words, their choice of diet includes horseflies. These range from Sparrows, Killdeer, Black-headed Grosbeak, Swallows, and Warblers.
Others include Hornets, Bembicini, Dragonflies, Parasitoid Wasps, and Tachinidae. Having these horsefly predators within your surroundings helps a lot to contain an infestation.
What Animal, Bird, Or Insect Eats Horseflies?
Let’s provide you with some additional details about these predators as follows;
When it comes to naming horsefly predators, one sparrow species easily comes to mind; the house sparrow. Not only does this specie feed on horseflies, but they also hunt down other insect types.
House sparrows feed on a wide variety of foods including seeds and grains.
Female house sparrows are identified by their grey and dull brown colors while males have white, brown, and black patches. These horsefly predators are social birds and move in flocks to usually settle close to human settlements.
Killdeers are often found in wetlands and are tiny birds that feed on a variety of insects. Insects included in their nutritional choice include horseflies. Now, female horseflies are known to migrate to wetlands to lay eggs.
This serves as the perfect time of year for killdeers to feast on them. Nature always has an exciting way of balancing itself. With the information about the existence of horseflies you should have a deep satisfaction that sooner or later, such pests would be eaten.
These horsefly predators are migratory birds mostly found around gardens, in thickets as well as forests. We all know that horseflies avoid shaded areas, so how do these predators get to them?
The answer is simple; horseflies are hunted by black-headed grosbeaks.
This bird species have thick, large, and conical beaks. Mature males come with a blackhead as well as an orange body. Other females and males bear orange patches on their chests with dominantly brown color.
Black-headed grosbeaks have a wide selection of food preferences that includes monarch butterflies, snails, pine, seeds, berries, and fruits. Of course, horseflies are included in their diet preferences.
Swallows are known by several names; some of which include martins and saw-wings.
These fast-paced birds are well adapted to predators as they have sharp sights with which prey (including horseflies) are seen or noticed from a distance.
Apart from insects, Swallows also feed on grains and seeds. Feeding or preying on horseflies is practiced in flight.
The ideal habitat for swallows includes open spaces or large areas that allow for greater freedom of flight as well as near natural water bodies.
These horsefly predators come in mixed colors of dull brown and greenish. You’ll find Warblers in many places such as in gardens, marches, and woodlands.
Among their favorite prey are horseflies. Other diets include seeds and berries.
Hornets normally feed on plant organic matter as well as on nectar.
While this is true, their larvae are considered to be carnivorous. These are fed with horseflies among other insects. Adult hornets are known as horsefly predators and go in search of prey.
Now, horseflies when caught are too large to be eaten or fed on by hornet larvae. As such, their corpse is cut into slices using powerful jaws.
Bambini is a wasp species that prey on horseflies. These also go by the name; sand wasps.
Like hornets, bembicini go in search of horseflies and a wide variety of other pests. These are caught and taken back to their carnivorous larvae.
Dragonflies need a significant intake of food each day. A wide variety of insects are included in their diet preferences.
This includes horseflies. Not only do mature dragonflies feed on horseflies, but their larvae (those of dragonflies) are also attacked and fed on by dragonfly nymphs.
These types of horsefly predators are tiny and are unable to feed on mature horseflies.
Confusing right? Well, horsefly pupa, eggs, and larvae are targeted and fed on. This useful function ensures that horsefly infestations are arrested at the earliest stage possible.
Tachinidae is a parasitic predator. Like parasitoid wasps, their main targets are horsefly eggs which they feed on.
Also, Tachinidae will readily feed on pupae, larvae, and eggs of all insects.
Are Horsefly Predators Enough?
Depending on predators isn’t enough and won’t completely wipe out or decimate horsefly populations. You’ll still attract bites from these pests until you take preventive measures seriously.
Part of the several preventive measures includes wearing sufficient covering over your body. Horseflies are known to latch onto your skin for their fill of blood meal. Not covering up only serves to make things much easier for them.
If you live near a wetland, you’re likely to face more horsefly problems as such areas serve as ideal breeding grounds.
Here, there’s little you can do in terms of taking preventive measures. Getting out of such locations is one of the few alternatives remaining.
Luckily, the horsefly season isn’t long. It only lasts a few weeks each year. During such times, you may want to plan your day by only going out when it’s necessary. That way, you’re less exposed to horseflies.
Horsefly predators perform an important function of nature which ensures sustainability.
We’ve seen the several predators that target horseflies as prey. With the pain caused by horsefly bites when drawing blood, there’s a feeling of satisfaction to know that they are also eaten.