While sitting outdoors enjoying a lovely day, a fly buzzing above your head might be very inconvenient and irritating.
In spite of our best efforts, our dogs are often at the mercy of these annoying insects, which may be aggravating for you as a dog owner and even harmful to your dog’s health.
It’s important to know that there are techniques to permanently keep flies away from your dog.
Why Do Flies Bite My Dog?
A dog’s matted or filthy coat, whether from disease, a skin issue, or diarrhea, might attract flies. An infestation occurs when flies lay eggs in the perineum as a result of diarrhea attracting the flies.
Keep a sick dog clean and inside your house to avoid this form of fly infection.
It is possible for your dog to experience the problem of flies biting his ears and get infected with bacteria.
In contrast to other insects, flies do not provide the same health dangers to dogs as mosquito bites do. Heartworm illness, which is lethal to dogs and cats, is transmitted by mosquitoes.
In warmer weather, flies are most active during the day, so if your dog is bothered by them, it’s best to keep your dog inside. Preventing your dog from being infested with flies is as simple as addressing any underlying medical conditions.
How do I keep flies from biting my dog?
Are flies bad for dogs? Obviously, yes! Keep your dog clean and healthy, but there are additional actions you can do to remove flies off your dog’s back.
In order to keep flies away from a particular part of your dog, such as his ears, consider applying petroleum jelly to the area. Repellents that are safe for dogs and humans alike may be found on the market that can be used at home.
Dog ears bitten by flies can internally infect your dog causing it to lessen your dog’s health.
Examples include a solution of apple cider vinegar and water or a solution of lemon and water. Be cautious to consult your veterinarian before attempting any of these home or store-bought medicines.
Tips On How To Get Rid Of Biting Flies On Dogs
But the best approach to keep flies from infecting your dog is to make sure they don’t come into contact with your dog. As a result, it’s imperative that you practice proper housekeeping.
The best and most effective way to get rid of flies is to eliminate their food supply. When an entering animal (such as a mouse or a bird) dies in the attic or basement, it provides a breeding ground for flying insects.
There are, however, a few simple actions you may take to keep flies out of your house.
Keeping your yard clean means picking up any food or half-chewed dog bones, washing and cleaning your rubbish and recycling bins on a regular basis, and making sure that your garbage cans don’t overflow.
Keep your dog’s outside food and water bowls clean at all times as well.
Think about using non-toxic pesticides to get rid of flies. Flies at all phases of development are promptly and effectively eliminated by spraying with a solution that contains the active botanical component Pyrethrum.
Beware of goods containing synthetic Pyrethroids. Always apply pesticides sparingly and in accordance with the directions on the label.
In addition, you may grow a variety of herbs that not only deter flies but are also useful in the cooking. Mint and rosemary are effective fly repellents. Lavender, sweet woodruff, and tansy are also good for humans but bad for flies.
I believe that growing any herb or shrub that promises to prevent insects is a good idea.
However, their usefulness won’t replace the most important way of hygiene. For example, keeping your yard clean, your compost pile covered, and your pet food covered, which is still the most important.
Even while you’re outside, you shouldn’t let up on your guard. The best way to keep your home clean is to remove any food off the countertops and check that the screens on your windows and doors aren’t ripped or damaged.
Which Flies Bite Humans and Dogs?
Although flies are typically merely an irritation, they may carry illness and pose issues for animals. Flies are flying insects. They’re a member of the Diptera, an enormously diverse group of insects.
Size, feeding preferences, growth patterns, and behaviors of flies are all very variable. Blood, saliva, tears, and mucus are all possible food sources for flies as adults.
Bacteria, viruses and parasites may also be transmitted by them. Insects in the Diptera order include not just the typical house fly, but also mosquitoes.
Flies biting dogs’ ears typically carry diseases with them that can cause dogs to become sick. While flies biting dogs’ noses can be extremely irritating for your dogs as their nose is a very sensitive part of their body.
Flies go through four distinct stages: egg, larva (flies at this stage appear like worms, and are usually known as maggots), pupa (the period in which the fly is growing within the cocoon), and adulthood.
Flies lay their eggs in rotting meat, animal waste, and stagnant water sources. The abundance of maggot food is a recurring theme in these egg sites.
Flies are prolific breeders and growers. A fly’s life cycle might take anywhere from 12 to 14 days, depending on the time of year and the weather.
Animal blood is the primary source of food for biting flies. Other species in this category include mosquitoes, sandflies, biting midges, horse flies, deer flies, and others.
Biting flies may be uncomfortable and cause allergic responses. But they are seldom hazardous to dogs unless they are highly numerous or carry a disease. Black flies and mosquitoes, for example, will attack both animals and people.
These flies do not feed on blood and never really bite the host animal while eating. These flies, on the other hand, feast on biological fluids.
They have the potential to spread illness to dogs and other pets in the home. Flies that reproduce in filth (like the ordinary house fly) and eye gnats are a few examples.
1. Biting Midges
Gnats, also known as “no-see-ums,” “punkies,” or “gnats,” are small insects that are commonly referred to as “gnats.”
There are many different kinds. Every single one is connected with watery or semi-watery environments, such as mud or wet soil surrounding streams and lakes. Both people and animals, including horses and dogs, may be injured by their venomous bites.
2. Black Flies
Black flies come in over a thousand different varieties. Tiny black flies (1–6 millimeters long) are able to evade many screens because they are so small.
North temperate and subarctic zones have the most species. Although there are also tropical and subtropical varieties.
There have been reports of vast numbers of these flies attacking and biting animals. This results in significant numbers of severe stings and even death.
3. Bot Fly Larvae
Different kinds of Cuterebra flies are responsible for the parasitic infection of dogs and cats. Most flies are exclusive to a single type of animal and can only be found there.
Despite this, the Cuterebra fly is an annoying parasite on many domestic animals, including dogs and cats. Warble flies (species of Hypoderma) and the human bot fly may infest dogs and cats on occasion (Dermatobia hominis).
4. Eye Gnats
Some kinds of these minuscule flies are drawn to the genital organs, but most gather near the eyes. They get their nutrients by sponging up mucus, pus, and blood.
Adult flies may be found throughout the year in southern California’s deserts and foothills. But they are most prevalent from April to November.
During the peak months, they are most evident in the early and late hours of the day. They are often found in thickly wooded areas or under the cover of a structure that casts a shady canopy over them.
5. Horse Flies
Some species of deer and horse flies (Chrysops species) have huge, heavy-bodied bodies. Hence they are hardy enough to survive in the harsh conditions of the wild. Large eyes and strong wings make them excellent flyers.
It is possible for the female flies to feed on the blood of any vertebrate species, even canines. Male flies do not feed on blood, but on plant nectar and pollen instead.
When compared to other species of flies, they feed on a greater volume of blood at a time. Like other flies, they are capable of transmitting pathogens.
These insects are tough to control. Different dosages may be required for certain pesticides to be effective. It’s best to consult with your pet’s veterinarian to find out which medications and doses are the most beneficial.
Myiasis, fly strike, or just strike are all terms for a maggot infestation. Infected skin wounds on any animal (even a dog) will attract house flies, blow flies, bottle flies, bot flies, and flesh flies.
In newborn pups, the healed stub of the umbilical cord attracts flies as a place to lay eggs. In elderly dogs, bite wounds are often the source of the first infection. These flies are attracted to matted hair coats that have been polluted with excrement.
Maggots hatch from eggs placed in contaminated hair coats, and they migrate quickly to infect any open wound. The larvae swiftly spread across the surrounding tissue after entering a wound.
Screwworm larvae are a common term for many fly species (so named because their shape resembles a wood screw). Two species of screwworms may infect dogs, although they’re not common in dogs.
New World screwworms as well as Old World screwworms are part of the screwworm family (found in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia). Screwworms are no longer present in the United States or Mexico as a result of a worldwide eradication effort.
Standing water is a favorite breeding ground for mosquito eggs. Mosquitoes will congregate even in the smallest of pools of stagnant water. Making sure there is no standing water around your house might help limit the quantity of mosquitoes you encounter.
Ensure your gutters are clear of obstructions by removing or turning over any water-holding containers.
Clogged gutters are a breeding ground for mosquito larvae. Mosquito eggs may be placed in little quantities of water and create large numbers of mosquitoes.
9. Sand flies
Those who live in tropical or subtropical climates will be bombarded by sand flies in droves. It has moth-like, hairy wings with a length of just 0.06 to 0.16 inches (1.5 to 4 millimeters).
Flesh-piercing mouthparts and the ability to feed on the blood of warm-blooded creatures like dogs and people make the female sandflies particularly dangerous.
It is common for them to be active only at night, and they are poor flyers in comparison to the black flies.
During the day, sand flies hide in cracks and caves, as well as vegetation and dark areas, such as buildings, to avoid predators. Maggots need organic materials to feed on in order to proliferate in dark, damp settings.
10. Stable Flies
These flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) are known as biting house flies because of their habit of biting. These insects are similar in size and appearance to house flies, but they feed exclusively on human blood.
Blood is the primary food source for both sexes of stable flies. They’re all over the place. Midwestern and southern states are the areas where they are most typically seen in the United States.
Dogs with pointed ears, particularly German Shepherds, are known to be a favored host for stable flies. While horses are the primary host for the insects. Anthrax, surra, and equine infectious anemia have all been linked to stable flies.
Hygiene measures have been shown to decrease stable flies by up to 90%. It’s important to keep areas like fence rows, feed bunks, and other areas where manure, straw, or other decaying stuff collects clean.
A pesticide that includes imidacloprid and permethrin repels these flies and stops them from feeding on dogs. But the treatment does not kill this species of biting fly.
11. Toxic Tsetse Fly
These blood-feeding tsetse flies (Glossina species) are prevalent across Africa. In humans, tsetse flies serve as intermediate hosts for trypanosomes that cause African sleeping sickness and nagana.
Trypanosomes may kill both horses and dogs, regardless of species. A temperature that fluctuates, anemia, and weight loss are the most common symptoms of the condition.
What is Fly Biting?
An extremely unusual ailment known as fly biting, also known as fly catching or fly snapping syndrome, is characterized by your dog ‘snapping’ or biting at something in the air. There may also be an extensive act of licking and excessive chomping as a result of it.
What causes Fly Biting?
Even if your dog is not being playful or feeling threatened, snapping at the air might be an indication of something more serious.
• Partial seizures:
If your dog has hallucinations as a consequence of a partial seizure, also known as a focal onset sensory seizure, repetitive bouts of fly-catching behavior may occur. As a result of these seizures, your dog may seem to hallucinate, resulting in the fly-biting.
Seizures may be followed by outbursts of aggressiveness or wrath in certain situations. While others may merely look disoriented for a brief period.
• Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract:
Intestinal irregularities or issues have been linked to dogs’ fly-biting behavior. This is according to some study.
• Disorders of compulsive behavior:
Compulsive behavioral problems in dogs, like human tics, may be a symptom of aggressiveness if they occur in stressed or bored canines.
Fly-snapping may be an effective strategy to draw attention in certain situations. You can tell whether your pet’s fly-snapping behavior is learnt and not a medical illness. That is if you can divert your pet from the behavior and it only happens in particular conditions.
• Problems with vision:
The fact that your dog is biting insects might be the result of vision issues. Your dog’s disorientation may be caused by changes in eyesight, such as cysts or vitreous floaters, as well as other diseases, such as migraines.
Cavalier King Charles spaniels are the most often affected, and the illness is assumed to be passed down via the family.
Is Fly Biting In Dogs Dangerous?
In most cases, fly snapping is a side effect of another ailment or disorder, thus therapy focuses on addressing them as well.
If the fly-catching is a sign of a damaged GI tract, a variety of therapies may help resolve and alleviate symptoms and decrease inflammation. From dietary adjustments to food allergy testing and the use of enzymes and probiotics.
Dogs with a compulsive behavioral condition may benefit from medication to help them calm down.
It’s possible to intervene early on in your dog’s fly-catching behavior by using behavioral treatments to teach your dog new coping mechanisms and discover the causes of your dog’s fly-catching behavior.
Ensuring that your pet gets adequate exercise and mental stimulation may also help to reduce stress.
A proper diagnosis and treatment plan will need to be devised if eye issues are to blame for the person’s actions.
My dog is snapping at the air, what should I do?
If your dog’s fly-catching behavior persists as he or she ages, you should visit your veterinarian to rule out any underlying GI, neurological, or vision problems. Fly-catching is frequent in puppies that are too eager or energetic.
In the late spring and early autumn, flies are particularly irritating to both animals and people. Flies biting dogs are prevalent if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors at this time of year.
There are a number of places where your dog’s ears and nose are vulnerable to fly bites. We hope that this article will help you to effectively prevent flies from your dogs.
It is our pleasure that you have taken the time to read what we have to say. If you think we’ve missed anything, please let us know in the comments area. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us so that we may better assist other dog owners.