Ministry of Agriculture

Control of Insect and Related Pests of Livestock and Poultry in British Columbia

Stable Fly

Host: Cattle, Dogs, Hogs, Horses, People

Description of Injurious Stages and Damage

 image Adult flies are much like the house fly in appearance, but have tubular, black, piercing-sucking mouth parts. Both sexes are vicious blood-suckers, which cause much pain and annoyance to animals, resulting in interrupted grazing, reduced weight gain in beef cattle and milk production in dairy cattle. Legs of humans and livestock are most often attacked. Animals kept in or near confinement facilities are most susceptible to attack which occurs during the day.

Summary of Life History

Eggs are laid in manure, rotting straw or other rotting vegetation. The life cycle requires 3 to 4 weeks and there may be several generations during a season. Adults will enter buildings, especially in dull or stormy weather, but prefer to rest on sun-exposed sides of buildings.

Control Recommendations

Elimination of breeding sites will greatly reduce stable fly abundance and animal stress. Parasitic wasps that kill fly pupae can be purchased and released to aid in reduction of stable flies. If problem persists, treat animals with ready-to-use sprays containing pyrethrins and repeat as necessary. Residual wall sprays (0.5-1% diazinon, 1% dimethoate, 1-2% malathion, or 0.1% permethrin) applied to surfaces where the insects rest will also help reduce annoyance.


Black Flies | Bot Flies | Cattle Grubs | Face Fly | Hog Mange Mite | Horn Fly
Horse & Deer Flies | House Fly | Lice | Mosquitoes | Poultry Lice
Chicken Mite & Northern Fowl Mite | Sheep Bot Fly | Sheep Ked | Stable Fly | Ticks