Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Dog Fly Facts

Dog flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) breed in decaying vegetation with or without manure mixed in. They are usually found associated with cattle production or horse stables, but heavy populations can be found in windrowed aquatic grasses, lawn trimmings and agricultural wastes.

Both male and female adults prefer to take blood from large animals, but if their normal hosts are not available, they will feed on nectar for a time and then on anything that is warm and has blood. This is why they become a problem for humans. Their bite is painful but usually doesn't result in reactions like those of yellow flies or sandflies.

Northerly winds carry the flies from farm areas to the coastal areas in the Panhandle, where the water acts as a barrier for further migration. Here they will build to large numbers, sometimes resulting in a landing rate of 100 per minute, driving everyone from the beaches except the hardiest fishermen wearing long-sleeved shirts.

The flies will remain in a narrow band along the coast as long as the wind blows from the land to the water. A shift in the wind direction will dissipate the flies in minutes.

How to File a Dog Fly Complaint

If citizens are having a problem with dog flies, they should report it to their local mosquito control agency.

The phone numbers for these agencies are shown below.

Dog Flies reporting phone number

Bay County Mosquito Control

(850) 784-4080

Beach Mosquito Control (Bay County)

(850) 233-5030

Gulf County Mosquito Control

(850) 227-1401

Okaloosa County Mosquito Control

(850) 651-7394

Santa Rosa County Mosquito Control

(850) 626-0191

South Walton County Mosquito Control

(850) 267-2112