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Baddest Bugs Quick Reference Chart

Who What Why
Bot Flies Bee-like flies that lay eggs on horse’s legs, chest and jaw. Larvae are dangerous internal parasites. Horse licks eggs, larvae hatch and penetrate horse’s lips and tongue. Migrate to stomach and feed for months.
Chiggers Larval form of harvest mites - external parasites. Burrow into the epidermal tissue, causing severely itchy red bumps. Easily transmitted from horse to horse.
Deer Flies Biting flies that live and breed around waste. Daytime feeders. Very painful and persistent biters. May transmit equine infectious anemia, equine encephalomyelitis and other diseases.
Face Flies Filth flies; feed on tears, mucus and saliva. Spread disease, cause eye abrasions, transmit pinkeye and horse eye worms. Cause horses to tear excessively, become nervous and lose weight.
Gnats Biting pests that breed in fast-moving streams and other wet areas. Vicious biters that attack the inside of horses’ ears, leaving bloody crusty spots.
Horn Flies Biting flies; breed in fresh cow manure. Constant irritation to pastured horses. Can affect horse’s performance. Cause ventral midline dermatitis.
Horse Flies Biting flies found in marshy areas, ponds and swamps. They breed around standing water. Daytime feeders. Inflict painful bites and draw blood. May transmit anthrax, tularemia, anaplasmosis and equine infectious anemia.
House Flies  Filth flies; live and breed in manure and garbage. Daytime feeders. Spread germs and disease. Irritate and annoy horses.
Lice External parasites that feed on skin cells or blood. Cause heavy dandruff and greasy skin. Bloodsucking lice can create bald spots and even cause anemia.
Mites Almost microscopic external parasites. Cause mange, a contagious skin condition.
Mosquitoes  Bloodsucking insects that breed in standing water. Most active at dawn and dusk. Inflict painful, itching bites. Known to transmit fatal diseases including West Nile Virus and equine encephalomyelitis.
Stable Flies  Biting flies; breed in manure and other wet, decaying matter. Daytime feeders. Bites are very painful. Known to transmit equine infectious anemia. Bite horse’s legs and flanks.
Ticks Bloodsucking external parasites. Transmit a number of dangerous diseases including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, anaplasmosis, tick paralysis, equine infectious anemia and more.


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