Wacky Pest Wednesday: Greenhead Fly

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Happy Wednesday, Tri-County Pest Control fans, and welcome to our latest edition of Wacky Pest Wednesday!  Please join us for our latest edition, as we cover a pest that is the bane of everyone’s summer fun: the greenhead fly.

If you plan to do anything fun this summer in the Mid-Atlantic, you can count on greenheads to crash the occasion. From the beaches to the marshes and even to the hiking trail, you can find these bloodsuckers almost anywhere you go.  We all know that a mosquito bite can hurt after the fact, but a bite from a greenhead make people wince the second the fly digs in, effectively turning your day from filled with fun to one filled with sharp pains and bloody wounds.

Thanks to evolution, the greenheads we see today are pool feeders whereas mosquitoes are capillary feeders.  It may sound like scientific jargon, but this makes a huge difference in how they feed. For example, mosquitoes will use their syringe-like nose to pierce the skin and suck the blood, which is why you may not feel them bite you.  Greenheads, on the other hand, will plunge their scissor-like jaws to into your skin and forcibly separate it, breaking every capillary around the site and sending some serious pain your way. This will cause all of the blood to pool on the surface, making it easy for the fly to slurp up.  If that wasn’t enough, greenheads will also inject an anticoagulant substance that will make your blood hard to clot, which in turn allows them to feed off of more blood from just one bite. This is why their bites seem to produce so much blood and it is a method that they have perfected over thousands of years of their existence.

Now, while you can’t slap all of the greenheads out there in the world, you can prevent them from biting in the first place.  Although many commercial bug sprays won’t keep them away, you can limit their attraction to you by rubbing some antiseptic mouthwash over the exposed parts of your body—the smell of mint is way too strong for them but will leave you smelling fresh.

Fun fact: Did you know that greenheads can grow up to 1.5 inches?  Now, that’s one big fly!

Stay safe from the greenhead frenzy out there, Tri-County fans!

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