Biting flies feed on blood of humans and other animals. Their bites can be painful, producing swelling and intense itching.
Different species of biting flies are found throughout the United States. Black flies are found in the northern U.S., while biting midges are found near the coastal areas.
Most species of biting flies are found near creeks, marshes and ponds.
Peak attacks of biting flies occur on sunny, warm days in mid-morning and then have a more intense phase in evening, ending at dusk. Biting fly activity can also intensify at the onset of storms and may persist all day when overcast conditions occur.
Biting flies find animals and humans by sensing carbon dioxide and perspiration. Once the blood meal is located, the biting fly inserts a sharp mouthpart into the skin. A biting fly tends to go for areas around the ears and head.
Species of biting flies differ in terms of size and physical appearance, but they all possess sharp mouthparts to pierce skin and draw blood.