“ One moment it was sailing bliss and the next we were being eaten alive by these tiny houseflies”
The Stable Fly and How it Can Make Your Life MISERABLE!

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Diptera

Family: Muscidae

Genus: Stomoxys

Species: S. calcitrans

Binomial name:

Stomoxys calcitrans

According to Wikipedia, the stable fly should not be confused with a deer fly or horse fly. These species are commonly called the stable fly, barn fly, biting house fly, dog fly, or power mower fly. Unusually for a member of the family Muscidae, but like other members of the genus, Stomoxys calcitrans sucks blood from mammals and that is what makes them so annoying for boaters.


These critters originally came from the barn but are just as at home breeding on the grasses near waters edge. They can fly almost 40 miles without sitting down so they can be even in the most remote location. If it is a coolish day (which almost always is not the case) you can wear long thick clothes and socks and a towel around the back of your neck.

I don’t care what others say, there is only one effective way to protect yourself from this insect as well as mosquitos and that is using DEET. A recent article in GAM on Yachting magazine suggested that you use a repellent that is at least 25% DEET (Diethyl-meta-toluamide).


Stomoxys calcitrans or stable fly