What Attracts Horseflies to Pools: How to Get Rid Of Them

What Attracts Horseflies to Pools: How to Get Rid Of Them

How Do You Get Rid of Horseflies & Why Are They Hanging at Your Pool?

The irritating presence of horseflies can quickly disrupt the serene ambiance of a pool on a warm summer day. These relentless insects have an uncanny ability to find their way to pools, leaving swimmers frustrated and annoyed. Understanding why horseflies are drawn to pools and how to repel them effectively is essential for maintaining an enjoyable outdoor experience.

Why Do Horseflies Come Around Pools?

Horseflies, scientifically known as Tabanidae, are attracted to pools for various reasons. One primary factor is the scent emitted by the pool water, which contains chemicals such as chlorine, sweat, and skin oils. 

Horseflies are drawn to the smell of moisture, and combining these chemicals signals a potential breeding ground for them. Pools also provide an abundant water source for female horseflies to lay their eggs, making them particularly attractive breeding sites.

Additionally, horseflies are attracted to the movement and reflection of light on the water’s surface. They mistake these reflections for prey, leading them to swarm around the pool area. The combination of scent and visual cues makes pools irresistible to horseflies, disrupting the peaceful atmosphere for humans and pets.

What Smell Attracts Horseflies?

Horseflies are attracted to various smells that emanate from pools, making it crucial to identify and mitigate these scents to keep them at bay. The primary scents that attract horseflies include.


While chlorine is essential for pool maintenance and hygiene, its smell can attract horseflies. They are drawn to the chemicals in the water, mistaking them for potential breeding grounds.

Sweat and Skin Oils

Human sweat and skin oils contain compounds that horseflies find appealing. Swimmers, sunbathers, and pets around the pool contribute to the scent, creating an inviting environment for horseflies.

Decaying Organic Matter

If decaying organic matter is in or around the pool area, it can attract horseflies. They are attracted to the scent of decomposing materials, considering them as potential breeding sites.

What Keeps Horseflies Away?

To maintain a horsefly-free pool environment, it’s essential to employ effective strategies that repel these persistent insects. Here are some methods to keep horseflies away from pools.

Use Horsefly Repellents

Applying horsefly repellents, such as sprays or lotions containing DEET, around the pool area can deter these insects. Make sure to follow the product’s instructions and reapply as needed.

Install Horsefly Traps

Horsefly traps are designed to attract and capture these pests. These traps often use visual cues, such as colors, movement, and scents that mimic horsefly attractants. Placing these traps strategically around the pool can help reduce horsefly numbers.

Essential Oils

Harness the Power of Nature with specific essential oils that boast natural properties and effectively repel horseflies. Citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint oils are renowned for their efficacy in warding off these pests.

Create your natural deterrent by blending a few drops of these oils with a carrier oil and applying the mixture to exposed skin. Alternatively, diffuse these oils around the pool area using oil diffusers for a refreshing, insect-repelling atmosphere.

Keep the Pool Clean

Regularly clean the pool and remove debris, leaves, or decaying organic matter in the surrounding area. This minimizes potential breeding grounds and reduces the overall attractiveness of the pool to horseflies.

Use Pool Covers

When the swimming pool is not in use, covering it with a pool cover can prevent horseflies from accessing the water. This physical barrier denies them the opportunity to lay eggs and reduces the scent of the pool.

What Scent Do Horseflies Hate?

As mentioned, certain scents repel horseflies, and incorporating these fragrances into the pool area can help deter them. Here, we discuss a bit of detail the three scents they hate.


The robust and citrusy scent of fruits like lemons and oranges is known to repel horseflies. Using citrus-scented candles, oils, or sprays can help create a less appealing environment for these insects.


Peppermint has a strong, minty fragrance that horseflies find unpleasant. Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to water and spraying it around the pool area can be a natural deterrent.


Lavender has a calming scent for humans but is repulsive to horseflies. Planting lavender around the pool or using lavender-scented products can help keep these pests at bay.

Conquer the Horsefly Woes for an Enjoyable Pool Experience

Maintaining a horsefly-free pool requires a multifaceted approach addressing the scent and visual cues that attract these pests. By understanding why horseflies come around pools and implementing effective repellent strategies, pool owners can create a more enjoyable and insect-free outdoor experience.

Whether using commercial products, essential oils, or natural remedies, finding the proper methods will provide a tranquil pool environment during the swimming seasons.

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