Deer flies lay between 100 and 800 eggs in batches on vegetation near water or dampness. During the larval stage, which lasts one to three years, they feed on small creatures or rotting organic matter near or in the water. After a pupal stage, they emerge as adults in late spring and summer. While male deer flies collect pollen, female deer flies feed on blood, which they require to produce eggs. Females feed primarily on mammals. They do not enter buildings. They are attracted to prey by sight, smell, or the detection of carbon dioxide. Other attractants are body heat, movement, dark colours, and lights in the night. They are active under direct sunshine and hours when the temperature is above 22 °C (71. 6°). When feeding, the females use scissor-like mandibles and maxillae to make a cross-shaped incision and then lap up the blood. Their bite can be painful. Anti-coagulants in the saliva of the fly prevents blood from clotting and may cause severe allergic reactions. Parasites and diseases transmitted by the deer fly include tularemia, anthrax, anaplasmosis, equine infectious anemia, hog cholera, and filiariasis. DEET is not an effective repellent.