Occurrence: There are 37 species of cloven-hoofed animals in Denmark. What they all have in common is that they are only active during the summer months. They are mostly only seen during the daytime on warm and sunny days. 

FoodAll adult hatchlings feed on nectar and plant juices, but females drink the blood of hosts in order to develop eggs. The blood is generally sucked from living hosts, but some species also suck blood from carrion. Although hatchlings mostly attack mammals, they have also been observed on hosts such as birds and reptiles.

Combat: There is practically no way to combat cloacae. This is mainly due to the fact that no products have been developed for them because they are not as much of a problem as mosquitoes, for example. However, if you want to avoid being bitten by midges, you can use mosquito repellent. If you choose a good product, it will effectively keep the bugs at bay (read more below).

See also our articles on ox claws, horse claws and rain clutches.


Avoid the bites of clinging insects

The only real way to avoid bug bites is to use mosquito repellents, which generally deter insects. However, the effectiveness of the products available on the Danish market varies greatly and you should therefore choose a quality product.

We recommend the products below because we know from experience that they are the best at keeping clinging insects at bay:

We recommend these products to keep bugs at bay


Treatment of claw bites

The only remedies that can be used to treat itch bites are mosquito bite repellents. However, when using these products, it is not an actual treatment, but rather a relief of the symptoms.

We recommend the remedies below to alleviate the symptoms of claw bites:

We recommend these remedies for treating claw bites


In addition to using the resources above, you can also do the following:

  • Spit: Apply saliva to the bite immediately after being stung (however, this is not necessary if you have one of the remedies above on hand)
  • Cleaning: Clean the bite with soap and clean water regularly. You should only stop cleaning the bite wound once it has healed.
  • Itching: If the bite is itchy, use the recommended remedies above as they also have an anti-itch effect.

If your symptoms are severe or you have symptoms other than normal (pain, redness and swelling), you should seek medical attention. This also applies if symptoms worsen or there are signs of infection at the bite site.


What does itch bites feel like?

Claw bites are painful and also cause redness and swelling. Although the symptoms of a hornet bite can vary from person to person, most people describe hornet bites as more painful than mosquito, wasp and bee stings.

In some cases, a tick bite can cause more severe symptoms (e.g. large swellings), but also other symptoms such as fluid draining from the bite site, hives, nausea and even fainting. These symptoms are most likely a systemic reaction.

In very rare cases, allergic reactions can also occur, which can lead to anaphylactic shock. However, you must be genetically predisposed to this.

In the vast majority of cases, however, the bites only cause pain, swelling and redness, which disappear after a few days or a week at most.


Sting or bite?

Bugs don't sting - they bite. Unlike, for example, mosquitoes, which bite with a proboscis to suck blood, itches bite a hole in the skin of their host. The hole is triangular and the bug's saliva contains anticoagulants that prevent the blood from clotting. The bug laps up the blood with a sponge-like mouth part. 

The different species of bugs tend to bite humans in different places:

  • Rainbows generally flies low and silent and often bites people on the legs or hands
  • Beef cutters and horse claws also fly low but buzz when flying, especially attacking ankles, legs or the back of the knees
  • Gold Clover and other hatchlings in the same family (Chrysops) also buzz, but fly higher and often bite the neck, arms, etc.

As hosts often brush off the hatchlings during blood sucking, they often need to suck blood from multiple hosts to get a full blood meal. Once they have consumed enough blood, it is digested over the course of 6 days, during which time they also lay eggs. Blood is then sought from a new host. 

Because ticks suck blood from many different hosts, they can also carry diseases and infect new hosts. The diseases transmitted can be caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoa and worms. Both animals and humans can be infected. In practice, however, blood loss in animals such as horses and cattle is the most common problem associated with hoof bites. I extremely rare cases claw bites have also been fatal to humans.


What's a klæg?

Jaws (Tabanidae) are large flies that bite humans and animals. Tabanidae is a family consisting of a number of genera, each containing a number of species.

SizeThere are both large and small clovers, but many of the species are large and robust. The largest clover species in Denmark is the horse clover, which grows up to around 2.5 cm in length. However, some species can grow up to around 3 cm in length. The largest wingspan of a clover is 6 cm.

Eyes and eyesAll hatchlings have large eyes with well-developed vision, which they use for flying, finding food and hosts. Most species also have a special coloring in their eyes, which disappears when they die.

Flying: When it comes to flight, there is some variation between the different species of avocets; some species hum loudly and can be heard from a distance, while others - such as rainbows - fly silently. However, many of the humming species stop making noise just before they settle on their host. All hatchlings also land very lightly and are usually undetected by the host.

Some species are also better fliers than others; especially the species in the genus Tabanus are good and fast fliers. Clovers in the genus Hybomitra have even been observed to undertake the so-called Immelmann turnaroundwhich is used in modern aerobatics.


Life cycle

EggsLaying eggs on rocks or in plants near water (especially on plants that grow next to water). Each species has its own preferences for the degree of humidity in the environment. Eggs are laid in clusters of up to 1,000 each. They start out white, but darken over time. They hatch after about 6 days.

Larvae: After hatching, the larvae fall into water or onto moist soil. Claw larvae are long and cylindrical with small heads and have 11 or 12 body segments. At the rear end of the larvae is a trachea, which they use to breathe underwater. They molt several times over the course of a year. Their color depends on the species and although they are often white, they can also be greenish, brownish, etc. Larvae are predators and eat small organisms such as worms, caterpillars, etc. They can also be cannibalistic.

Tits: Once the larva has passed the larval stage, it pupates and enters the pupal stage. As development progresses, the almost adult hatchling becomes visible through the pupa. When the hatchling emerges from its pupa, it is fully grown.

Adult clinging: The adult avocets mate in swarms on hilltops or other special landmarks. The exact location and timing is specific to each species.


Types of plants

There are 37 species of avocets in Denmark. Some of the most common are:

  • Rainbow eggs (Haematopota pluvialis)
  • Beef eggs (Tabanus bovinus)
  • Horse's clover (Tabanus sudeticus)
  • Golden Claw (Chrysops relictus)
  • Watercress (Heptatoma pellucens)

You can see a full list of all cliff species here.

Clovers are found almost everywhere on Earth. The only exceptions are polar regions and certain islands such as Greenland, Iceland and Hawaii.

The genera Tabanus, Chrysops and Haematopota are all found in temperate, subtropical and tropical climates. However, Haematopota is not found in South America or Australia. Although they are most commonly found in warm and humid areas, they can also be found in more extreme environments such as deserts and mountainous regions.


Predators and parasites

The eggs of hatchlings are often attacked by small parasitic wasps. The larvae are eaten by birds, but are also attacked by parasitic flies, fungi and nematodes.

The adult clover is mainly eaten by birds. In some countries, there are also specialized predators (for example, there is a single species of wasp that feeds primarily on sticklebacks).