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Horse fly bite

Insect Bites

Horse Fly Bite Pictures, Swelling, Symptoms, Repellent, Get Rid, Treatment

Do horse fly bite? Get insights on the symptoms such swelling, best repellent, how to get rid and treatment of hoarse flies bites.

horse fly bite

horse fly bite

Why do Horse Flies Bite

Horsefly bite is a very common happening of the people around the world. There are slightly over 3000 varieties of horseflies that are recorded around the world. The three most common of all these species are normally the black horsefly, green-head horsefly as well as the stripped horsefly.

These are very active during the warm and sunny climatic condition. Female horseflies normally feed on the blood of the mammals whereas the male horsefly usually feed on nectar and pollen. Thus the horsefly bite is because of female horsefly and not due to the male counterpart.

A horsefly bite in people might be very painful and may also cause infections. But, all these are very curable condition that might take many days to be completely treated.

Chances are that all people have been bitten by the horse fly on more than a single occasion. In some of the regions, horse flies are very much unavoidable, more especially in the summer months.

If you’re much unfamiliar with the pesky insect, then these are large, dark flies. They’re usually active during the daytime, especially during the summer. You might recognize a horse fly by the nature of its size. These flies are about one inch long, thus making them to be much larger than an average normal fly.

Horse flies usually attack the large mammals, like the humans, and, of course, the horses.

They’re usually attracted to the moving objects and all the dark objects. They’re equally attracted to carbon dioxide. This is able to explain why all of the outdoor summer activities that get a person breathing heavy and much sweating brings out the horse flies.

Pest World notes that female horse flies in particular are very much persistent. They’ve been known to chase the victims for a short period of time if their first bite does not get them the satisfying meal they wanted.

Horse flies might also be distinguished by the color. The upper part of a horse fly is usually white, typically marked by very few vertical black lines. The lower segment of the insect however, is solid black.

Horse flies are normally found throughout the North America and are much concentrated in the hot, humid states, like the Florida.

If you’ve been bit by a horse fly, you know that it hurts so much. The fly’s mandible is what makes the bites to be much painful. The mandible is actually the insect’s jaw. It’s normally shaped like a scissors and may cut right into the skin.

The mandible is also much equipped with the small hooks so as to assist them to lock in to feed better. Once they are locked in, they eat the blood directly from the skin. This bite can lead to a sharp, burning sensation. It’s very common to have itchiness, inflammation, as well as the swelling around the bite area. You can also develop a bruise.

Aside from the sharp pain, horse fly bites usually aren’t very harmful to the humans.

These bites are normally only a problem for the horses. This is due to the fact that horse flies carry equine infectious anemia, also called swamp fever. When they bite the equine animal, they might also transmit the life-threatening disease.

If infected, the horse is able to experience a fever and general illness. Some of the horses don’t have any symptoms, but can still transmit the disease to all other equine animals.

A horsefly normally uses long mandibles so as to cut open the skin to drain the blood from the victim. Ripping open of the skin makes it much easy for the horsefly to access the blood than misquotes that usually apply the use of needle-like mouth in sucking of the blood.

A horsefly might easily make a bite through clothing or even fur. The bite is also very much painful something which can make a victim to focus on tending of the wound and not killing the fly. Thus, the fly will easily disappear and might return to take in more blood.

Horse Fly Bite Swelling

horse fly bite

horse fly bite swelling

This produces the raised, itchy, irritating lump. If it is increasingly painful, hot, red and forming pus, you would be wise to seek medical attention as it can be infected.

For most of the horse fly bites, it is simply a matter of short period until the local of the reaction passes. However, you can wish to apply a non-prescription antihistamines that may reduce the itching. Be cautioned however that these can lead to sedation.

Another option available is to use low-potency topical steroid cream like the 1 per cent hydrocortisone so as to reduce inflammation and itching.

If you are planning to return to the spot that was bitten, it could be worthwhile to use an insect repellent that has diethyltoluamide (DEET) and also wear long sleeves as well as long trousers.

Horse Fly Bite Symptoms

In a case where a person has a horse fly bite, then a red lump normally develops immediately on the punctured area. This may lead to itchiness as well as inflammation that is around the bitten area. Such sensations usually develop as the body releases the required histamine from the tissues that are around the spot.

There are also several other symptoms that are recorded in a case of horse fly bite. Such bites may also lead to the rashes and the hives to develop. People can also react severely to the bite that is normally an allergic condition. These particular reactions are known as anaphylactic reactions. Such reactions may cause wheezing.

Bites from the horsefly tend to be very much painful. In addition to the formation of the weals that is around the bitten areas, a person can also have other symptoms like weakness, wheezing, and angioedema. The skin where a horse fly bites can become much torn and sore.

A victim can also develop hives and begin to wheeze due to the reaction. Sometimes the skin might turn pink and also swell. Areas that are around the lips and the eyes might swell and a person will then become weak and dizzy. An infection might happen if the horsefly injects the bacteria or even transfers parasites to the body. The bite can also turn extremely painful and the pain also tends to radiate from most of the bitten areas.

Puss can ooze from the wound. You are required to seek assistance of a doctor if you have symptoms of an infection or even severe reaction from the horse fly bite.

Horse Fly Bite Treatment

horse fly bite swelling

symptoms of horse fly bite

It might take longer for a horsefly bite to heal as compared to all other bites of other insects. Usually, bites from other insects might take about three days before they completely heal but for the horsefly bites, they usually persist for longer period of time. You may be required to apply various treatment methods and also skin care so as to prevent complications and also worsening of the symptoms.

When you have been bitten, then you may cover the wound using the saliva. In the saliva, there is Histatin protein that is believed to have the healing properties which is capable of reducing the effects of the horse fly bite. The saliva can be able to protect you until you get much proper treatment. Ensure that you clean the wound in case it develops.

With the mild bites, the bitten skin spot can be able to heal in a few days and it may not require any medical assistance. What you are required to do is to clean the bitten skin spot by use of soap and water then to pat it dry so as to prevent an infection.


You can also apply the antiseptics so as to sterilize the wound. When the horse fly bite itches, then don’t scratch it. This can tear open the exposed skin thus making the healing time to take longer period of time.

Scratching usually increase the risk of getting an infection. Hot compression can assist in offering relief from a horse fly bite. Try to soak a clean towel in the hot salty water and then use it on the bitten skin spot but ensure that you do not scald the skin or even put a lot of pressure as it can lead to more discomfort.

Icing of the wound can also prevent swelling and might dull the pain of the horse fly bite. A patient can also use home remedies like the raw onion, Epsom salt, aloe Vera, or honey so as to reduce discomforts as well as swelling. The wounded areas might be covered using a bandage to assist reduce the infections.

There are also drugs that can be used on the itchy skin like the Benadryl or even hydrocortisone cream. A patient can take oral antihistamines so as to prevent the allergy reactions. You are required to seek medical assistance if you develop very severe allergy reaction or the bite appears as though it is much infected.

A doctor can evaluate the horse fly bite and its given symptoms, and provide the necessary treatment so as to prevent the complications. Sometimes, severe reactions that are brought about by the horsefly bites might be life threatening more especially if the histamine reactions is very much.

Horsefly bites can take longer period of time to heal than other insect bites that generally take about three days. Here are some more helpful tips;

 Use saliva. Once you find out that you have been bitten, then you should cover the wound using saliva. The saliva is normally filled with Histatin protein that has healing properties that can allow you to limit the side effects of the horse fly bite and thus protect it until you may treat it properly.

Clean the wound. Mild horsefly bites can heal in a few days without any medical intervention. Simply clean the wound using mild soap and water and then pat it dry so as to protect the wound from being infected. You can also apply an antiseptic so as to clean and sterilize the wound.


Avoid scratching a horsefly bite when it starts to itch. This can prolong the healing period and thus increase the risk that you can get infectious materials on the hands that you may spread to others.

A hot compress might also give relief for a horsefly bite. Soak a clean towel like the tea towel in a hot salt water and use this to the wound. Take care not to scald the infected area or use too much pressure to the damaged skin spot as this may increase the discomfort.

Different remedies. Most of the cultures have developed the remedies to help with the pain of a horse fly bite. Icing the wound can greatly assist reduce swelling and also dull the pain that is associated with a bite. You might also use aloe vera, Epsom salt, mud, a paste made from baking soda or even vinegar to the bite so as to help reduce swelling as well as discomfort.

Apply Drugs. If the bite is very itchy or even swollen, use Benadryl or even hydrocortisone cream to the skin spot to assist do away with these symptoms. Oral antihistamines may also be taken so as to help avoid an allergic reaction.

Prevention of Horsefly Bites

Traps may be obtained and then placed in spots that are indicated to have swarms of the horseflies. This ca allow to catch the flies so that they cannot do a lot of damage to you or the animals.

If you understand that you will be working in the skin spot that has horseflies flying about, wear long sleeves and as well as pants to protect the skin. This might not be able to eliminate the chance that you will suffer a horse fly bite, but it can lessen the severity that you receive.

Most of the horseflies can avoid people who are using the insect repellent. Spray a high quality insecticide or even around the area where you will be working so as to ward off the insects.

Using a repellent that has diethyltoluamide is much effective in keeping the horseflies at bay. Some people believe that taking of the garlic supplements can allow you to develop a natural odor that assists to ward off the horseflies when you sweat.

How to Get Rid of Horse Fly Bite

horse fly image

horse fly picture

  1. Using Disposable Fly Traps

Disposable fly traps are one of the best available methods that can be used to trap the horse flies. These traps have an attractant that gets usually activated by the sunlight as well as water. After getting activated then the attractant lures the flies to enter the trap, then the flies get trapped.

To use the traps you are required to unpack them, add attractant with water, and then hang it up. These traps give a safe way that can be used to control even the pesticide resistant horseflies. The best part is a single trap can catch up to 25,000 flies and might be applied for several weeks.

  1. Using a homemade Fly Trap against Horse Flies

Horse flies get attracted to the dark moving objects, make a trap that can attract horse flies so as to kill them.

To make the trap we require following items:

  • A very tough string.
  • A dark colored medium sized ball.
  • A fly paper (commercial or homemade).
  • A stool.

To make the trap, attach the dark colored ball to the string and tie the open end of this string to the bottom of the stool. Next, wrap the fly paper over the legs of the stool. After this, hang the stool in the area where you have horse fly infestation.

Every few hours, just push the ball so that the ball starts swinging in air. The swinging motion of the dark colored ball will attract the horse flies. When they come near the trap, they try to land on it and get stuck on the fly paper.

  1. Coke Bottle Trap made with Rotten Meat

This one is a very simple trap and has worked for many people. So, for this all you need is:

  • An empty coke bottle.
  • A sharp knife or a pair of scissors to cut the bottle.
  • A drill to draw some holes.
  • Cellophane tape.
  • 50 gram rotten meat.

To make the trap, take the coke bottle and cut it with the knife.

Next, drill a 1 cm hole in the bottle cap.

Put the rotten meat pieces together with some water in the lowest part of the bottle. And fix the upper part upside.

Fix the edges very well with cellophane tape. Hang the traps near the infested spot (away from the cattle). The smell of the rotten meat can be able to attract the horse flies as they try to enter the bottle. And once they enter the bottle it can be very difficult for them to get away.

Instead of the water, some of the people suggest that it’s better to add the cow urine (aged for at least one week) to the trap as this increases the efficiency of the trap.

  1. Sticky Fly Paper Trap with Odor Baits

Most of the people have achieved a lot of success in controlling of the horse flies by use of large sticky fly traps together with an attractant. It has also been indicated that the efficiency of regular fly paper traps usually increases much when they are used with odor baits.

To make this work perfectly, you will require a large sticky fly paper trap and along with them you could use odor baits.

Horse Fly Bite Pictures

Further references;

  1. Dealing with horse fly bites:
  2. Infected Horsefly Bite Symptoms: How To Treat It At Home:
  3. How to Get Rid of Horse Flies – Facts & Control Techniques:
  4. Horse Flies:
  5. Horsefly Bite:
  6. How to deal with horse fly bites this summer:
  7. The Horse Fly: What You Should Know:
  8. Horsefly Bite:

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