If you are curious to know about a horsefly bite, then you need to read this document. Horseflies are generally referred to flying insects. The bite of a horsefly can be painful but not serious.
You need to stay protected from a horsefly bite as they can bite through a fabric. In order to protect from them you can cover your skin with a cloth.
If you are living in such an area where horseflies are found, you can hardly avoid them, especially when you go outdoors in summers. It has been noticed that a horsefly bite can be more painful as compared to the bite of other bugs.
One reason why this happens is because of the fact that they have a kind of saw-like mouthpieces that they make use of at the time of biting. Please also note that they don’t inject any sort of anesthetic at the time of their bites.
As we mentioned above, their bites can be painful but never pose a complication. However, in some rare cases, it has been found them responsible for making a severe allergic reaction due to a horsefly bite.
In the below given sections, you will read about some effective treatments to treat horsefly bites. It will also cover how to identify them and prevent their bites.
How to Identify A Bite?
Horsefly bites are specifically painful as compared to the bites of other insects and bugs. They are also found to be slow towards heat. Take a look at some of the features of a horsefly bite:
- The bite is often painful as they never release any sort of anesthetic
- They make a cut instead of puncturing the skin
- Their mouthparts are developed like a serrated saw
- Horseflies use an anticoagulant to stop blood coagulation so that they can consume it
- The fly first anchors to the surface of the skin at the time of drinking blood. They employ small hooks and mouthparts
- After they bite, the area around the affected part becomes red in color. Also, it gets raised with the development of welts
Two identifying elements of a horsefly bite are pain and welts that develop on the skin. The following can also occur:
- A red raised rash on the surface of the affected area
- Puffiness and swelling in the body
If you are worried about a raised bump on your skin, it may not because of a horsefly bite. Instead, you need to look upon some other factors before coming to the conclusion that it is really due to a horsefly bite.
What Do Horseflies Look Like?
Horseflies can have the following appearances:
- They are unusually large, and may go up to 2-3 inches long
- They are dark in completion with black bellies and striped chests
- They are made up of large and compound eyes
Is a bite dangerous?
Although, a Horsefly bite can be painful, they are not dangerous and never poses a risk to one’s overall health. Still, there are some cases found horseflies passing on tularemia which is also referred to Rabbit Fever to humans.
Tularemia is nothing but a sort of bacterial infection having many possible sign and symptoms. Although, it can be life threatening, it can be treated with antibiotics.
A person is advised to seek medical attention in the following cases:
- If there is a sign of an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis
- When symptoms go severe and are quite persistent
- Development of infection on the wound which discharges pus
Symptoms of serious horsefly reactions
A horsefly bite is known to cause the following:
- Skin becomes red
- A person may also show other symptoms like wheezing, dizziness, or puffiness around lips and eye because of an allergic reaction
However, there are people who can have some severe form of allergic reaction which include:
- Swelling in throat or tongue
- Swelling around face, lips, feet, hands
- Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Issues like breathing and wheezing
In case of the above mentioned symptoms, a person needs an immediate medical attention.
You might be willing to know about Anaphylaxis, which is a kind of severe allergic reaction. And this can be life threatening. Check the symptoms:
- anxiety or confusion
- clammy skin
- faster heart rate
- swelling on mouth or face
- loss of consciousness
- blue or white lips
There is nothing new in treating a horsefly bite with that of treating any other insect bite. Find below some treatment options:
- After a bite, clean the affected area with warm water and soap. Clean the area with a cloth
- Apply an ice pack or cold compress to help ease swelling and pain
- You can use either non-steroidal or acetaminophen as anti-inflammatory drugs to mainly ease pain
- To reduce itching, you may use antihistamines
At the same time you need to make sure not to scratch the wound surface as it may increase the infection. Don’t use baking soda in such cases as they won’t help.
In case of infection due to a horsefly bite, a person may seek medical guidance where he can be treated using antibiotics.
Please be aware that after a bite, horseflies never leave stinger or mouthpart.
More About Horseflies
A horsefly is basically termed as a flying insect which is mostly found in rural or farmland areas. There are many species of horsefly found to lay eggs on plans close to water or in damp soil.
If you look globally, there are over 4,500 species of horseflies.
It’s been also observed that female horseflies generally bite animals so as to keep maintained their life cycles. In order to remain active and busy, they constantly need blood so as to provide proteins.
It’s because their laid eggs require protein that their eggs require to further develop after fertilization. The same is followed by other insects including mosquitoes.
Horseflies are most commonly found to take blood from animals like horses and cows but they can also bite humans as well.
In order to reproduce, female horseflies generally need up to 0.5 ml of blood for reproduction.
Biologically, they are developed naturally to consume as much blood as they require. While taking out blood, they are known to release substances that keep it free from coagulating.
On the other hand male horseflies don’t really have appropriate mouthparts. Instead, they have large eyes found in the middle of their head.
Sometimes, it becomes quite difficult to avoid the bite of a horsefly, especially in summers. It’s mainly because their habitats are widespread.
Take the following course of action as a preventive measure:
- Always keep your skin covered with a cloth
- Wear light colored cloths
- Wear loose clothing as they are known to bite through fabric
- Avoid perfumes to attract horseflies
- Try to avoid going to water as where they breed
- You may use insect repellent but they are not helpful against horseflies
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when a horsefly bites you?
Most commonly, female horseflies tend to bite when they require blood. It’s when they need it to develop their eggs. To cut skin, they employ saw like mouthpieces to make the bite quite painful.
What does a horsefly bite look like?
A person instantly develops swelling and pain after a horsefly bite. In case, a person develops swelling in other parts along with the difficulty in breathing, he or she needs immediate medical attention.
What can you do for a horsefly bite?
After a bite, you need to wash the affected area with warm water and soap. Avoid scratching the affected area. Further, apply a cold pack or ice wrapped in a cloth so as to ease swelling and pain. You may also use pain relievers and oral antihistamines to get rid of itching.