How to Treat a Horsefly Bite

how to treat a horsefly biteThe horsefly is known by many different names, including clags, deer flies, breeze flies, or gadflies. They pose a serious threat since they may transmit parasites and diseases among its victims. A female needs proteins before reproduction, so they tend to bite anything they can. Knowing how to treat a horsefly bite can reduce pain and also stop a potential infection. But first of all, it’s good to know how this insect looks like exactly so you can avoid them entirely whenever possible.


Horseflies are blackish or yellow-brown in color. Their 20 to 25mm long body is covered in hairs. Some people compare their appearance to that of the honeybee, except they only have one pair of wings and a large head. The eyes are interestingly colored with metallic color shades. The eyes are compound in females, and continuous in males.

Diet and Behavior

Horsefly females are aggressive and they usually bite large mammals on the legs or the body, but they rarely bite near the head. The blood-sucking female is also equipped with blade-like mouthparts to hurt the victim during feeding. Males fed on nectar and pollen. They’re usually found living alone everywhere around the world, except for polar regions.

The Horsefly Bite

A horsefly bite usually takes more to treat when compared to bites from other insects. Instead of biting and simply piercing the skin, a horsefly is well-known for biting and cutting the skin and licking the resulting blood. That’s why a horsefly bite can be more painful than a mosquito bite or even a bee sting, and is more prone to infection.

How to Treat a Horsefly Bite

Get to know the common symptoms of a horsefly bite:

  • A skin rash, including a weal around the bite and/or hives
  • Painful, itchy, and inflamed skin
  • Dizziness and weakness
  • Itchy swelling around the eyes and lips

As soon as you realize you’ve been bitten, clean the wound with regular soap and water to help prevent infection. You’ll need to reduce itching, so it’s recommended to put hydrocortisone or antihistamine cream on the bite. An ice pack may help with pain and swelling. As soon as you have used treatment, cover a horsefly bite with a loose bandage to keep it clean. When the bite begins to itch, avoid scratching it since that will prolong the healing time. If you’re experiencing symptoms like swollen glands, a high fever, or any other flu-like symptoms, you should consult your doctor. If you begin to suffer an allergic reaction, you need to seek medical attention immediately.

Horseflies will usually avoid people using insects repellent, so you can protect yourself during the summer months. Choose high-quality repellents that contain DEET, since it’s extremely effective in keeping horseflies away.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different species of flies and use that knowledge when developing a fly control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

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