Horsefly Stings: Avoid Them, Alleviate Them

Horseflies, these large insects that look like flies, can sometimes bite. How to treat a horsefly bite.

That brakes are easily recognized by their large fly-like appearance with their large eyes and transparent wings. Depending on the species, it can be grey-black, striped or with copper reflections. It loves the blood of animals and is often seen near meadows where cows or horses are grazing. But he also appreciates them people blood !

The horsefly, one of the unwanted summer insects

He, or rather she, because the male horsefly is harmless and only feeds on flowers. It’s the woman who feeds on blood to feed his offspring. Another clarification: the brake does not sting, he bites ! We’d better talk about it horsefly bite, to be exact. That female brake cuts open the skin of its victim with the help of a kind of stiletto and then sucks the blood on which it feeds.

The horsefly can bite livestock and humans © RealityImages

The insect is active between May and September. If you walk near animals, ride a horse, but also go into the forest, there is a risk of encountering them. That brakes also appreciate bodies of water: they can be found at the swimming pool in summer.

How to avoid being bitten by a horsefly?

To the Avoid braking, wear long and light-colored clothing: horseflies tend to bite dark-skinned animals. Dry off quickly after swimming in a pool, because Horseflies love wet skin.

You can coat yourself with insect repellent. Horseflies don’t like the smellpeppermint essential oil or medicinal lavender: You can dilute a drop in your sunscreen, for example, before you go on the body (except for children under the age of six and pregnant and breastfeeding women).

You can use one too insect trap. You can make it yourself using an upturned neck of a bottle in a bottom of a bottle that you put syrup in. Also available in stores horsefly traps and flies, consisting of an inverted funnel of sorts and a large black sphere. This thermal solution without insecticides can be useful if you live near a barn or stable, for example.

What to do after a horsefly bite?

Difficult to tell that a horsefly landed on us because their legs are padded to cushion the landing. In contrast, his bite hurts, and the insect remains motionless the time to pump our blood. So we can chase the insect or even kill it if we find it biting us.

reactions after a horsefly bite can vary from person to person. While for some it only causes a slight burning sensation that goes away after a few hours, others may observe it inflammatory reactions : The skin reddens, a pimple appears… Other people can also develop it allergic reactionlike wasp stings.

If in most cases a Horsefly bite is not badit is sometimes possible for the female to transmit diseases or parasites such as anthrax or tularemia or an infection transmitted by a tapeworm.

when we are bitten by a horsefly, the best reflex is to clean the wound with a compress and alcohol or hexamidine. If you don’t have one, clean it with soap and water. It is not recommended to apply cold horsefly bites (like a wasp or a bee) because the cold freezes potentially toxic substances.

brake stitch

A horsefly bite the wrist © Yevhen Prozhyrko

In most cases, the redness and slight swelling can be caused by a horsefly bite disappear after a few hours. If the area is very swollen, very painful, in case of hives or fever, call a doctor. If the person is allergic and has certain symptoms (severe itching, swelling of the face, nausea, vomiting, etc.), a anaphylactic shock possible: Call SAMU immediately.

Banner illustration: The male horsefly does not bite, it feeds on pollen © Achkin

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