What Are Horseflies? How Do They Bite? How To Treat Those Bites?
Posted on February 27, 2012
Horsefly Bites and Treatment
Horsefly bites are quite painful and cause red bumps and itching. They can be treated with various creams, medications and home remedies. Let’s have a look at what these nasty bites can be like and how to treat them.
Horseflies are big, hairy flies, they are also called March flies or gadflies. There are more than 3,000 varieties of horseflies found all over the world, three of which are the green-head horsefly, striped horse fly and black horsefly. Horseflies live and breed in marshy or wet areas close to water bodies, and are more active in a warm and sunny climate. They play an important role in the pollination of a variety of flora. Male horseflies feed on nectar and pollen, while female horseflies feed on the blood of mammals. However, if a human is bitten by one, it can be really painful and may develop an infection or blood-borne disease as well, which can take up to several days to be fully treated.
How a Horsefly Bites
Horseflies bite and cut the skin with the help of their mandible-like, serrated scimitars (a convex shaped point). They slice off the top layer of the flesh, which feels like needles pricking in to the skin, and then lick the blood. Therefore, their bites are very painful to the victim. A horsefly bite can be, at times, more irritating than a bee sting.
- Symptoms of Horsefly Bites
- When a horsefly bites, a red lump develops immediately on the skin. The release of histamine from the tissues surrounding the area of the bite causes an itchy and inflamed bump.
- A horsefly bite can cause allergies such as skin rashes, wheezing and hives.
- It can lead to itchy, pink or red swelling around the lips and eyes as well as weakness and dizziness.
- If you notice redness and pus formation, and feel extreme pain in the area of the bite; there are chances of infection. In such a situation, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
How to Treat Horsefly Bites
Understanding treatment options for horsefly bites can help alleviate the pain and prevent infection. Normally, insect bites heal within 2-3 days; but a bite from a horsefly may take longer to heal. You should seek immediate medical care in order to prevent potential infections. Given below are some helpful tips for the treatment of horsefly bites.
- When you realize that you’ve been bitten by a horsefly, immediately clean the wound using an antiseptic soap and water. Pat dry with a clean, dry paper towel. If that is not possible to do right away, slather it with saliva to stop swelling. Your saliva has healing properties due to the presence of Histatin protein.
- If it itches, avoid scratching if you don’t want the bite to get worse and risk infection.
- It is advisable to apply a topical hydrocortisone cream or benadryl cream on the area of the bite. This will help reduce the itching and swelling that the bite brings with it.
- Application of vinegar or aloe vera juice helps relieve the pain, while application of an ice cube or cooling pad helps reduce the swelling. Other home remedies for the same include baking soda paste, Epsom salt, honey, raw onion or garlic and mud therapy.
- After any of the above topical applications, cover the area with a loose gauze bandage. If you experience allergic reactions or difficulty in breathing, your body is probably suffering from an anaphylactic shock. Consult a doctor immediately.
If you live in a marshy or farm area and are having problems with horseflies contact A1 Exterminators today at 1-800-525-4825 for a consulatioan on removing those nasty horseflies.