A horsefly also known as deer fly, gadfly, clag, or breeze fly is known to attack humans and animals. It feeds on blood and its bites can be painful and itchy. The bites may contain infectious materials. When a person is bitten by a horsefly, weals or nettle rash forms around the bite. Horsefly can cut through skin instead of piercing thereby the bites may take some time to heal and could result in an infection.
After a horsefly bite, you will need to clean the bitten area and reduce pain. Female horseflies have to ingest a protein in blood before reproducing just the same way as mosquitoes do. In time of a bite, the horsefly can transmit diseases and parasites to victims. Horseflies also serve as pollinators of flowers.
How a horsefly bites a person
A horsefly uses long mandibles to cut open the skin to drain blood from the victim. Ripping open the skin makes it easy for a horsefly to access blood than misquotes that use needle-like mouth in sucking blood. A horsefly can easily make a bite through clothing or fur. The bite is also more painful something which makes a victim to focus on tending the wound instead of killing the fly. Therefore, the fly will easily get away and can return to take more blood.
What are symptoms of a horsefly bite?
Bites from horsefly tend to be very painful. In addition to formation of weals around bitten areas, a person may also experience other symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, wheezing, urticaria, and angio-oedema. The skin where a horsefly bites will become torn and sore.
A person may develop lumps or swelling around the areas due to histamine reaction in the body. The bite may inflame and become itchy as the body tries to fight off any infectious material that may have been injected by the fly. When a person has a horsefly bite, they may experience allergic reaction thereby developing a body rash.
A victim will develop hives and start wheezing because of the reaction. Sometimes the skin can turn pink and swell. Areas around the lips and eyes could swell and a person becomes weak and dizzy. An infection may occur if the horsefly injects bacteria or transfers parasites to the body. The bite may turn extremely painful and the pain tends to radiate from the bitten areas.
Puss may ooze from the wound. You need to seek help of a doctor if you have any signs of an infection or severe reaction from a horsefly bite.
Treating horsefly bites
It may take longer for a horsefly bite to heal compared to bites of other insects. Typically, bites from other insects may take two to three day before they heal but for horsefly bites, they persist for long. You may want to use various treatment methods and skin care to prevent complications and worsening of the symptoms.
When you have been bitten, you can cover the wound with your saliva. In saliva, there is Histatin protein, which is believed to contain healing properties capable of reducing the adverse effects of horsefly bites. The saliva will protect you until you get proper treatment. Ensure you clean the wound in case it develops.
With mild bites, the bitten area will heal in a few days and it may not need any medical help. What you need to do is clean the bitten area using soap and water then pat it dry to prevent an infection. You may also use antiseptics to sterilize the wound. When the bite itches, don’t scratch it. This may tear open the already exposed skin thereby making the healing time to take long.
Scratching increase the risk of having an infection. Hot compression may help in offering relief from a horsefly bite. Try to soak a clean towel in hot salty water and then apply on the bitten area but ensure you do not scald the skin or put a lot of pressure since it can cause more discomfort.
Icing the wound can also prevent swelling and can dull the pain of the bite. A patient may apply home remedies such as raw onion, Epsom salt, vinegar, aloe Vera, soda, or honey to minimize discomforts and swelling. The wounded areas can be covered with a bandage to help reduce infections.
There are drugs that can be applied on the itchy and swollen skin such as Benadryl or hydrocortisone cream. An individual may take oral antihistamines to prevent allergy reactions. You need to seek medical help if you develop severe allergy reaction or the bite appears as though it is infected.
A doctor will evaluate the bite and its symptoms, and offer the necessary treatment to prevent complications. Sometimes, severe reactions caused by horsefly bites can be life threatening especially if the histamine reactions is too much.
Horsefly bite – Pictures
Filed in: Skin Problems