YUCK! Can horse flies really bite us? Or are they just even more annoying than the regular house fly?
What is a horse fly?
Horse flies are found throughout the US in suburban and rural areas near bodies of water, which serve as breeding sites. These flies are fast, strong fliers and capable of flying for more than 30 miles. This pesky pest likely received its common name because it is notorious being a nuisance to horses and other mammals.
Horse fly bites
So, do horse flies really bite humans and not just horses? The short answer is yes! While male horse flies feed on pollen and plant nectars, females aggressively feed on blood. Horse flies most often bite moving and dark objects. They are relentless and will continue to bite their host until they succeed in procuring their blood meal or are killed. Some are even known to chase their targets for short periods. Female horse fly bites can be quite painful because their mouthparts are used for tearing and lapping up blood, rather than piercing and sucking like mosquitoes.
What are the symptoms of a horse fly bite?
In addition to being painful, horse flies bites can cause allergic reactions. If allergic, you may also experience inflammation, dizziness or wheezing. Fortunately, horse flies are not known to be vectors of disease or capable of transmitting harmful disease-causing bacteria.
How to treat horse fly bites
If bitten by a horse fly, do your best to avoid scratching the bite. Vigorously clean the wound with warm water, then use an ice pack to temporarily relieve redness and swelling. You can apply over-the-counter ointments to help reduce swelling and itchiness. As the wound heals, monitor for any signs of infection. Seek medical attention if the bite becomes infected or you experience a severe allergic reaction.
Curtesy of Pest World.ORG