Bites from insects and flies are very common. Among them horsefly bite is distinct as it cuts the skin when it bites rather than stinging. Horsefly bite is very painful bite. Horsefly is a member of tabanidae family. There are at least 1000 or more types of horsefly detected throughout the world. However, among them stripped horsefly and black horsefly are said to be most dangerous.
Horseflies live in wet lands and they prefer warm climate. They play an active role in pollination of flowers, especially the male horsefly which always feeds on nectar present in flowers.Contrary to this, the female horsefly feeds on blood of mammals.
When a horsefly bites human being, it produces excruciating pain and swelling. Its bite is prone to become infected wound. Horsefly is known to transmit anthrax and tularemia between animals and humans. The infection may take several days to heal.
How Does A Horsefly Bite?
Horsefly bite leaves a distinct impression on the skin. In fact it burrows its head and cuts the skin. Horsefly slices the skin layer and sucks the blood. A person has pricking and burning sensation when a horsefly cuts the skin and sucks the blood.
Sometimes the bite of horsefly is more annoying than that of a wasp or a bee sting. Horsefly bite takes long time to heal as the skin is cut and exposed.
Horsefly Bite Symptoms
- Pain is the first symptom after the bite of a horsefly.
- As soon as a horsefly bites, a red bump develops on the skin. With its bite, the body reacts and releases histamine which causes itching and inflammation near the site of bite.
- Horsefly bite can cause an allergic reaction leading to skin rash, hives and wheezing.
- Angio-edema: itching, swelling and redness in eyes and swelling of lip is often present after horsefly bite.
- Patient may feel weak and dizzy few hours after the bite.
- If the site of bite remains red and painful after few days and the swelling appears yellow, the probability of infection increases.
Home Remedies For Horsefly Bites
A normal insect bite may take few days to heal. But horsefly bite takes longer time to heal as the skin surface is cut instead of a bite or sting. Once you know that the bite is due to horsefly, do not waste time and consult your doctor immediately to prevent infection.
- Clean the wound with clean water or an antiseptic soap solution.
- After cleaning, dry the area with clean cloth or a paper. If in case you are not able to clean and dry the bitten area, apply saliva over the swollen area. Saliva has a protein present in it which has healing properties.
- Avoid scratching the bitten area as that may lead to infection.
- Most of the time topical application of steroidal cream is effective in reducing itching. However, when itching is intolerable, oral antihistamines may be valuable.
- To relieve pain, place a warm water cloth on the bitten area. Preferably the cloth should be dipped in salt water.
- Apply ice cube on the site to reduce swelling. Ice should be wrapped in a cloth.
- Aloe Vera juice or gel, paste prepared from baking soda, honey, juice of onion and garlic are found to be beneficial in reducing the melody produced by horsefly bite.
In case of angio-edema, you should immediately contact your doctor to prevent further complications. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if he suspects an infection which is common after a horsefly bite.