They are often confused, but unlike flies, horseflies can sting. In reality, it is only female horseflies that bite with their trunk. Like female mosquitoes, female horseflies feed on the blood of their prey to gain energy and ensure the proper development of eggs …
Symptoms: how to recognize a horsefly bite?
We see horseflies when it is hot, near water points, in the countryside or in the mountains, and especially when there are animals nearby (cows, sheep, etc.).
A gadfly bite can result in:
- a sharp pain when the insect stings, which usually goes away quickly
- redness that appears at the site of the bite
- localized heat from inflammation
- severe itching may then be felt, as with bed flea bites
In the event of an allergic reaction, other symptoms may alert:
- the formation of a large blister several centimeters in diameter
- intense heat in the area and a burning sensation
If breathing difficulties are observed, swelling of the face and mucous membranes, these may be manifestations of angioedema. In this case, consult a doctor urgently.
I got stung by a gadfly: how to react?
- in the event of a horsefly bite, the first reflex to have is to disinfect the affected area with an antiseptic solution. If you don’t have one on you, wash the lesion off with soap and water.
- it is imperative not to scratch, so as not to risk infecting the bite.
- to calm the itching, apply a soothing cream locally.
In the event of an allergic reaction, an antihistamine or cortisone-based cream or gel may be indicated to you at the pharmacy. Corticosteroid creams, intended to reduce inflammation, should not be over a period of more than 3 days, twice a day.
If symptoms persist, see a doctor.
Horsefly bites: grandmother’s remedies to relieve them
To soothe an insect bite such as a horsefly bite, a drop of lavender aspic essential oil is applied to the affected area. You can tap lightly with a cotton ball or swab.
Using a sterile compress, dab the area with apple cider vinegar. Rich in acetic acid, it has interesting antiseptic properties and can calm itching. You can also mix a little baking soda in white vinegar before applying the compress.
Finally, you can apply a source of cold to the inflamed area: a few ice cubes in a cloth, which is placed on the bite to cool.
Horsefly bite: how to protect yourself from this insect?
Horseflies like wet skin. So after swimming, remember to quickly dry your skin, to avoid attracting them.
When hiking in the mountains or in the countryside, especially, if you are likely to meet animals (cows, sheep, etc.), dress in light and breathable clothing, but which covers the legs and arms: ideally pants and a long-sleeved top.
The pain persists: what should I do?
Horseflies are often near bodies of water, moist places where germs multiply. In rare cases, horseflies are carriers of disease. If you find that after a sting, pain or swelling persists, do not hesitate to consult a doctor. The gadfly may have transmitted a parasite to you. Nothing serious, but your doctor will advise you to have a blood test to rule out any risk of infection.
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