Of all the insects that can cause us to be on high alert for fear of getting bitten the horse fly continually creeps up the scale.

And it’s not without good reason, as many people unfortunate enough to have suffered a horse fly bite can tell you.

What is a horse fly?

Horse flies are large, stout flies that can be found all over the world. They are particularly problematic as the female seeks out blood from larger mammals – this includes humans, but also cows and horses.

It is here that the problem with horse flies becomes abundantly apparent. Flying from animal to human to animal they are brushed away as they suck blood, biting repeatedly and spreading disease.

Are horse fly bites dangerous?

Horse bites are certainly unpleasant – they can very quickly become painful and itchy. Some people can also experience nausea, dizziness and feeling hot.

It is very easy for the bites to become infected due to the nature of horse flies and it is advised to gently wash the area and to try to avoid scratching it and spreading any bacteria.

People can suffer an allergic reaction to horse fly bites manifesting in wheezing, dizziness, swelling and a rash. If you get bitten and suspect the bite has become infected or that you may be suffering an allergic reaction it is important to seek medical advice.

Avoiding horse flies

Unfortunately horse flies are part and parcel of enjoying the summer months and are prevalent near to meadows, areas where horses and cows are kept, and close to open water.

The good news for people who enjoy a few drinks in the garden at the end of the day is that horse flies are not fans of darker conditions and are generally only active in the sunlight.

To avoid being bitten the best advice is to wear long-sleeved light clothing and put in place general fly deterrents around the home such as fly screens on open doors.

For more advice on solutions to deter pest flies contact pest busters.

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