Why Do Horse Flies Bite? What To Do About It? | Kidadl


Why Do Horse Flies Bite? What To Do About It?

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Horseflies are tiny in size and may seem very innocent and too small to cause much pain or harm but the truth is far from it.

Horseflies are notorious and the reason behind their name is the fact that they tend to sit on horses and many other mammals and pester them. They become pests for horses and many other mammals.

Horseflies are common in water logged areas, water bodies, and places where horses and other mammals are in abundance. These horseflies are pests and sit on horses and other mammals to bite them, suck their blood. These flies basically feed on them and as a result wound them. A horse fly's bite is famously called a horse fly bite. If bitten by horseflies, ensure you seek medical help immediately and visit a doctor. Their bite is dangerous, which means your life can be in danger if bitten by horseflies.

This notorious adult horsefly typically feeds on nectar but female horseflies feed on blood to reproduce. A blood meal helps in female horse flies reproduction. A bigger size female horse fly bite can be quite painful. Their mouthparts are in such a way that they are used for tearing and or lapping, unlike mosquitoes that pierce the skin to suck the blood. Female horseflies are persuasive and persistent in their attempt. They will keep on biting the skin of the host until they get their ample meal of blood or the host is killed. These horseflies tend to chase their target if needed. Female horseflies are very active. Some of these species are vectors of infections and disease. However, the horsefly vectored infection or disease involves livestock. Horseflies survive in woodlands and swampy weather. They tend to suck the blood or feed on animals in the daytime and generally on hot summer, sunny, and windless days. Horsefly larvae develop in wet and dark areas close to water or water bodies.

The physical attributes of horseflies for both a male and a female horsefly consist of a gray or black body. The wings of these insects may not be as dark as their body but few horse fly insects have completely dark wings. Their eyes are large with green or purple coloration and stripes. A horsefly has six legs, a stout body without bristles, with a small antenna. These tiny insects are largely found across North America. Adult horseflies are strong and fast fliers and they can fly up to 30 mi (49.3 km). However, this summer-prone insect does not disperse widely. These horseflies attack a moving and dark animal. Why they get tired they seek rest, flying towards wooded areas. Once they are rested, they wait for a potential host to come for them to feed on for survival. This species of horseflies tend to be attracted towards the light, which is one reason why they hover over or congregate over windows. In order to restrict them from entering your house, ensure you screen your doors and windows. If you are venturing out for some outdoor activity, wear clothing that is light in color and that covers your skin and body. Apply insect repellant to keep them away from you.

If you wish to learn other animal fun facts, you may also visit these why do flies bite and why do ants bite.

Why do horse flies bite when you are wet?

Horseflies easily reproduce in wet and swamp areas. Even though they prefer to feed on hot summer days which are windless, they are mainly attracted to wet skin or dark skin, and carbon dioxide. Female horseflies especially like to feed on blood for reproduction. They are aggressive and persistent in nature. They can chase their target for a while if needed.

Wet weather helps them reproduce. Their bite may cause a lot of pain and may cause an infection if medical help is not given at the right time. These horseflies, especially female horseflies, have strong mouthparts that they use for tearing. Unlike mosquitoes which pierce the skin while biting, a horsefly will keep biting the skin until they get the blood meal for them to reproduce their eggs and larvae. This species of insect is dangerous for animals and humans. They lay their eggs in dark areas, normally near a water body.

What happens when a horse fly bites you?

Horseflies, with their strong mouthparts, attack large animals and mammals like dogs, horses, humans, and other living beings. They are always attracted towards dark objects and carbon dioxide. Now, you have your answer on why do humans attract so many horseflies while doing an outdoor activity and or sweating in the outdoors. Since the production of carbon dioxide as a result of heavy and frequent breathing increases, it attracts this horsefly.

A horsefly's bite is quite painful and causes an allergic reaction in many people, therefore immediate medical advice needs to be sought post horsefly bites. A horsefly can be so persistent and active that if they start biting animals or mammals with good health they won't stop until the animals are dead or the horsefly gets enough amount of blood to survive and reproduce. Male horseflies are not big pests for animal, while on the contrary, the females can be quite painful for host animals and humans with good health. If and when these flies attack you or bite you and if the pain is not too excruciating you can wait it out to self-heal. But if it doesn't heal in two to three days or you see your symptoms like swelling, redness, dizziness, pain worsen call a doctor. Let them examine your symptoms, and the area of the bite and decide on further action.

During your outdoor activities and plans, you can avoid these flies by wearing appropriate clothing which covers your body and is light in color as dark colors attract these flies. You can also apply insect repellant that will keep these flies at bay. Further, you can also ensure that you are excluding these flies from entering your place by screening your doors and windows.

Pale giant horse-fly  is a species of biting horse-fly.

What do you do if a horse fly bites you?

If a horsefly bites you, consult or visit a doctor immediately. Horsefly bites are considered to be more painful and irritational than mosquitoes bites. Male horseflies are not dangerous therefore the signs of male horsefly bites will be different than a female horsefly bite. The host could be at risk if not treated medically.

Females are quite dangerous, aggressive, persistent, and may transmit another disease. Males are subtle and love the nectar while the females suck the blood out of the host as a pest, to an extent that it causes swelling in the area and a lot of pain. Call for medical help if you are bit by this female pest, however generally, these bites heal in a couple of days. However, if they are taking more than a couple of days to heal and your symptoms such as swelling, redness, dizziness, and pain are increasing do not wait any longer and consult a doctor. Medical attention is required and a doctor or physician will examine the symptoms, and the bite area to further determine the next steps.

How to avoid horse fly bites?

To avoid a horsefly's bite, stay away from areas where animals like horses are in abundance. These flies tend to sit on these animals as pets and feed on them, specially the females of these species. Also, avoid areas near water bodies. Whenever you go out pay attention to your clothing. During any outdoor activity, try to wear fully covered clothes which are light in color. Dark colors attract flies. Also, apply insect repellant on your skin to avoid these flies. If your house is near a water body, to control these flies make sure to provide screening to all your doors and windows.

If you are bit by a horse fly, the bite will heal in few days. However, if it does not heal in a few days and you are experiencing any unusual symptoms like dizziness or bad pain, immediately consult a doctor. The doctor will analyze the bite and determine if any future action or medicine is required.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do horse flies bite then why not take a look at why do fish jump, or dragonfly facts.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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