Horsefly bites can be painful and become infected – here’s what to look out for and when to see a doctor Bedford News

Horseflies are between 1 and 2.5 cm (Photo: Twitter / Thomas Farrell)
Horseflies are between 1 and 2.5 cm (Photo: Twitter / Thomas Farrell)

The weeklong heat wave in the UK could mean sun, ice cream and yard work (a nice break from the WFH), but it has also resulted in an increase in insects.

Hot, dry temperatures are ideal conditions for horseflies, which are commonly found in grassy areas, woods, ponds and swimming pools.

These types of flies are larger than regular house flies and can leave painful bites that are difficult to go unnoticed.

So, with horsefly season, what do they look like and how would you know if you’ve been bitten? That’s all you need to know.

What do horseflies look like?

Horseflies, commonly known as clegs, are around 1 to 2.5cm in length and are significantly larger than the house flies we might see in our homes and gardens.

They are dark and can often have a striped body, their grayish-black color allows them to blend in with the outdoors.

Horseflies are most commonly found around farm animals such as cattle, as well as in sheds, swimming pools, pongs, grassy and wooded areas.

Are horseflies dangerous?

Female horseflies are especially dangerous because their razor sharp teeth can leave a nasty bite that is red and painful.

They have teeth specially adapted to slice through the skin, which makes them more prone to infection, as they open the skin rather than prick it.

Severe reactions can also lead to hospitalization, as some people are allergic to insects.

Red itchy sores can be hard not to scratch, making them easily infected. Infections can make you feel hot on the point, and you might become weak and nauseous

Some people may experience an allergic reaction – if this is the case, symptoms to watch out for are dizziness, wheezing, difficulty breathing, a mottled rash, and severe swelling that may be visible in the lips or tongue. .

If you have an infected cleg bite, contact your GP and if you think you have had an allergic reaction, see a doctor immediately.

How to treat a horsefly bite

If you’ve been bitten, do not scratch the bite, even if it itches.

Do not apply any hygienic or cleaning chemicals as this could worsen an infection or exacerbate the itching.

Instead, use cold water and soap and clean around the bite. Then use a cold compress to reduce any swelling and numb the area.

If the bite does not decrease within a few days, or if it gets worse, contact your doctor.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-22 17:22:00

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