Horsefly invasion to reach UK with bites causing sores, dizziness and rashes

29 June 2018, 12:14 | Updated: 29 June 2018, 13:32

Horsefly asset

By Naomi Berners

The warm weather is set to bring swarms of horseflies to the UK, which are renowned for having a nasty bite.

More commonly drawn to horses (hence their name), these insects are also known to take a nibble out of humans, leaving victims with incredibly painful sores.

A horsefly bite can leave large, swollen and pus-filled wound bulging on the surface of the skin, which can take days to disappear.

Other symptoms can include large rashes, dizziness, weakness, wheezing and swelling of the lips and tongue.


Credit: Getty

The bugs are about 1-2.5cm in length and are dark in colour. They're often found near horse stables and fields, as well as open meadows, fields, woodlands and pond areas.

(So basically everywhere.)

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Female horseflies feed off blood in order to produce their eggs, and they're not really fussy who or what they get it from. The insect has jagged teeth which they use to slice open skin, and at the same time produce a blood-thinner to prevent clotting getting in the way of their meal.


Credit: Getty

Insect repellent or keeping skin covered with loose clothing will reduce the chance of being bitten.

However, if you are unlucky, doctors recommend keeping wounds clean with antiseptic soaps and warm water to reduce the risk of infection. It's also advised to avoid scratching - no matter how itchy they get.

If you do experience symptoms beyond this, such as any difficulty breathing, dizziness or severe swelling, it is recommended to seek medical attention sooner rather than later.

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