Do Horseflies Bite People?

A Horsefly

You might encounter horseflies When outdoors, especially near bodies of water or in wooded areas. These large, fast-flying insects are often a nuisance to humans and animals. One of the most common questions about horseflies is: Do they bite people?

The short answer is that horseflies DO indeed bite people, and their bites can be quite painful.

Why Do Horseflies Bite People?

Horseflies belong to the Tabanidae family, and the females are the ones that bite. They require blood to produce eggs and aren’t picky about their sources; they will bite horses, cattle, other animals, and humans. The blood provides the necessary protein for their reproductive process.

Unlike mosquitoes, which use a needle-like mouthpart to draw blood, horseflies use scissor-like mouthparts that tear the skin. This method of feeding is what makes horsefly bites particularly painful.

Identifying a Horsefly Bite

A horsefly bite is usually easy to identify due to the following characteristics:

  • Immediate Pain: The bite itself is often immediately noticeable due to the pain it causes.
  • Redness and Swelling: The area around the bite will typically become red and swollen.
  • Itching: Like many insect bites, horsefly bites can be very itchy.
  • Possible Bleeding: Because horseflies tear the skin, their bites can sometimes bleed.

Risks Associated with Horsefly Bites

While horsefly bites are painful, they are generally not dangerous. However, there are a few risks to be aware of.

Allergic Reactions

Some people may experience allergic reactions to horsefly bites, leading to more severe swelling and itching.


As with any open wound, there is a risk of infection if the bite is not properly cleaned and treated.

Transmission of Diseases

Although less common, horseflies can transmit certain diseases to livestock, and there is a minor risk of disease transmission to humans.

Preventing Horsefly Bites

If you’re planning to be in an area where horseflies are common, there are several steps you can take to reduce your chances of being bitten.

You should wear long sleeves and pants that can help protect your skin from bites. Apply an insect repellent that is effective against biting flies. Horseflies are most active during the day, especially in hot and humid conditions. Plan outdoor activities for early morning or evening when horseflies are less active. Horseflies are often found near bodies of water, so avoiding these areas can reduce your exposure.

Treating Horsefly Bites

If you do get bitten by a horsefly, there are several steps you can take to alleviate the discomfort and prevent complications:

  • Clean the Bite: Wash the area with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Apply a Cold Compress: This can help reduce swelling and numb the pain.
  • Use Anti-Itch Cream: Over-the-counter creams can help relieve itching and discomfort.
  • Take an Antihistamine: If the bite is particularly itchy or swollen, an antihistamine can help reduce these symptoms.

This is where professional pest control services, like those offered by TermiGuard Services, can make a significant difference.

Comprehensive Pest Control for Horseflies

TermiGuard Services offers a recurring pest control plan called TG Plus Vector, specifically designed to tackle a variety of biting insects, including horseflies. Here’s how TG Plus Vector can help you enjoy a more comfortable and pest-free outdoor environment:

  • Targeted Treatments: TG Plus Vector focuses on the exterior of your home, treating areas where horseflies and other biting insects are likely to breed and thrive. By targeting these hotspots, TG Plus Vector reduces the population of horseflies around your property.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: In addition to horseflies, TG Plus Vector also addresses other common pests like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. This comprehensive approach ensures that you’re protected from a wide range of biting insects, making your outdoor spaces more enjoyable.
  • Recurring Service: Horseflies can be persistent, especially during peak seasons. TG Plus Vector’s recurring service ensures that treatments are applied regularly, maintaining an effective barrier against these pests and preventing re-infestations.
  • Expert Knowledge: The professionals at TermiGuard Services have extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with biting insects. They use proven techniques and products that are both effective and safe for your family and pets.