Horsefly bites can be dangerous – how to tell if youve been bitten by one

Horsefly season is here thanks to the heatwave and recent hot and humid weather.

Horseflies have razor sharp teeth and can cause a very painful bite – but in worse case it can actually be dangerous.

Most of us will feel some discomfort if we're bitten by a horsefly, but some people may suffer an allergic reaction.

Horseflies are one of the larger fly special, and are known for their painful bite, Manchester Evening News reports.

And unlike midge bites, a horsefly bite can take much longer to recover from.

This is because they cut into the skin rather than pierce it – which means the wound could become infected.

What are horseflies and what do they look like?

A horsefly is a large, dark-coloured fly which measures around 1-2.5cm in size.

They can usually be found near cattle, horse stables, ponds, pools, woodlands and grassy areas.

They are lightweight, and can often land without being detected.

How do you know if you've been bitten by a horsefly?

A horsefly bite can be very painful, and the site of the bite will often turn red and very itchy.

Swollen bumps may appear within minutes, and it can be extremely uncomfortable for a lot of people.

If the wound becomes infected, you need to get in touch with your GP.

You'll notice that this is the case if you feel hot, weak or nauseous.

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Some people, in exceptional cases, also suffer an allergic reaction to horsefly bites.

Symptoms include dizziness, wheezing, difficulty breathing, a blotchy skin rash and severe swelling that may be visible in your lips or tongue.

Those who suffer any of these symptoms should seek medical help immediately.

What do to if you're bitten by a horsefly

If you get bitten by a horsefly it's important to keep the area clean so it won't get infected.

The best thing is to clean the wound with an antiseptic soap and water.

An ice pack can also be used to soothe the area.

Graphic warning: If you're a little squeamish, then you may want to scroll past how they look when infected, below.

Doctors normally recommend using an over-the-counter steroid cream which contains hydrocortisone.

Ibuprofen gel can also be use to ease pain or swelling.

Try to avoid scratching the bite if you can, because if you do it will increase the risk of infection.

The NHS website explains: "A bite from a horsefly can be very painful and the bitten area of skin will usually be red and raised.

"Horsefly bites can take a while to heal and can become infected. See your GP if you have symptoms of an infection, such as pus or increasing pain, redness and swelling."

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