Connect with us


Why Do Horseflies Bite?



Horseflies Bite

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors – soaking up the sun, going for long walks, or having a picnic with your family. It’s also a time when horseflies can become a real nuisance. These pesky insects are commonly found in humid climates and near bodies of water, and unfortunately, they are known for their painful bites.

So, why do horseflies bite? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind horsefly bites and why they are so irritating.

What Are Horseflies?

Horseflies are a type of blood-sucking insect that belongs to the Tabanidae family. Female horseflies are the ones that bite, and they do so to get a blood meal. They require blood to produce their eggs, and they can take up to 300 milligrams of blood in one feeding. Unlike mosquitoes, which have a proboscis to suck blood, horseflies have blade-like mouthparts that they use to slice open the skin. This causes the characteristic painful, itchy bite.

Interestingly, horseflies are attracted to certain stimuli that can make them more likely to bite. One of the most significant stimuli is heat. Horseflies are attracted to warm-blooded mammals, so if you’re outside on a hot day, you may be more likely to get bitten. They are also attracted to dark colors, which is why wearing light-colored clothing can help.

Another factor that makes horsefly bites so painful is the type of saliva they inject into the wound. Horseflies have a potent anticoagulant in their saliva that prevents blood from clotting, making it easier for them to suck blood. This saliva also contains chemicals that cause inflammation and irritation, leading to the characteristic red bump and strong itching sensation.

Because of the painful and itchy nature of horsefly bites, it’s important to take precautions when you’re outside. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants can help minimize exposed skin, and applying insect repellant can help deter horseflies and other biting insects. If you do get bitten, using a cold compress and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory creams can help reduce swelling and itchiness.


Horseflies can be a real nuisance during the summer months, but now you understand why they bite. While these insects are known for their unpleasant bites, understanding the factors that attract them and how they bite can help you better protect yourself when you’re outside.

So next time you’re enjoying the great outdoors, be sure to take a few precautions and enjoy the season without getting bitten by these pesky insects.

I am Tommy, an avid equestrian who is passionate about the lifestyle. Writing for an equestrian blog has been a lifelong dream of mine, as I have been around horses my whole life. My mission is to share all the knowledge and experiences I have gathered throughout the years in order to help others reach their goals in this amazing sport. My dedication and enthusiasm towards horses and all things related to them never cease to amaze me!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright ©2023