How to Cure Horsefly Bites

Updated July 20, 2017

An adult horsefly is one of the largest flies in the world. The female horsefly slices the skin with knifelike mandibles instead of biting to obtain blood. This makes the bite more painful and slower to heal. Normal symptoms of a horsefly bite include a rash, red and itchy skin around the bite, and wheezing. Because of the nature of the bite, horsefly bites can become infected more easily than other types of insect bites if not treated quickly.

Wash the site of the horsefly bite thoroughly with soap and water.

Apply a small amount of aloe vera to the bite or bites. The antibiotic properties of the aloe helps protect against infection.

Apply over-the-counter antihistamine or hydrocortisone ointment to the area to reduce itching or irritation, if desired.

Cover the bite or bites with a bandage or gauze to keep the area clean and dry.

Place an ice pack on the site on top of the bandage for up to 20 minutes to further reduce inflammation and pain.


Watch for signs of a severe allergic reaction or infection. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as severe wheezing, swelling of the eyes or lips, weakness or dizziness. Signs of a possible infection include fever, pus at the site and swelling that does not decrease after one or two days.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Water
  • Bandage or gauze
  • Aloe vera gel or juice
  • Ice pack
  • Topical cream
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About the Author

Lisa Ellis began writing professionally in 2003. Ellis' articles are published online at CE Solutions and Medic-CE for continuing education credits for EMTs. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Austin College. Since receiving her doctor of Chiropractic in 2010 from Parker College, Ellis works a chiropractor promoting wellness and healthy lifestyles.