Norwich Weather



max temp: 10°C

min temp: 6°C

Readers recommend: how to treat and prevent horsefly bites

PUBLISHED: 15:05 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:05 07 August 2018

Horsefly bites are painful and can swell. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Horsefly bites are painful and can swell. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

This content is subject to copyright.

From creams to pungent vegetables, here are the things our readers say can help prevent horseflies ruining your summer.

Nobody likes being bitten by bugs in the hot weather but horsefly bites are especially unpleasant.

What can you do avoid the painful and unsightly bites, or relieve the symptoms if you are bitten? Our readers have a few suggestions:

Avon Skin So Soft

Kim Jackman claims that using a particular beauty spray keeps the insects away. She said: “Avon Skin So Soft is great stuff. I’m usually bitten all over but this year I’ve been using it every morning and evening and not got bitten once.”

Yvonne MacDonald agreed that the cream is effective, commenting: “It does work. I used to spray it on myself and my horse when out hacking and it kept the pesky horseflies away. It was better & cheaper than expensive horsefly spray.”

Magnesium cream

This was also suggested as a repellent. If the cream doesn’t manage to deter an insect from biting you it is at least though to ease pain and itching.


Shell Duddy said if you are bitten what you need to do is: “take antihistamines and not scratch it and keep it clean, this should avoid infection. In most cases the bite will only become infected if it is scratched.”

Jean Morton also recommended antihistamines, saying you should: “wash with proper soap and water then use Anthisan as soon as bitten.”

Raw onion

Nicola Fenton had an unusual suggestion for how to ease the itching of a horsefly bite.

She said: “A cheap an effective way to get rid of the itch is to rub raw onion over the bite. It really works.”

A warm teaspoon

If onions seem too pungent an option to you then Claire Evans said “the back of a warmed teaspoon” also relieves itching.

Our readers’ tips are worth trying out but if you do get bitten and you want to minimise your chances of infection or other complications that you’re best sticking to the official NHS advice on insect bites and stings.

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

It points out that you can even experience hives, dizziness, weakness, wheezing, and puffy body parts.

Because horsefly bites “can take a while to heal and can become infected”, the NHS advises that you “see your GP if you have symptoms of an infection, such as pus or increasing pain, redness and swelling.”

Have you been bitten by a horsefly this summer? Let us know in the comments.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Norwich Evening News daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Digital Edition


Enjoy the Evening News
digital edition


Show Job Lists