Bug Blog

A Horsefly Bite Killed A Man While Horseback Riding With His Daughter

Some of you are familiar with horseflies and the painful bites that they inflict on humans and animals. Horseflies look like regular houseflies, only they appear to be twice as large. Horsefly bites are notorious for the extreme pain that they cause to victims, but with the exception of their bites, these insects are typically considered to be harmless to humans. However, a recent incident in England may cause some to rethink their attitude toward horseflies. Not long ago, a father of four, Andy Batty, died in response to a horsefly bite.

Horsefly bites are almost never fatal to humans, and many experts may claim that the insects could not possibly end a human life with a mere bite. However, Catherine Batty, the daughter of the victim who was present at the time of her father’s death, would most certainly argue with this claim. Catherine, sadly, was horseback riding with her father when he sustained the fatal horsefly bite. Shortly before his death, Andy was helping his daughter ride her pony. To Catherine’s surprise, her father suddenly experienced extreme pain before falling over dead. Catherine witnessed her father die in agony, and she initially had no idea as to what caused her father’s death. Naturally, Catherine called 911, but when the paramedics arrived, Andy had already passed.

Doctors later announced that Andy had died as a result of anaphylactic shock. In other words, Andy died due to a violent allergic reaction. Death from anaphylactic shock sometimes occurs when a bee stings a person with a bee allergy. Wasps and other stinging insects can also cause their sting victims to go into anaphylactic shock. While this sort of death may be common when it comes to bee stings, researchers insist that this sort of death never results from horsefly bites. Medical experts believe that Andy was genetically predisposed to respond negatively to certain insect bites. A professional allergist, Dr. Bill Frankland, claims that he has never once seen another fatality resulting from a horsefly bite during the entirety of his long career.

Have you ever sustained a bite from a flying insect that you did not recognize?