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How to Avoid Horsefly Bites When Walking Outdoors

Dr. Arnan Sisson, PT / May 23, 2022

Many walkers HATE long strolls outdoors during the summer months, but usually it’s not the heat..


Yes, the heat can play a role of us not going out as much during the middle of summer. But more often than not we can just shift when we walk. Getting a nice early morning or late afternoon walk is still tolerable here in Virginia during the height of summer.


The one thing that frustrates me and all my clients that love walking the most are the bugs. In particular, one of the most annoying flies…. The horsefly!


This little bug can chase you down, take a nice bite of your skin, and then repeat this until you run back to your house.


Most of those folks in the Northern Neck area know that I’m such a huge proponent of walks. It’s been proven to improve anxiety, depression, heart disease, diabetes, brain health, and back pain to name a few. So, with this article I decided it would be fitting to go over my top tips to reduce horsefly bites during the summer months. So, we can keep up our walks that we know are good for us.

Try some of these out, and you should be able to double or maybe even triple your walks that would otherwise be cut short due to these little creatures!


Our first tip is to avoid dark colors. Horse flies are attracted to this, and in particular navy blue. By slipping on a white shirt and swapping out your favorite pair of blue jeans you may be able to avoid having them drawn in.


The second tip is to take a shower before your walk and take your time during the walk. If you have a lot of body odor and sweat on you, the horsefly will be pulled by your scent, and you’ll have more bites.


The third tip is to avoid the woods if able. I really love going to my family farm in Montross, and it’s a mix between open fields and woods. I always avoid the tree lines. If you can stay away from the tree lines, you’ll be able to significantly avoid any contact with these bugs.


My last tip is a plan b option, which means if your being chased by one of these flies what can you do? There are two options, the first is to run very quickly to get out of its range. But this could increase your sweating and actually draw others in.


So, a better option is to raise your hands high, and the horseflies will circle your hands. Then you can easily clap them to kill the horse fly.  This works because these bugs are attracted to the highest point on your body.


These little tricks work very well, so I’d encourage everyone to put them to the test. If they can allow you to get outside and keep those walks going, you’ll continue to reap the full benefits of a walking program during these summer months.

Remember movement is medicine!


P.S. If back or knee pain is stopping you from your walks, feel free to click the links below to download our free back OR knee report today to get some simple tips to quickly build up your walks!