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Warning over horsefly ‘invasion’ which can ‘bite through clothes’

Warning over horsefly ‘invasion’ which can ‘bite through clothes’

UK sun worshipers are being warned to keep an eye open for horseflies which can ‘bite right through clothes’ – and could be swarming due to perfect conditions for breeding. Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy says bites and stings may take several days to disappear – and can become infected with bacteria.

According to experts the hot weather and sudden downpours are good conditions for the insect – as people taking to the great outdoors have been told what to do to cope with bites and stings. The British Pest Control Association in 2018 placed the dangerous creatures on its ‘Top Ten Stings and Bites to Avoid List’.

This weekend has been the subject of a yellow heat-health alert from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office meaning that people should be checking on the elderly and those with health conditions and also that the NHS will be under increasing pressure. The heat alert runs all weekend until 9am on Monday.

The organisation said: “Literally designed to eat a horse, their bite is both impressive and painful. The horsefly is a sanguivorous insect and therefore wants to bite you.

“They can persistently chase you at a flying speed of around 15mph, and it’ll bite right through clothes. It has mandibles that can rip and tear flesh apart.”

With horseflies, Dr Lee warned: “Horseflies are most likely to be out and about at dawn and dusk, although they can bite at any time. They also love piles of manure, so avoid stables and farmyards.”

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She says to take care walking in long grass or beside stagnant water such as ponds, lakes and marshes. Wear long-sleeved tops and trousers, tucked into your socks. Wear a sunhat or a cap, with some form of neck protector. Again, wear light colours and avoid perfumed products.

  • June 25, 2023