Parents Warned To Drain Paddling Pools To Stop Horseflies Breeding

Drain paddling pools to prevent insect bites, families warned

Drain paddling pools to prevent insect bites, families warned

Although many of us are enjoying the balmy temperatures of this year's heatwave, unfortunately for some, biting insects are flourishing too.

And senior doctors are reporting incidents of patients being treated in hospital for infected horsefly bites.

The public is urged to remove standing water to reduce the risk of getting insect bites and stings.

"We wouldn't normally see anyone coming to hospital for a bite, but we have seen a few recently needing treatment with antibiotics which is very unusual", said Nick Scriven, Society for Acute Medicine president.

Ms Bungay added: "Horsefly bites are particularly painful because their main food source is livestock, which have a limited ability to move the fly away". They actually give one of the nastier bites, because they take a chunk out of you.

"They can be very painful, and can take a while to heal, and as result can get infected and need antibiotics".

'In the worst-case scenario, they can cause cellulitis, an infection of the skin'.

Data from the Public Health England show that about 9,000 calls were made to the NHS 111 helpline on July 8, which is about double the baseline number.

Amid a record-breaking heatwave impacting the United Kingdom, a new threat has emerged to the public: vampire horseflies.

Spikes in calls about insect bites coincided when the temperature peaked between June 24 and July 9. This happens on average only twice a decade.

"Horseflies and mosquitoes are interesting because they rely on aquatic larvae in wet and marshy areas, which won't have necessarily dried up yet, even after the last four weeks of hot and dry weather conditions".

Dr Daniel Whitmore of the National History Museum's insect division agrees: "Horseflies like hot weather in general, so they may become more active around breeding sites and farms in hot weather".

Other effects of vampire horsefly bites include swelling of limbs, dizziness, shortage of breath and a painful, itchy rash.

According to BPCA, the top five most common bites and stings are false black widow spider, mosquitos, horse flies, wasps and hornets.