01 May 2010

Black fly blues

Even the black flies are two weeks ahead of last year. I had an impressive reaction last May to a black fly bite:

Yesterday, they started biting again. I wasn't expecting them to be active just yet, so hadn't put on any insect repellent. Every one of my limbs was attacked, but the bites aren't as swollen and painful as last year's, so perhaps I'm developing a bit of resistance to the blighters. There is also a line of three bites along the lower half of my neck. Not the most attractive of looks.

The really annoying thing (although looking like I've got a load of lovebites on my neck is pretty annoying) is that Mike was working just ten feet away from me (we were planting out the leeks and onions) and didn't get bitten once. He's proposing taking me with him everywhere in the next two or three weeks as some sort of human sacrificial anode.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Looks awful. I hope they find you much less tasty as this season continues!

Linda said...

Yikes, that was quite the reaction.

Anonymous said...

How long did it take for the reaction to occur after being bitten? Was it right away, or the next day?

Anonymous said...

I live in B.C. and we get blackflies too. I react the same way every time. Try Bag Balm on the bites. It's the stuff farmers put on their cows utters. Im not joking. It takes rhe sting and itch away. My husband never gets bitten. It's crazy. Just my dog and me... a feast for the flies.

Amanda said...

Thanks for the tip - I'll look out for that!

And in reply to the previous comment - the reaction occurred the next day.

betsy corbett said...

I also get the same reaction. I had 5 on me at once this weekend. Here's how my body reacted, as there were noticeably different stages.
1. Fly on the skin - I could feel them bite and managed to kill most if not all. I then doused myself with spray.
2. Skin around the bite is elevated, red center (blood) where they bit. Reminds me of how my skin reacts to mosquito bites - elevation is clearly defined and skin colores.
3. The next day, the elevation is gone but there is redness around the bites in a larger area than before. Incredibly itchy, hot, and if it's a large inflammation (I'm talking a circle bigger than a good ball), the reddened area is noticeably hard.

Last year I had two really bad bites that ended up getting to be grapefruit sized areas. This year it isn't so bad, as long as the fly doesn't bite multiple times. The large reactions went away in over a week, smaller not as long.

Hope that helps! Took me forever to figure out what insect was giving me a reaction like that.