Horsefly Attack!

Tuesday was a bright and sunny day. It felt genuinely Spring-like, despite the mud still hanging around. Setting off on my walk with Ollie, it was so nice to be out on a day like that. At the far end of Beetley Meadows, there was some real warmth in the sun, making me regret my choice of a fleece-lined jacket for the walk.

At least I had no need to cary an umbrella, so had taken my long dog-walking stick instead. Once Ollie had completed his usual round of sniffs and scent-marking, we set off for the river bend, where some other walkers had stopped to let their dogs into the shallow water there.

As Ollie scampered off to check those dogs out, I stood and chatted to one lady I know, from a reasonable distance of some eight feet away. I was holding the stick in my left hand, and as we talked, she was waving her hand around in front of her face, being annoyed by lots of small flies. Shaking her head, she said “That’s the only thing about the weather brightening up, the flies are appearing again”.

Seconds later, I felt an impact on my left hand, with a sharp pain accompanying it. It was something like being hit by a dart, or the pellet from an air-rifle, and was enough to make me drop my stick. I bent down to retrieve my stick, and noticed a tiny but obvious hole on the middle finger, right in the centre of it. The lady smiled, and said “Looks like one of those annoying flies has bitten you”. I nodded, and carried on walking.

I took Ollie over to Hoe Rough, to make a longer walk for him, though the mud there was still deep enough to make that something of a chore.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, I was roused from a deep sleep to discover that I was scratching my left hand like a man possessed. Too dozy to think more about it, I managed to get back to sleep.

When I woke up yesterday, my left middle finger was still itchy, and quite swollen. The hole was clearly visible, and so large that there could have been only one natural culprit. A Horsefly. Within an hour, the swelling and redness had spead onto the back of my left hand, and was causing that to swell too. I applied a steroid Itch Relief cream, then topped that up with liberal spread of Brulidine cream, which is antiseptic and antibacterial.

But by 6 pm last night, the redness and itchiness had spread across the back of my entire hand, causing it to swell tightly. Ollie didn’t like the look of it at all, and licked it every chance he got. His way of trying to cure me.

As a result, Julie is going to arrange for me to have a telephone appointment with one of our doctors today, in the hope of being prescribed some antibiotics to help with my now badly infected hand.

And all because of a fly the size of my smallest fingernail

75 thoughts on “Horsefly Attack!

  1. Oh, Pete! I do hope you are better. My encounter with a swarm of horseflies happened as child when I tried to ride a horse. As you can imagine, I haven’t ridden a horse since.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. It is different to a bee sting. Not as painful, but hot and itchy, with the infection spreading down my hand, and making it swell. I have started the antibiotics now though.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Horseflies have always been the bane of my existence when kayaking. It’s perilously easy to flip over while frantically swatting at one or two circling in on me. Hope you heal quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (1) Did you give that horsefly the bird with that finger?
    (2) Pegasus is offended that anyone would call something as disgusting as a Tabanus sulcifrons a “horsefly.”
    (3) Overheard;
    Julie: “How’s your hand doing?”
    Pete: “Swell.”
    (4) Did the horsefly resemble Jeff Goldblum?
    (5) If only horsefly wings were affixed with industrial glue, they would all be grounded..

    I sympathize, of course. I don’t know if I’ve ever been bitten by a horsefly. I’ve been besieged by other winged creatures, though. Anyway, I hope you’ll have a swift recovery. Have you considered becoming a Horsefly Hunter? It might be a lucrative career.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If someone would pay me to hunt them, I might well consider it. I could use myself as bait. Goldblum became a ‘Brundlefly’ of course. As far as I know, they don’t bite people. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I took anti-hystamine and now I have just started the anitbiotics. I also use strong insect repellent, but horseflies don’t seem to care about that, and still bite me. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is infected, Ron. Mind you, I often get a bad reaction to insect bites, but this is very hot and swollen today. I looked up the Bot Fly, and apparently we don’t have them in the UK.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. That is awful. We had horseflys on the ranch and their bite was pretty bad. I didn’t think they had them in the UK. When my hubby moved to Canada he was attacked by mosquitos which caused his arm to swell up like a balloon. I think they loved his Bitish blood. Hope the antibiotics help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I tried it ages ago, and still have two bottles left. It does put off some biters, but Jungle Spray full strength is what I use most of the time. It contains Deet, which works on almost everything. Nothing stops horseflies though. They are impervious to everything, and incredibly determined to get me! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It is much more swollen today. That photo was taken last night. The redness is close to my wrist now and that is swelling too. And I have had to take off my wedding ring. Julie got the Practice Nurse to ring me after showing her the photo, and she is sending antibiotics home with Julie at 1:30 pm. Trying not to scratch it is the worst part. 🙂
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I have just spoken to the Practice Nurse after she viewed the photo on an email, and she is sending me some antibiotics. It is more hot and itchy than painful, though since that photo was taken yesterday, it is much more swollen.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know nothing at all about horseflies, I’m afraid Pete; I wonder if they tend to congregate near running water? I have noticed a lot of what I presume are gnats dancing around the hedgerows on my recent walks, but they’ve never bothered me, even though it can be slightly tiresome wafting them away as I walk 😉 Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been bitten by horseflies in the past, Jon. Usually on my legs though. They are larger rhan houseflies, and very determined. Unlike gnats, they are not deterred by insect repellent, and what they ‘bite’ you with looks like a small sharp hedge-trimmer blade that they stab into the skin. Horrible things.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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