Blandford Fly

oldtimer

Full Member
Warning ! The Blandford Fly has made its presence felt in our Oxfordshire village already this year, slightly earlier than usual.

It is a small, black fly which lives near rivers in the South of England. The female takes a good slug of human blood prior to flying off to seek a mate for the evening! It seldom flies much above waist height and is most active in the afternoon and early evening.

The bite is painful, the effects are long lasting and deeply unpleasant. I still have an area of damaged skin from being bitten on the calf two years ago.
 

Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
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Cairngorms
They are little blighter's aren't they, I lived in the area untill moving up here, swapped the fly for the midge!
I think they're related to the birch fly, which we get up here, at least the season for them is short.
 

Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
2,109
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Cairngorms
We don't get that fly, thankfully, clegs and midgies are bad enough :(

Is there anything natural that discourages them ?

I thought you'd get them down your way M?
I don't know of anything 'natural' but they never bothered me that much thankfully, some folks react pretty badly.
 

Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
I'd never heard of them until they came up as a topic on the forum.
South Lanarkshire's warmer than the Cairngorms, but it's still pretty perishing cold at times.
Clegs however, we do have clegs :sigh: :(
Midgies can sometimes be discouraged with bog myrtle, mugwort, lemon balm, clegs if you wear light coloured clothing, but nothing much else stays them. Thankfully they don't like going indoors, so at least there's some peace from the blighters when they're out.
 

Damascus

Native
Dec 3, 2005
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Lived in Blandford in the 80’s and remember them little devils, I think the ale however is a good antidote, drink several and the problem disappears!!!!!!
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Clegs are bad enough aren't they.

G

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They certainly are :( I don't know anyone who doesn't get a bad bite from a cleg. I don't know if it's just the ones round here, but their bite will immobilise a joint if it blighter feasts on you near by.
 

moocher

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Mar 26, 2006
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I live just outside Blandford, I'm sure I read n Facebook the stour got sprayed this year to combat them.?
 

oldtimer

Full Member
I live just outside Blandford, I'm sure I read n Facebook the stour got sprayed this year to combat them.?
So that's why they've moved here. Refugees!

We seem to have only had them within the last few years. The rivers Ray and Cherwell l would seem to be an ideal habitat. Our local medical practice is concerned but I'm not aware of any spraying. Low priority in the present circumstances I guess.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Do you not get Birch flys M?

I'd swap the fly for the midge!

No, we don't. We're very lucky, apart from the clegs. I thought the birch fly was a Speyside beastie though.

Patrick said that there were mozzies up in some of the Lanarkshire moors though. I know I got bitten by something up there that left me in a hellish mess. We were digging on a sunken henge monument, that was almost permanently flooded. In Winter the local farmers used it for the curling.
Something came out of that water and bit a lot of us, and we all had a bad reaction. Anti histamines and anti inflammatories to get on top of the reactions.

M
 

oldtimer

Full Member
The Oxford Mail printed a warning about the Blandford fly yesterday.

Moocher's post makes me think that Blandford did the right thing in spraying, but Oxfordshire is lagging behind. If the follow their usual practice they will only take action when enough people get bitten. Can't fault the NHS ,they warn early every year : sound familiar?

Mary, I don't have to get out to get out to get bitten, the so-and-so got me in my own garden.