if you're out and about and get savaged, try slapping some scrunched up ribwort plantain leaves over the bite. they contain a natural anti-histamine. works well for netle stings, wasp stings and horsefly bites.
Habitat plays a huge part too though.
They need damp ground or swampy land, and they need warm blooded feeding stations.
Years ago I watched a documentary about Brits working with wildlife in Africa. They were really being beseiged by mosquitos, etc.,
So they hung up balloons full of blood, and the blighters happily sucked on those.
I wonder if we could obliterate a generation by putting up poisoned blood for the clegs ?
For the mosquitoes, of course standing/stagnant water is key to reproductive success of egg-larva-pupal stages.
I don't know what you could do for the horse flies.
Have been some astounding water traps built here.
Mesh face masks for the horses have been very important.
Black flies (Simulidae) larvae/pupae develop in fairly fast flowing creek waters here.
The adults feeding can turn your hairline to a pulp.
The larvicide Dimilin has been very effective but everything gets such a bad name these days.
Female horse fly's are pure evil. I got bitten on the foot by one on Saturday while watching the village cricket team and enjoying a pint! I didn't notice until the next morning that the area around the bite had swollen up and become itchy and painful.
Sadly it not the first time this has happened to me and I've learnt that you just need to give it time to heal. A bit of bite cream helps to sooth the itching, but otherwise the most important thing is to keep it clean, it has started to die down now but usually takes a good three days to recover. I have taken anti-histamine's before but I'm not sure that it made much of a difference and I think I'd rather just let nature take it's course.
I don't know if that's an allergic reaction as the horsefly bites are known to take a while to heal. What's odd though is that I don't believe that I've ever been bitten by a horsefly until last summer when I got bitten a couple of times on camping trips.
@Barney Rubble. At work a few years ago we were in thick undergrowth clearing under powerlines in a damp, boggy area and getting really badly attacked. The poor cattle in the field were black with them. I got a litre squirty bottle of equine stuff from eBay that was an emulsion of Citronella, Lemon Eucalyptus and Cedar oils for spraying on horses. We soaked ourselves with that stuff and it did deter them. Not 100%, but we were able to finish the work when the only option was looking to be to come back in the winter.
Have a look at equine suppliers and you should find something.
I have been attacked by clegs that not only could bite through clothing, but also if brushed off without killing would return to bite at the exact same spot. This happened while riding a bike a bike at the time!