Health warning issued with vampire flies set to infest parts of Britain

No one likes a pesky fly, far less those of the bloodsucking variety that can leave people seriously ill with a single bite.

So brace yourself: health experts have warned the public that one of Britain's most annoying pests, the dreaded Blandford fly, could descend on revellers enjoying the sunshine this summer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The NHS have told Britons to be on alert as cases of Blandford fly bites have dramatically increased as the summer months approach.

The warnings come after several cases were reported in Herefordshire earlier this month.

The 2-3mm black fly thrives in warm weather - and the recent rise in temperatures has ripened conditions for the bloodsucker around the south of England.

Karen Wright, director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said as the mercury rises it is likely there will be more cases of Blandford fly bites.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: "We encourage people to take precautions if they're out and about on rivers and streams, especially over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend.


"If you do get bitten, it can often feel very uncomfortable with swelling, blistering, joint pain and sometimes high temperature."

The NHS recommends people cover up arms and legs and use insect repellent when out and about near affected rivers and streams.

Ms Wright added: "There's normally no need to visit a GP.

"If you do feel unwell after a bite, please call NHS 111 or visit your local pharmacy for advice on how to ease your discomfort.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"For the majority of people, the symptoms will only last a few days before clearing up."

The Blandford fly usually targets the ankles and legs while flying low to the ground, and some of the most serious reactions to its bites include swelling in the groin, fever and painful blisters.

The notorious pest got its name after an outbreak of residents being bitten around Blandford in Dorset in the 1960s and 1970s.