Simulium posticatum in Sussex Dec 14, 2013 16:00:20 GMT
Post by Simon C. on Dec 14, 2013 16:00:20 GMT
"Was recently bitten by a 'mystery' bug while in my back garden (cutting the lawn) in Arundel Sussex. It would have 15th July 2012. There had been two or three weeks of rain and was very humid, we do not have water features in the garden (or in neighbours gardens) and am 0.48Km North West uphill from the River Arun near the Ford Road area. There was an uncovered water butt in the garden (full of fresh rain water) and a wheel barrow half full of rain water and grass cuttings (left from previous gardening exercise two - three weeks previously. I noticed, during extensive lawn cutting (grass was three to five inches and soggy underfoot) several occasions of being bitten or very small pin pricks, each time glancing down at my legs (was wearing knee length shorts, socks and walking boots) and not seeing the culprit. On finishing the gardening I showered and noticed several 'bites' on each leg, the larger ones were a small blood blister with a pale ring around each about the size of a 5pence piece - there was little irritation at that point - just a very slight sting - I went to bed unconcerned. The next day the bites had increased in redness and were beginning to sting more, there were six on my left leg and 13 on my right mainly on shin and calf muscle areas. I applied a hydrocortisone cream and took anti-histamine. By Tuesday morning the bites had inflamed massively and had begun to hurt, the inflammation was taking on a vivid dark red hue and had spread to diameters of about 5 to 6 centimeters, with the closer ones joining to create huge red patches. By Tuesday evening my lower legs were in agony, like hot knives being push into the bone, my muscles had cramped and I could not actually stand, I had developed a high temperature and had a sweating fever. My knee joints and ankles were swollen and ached; my lower legs were also swelling. This is when I called the GP he advised they were kept clean and to take further anti-histamines and creams. By end of Wednesday the fever had subsided and the pain began to lessen, over the next two weeks the redness turned darker as bruises and the sting developed to an itch of a worrying intensity. I had researched the condition and concluded that I had been attacked by a marauding female blackfly - or The Blandford Fly. Through my research I was careful not at any point to scratch these bites and kept them extremely clean at all times. Gradually the swelling lessened and the redness retreated, blisters had formed in all of the bites but not one burst or was broken. The centers of the bites became darker and formed a scab, continual use of the hydrocortisone cream and ant-histamines gradually cleared them up. Now four weeks since being bitten the cores of the bites have almost gone and the marks small and less noticeable - only two of the lager bite still itch, and there is a strange mottled rash (unpainful and does not itch) around both ankles. I have bee fascinated on the fly since and also how it found it's way so far from the river bank where I believe it was reported by a Sussex entomologist - ""It has also been recorded from the river Dudwell in East Sussex and the Arun catchment in West Sussex (Crosskey, 2002)"" - as it is also supposed to be quite a feeble flyer? Since this occurence I have removed all standing water and emptied the water butt, I suspect that these would not have hosted the fly. I'm posting this as interest to users of this site and perhaps someone could confirm the female Simulium posticatum can indeed travel so far from a river bank to feed? E-mail address and pictures of bites available on request.a "
2012-08-07 01:00:54 Simon C
2012-08-07 01:00:54 Simon C