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Horse flies
by edmoraz • Tue 05 Aug 2008 19:56
We where over in June and my OH set out to strim and mow the garden. When he came in he was covered in horse fly bites some of them bleeding and some of them red and swollen,we hot footed to the chemist who gave him some tablets and lotions. His arms still bare the faint scars of the attack. Does anyone know of a good repellent?
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edmoraz
487
Feb 2008
Re: Horse flies
by Annik • Tue 05 Aug 2008 20:43
I don't know of a repellent but I am very susceptible to insect bites and I always carry some Clarityn around with me to take to reduce the swelling and consequent weepy blisters. Horse flies are awful but those wretched little black flies wreak havoc too. We have blue zapper lamps in the house to try and exterminate the various flying pests.

Please give my sympathy to your OH.

Annik
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Annik
1245
Jun 2007
Re: Horse flies
by ihusker • Tue 05 Aug 2008 21:16
We have the same problem and have tried all the expensive insect repellants with little success, but have found that the cheap fly killer that you get in the pound shops in England works the best. If we are going to be working in the garden we spray all exposed areas and also our clothes. It smells pretty strong but it's worth it not to get bitten. It may be a bit drastic but it works and we have had no ill effects from the spray.
ihusker
103
Feb 2006
Re: Horse flies
by maryr • Wed 06 Aug 2008 00:52
Tiger balm repels mosquitos but I don't know if it will work for horse flies. Last week I got bitten by a small black fly and the area became badly swollen - I put tiger balm on it and the next day the swelling had decreased. I assume tiger balm is available in France.
maryr
75
Nov 2007
Re: Horse flies
by jasmine • Wed 06 Aug 2008 19:29
Horse flies are the my worst nightmare. I am very allergic to the bites so due to the fact I have horses I use the following which seems to work for me -
Tesco insect fly repellant - its really good and obviously available from England
or the French version - Pyrel available from the supermarkets and chemist. The only problem with these is that you have to keep re-applying as it dries out in the heat and if you use too much its dries your skin out.

If I am unlucky enough to get a bite I use Apaisyl cream and I take extranase tablets 2 morning, noon and night. These are very effective at stoping the itching and also reducing the swelling and are available from the chemist.

Its true the most expensive sprays do not work on horse flies so you are better off with either the Tesco special as a first choice or the Pyrel as a second and both work well on mozzys.

Another tip for mozzys is to take Brewers yeast tablets they hate the smell of it when it comes out of your pores but you need to take one a day for a month before the effect is at its best. (oh and you don't smell to other humans so no worries there :lol: )
Jasmine
jasmine
94
Dec 2007
Re: Horse flies
by edmoraz • Wed 06 Aug 2008 22:28
Thanks everyone I also read that they haunt the shade so keep in the sun to avoid the little blighters. My OH is that desperate he will try anything including trying to persuade me to cut the grass. 8O 8O :D
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edmoraz
487
Feb 2008
Re: Horse flies
by alldown • Thu 07 Aug 2008 14:18
If you are unfortunate to get bitten you can use an Aspivenin kit available from Boots on line. I am not sure if they would deliver to France but it is free delivery in the UK so maybe get it sent to someone in the UK for forward posting.

It is like a large bright green plastic syringe and comes with a selection of sized "cups" it works by sucking the bite clean. It does not hurt, and can also be used on children. It also works on nettle rash and jelly fish stings and is recommended for scorpion and snake bites until medical help arrives. I have never had the misfortune to be bitten by the last two but know it works on the others. It is not cheap (about £15.00) but it really works, and lasts forever.

We keep one here and one in France as I react very badly to bites (once collapsed in Thailand after being bitten and stopped breathing for a few seconds).

It is a pity I was not clever enough to have one in the car on the way back from France last time. I got 2 great big bites on my ankle which swelled like a football and I had to take antibiotics! :cry:

The kit is out of stock at the moment but you can see it here.
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alldown
253
Sep 2005
Re: Horse flies
by jasmine • Thu 07 Aug 2008 15:48
You can buy a similar thing here its called Venimex and is about 20 euros from the chemist. It is an anti-venom and mainly used for snake bites and hornet stings. I suppose you could use them for horse flies but I think it might be an expensive way to treat them, unless of course the Boots version is much cheaper.
Jasmine
jasmine
94
Dec 2007
Re: Horse flies
by amandaandclint • Thu 07 Aug 2008 20:59
I'll have a look out for those things on the boots website Alldown.

Sounds like they would be handy to have in the car just in case :-)

Clint
amandaandclint
117
Feb 2007
Re: Horse flies
by alldown • Fri 08 Aug 2008 02:40
I agree with Jasmine, not cheap, but we have used our original one for the last 5 years or so and it is still going strong. When we first bought it we took it on holiday (Greek island). We did not use it at all on us but it was used 5 times by other people that we met that were “jelly fish stung” mosquito bitten etc. and we were amazed how good it was. One lady that we had offered the thing to on an earlier occasion came up to us in a Taverna and asked if we had “that green thing on you” as the friend she was with had been bitten on her way to the restaurant and it was starting to swell up. We did have it and it worked. (As I said I should have had it in the car) :(

I still think it is worth the money

Gill
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alldown
253
Sep 2005
Re: Horse flies
by edmoraz • Mon 11 Aug 2008 15:49
Do thay go once the cattle have gone or do we then become dinner? :roll:
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edmoraz
487
Feb 2008
Re: Horse flies
by jasmine • Wed 13 Aug 2008 14:55
No Such luck I'm afraid :cry: they go (or die off) when it gets cold and return in the warmer weather a bit like wasps and they feed off anything thats warm blooded so yes, you may become dinner :wink: You don't tend to get many when its raining though :lol:
Jasmine
jasmine
94
Dec 2007
Re: Horse flies
by ihusker • Fri 19 Sep 2008 23:49
Just got back from the creuse where I managed to get stung by a wasp, bitten by a horsefly and also collected bites from various anonymous critters.(not all at the same time thankfully :roll: ), so I am following this thread with interest. I googled insect bites and found an interesting bit of info.about horsefly bites. Apparently if you hold a very hot mug of tea etc. to the bite it relieves the pain and also lessens the swelling. An "expert" said that when the fly bites it is the saliva which contains anticoagulents which cause the problem. The heat causes the defence mechanism of the body to send blood to the hot area to regulate the temperature and so the chemicals in the saliva are flushed away from the bite area and diluted in the bloodstream, reducing the reaction to the poisons. It seems to be worth trying next time I get bitten. I also googled asperivin and found that they are for sale on E-Bay for £5.99 plus £1.99 carriage to UK, so I have ordered one. The advertising blurb says they are used by the French Army so they must be of some use. Boots also have them in stock now for £12.99.
ihusker
103
Feb 2006
Re: Horse flies
by edmoraz • Sun 05 Oct 2008 19:51
Hi I am just back from Creuse and thankfully my OH was not bitten at all. But we where prepared - hope it all keeps because Im sure we will need it come summer.
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edmoraz
487
Feb 2008
Re: Horse flies
by jasmine • Mon 06 Oct 2008 07:48
Hi
I have not seen any around my horses for about three weeks so I think they have died off again for winter.
Which is great 'cos I hate the little blighters!
Jasmine
jasmine
94
Dec 2007
Re: Horse flies
by edmoraz • Sat 11 Jul 2009 14:56
We have just got back from the Creuse and had a wonderful time except for a new pest that has appeared on the scene. It looks like a long thin bluebottle and moves quite slowly compared to your average bluebottle but it bites and the bite is quite painful. My OH has trawled the Internet and can not identify it. Does anyone have any ideas please.
Its definitely not a horsefly and its bite is a puncture wound leaving a red dot.
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edmoraz
487
Feb 2008
Re: Horse flies
by thetransporter • Sat 11 Jul 2009 16:19
Sounds like what the French call a 'ton' (don't know how its spelt, but pronounced like 'Thon' as in tuna). These little blighters don't half leave their mark - a huge red lump appears with me, three to four inches across, usually lasting several days, swollen angry and painful to move that limb.
My doc says to use alcohol (medicinal) dabbed on the affected area several times a day. Got one now on the back of my calf muscle - sore in the morning when I wake, and very painful.
Don't know what the equivalent beasty is called in English - although I use several anglo-saxon words!

They don't seem to attack everyone, but we do get our fair share - and we live away from farms and horses and cattle.

You have my sympathy as a fellow sufferer.
thetransporter
94
Jan 2008
Re: Horse flies
by virtdave • Sat 11 Jul 2009 17:10
the French spelling is taon and it's pronounced more like the French word temps, or tant-- the word thon (tuna) is pronounced like ton (tone, or thine in English). A taon is a horse-fly.

If anyone has had a true allergic reaction to any insect bite (as opposed to the typical annoying hurt/itch/local swelling), with difficulty breathing, they should discuss it with their doc and ask for a prescription for a preloaded syringe with adrenaline (epinephrine) to keep in the fridge. An allergic reaction can be life-threatening. Don't want to scare anyone, because such allergic reactions are pretty uncommon.
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virtdave
1141
Sep 2008
Re: Horse flies
by Annik • Sat 11 Jul 2009 20:47
I have been 'not nice to know' for about a fortnight (in fact, for the sake of decency I ought to be going round in a burkha), having been bitten by something that took a stroll round the bits of my body sticking out from the sheet on a baking hot night. I have been covered in suppurating red lumps about 4 inches across that have taken ages to go down and this time the Clarityn didn't seem to make much impact - and neither did some wizard after-bite stuff that we bought in Canada last October having been discovered as a tasty lunch by the hungry insect population of Ontario. I don't know which blighter was responsible. It didn't bite my husband though, grump, grump...

My commiserations to everyone.

Annik

PS: We have a proper insectocutor in our bedroom but maybe the thing ate me first and then went on to be fried afterwards. I hope so!
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Annik
1245
Jun 2007
Re: Horse flies
by virtdave • Sat 11 Jul 2009 21:10
There are sure a lot of pesky little bugs which can pester one in Europe--and in the eastern USA. In California, we of course have mosquitoes, and rattlesnakes (!), but we seem to have fewer things like what seem to have nailed Annik. A couple of years ago, we did have something biting us at night shortly after we arrived in Creuse, and I think we may have picked up bedbugs in an hotel we stayed in, on the way down from Paris. We finally got rid of them by setting off an insecticide bomb in our bedroom, which required leaving the house for a day. Very non-ecological.

We are of course now about to have the Attack of the Aoutats (as opposed to the aoutiens, the Parisians who vacation in the month of August), which in the USA we call chiggers. These little bugs burrow into the skin of the legs, and set up serious itching for a week or two. The best thing for them is likely prevention, which means not walking through pastures/gardens without serious boots, and/or spraying insecticide on one's cuffs.....
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virtdave
1141
Sep 2008
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