As NHS warn of a rise in blood sucking insects and horsefly bites, here’s what you should do if bitten

Horsefly bites can result in horrible, painful blisters
Horsefly bites can result in horrible, painful blisters

Brits may have been basking in the tropical sunshine over the past few weeks, but the downside to the balmy weather is that painful bites by bloodsucking insects have soared.

Calls to the NHS helpline 111 about bites from insects are nearly double the average for this time of year, and senior doctors are reporting incidents of patients being treated in hospital for infected horsefly bites.

Despite the warm weather, experts say standing water – such as garden paddling pools – where insects thrive should be removed.

Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: “We wouldn’t normally see anyone coming to hospital for a bite, but we have seen a few recently needing treatment with antibiotics, which is very unusual.

“A couple of these were infected bites from horseflies. They actually give one of the nastier bites, because they take a chunk out of you.

“They can be very painful, and can take a while to heal, and as a result can get infected and need antibiotics. In the worst-case scenario, they can cause cellulitis, an infection of the skin.”

Blister pain Horsefly bites can result in horrible, painful blisters. “A bite from a horsefly can be very painful and the bitten area of skin will usually be red and raised,”

NHS Choices says. “Horsefly bites can take a while to heal and can become infected. See your GP if you have symptoms of an infection, such as pus or increasing pain, redness and swelling.”

According to the NHS, symptoms of horsefly bites include a larger red, raised rash, dizziness, weakness and wheezing. A part of the body may also become puffy and swollen.

In rare occasions, an allergic reaction to the fly can prove fatal and in 2013 a father of four died suddenly after being bitten by the fly. If you’re bitten by a horsefly, keep the wound clean and apply ice to minimise the itching.