The initial bite hurts (unlike mosquito bites), and bites can be recognised by a red centre surrounded, initially, by a whiter circle. Some people are lucky enough just to get this painful, itchy small bite. However, many people react allergically to the bite and may experience a reddened, swollen area round the bite or, in bad cases, an expanding area of swelling (oedema) which may cover half the leg.
Blandford Fly bites at dawn and dusk, and in periods of humid, overcast weather when the sun is behind clouds. They rise a couple of feet at most from the ground and usually bite on the leg. In these conditions, it is a good idea to cover up with trousers rather than shorts or a skirt. Take care when bending down to weed as they may then bite on the hand or even the face!!!
If you are bitten and experience swelling or reddening of the skin, an antihistamine or steroid cream available over the counter may help. More severe reactions may make it desirable to take an antihistamine tablet. The ones used for routine hayfever treatment are not necessarily the best for this and it would be best to ask advice from the pharmacist.
In some cases more prolonged symptoms can develop, including fever and joint pains. For more on 'Blandford Fly' bites click here for the Boots website