May 23, 2009

Vampire Flies

I looked down at my bloody legs and thought I had cut myself shaving. Badly. Wow, I thought, that razor must be really dull. I'll have to remember to throw it out.

Buckaroo was enjoying some lake time, and I was trying to simultaneously keep an eye on him and stanch the leg bleeding because, I thought, if anyone saw these razor cuts I'd never be allowed near a sharp object again.

Then more lacerations appeared on the other leg, and that's when I realized I was under attack by the evil vampire flies-- also known as black flies.

I had been warned about the black flies, but I really had no idea. I thought they were something along the lines of the mosquito. Well, they are as plentiful as mosquitoes, but their bite is more like a wasp sting in terms of its effects. One doesn't feel the bite until it swells, scabs, and starts to fire-itch for the next several days.

I did a bit of research, and it appears that one builds up an immunity to the black flies during their short season-- Mother's Day to Father's Day-- so the bites become less severe. Unfortunately, the first attack of the season is always going to be the worst. Also, there's always the chance of contracting River Blindness. Good times.

At the moment I have an entire constellation of nasty bites all over my body, but so far I can still see. I thought folks would be horrified by my uglified legs, but everywhere I go people look like they've been through the vampire fly wars, so I fit right in.

My friend Grateful Mama recommended Herbal Armor, and it seems to help, but just this morning I must have missed a spot underneath the arm of my glasses because I was promptly bitten there.

The article I read said that the flies can't bite through clothing, so I should stay thoroughly covered, or else I should just stay indoors. Oh, heck no. After staring through the window at the ice for five months, I'm not going to let an insect drive me indoors.

Oh, and did I mention that the flies live under the dead leaves? So here's where I have to eat all of the words I wrote about the de-leafing frenzy. I get it. I am so incredibly glad we don't have mountains of blood-sucking-insect-ridden leaves hanging around our yard.

3 comments:

My Little Cuties said...

How interesting! I always wondered why I reacted so strongly to one or two bites each year. And I think through my lifetime I've built up an immunity as I don't swell like I used to. Thanks for sharing your research! They're nasty little bugs.

Anonymous said...

Bad, bad bugs. They suck some of the joy out of putting in the garden. Can't wait 'til they're gone!! I ALWAYS get bites around my eyes.

Anonymous said...

that was from me :)FMF
(as if you hadn't guessed)