Superfly warning for garden office users

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Garden office owners have been warned about the dangers of a tiny bug which has been causing agony for an increasing number of Britons this summer.

The Blandford fly only used to be found in streams in rural southern England, but it is now breeding in towns and cities, largely due to the popularity of garden water features.

Despite only being two to three millimetres in size, it is capable of giving bites which can swell into the size of a golf ball and bring flu-like symptoms if they become infected.

Stuart Hine, an entomologist at the Natural History Museum, revealed that hospitals have noted a sharp rise in people being hospitalised by the bites this summer.

"I suspect it's mostly about changes in human behaviour because of the warmer weather, rather than changes in insect behaviour," he said.

"We have had a lot of dry, warm spells and there are more people out and about, particularly in the evenings which increases the chance of being bitten."

English golfer Ian Poulter and Mollie King, a member of girl band the Saturdays, are two high-profile names who have been laid low by Blandford fly bites in recent weeks.

The Blandford fly first came to the attention of public health officials in the 1960s and reached a peak in the early 1970s.

Posted by David Webb   - 29 July 2010
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Superfly warning for garden office users

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