Memorial Day Weekend marks the first weekend we spend in the fields. The final frost date has passed and we get three fun filled days of farm work accomplished. Part of the weekend festivities include being subjected to bug bites. Last year it was mosquitoes, the year before that it was ticks. It seems there's always a plague (pun intended) of something blood sucking. This year was no different. The vampiric culprit? Horse flies.
A fly sounds innocuous enough. It's a bit irritating to hear them buzzing around your head all day but, no biggie, you just keep on task and eventually they'll fly away. WRONG. Female horse flies want to bite you so they can drink your blood. It's not like mosquito bite where you only notice it once the bite site starts to itch. You can feel yourself being bitten. And it hurts! The insect's mouthpart is a slicing, not poking. So those horse flies are literally cutting you open to get to your blood. So rude. And gross. I spent the whole day swatting those things away and still got bit seven times. That might not sound like a lot but you should see the swelling on my arm right now. There were several hours where I couldn't bend my elbow.
Because horse flies cut you open bite sites are prone to infection. And since they are messing with your blood those jerks are potentially giving you parasites or introducing bacteria. They have the super power ability to transmit anthrax. Yay! Sensitive individuals can go into anaphylactic shock or, if bitten enough, can pass out or die from blood loss. And because they travel in packs (swarms) it's a completely realistic possibility. A single female horse fly will bite you multiple times, which would explain the series of four bites on my right arm. And swatting them away does nothing since those blood sucking bitches will give chase.
Tomorrow I intend to wear my Texas tuxedo (read: denim on denim) and probably spray on some insect repellant, too. And if anyone knows of a kickstarter campaign to fund research on getting rid of horse flies I am happy to contribute. Seriously.