Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Beware the Blandford Fly - you can get a serious infection from a tiny bite.

I have just found a few posts I thought I had published about what I have been up to since Hellens The Garden Festival, lurking in the Drafts folder. I will post them up sometime but there are more important things to say to you at the moment.

While working in the new herb bed on Thursday night I was bitten on the right ball of thumb and the left elbow as well,  and I ended up in hospital for three days over the weekend, with a grossly swollen and infected right arm, in bed on an IV antibiotic drip and with very high blood pressure and other stuff as a result.

I am back at home now, on oral antibiotics but I am really pretty poorly and my hand and arm are still very swollen and painful.

This was Friday evening -  the bite can be seen on the ball of my thumb and my hand is swelling up. It got a lot worse overnight so on Saturday morning I went to hospital and was admitted.

More info on Blandford Fly bites here and here

PLEASE be aware of the Blandford Fly and what happens if you get bitten - I know I have mentioned this nasty little Black Fly in the past so I urge you to be aware and take whatever precautions you can.


  1. Oh poor old you. Must admit I haven't heard of it. Glad you are slowly on the mend.

  2. Good heavens, what a nasty creature. I've not heard of it either. Hope you are fully recovered very soon

  3. Oh my word that's nasty- I've never heard of those flies before. I'm glad that you are recovering, albeit slowly.Being so swollen is awful isn't it? It feels as if your skin is going to split.
    I got 5 more bites at the allotment over the weekend - one of them on the back of my thigh despite the fact I was wearing full length leggings. Luckily I haven't had such a bad reaction as I did last month - just red and blistering this time, but not much swelling.
    Rest up and get well soon.

  4. SausageOnionLOL1 July 2014 at 18:40

    Ooh I went to the doctor last year cause my leg had this itchy red splotch on and he said it was nothing! I didn't collapse or anything but I felt like demon's hell (pardon the expression). Was that a bite? Should I have gone to the hospital

  5. Oh my, how terrible and how painful it must be you poor thing. I can't believe a bite put you in hospital. I hope your back up and fighting fit soon.

    I swell up with normal bites so I'm not going to fair well against one of these beasts am I.

  6. Thanks for the tip off. Sorry to hear you're poorly. Thank goodness we have quick access to hospital treatment in this country.

    Jean x

  7. What a dreadful creature! I hope you continue to recover and nobody else in your family gets bitten.

  8. Crikey that's awful. I shall be ready to swat anything that lands on me. Thanks for the tip off. I hate flies.

  9. Crikey ! That looks really nasty. Never heard of such a horrible fly. Our problem this year are those pesky Cleggs they have even been worrying the dogs. Hope you feel better soon. Take care

  10. EW! It looks like a fly with a spiders body. I've never seen the like! I'll definitely be on the look out though.
    I hope you have a speedy recovery.

  11. Are these the same as a horse fly? Something bit me on my hand last week and its still itching! Glad you're better now and the hospital sorted you out.

  12. Sounds awful, I am glad that it is being sorted out and will look out for them up here and take care. Hope you are back to yourself soon:)

  13. Thank you all for the lovely comments and good wishes. Kev, Horseflies(aka Cleggs) are NOT the same - they are nasty but big enough to see and Blandford Fly bites, even if not infected, are much nastier than a clegg bite!

    Take bites seriously, especially if you have been near any damp places and are Midlands or South of there.

  14. Oh my various deities, that's horrendous. I remember last time you were bit you were dismissed as if No Big Thing, so I'm glad they moved quickly this time (albeit horrible you had to go there in first place). Good luck for on the mend!


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