Discovering Summer Biting InsectsMaster Gardener Scoop – July 8, 2015

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Discovering Summer Biting Insects

By Will Summers, Master Gardener

Ouch! What was that? I can only compare these summer insects to the story of the Egyptians plague before freeing Moses and the Israelites! Had those Egyptians only known, they may have had some allies to combat these flies that they overlooked.

Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes carry a variety of dangerous diseases to humans and their livestock or pets. This article will focus on some of the less publicized biting flies. Blow flies, deer flies, green-headed flies, horse flies and other similar insects are common this time of year.

This summer you might be bitten numerous times by blood-sucking, biting insects that you may not know. Fleas, ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes and biting flies abound at different times and places. Each insect has a range of habitats and habits that will contribute to these annoyances.

Female deer flies lay hundreds of eggs on any decaying organic material such as rotting vegetation, garbage, rotting meat such as roadkill and even sewage. This is why many flies spread disease. Houseflies regurgitate their last meal to aid digestion before sponging up their next meal. While mosquitoes carry a nearly undetectable hypodermic needle to suck your blood, deer flies carry a large stiletto-type mouth and leave a painful bite. You may not feel the initial insect bite, but experience the pain that follows. A skin reaction occurs as anti-coagulants are regurgitated into the wound to allow blood to flow.

For More, Please Read The July 8 Edition Of The Nashville News.

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