Black fly belongs to the Simulium family of insects and has over 1800 different species. It is found in different parts of North America and Africa, while some of the species are also present in parts of Europe.
The female of this species feeds on the blood of humans and other mammals and is responsible for the spread of dreadful diseases like River blindness.
Symptoms Of Black Fly Bites On Children
There are about four genera of black fly that feed on human blood. While the timing and location of the bites may vary, the usual preferred sites are skin around the ears and neck, as it is relatively thinner. Children are more prone to black fly bites, simply because they have relatively thinner skins and are frequently outdoors, at the time these flies are most active.
The black fly uses its labrum and jaws to rupture the skin and fine capillaries along the skin. Further the saliva of the fly has anticoagulants which help them feed on blood.
- Itching and swelling caused due to inflammation at the site of the bite. The swelling depends upon the individual’s immune response. In children the swelling may persist for a few days along with irritation and pain.
- In severe cases the bite may be associated with nausea, swollen lymph nodes, painful joints and headaches.
- Severe allergic reaction may be observed in some children, who may require hospitalization.
Natural Remedies To Treat Black Fly Bites
The management of black fly bites would depend upon the severity of the condition, however most black fly bites are not very severe and following simple home based treatment therapy options can be beneficial,
- Local application of cold compress results in vasoconstriction, which in turn helps reduce the inflammation, pain and swelling and prevents the spread of the venom.
- Baths with baking soda or oatmeal are considered very useful, especially in cases of multiple stings. Alternatively apply baking soda at the site of the bite for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Local application of raw honey or sandalwood paste is also useful in having a soothing effect on the skin and reduces the burning pain. Further raw honey is a strong anti-bacterial agent which in turn prevents the spread of infection, especially caused by skin abrasions.
- Local application of Aloe Vera gel can also have a soothing effect on the skin and reduce the itching and pain.
- Lower the arm or leg which has been stung by the black fly. This will prevent the spread of the venom.
In addition there are a host of natural homeopathic remedies that can help reduce the burning and stinging sensation. Homeopathic remedies like Apis Mel and Arsenic Alb are useful in management of severe stings which are associated with allergic reaction.
In case there is no relief from these home remedies or if the symptoms worsen, please consult your physician immediately.