Gadfly - an insect attacking animals and humans. What to do when biting gadfly?
There are inhabitants in the many-sided world of insects, the benefits of which cannot be found in the daytime with fire, and you cannot do harm. One of these parasites is a gadfly - an insect that threatens the health of animals and people.
The family to which the gadfly refers is in Latin called Tachi-nidae. There are more than one hundred and fifty species of this parasite on the planet, but they all have common features.
Gadfly - an insect, very reminiscent of a fly. He has short mustaches and large expressive eyes that shimmer in different colors in the sun. The length of the body of the gadfly reaches twenty millimeters. The body is covered with fibers - short, hard, thick and often brightly colored. The head of an insect has the shape of a hemisphere. Well developed. The wings are light, transparent, dotted with small veins and wrinkles - just like a fly.Hind legs a little longer than the front.
The insect gadfly, the description of which is so similar to the characteristic of an ordinary fly, is nonetheless very different from this annoying human neighbor. And the size of the body, and the amount of harm caused.
Life cycle gadfly
Gadfly - an insect with a closed chain of transformations. In the full cycle of its development (with rare exceptions) it goes from egg to adult state (imago), breaking between the forms of the first larvae, then the pupae. On everything about everything at the gadfly takes about a year.
At the first stage of the life cycle, the insect female lays eggs. Ideally, on the body (or inside the body) of the animal; in extreme cases, somewhere in the grass (so that the animal can swallow them with food).
Once in favorable conditions, the eggs become larvae, which calmly mature in the heat until the right moment, and then fall out of the body of the animal along with the feces or go through the skin.
After some time, the larva turns into a pupa, and that already, in turn, into an adult.
An interesting point: a mature insect does not need food! It has enough reserves accumulated by the larva even during the “residence” in the body of the animal, then in the “incarnation” of the pupa. True, an adult does not live for long - only three or four days.Her main task is to have time to give offspring, and on this “mission” is considered accomplished.
This “meaning of life” has a gadfly - an insect, the photo of which can be viewed in this article.
Depending on which part of the body their larvae live in, the gadflies are divided into species. Below are the most common ones.
- Skin gadfly (or bovine) - his female tries to glue eggs to the fur on the legs of a cow or bull. From this place the path of the hatched larva begins, first to the esophagus, and then to the spinal muscles.
- Cavity gadfly (one of its species - sheep) - is an exception to the rule. This is a vivifying insect, the female of which “splashes out” the finished larvae, trying to get into the mouth or nose of the animal. Often this gadfly parasitizes on the eyes (including man).
- Gastric gadfly is an insect that “practices” on the digestive organs of an animal or person. The female tries to lay eggs in such a way that they must fall together with food in the stomach, where the conditions for the development of the younger generation are most favorable.
Gadflies are also divided into species, based on who exactly is their “favorite” - a horse, deer, cow, sheep, man, or someone else.But there are also such types that relate to universal, they absolutely do not care at the expense of whom to parasitize.
The gadfly is an insect, quite common in Russia. About six species of this tormentor of animals live on its territory.
Where and when to wait for a meeting with a gadfly?
The duration of the activity of gadfly depends on the climatic zone to which this or that area belongs. The longer the summer, the longer this period. In Russia, it takes about three months - from June to August. When the gadfly insect disappears - it's time to prepare for the cold.
The gadfly is most active in dry, hot weather. In the open sun, it turns into a real monster, but does not like cloudy moisture.
The habitat of the gadfly is its natural habitat, as well as the forest and the steppe. Often these insects take a fancy to themselves certain areas where a large number of females accumulate. Naturally, the males also fly here. Usually, such sites are places of permanent cattle or marshlands. From them, a person should stay away.
The gadfly poses the greatest danger, of course, for livestock.Getting into the body of an animal, insect eggs very soon turn into gluttonous larvae, which simply eat their “home” from the inside.
They absorb excessive amounts of nutrients, accumulating them for future use, cause diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and sometimes the death of an animal. In addition, growing up and striving to "go out", the larvae of some species of gadflies gnaw holes in the skin. Thereby causing pain and making it unsuitable for livestock skin.
Scientists have long proven that cows exposed to constant attacks of gadfly, produce significantly less milk than their more lucky “companions”. The annoying insects unnerve animals, cause their stress and do not allow them to eat normally - hence the low yield.
And the bites of gadflies can harm not only the cows, but also man.
Symptoms and Effects of a Gadfly Bite
Gathering on nature on a hot summer day, it should be remembered that there could be a dangerous gadfly there. The insect bite a person produces is not so imperceptible.
Usually, “planning” to make an attack and approaching the intended victim, this fly buzzes very loudly and unpleasantly. So, in principle, there is a chance to dismiss it.But if the bite did occur, the following symptoms show it:
- a bright red spot on the skin with a diameter of one millimeter or slightly more;
- severe burning, itching in and around the bite site;
- blood that cannot be stopped for a long time;
- large edema, formed some time after the bite (especially often on the face in the eye area);
- deterioration of health, symptoms of intoxication in case of numerous bites (it happens that gadflies attack a group).
Often, after a bite, a person develops an allergy or dermatitis. And more often, swelling grows to enormous size and does not pass a few days. To prevent this, you should immediately after the unsuccessful contact with insects to take appropriate measures.
First aid for biting gadfly
If all the symptoms of a gadfly bite are present, the following is recommended:
- thoroughly wash the affected area with water (with soap and water);
- in order to remove dirt, a little hydrogen peroxide should be dropped into the center of the bite or smeared with green paint;
- if the bite caused severe pain, you can take painkillers;
- in the absence of drugs, the use of natural “helpers” is allowed, for example, the juice squeezed from the chamomile stem effectively anesthetize and act as an antiseptic;
- if the bite begins to swell, it is advisable to take antihistamines that prevent the spread of infection;
- the bite site must be monitored for at least one day;
- it will not be superfluous to go to the doctor, because gadflies often become carriers of dangerous infections, so it is better to be safe.
How to avoid meeting the gadfly and how to defeat it
In this world, nothing is impossible, and you can meet a gadfly even in the urban "jungle". But the risk increases dozens of times for those who go on nature. Experienced travelers know what a cunning gadfly (insect). How to deal with it and at least to protect yourself, they are also aware. Here is what every tourist should take care of:
- about tents equipped with mosquito nets;
- on clothes of neutral color - gadflies adore bright colors;
- about a wormwood, a tansy, a yarrow which can be carried with itself and laid out around tent;
- about the chamomile, the twigs of which can be thrown into the fire - such flavored smoke will scare away gadflies.
And it is very important to remember: a gadfly - an insect (the photo of which can be seen in this article) is quite dangerous! You should not neglect preventive measures.And if it was possible to become a victim of an aggressor, then it is necessary to treat the bite very carefully. Who knows? In this case, the old Russian proverb: “God protects you,” would be most welcome.