Poll: More mosquitoes and biting bugs plaguing Suffolk
A HUMID summer has led to a dramatic increase in the number of mosquitoes and biting bugs across the east.
Pharmacists across East Anglia have been inundated by those seeking treatment for painful reactions to bites in the last month.
The number of bites is said to be “significantly higher” than in previous years with humidity and an increase in standing water, creating perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes, gnats and midges.
Phil Rothman, a locum pharmacist working at Coopers Pharmacy in Framlingham, said the number of nuisance bites he had seen across the county was far above those seen in previous years.
“As a locum I’ve had a lot of work across Suffolk and it’s true across the county. There has been a big increase this summer on what we would normally expect.
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“We have had a handful of infected bites that we have referred straight on to their GP, but in most cases we are just dealing with the reaction to bites.”
He added that more people were getting bitten in rural areas.
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Mr Rothman advised people who wanted to avoid mosquitoes and gnats should cover up, especially in the evening.
A spokesman for ASDA pharmacy in Bury St Edmunds said: “We have seen a general increase in the amount of people being treated for bites generally. People have been coming in requiring treatment for hypersensitivity.
“At harvest time biting flies that are in hedges and fields get disturbed so that has also been a factor.”
A spokesman for NHS Direct said they had seen a 15% increase in insect-bite calls on last year.
A spokeswoman for the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the weather had been a major factor: “The public can take simple steps to make sure they reduce any biting nuisance in their own gardens for instance, such as not leaving stagnant water lying around in pots or paddling pools as these are good habitats for mosquitoes.
“We would also encourage the public to send any samples of mosquitoes they have found to the HPA, as part of the recording scheme.”
A spokesman for NHS Suffolk said in the first instance people should seek advice from a pharmacist or NHS Direct and to only call a doctor in severe cases.