Detectorists and the Little Critters

27th July 2014 — 11 Comments

Something quite unusual is happening in the UK at the moment. We’re basking – in my case melting – in the heat. But I’m not complaining. Not much anyway. The catalyst for this this blog post was an item on the BBC website and the Sunday Times about the perils of the English countryside where they mentioned cows, wild boar, adders, deer … but not much about the little critters … the insects!


Sunday Times Detail

For detectorists out in the field, kepi-type hats are essential to protect the neck from the sun, but how many have to good sense to take other precautions … until it’s too late!

The threat of mosquitoes was far from my mate Dave’s mind when he set off last weekend for a couple of days detecting. After all, this was England and not the Med! He’d remembered the cans of beer.

When he returned home, his arms and legs were a bloody mess, both literally and metaphorically. On the Monday, he had to take a day off work because he felt so ill.

Anyway, I guess the farmer is pleased for this very un-British summer. The crops are lusher than normal due to the best growing season for years, and insects are also having a whale of a time. Through the shimmering humidity, detectorists should be aware, not just of the mosquitoes, but clouds of other potentially dangerous insects. This is a very bad year for biters. The ants are also on the march!

Horse flies are flourishing and are also capable of giving a painful bite to humans.  In the North East we called them ‘clegs’. Then there are the blood-sucking ticks that can transmit Lyme disease, which can result in death if untreated. It’s a battlefield out there!

Then there are the irritants! When encountered in the field, they can drive you crazy. I’m talking about thrips or thunder flies. On days like this it is far too hot to leave doors and windows closed. I’ve just read hundreds of solutions for keeping them off plants … but none for suggesting how I can prevent them from getting behind my computer screen!

If this situation becomes the norm then I’ll be seriously thinking about buying shares in companies that make insect repellant! But remember, it’ll only take one bout of severe cold winter weather to banish silly thoughts like that from my mind!


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11 responses to Detectorists and the Little Critters

  1. I was plagued with them little thunder flies on the dig on Thursday, drover crazy!!! I think they loved my sun tan lotion lol

  2. Before going out today I covered all the bare parts of my Arms,Legs and Neck with an insect repellent and I wasn’t bothered at all .. unlike the week before when I forgot!!!

  3. With me I tend to attract the horse flies. Within a second they will draw blood. My record this year for one detecting trip was ten bites!

  4. I have heard about Thunder Thighs, and have seen a great deal of them at the Mal-Wart stores, but I don’t think we have Thunder Flies on this side of the pond .. at least in Virginia. Got the nasty ticks and plenty of mosquitoes to drive you nuts, plus the ever so present and not so pleasant yellow jacket nest. Bugs .. grrrr..

  5. Will trade you the fire ants we have here for your Thunder flies?

  6. Strange how the hot weather brings out the worst in people ,we have nothing to fear here in the silly south of England ,the beaches are packed with many depositors ,and as negotiate my way around bikini clad women on the beach ,savouring the wonderful smells of suntan lotions ,I can only pity those of you being bitten to death in the country side .
    My back is aching from bending whilst retrieving coin of the realm ,my coffers are full and getting fuller , my biggest regret is that the gold prices are so low compared with last year .more hot weather please ,
    Every cloud has a silver lining ,sometimes gold !! Bring it on ,here comes the sun…..

  7. as they say once bitten twice shy, got eaten alive one day and now always carry deet repellent

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