Detectorists and the Little Critters

29th June 2019 — 19 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. What are the other problems? I’ve read that detectorists should be aware of cows, wild boar, adders, and deer when searching … but not much about the little critters … the insects!

kepi – sometimes known as a Legionnaires hat

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!

Dave Learns his Lesson

The threat of mosquitoes was far from my mate Dave’s mind when he set off to detect on the one fine weekend we had last year. After all, this was England and not the Med!

He’d remembered the cans of cold beer. 

Back to the present. A ‘plague of hungry mosquitoes‘ is set to invade Britain early in July 2019, experts have warned. Recent downpours combined with hot weather are making ideal breeding conditions for the bloodthirsty insects. The warm spell that the UK basked in around Easter is blamed for allowing the pesky bugs to come out of hibernation early to breed.

 Experts have warned of a 'plague of hungry mosquitoes' set to cause misery for Brits over the coming weeks

The Mosquito

When Dave returned home, his arms and legs were a bloody mess, both literally and metaphorically. I remember that on the Monday, he had to take a day off work because he felt so ill. So, be warned.

Anyway, I guess the farmers are 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 of 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. It’s a battlefield out there! I understand that there are about 280 varieties!

The Horsefly .. . Shuttlecock

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 today 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! These pests feed on plants animals – and detectorists – by puncturing them and sucking up the contents.

Thrip or Thunderfly

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.



Wayne saw this on a forum today . . .

Blandford Fly Bite



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19 responses to Detectorists and the Little Critters

  1. Avon skin so soft is as good as it gets for insect repellent it really does work well

  2. All worth taking a note folks as its always someone else until the its us as individuals that are in trouble.

    For donkey`s years I have taken part in outdoor pastimes and used to brag about my summer complexion in terms that these days would upset some folks these days.

    When I entered my eighties, I had a strange looking tiny growth appear on my right side facial area.

    It started to grow at a very fast rate and my GP who had spent many years in Australia sent me immediately to the Hospital.

    The specialist took one look and it was removed for a biopsy.

    This was then followed very quickly by another procedure making a even deeper incision to make sure that the roots had fully removed.

    Subsequently it turned out to be one of the worst types of skin cancer that could spread else ware.

    Eventually I was given the all clear, but warned that having happened once it could happen again.

    I will soon to hit 85 and always use barrier cream and wear a silly looking legionnaires hat as I don’t want to have this experience again.

    This is a golden opportunity to warns others not to be complacent as I was.

    Happy Hunting,


    • Certainly food for thought there, Jerry.
      Thanks for posting.

    • Like you say Jerry unprotected skin can take a hammering, me with no thatch on the roof would delight in soaking up the sun until I paid a very high price for my folly with two patches of melanoma on my bonce which was treated with a chemotherapy ointment Efudix and took 6 weeks to clear, my doctor told me that this ointment costs £400 a tube so he wasn’t very happy when the same area of my bonce was effected again early this year even though I used factor 50 sun cream the doc even accused me of being negligent I think he wants me to use an umbrella whilst in the sun.

  3. A friend was laid up for a while because of an insect bite whilst detecting last year ….. so timely warning… Mind you I have been itching all over since I read it !!!!

  4. Adders?? you have adders in England??I never would have thought.

    Out here, the skeeters are always around.. so we use deet to combat them.. But it is the ticks and the disease that they spread that can be difficult.. Lyme disease.

    It is a brutal one and we always take precautions to keep the ticks away



  5. I remember seeing the English detectorist complaining about the heat a couple of years ago. Hopefully we won’t see any more Mankinis.
    We have large biting flies that arrive towards the end of our summer. We call them a March fly, they may be the same as your Horse fly. When you have 40 to 44C for weeks on end, with an occasional 47c (116F) you will know summer has arrived.
    Mozzies can cause malaria like symptoms around here, not good for tourism.
    Our ABC radio has just reported France had their hottest day ever recorded yesterday, 44C.

  6. sun factor 50 goes on my arms and neck also dont forget your ears ..once i burnt my tops of my ears and took months to heal …also i wear trousers not shorts in the summer months

  7. Living in the Lyme Disease area of New England, I am well aware of the damage insects can do to a person. I wasn’t aware you had so many dangerous insects in the U.K. I hope all heed your warnings, because it looks like they can cause some serious health issues. Great post—thanks.

  8. My sister used to be a Model years ago, and regularly did outdoors holiday type modelling– but also has a intense fear of wasps (I mean she’s insanely fearful of them)

    Once while on a photo shoot at a very busy holiday resort, she commented to the Manager that even though there were bins with pop cans and half eaten Ice creams, she hadn’t seen any/many wasps.
    He told her simply puts slices of Melon in the areas that are away from the tourists, and it draws the wasps away from the populated areas. The wasps get what they want and leave the people alone.

  9. Why are these pesky little devils ever created by the Big Guy.
    Best stuff I use to keep them off is “Skin so Soft” by Avon.

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