Nobody really likes mosquitoes, except for the birds that eat them. But compared to normal mosquitoes, there are also members of the parasite family that bite instead of stinging.

These include the black fly, which now has over 50 species in Germany. Especially in hot summers, the probability of being bitten is high. The small insects land unnoticed on the skin. We’ll show you how to spot the bite.

Unlike the dainty mosquitoes, the black flies, which are about six millimeters in size, have a compact, hunchbacked physique and are more like a fly. That is why they are also called “black fly” in English.

In contrast to flies, however, they do not have a suction proboscis, but rather powerful biting tools. This opens the skin to get to your blood. You simply drink from a “puddle” as soon as the blood comes out.

Initially, the bite is more of a small wound, which can also result in bruising. This is due to the anticoagulant secretion of the black fly. But there’s also the risk of infections, which can cause severe swelling. Most of the time, the germs only get into the bloodstream by accidentally scratching the area.

In the worst case, this can lead to blood poisoning, which is why you should definitely consult a doctor if you experience symptoms such as fever, malaise and chills. The same applies to circulatory problems and severe allergic reactions.

The good news: black flies do not currently transmit any contagious diseases, such as the tiger mosquito.

Since blackflies actually prefer to feast on grazing animals such as cows or horses, you have no danger of being bitten by the insect at home. Rather outdoors near bodies of water you need to be careful.

Wear long clothes because the animals cannot bite through them, while normal mosquitoes simply stick their proboscis through them. A normal mosquito repellent also helps against black flies.

If you are bitten anyway, cooling will help, as with almost all insect injuries. Mosquito plasters and anti-allergic creams or gels based on hydrocortisone can also help – but the most important thing is not to scratch.