Thursday, June 14, 2007


Behold the evil deerfly, which primarily inhabits our driveway. At the bus stop yesterday, I received two bites on my palm from its saw-like mandibles. My hand promptly swelled up to catcher's mitt proportions, and the itch extended to my shoulder. After antihistimines and ice, today it just feels like a bad bruise. SAZ is allergic enough to horseflies, deerflies' larger cousins, to need immediate injections of epinephrine if he encounters one. In addition to nasty biting behavior, deerflies can carry tularemia, which is vicious enough to be considered a potential biological weapon. Usually they transmit it to rabbits, which then transmit it to humans. Martha's Vineyard, where we'll be vacationing July 22-27, is the only place where people have contracted tularemia by lawnmowing over rabbit parts and inhaling the bacterium.

I really hate deerflies. Do they serve any useful purpose?

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