killer flies of Sweden

Posted from Gryttjom, Uppsala County, Sweden.

http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=13242

First came the mosquitoes. I’m not gonna lie, I’m fairly used to these inconvenient blood-suckers having grown up in Canada. But the mosquitoes in Sweden are like some hybrid ninja-hulk mosquitoes. They’re huge and they’re vicious. So when one of these decides to come buzzing in your face while you’re trying to sleep, as is par for the course, it not only sounds like a buzzing vibrator, but it feels like you’re getting hit in the face with a ball with legs. Of course, they don’t only attack you in your sleep. They come out around dusk – which in Sweden in the summer lasts for about … all night. I was told they would get to the point that walking would be like being in a ping pong game, but this didn’t quite happen, which is good, because I didn’t really want people to see my killer instinct.

The strange thing is June was quite cold, so I’m thinking many of the mosquitoes died or went into early hibernation as I haven’t been bit in at least a month. I’m guessing this was good news for the knotts, as it gave them free reign over the looming blood-filled human population that dared to be anywhere near their feeding ground, which is everywhere. Knotts are tiny little black flies that bite. They are not to be confused with the vicious black flies in the northern states and Canada as these tiny Swedish feeders don’t tend to draw blood. It seems their sole purpose is to just make you feel pain. Little tiny pricks of pain. All day long. As there’s millions of them in one tiny square meter. People land their parachutes in the grass (remember, I’m in Sweden packing parachutes) and bring them into me filled with these little buggers. And I sit there slapping myself, looking and sounding like some girl with Tourettes as I swear my little heart out to the gleeful bites of these horrible knotts.

Good news is we either killed them all, or like the mosquitoes the heat of July was too much. Or. Oh yes. Or the Broms chased them away. Think deer fly meets horse fly. (Don’t worry, Sweden has horse flies too, but I hear they all live way up north.) But these evil little bastards buzz in much the same way a horse fly does, with the never ending death spiral around your head, only this doesn’t happen until you are alerted to its presence after a very stealthy, sneaky and quiet ambush on a very delicate piece of your soft flesh. If you’re covered head to toe in clothes, it doesn’t matter, they will bite through this too. So you smack yourself. Death spiral. Smack yourself. Death spiral. And so on. But Broms are somewhat slow. They tend to have a one-track mind so it’s pretty easy to figure out their game and catch them, I mean, kill them. Kill them all. They should all die.

http://www.bromsbett.se/broms.html

This is a Brom. This is evil.

These are the only evil insects I’ve met in Sweden so far. Sure there are wasps and bees and apparently some strange Swedish Bot fly that likes to spray its hatched larvae into the eyes of elk, but none of these have really bothered me. As for animals, I’ve seen a rabbit the size of Border Collie, a badger the size of a well-fed raccoon, a flattened snake on the road and a few deer who were completely startled to find a human interrupting their lunch in the forest. I have pulled one tick off my body – luckily not resulting (so far) in a bulls-eye rash or any symptoms of Borellia. And daily I am covered in tiny little spiders that fly on the waves of the wind like dandelion seeds.

I suppose the bright side is it’s been +30C for two weeks and I finally got the summer I’ve been waiting all year for. But the killer flies of Sweden can all die.

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