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Denise Kelly, 42, reckons the bugs came back in her luggage after a six-day break in Benidorm, Spain, to celebrate her pal’s hen party last week. The blood-sucking insects leave painful bites from gnawing on skin that can blister and last up to a month.
Denise, a mum from Glasgow, was bitten on the last night of her holiday and fell ill on the plane home.
She had to drive to the nearest hospital when she landed in Newcastle on Sunday.
Denise’s nightmare continued when she noticed flies in her home after unpacking her suitcase, reports Daily Record.
She said: “I had wee red bites on holiday but on our last night I felt a sore pain in my leg and then later on my other leg.
“On the flight home I felt really sick and had diarrhoea.
“When we landed in Newcastle, I picked up my car but my legs were throbbing and the bites were swelling up.
“I was checked over at Hexham hospital but the bites didn’t look infected so I drove home to Glasgow.
“When I got home I ended up having to go to hospital as the pain was worse. I was prescribed antibiotics and I came home to unpack my case.”
The next day, Denise noticed flies in her living room and believes they must have multiplied quickly in her luggage. She continued: “I was sitting on the couch and I saw something quickly fly past me, then I had another bite.
“I noticed more of them and started to look online for my symptoms.
“I found a warning for tourists about Spanish black flies and realised they were everywhere in the house.
“They don’t bite you like a mosquito, they gnaw on your skin.”
In May, a warning was issued to British tourists planning to travel to Spain regarding the black flies.
The insects, which can grow up to 6mm, don’t quickly nip but bite in the form of a saw and can generate a significant wound, sometimes leading to infection.
Severe cases can result in hospitalisation and wounds usually take around four weeks to heal.
Denise has been left in agony due to the horror bites which have blistered. The mum, who is a full-time carer for her two children with disabilities and lives with partially sighted daughter Jodie, 23, Mason, 9, who has ADHD, and Jayce, 7, was forced to flee the property with her family.
They are now living with a family friend until the housing association is able to fumigate the property. Denise is currently on antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication to treat the blistering bites.
She says the stressful situation has left her unable to sleep. “I haven’t slept for two nights as I was just terrified,” Denise said. “They are so horrible.”
“My daughter is also partially sighted and my son has ADHD so we have all been really stressed out at this and having to leave the house.
“The bites can take up to four weeks to heal and my leg is in absolute agony. Even when I’m walking the pressure can make it worse.
“I don’t know how they could have gotten into my luggage. I brought some toys back for the kids and they had water in them. It was eggs that ‘hatched in water’. I think the flies could have laid eggs inside it.
“We were all terrified.”
Expert Jorge Galván, the general director of ANECPLA, the environmental health association, said the bites could lead to severe infection and even hospitalisation.
He told the Record that it was possible insect eggs could have travelled back in a toy Denise brought home in her suitcase and hatched when she placed this in water.
Wheatley Homes planned to fumigate the property on Wednesday after the issue was reported on Monday morning.
A Wheatley Homes Glasgow spokesperson said: “The tenant only got in touch yesterday to tell us about these issues.
“We asked our specialist pest control contractor to make this a priority. They carried out a full inspection this afternoon and will return tomorrow to complete the treatment.
“We understand this is a difficult situation for the family and we’ll continue to keep in close contact and do everything we can to help.”
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