VAMPIRE horseflies are breeding like never before - thanks to Britain's longest heatwave in 40 years. Now, the public are being advised to remove standing water to stop the insects multiplying.

The heatwave over the last few weeks has led to more of these bugs - and, in turn, more bites.

Calls to the NHS 111 helpline about insect bites last week were nearly double the average for this time of year.

More than 9,000 people called the NHS about painful bites.

According to Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, bites from vampire horseflies can be especially sore.

He told the BBC: "They actually give one of the nastier bites, because they take a chunk out of you."

“They can be very painful, and can take a while to heal, and as result can get infected and need antibiotics."

These vampire pests are most likely to cause trouble in rural areas.

In these areas, standing water in troughs, ponds and marshes provide the perfect place for them to breed.

But all over Britain, paddling pools are also proving to be prime breeding grounds for the bugs.

As a result, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) are urging families to drain their paddling pools.

The horsefly epidemic has also led to the NHS urging anybody with a bite that results in symptoms of infection to visit their GPs.