It's Fly Season! Here They Come!
Black Flies- Look just like a smaller House Fly. The main difference... They do bite you! Just like Misquitoes, it is the female fly that bites and needs the blood meal in order to lay eggs.
Black Flies lay their eggs in streams and creeks where the water is moving. The eggs latch onto rocks or sticks and stay under water all winter long. Just before hatching, they emerge from the egg sac into a bubble that will take them to the surface.
They live for about 4-6 weeks, but their season can be 2-3 months long depending on when the eggs hatch. The bites will be very similar to a mosquito bite, but probably a bit more painful. The similarities are very close in the after bite stage as well. Red, swollen, and itchy bump.
Since they lay eggs in moving water, that is where they are most prominent along with more shaded or treed areas. A breezy mountain top with no water source will not have very many Black Flies.
Horse Flies- They lay their eggs in the same manner as Black Flies. One of the only differences between the two, are their size. The Horse Fly can get to more than an inch long and can have about a two mile travel radius. They are louder in flight and have a quicker, somewhat harder bite.
Horse Flies and Black Flies are cousins. Sometimes you will find a swarm of Black Flies trying to land on you along with one or two Horse Flies loudly circling you, looking for a perfect spot to bite.
Prevention- Long sleeves and head nets will give you some relief, but make sure your material is thick enough! Black Flies are known to crawl under clothing, so it's a good idea to tuck everything in and wear zippered shirts over buttoned. Both flies are attracted to your carbon monoxide (breath) and sweat, and are not always deterred by DEET. There is something called Picaradin that has been known to help. Try this Sawyer product out...but no guarantees.
These were brought to my attention... not sure if its something I would like to wear. A walking fly trap!! Click on the picture to purchase them on Amazon if you want to try them out.
By: Rudy Giecek