Maine black flies

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,564
Downeast Maine
Those who live in Maine know the black flies are already emerging. What's the best way to keep them away from the house? When I lived in NC it was common to use bait traps located several hundred feet away from the house to keep away June bugs, mosquitoes, gnats, etc. Are there any good bait traps for the nuisance biting black flies?
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,851
Unity/Bangor, Maine
There's no escaping them.

Seems a bit early for black flies. Usually don't see those until May or so.

Black flies are the bane of Maine . . . swarming, biting little bas%$#@s . . . get in your nose, mouth, ears, eyes, under your clothes and pretty much anywhere and everywhere.

At one time you could buy Ol' Woodsman fly dope . . . it worked pretty well . . . if you didn't mind dousing yourself in stuff that smelled like pine pitch mixed with kerosene and moose pee.

Now if I absolutely must go outside during black fly season I try to time it for a windy day . . . or use a bug net.

The one good thing . . . I think global warming is helping us out since black fly season doesn't seem as bad or as long as it used to run. The flip side is I've seen a lot more ticks in the last ten years or so.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,564
Downeast Maine
There's no escaping them.

Seems a bit early for black flies. Usually don't see those until May or so.

Black flies are the bane of Maine . . . swarming, biting little bas%$#@s . . . get in your nose, mouth, ears, eyes, under your clothes and pretty much anywhere and everywhere.

At one time you could buy Ol' Woodsman fly dope . . . it worked pretty well . . . if you didn't mind dousing yourself in stuff that smelled like pine pitch mixed with kerosene and moose pee.

Now if I absolutely must go outside during black fly season I try to time it for a windy day . . . or use a bug net.

The one good thing . . . I think global warming is helping us out since black fly season doesn't seem as bad or as long as it used to run. The flip side is I've seen a lot more ticks in the last ten years or so.
I saw a handful of them over the weekend while I was clearing some trees in the woods. Looks like I'll be investing in a bug net since we have a lot of outdoor stuff to do this summer! I'm hoping our proximity to the water should keep the numbers down.
 
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AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
552
Vancouver Island
I saw a handful of them over the weekend while I was clearing some trees in the woods. Looks like I'll be investing in a bug net since we have a lot of outdoor stuff to do this summer! I'm hoping our proximity to the water should keep the numbers down.
Growing up in Nova Scotia our house was about 150 feet from the ocean, didn't make any difference. As kids, we'd still be covered in bites, bumps, and blood from the blackflies. I found moving the house to the West Coast helped a lot.;lol

We grew up with this funny ditty...
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,564
Downeast Maine
Growing up in Nova Scotia our house was about 150 feet from the ocean, didn't make any difference. As kids, we'd still be covered in bites, bumps, and blood from the blackflies. I found moving the house to the West Coast helped a lot.;lol

We grew up with this funny ditty...
Yeah, I think bug nets for our heads will be crucial.
 

My_3_Girls

Member
Aug 7, 2006
193
Massachusetts
+1 on the bug head nets.
The only downside is you cut down on your protein intake.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,604
Northern NH
It is early, the standard is in by mothers day out by fathers day. Nothing keeps them from hanging around. Deet on your skin keeps them from biting. My go to DEET is 3M Ultrathon. It has lower percentage of DEET but lasts longer as they add something in with the DEET so it stays on top of your skin. 100% DEET products are overkill and they disolve plastic. There is also Bug Off treated clothing that is better than nothing. It uses pemetherin which is great for keeping ticks away but far less effective than DEET.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,184
Eastern Ontario
Move somewhere where there is not fast running water
That's where they breed Like the city !!;lol
Or as I do stay in the house for the first 3 weeks of May
that's when we get the little buggers
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,564
Downeast Maine
Move somewhere where there is not fast running water
That's where they breed Like the city !!;lol
Or as I do stay in the house for the first 3 weeks of May
that's when we get the little buggers
They were out when we checked the house out in June, but not too bad. Me thinks a fan on the deck will keep them at bay.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,013
South Puget Sound, WA
We were at an outdoor wedding in CT that almost got canceled due to black flies. You couldn't escape them unless you went indoors. They were so thick that you inhaled them. The swarms were prophetic I guess, the marriage didn't last 3 yrs. I don't miss black flies, no see-ums, or mosquitos one bit.
 
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Knots

Minister of Fire
Mar 13, 2013
1,159
Alfred, Maine
"We breed 'em - you feed 'em"

blackfly.jpg
 

Knots

Minister of Fire
Mar 13, 2013
1,159
Alfred, Maine
At one time you could buy Ol' Woodsman fly dope . . . it worked pretty well . . . if you didn't mind dousing yourself in stuff that smelled like pine pitch mixed with kerosene and moose pee.
LOL! There was nothing better than coating yourself in that stuff and then sleeping in a sleeping bag on a multi-day backpacking trip. Yuck.

As others have stated, head nets are a better alternative. Outdoor Research makes ones with a metal band that keep it away from your face.
 
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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
552
Central Ohio
It is early, the standard is in by mothers day out by fathers day.
Headed to Maine in the middle of June. I hope they are gone by fathers day as they don't seem pleasant. I'm glad we don't have them in Ohio.
 

Mike.O

Member
Dec 20, 2017
106
CT
Was out all day yesterday setting my Sonotubes for my new firewood shed in Southern CT. The flies were absolutely insane. You could just rub your hand down your arm and kill ten that were landed on you. All over your head, ears, eyes, mouth. Horrible

I'm going to be outside regardless, so I try to take a mental approach and just deal. I can usually tune them out, but holy S@#t, this is worse that last year. I must have 100 bites.

They'll be gone in a few weeks, then its in with the mosquitoes.Mosquito bites bother me more, but at least they don't swarm and bother.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,564
Downeast Maine
Was out all day yesterday setting my Sonotubes for my new firewood shed in Southern CT. The flies were absolutely insane. You could just rub your hand down your arm and kill ten that were landed on you. All over your head, ears, eyes, mouth. Horrible

I'm going to be outside regardless, so I try to take a mental approach and just deal. I can usually tune them out, but holy S@#t, this is worse that last year. I must have 100 bites.

They'll be gone in a few weeks, then its in with the mosquitoes.Mosquito bites bother me more, but at least they don't swarm and bother.
So far I've only seen a handful of flies and a couple of mosquitoes. My tactic so far is long sleeves and a net.
 

Chimney Smoke

Minister of Fire
Nov 24, 2013
673
Maine
After the two weeks of cold wet weather, yesterday was 65 and sunny. They hatched big time here in southern Maine this weekend. The good news is that they usually only last about a month in any number. The bad news is when they're got then it's mosquito time and you'll wish for the black flies instead!!! Welcome to Maine, The Way Life Should Be!
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,564
Downeast Maine
After the two weeks of cold wet weather, yesterday was 65 and sunny. They hatched big time here in southern Maine this weekend. The good news is that they usually only last about a month in any number. The bad news is when they're got then it's mosquito time and you'll wish for the black flies instead!!! Welcome to Maine, The Way Life Should Be!
I saw plenty of flying bugs today!
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,851
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I don't mind the mosquitoes . . . they don't tend to swarm and I don't tend to eat quite so many inadvertently.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,564
Downeast Maine
It was really nice today so after lunch we sat outside for a whirl, surprisingly few flies so far!
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,604
Northern NH
Normally there has to be good hot stretch and warm temps overnight to kick them off into overdrive ;).

BTW, Black flies are trout food, they only breed in clean running water (unlike mosquitoes).
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,564
Downeast Maine
Normally there has to be good hot stretch and warm temps overnight to kick them off into overdrive ;).

BTW, Black flies are trout food, they only breed in clean running water (unlike mosquitoes).
We live a few miles from a salmon River, I'm just hoping it's far enough!
 

EODMSgt

Member
Dec 11, 2018
137
White Mountain Region, NH
Seems like they just showed up here yesterday. Was out splitting for a few hours and then went out in the evening to start stacking. Little bastards were everywhere.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,604
Northern NH
Yup, they showed up once the weather warmed up.
 
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